Saturday, 15 Jun 2024
Technology

Eireview: The Ultimate Windows Media Center Alternatives

Are you in search of a reliable alternative to Windows Media Center? Look no further! In this article, we will explore seven of the best alternatives that will undoubtedly meet your needs. Whether you’re a Windows, Linux, or Mac user, we have got you covered. So, let’s dive into the world of media hubs, where endless possibilities await!

1. Kodi

20 Kodi Keyboard Shortcuts Every User Should Know

When it comes to home theater software, Kodi is the name you can trust. Formerly known as XBMC, this free and open-source software has gained immense popularity since its launch. Kodi enables you to play local storage files, stream web media content from various services, and even record TV programs using compatible hardware. With its customizable interface and extensive collection of add-ons and plugins, Kodi offers an exceptional media experience. Available on Windows, Linux, Android, Macintosh, and iOS, Kodi is undoubtedly a remarkable alternative to Windows Media Center.

2. Plex

Plex - Windows Media Center Alternatives

Plex is a versatile media center solution that excels in organizing your media files. Although it lacks the ability to record live TV, Plex’s outstanding media format support and networking capabilities make it an excellent choice. With Plex, you can access your media collection on various devices, irrespective of the platform. The integrated approach to online media streaming, along with a user-friendly interface, further enhances the Plex experience. Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Windows 8, Plex is the go-to alternative for those seeking effortless media organization.

  • Price: Free, Premium Subscription available
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3. MediaPortal

MediaPortal

If you’re looking for a comprehensive HTPC solution, MediaPortal is the answer. This feature-rich media center allows you to watch and record live TV, play media files (including DVDs and Blu-rays), and stream content within your network. MediaPortal offers a wide range of plugins, ensuring easy access to popular streaming services. Despite its Windows exclusivity, MediaPortal’s user-friendly interface and extensive functionality make it a compelling alternative to Windows Media Center.

4. Emby

Emby

Emby, formerly known as Media Browser, is an open media software that provides an exceptional media management experience. With Emby, you can store, organize, and access your media files from multiple devices. Its impressive features, such as Cloud Sync, Folder Sync, and parental controls, enhance the overall viewing experience. Emby is available on Windows, Linux, Mac, Android TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. If you’re looking for a sleek and reliable alternative to Windows Media Center, Emby should be on your list.

5. Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server is an excellent software solution for organizing and streaming your media across various devices. With support for DLNA-compatible devices and a web-based interface, Universal Media Server ensures seamless access to your movies, music, and more. Its extensive plugin support allows for enhanced productivity, including external service integration and information retrieval. Whether you’re using Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Roku 3, or other devices, Universal Media Server has you covered.

6. OpenELEC

Aeon Nox - Kodi Skin

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OpenELEC, an operating system powered by Kodi, transforms your computer into a full-fledged home theater. With OpenELEC, you can easily organize and enjoy your favorite media, even on low-spec PCs. OpenELEC offers features such as movie organization, TV show management, and the ability to record TV programs. Its extensive collection of add-ons further enhances your media experience. OpenELEC’s developer-oriented approach makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a dedicated media management solution.

7. OSMC

OSMC

Last but not least, we have OSMC—an open-source and minimalistic media center solution. With its clean design and user-friendly interface, OSMC provides an exceptional media playback experience for TV shows, videos, music, and more. The availability of an App Store allows you to customize OSMC as per your requirements. OSMC supports various media formats and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Apple TV, and Vero. For those seeking a streamlined media center alternative, OSMC is a perfect choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I record TV programs using these alternatives?
A1. Yes, Kodi and MediaPortal offer TV program recording capabilities.

Q2. Which alternative is the most customizable in terms of appearance and functionality?
A2. Kodi provides extensive customization options, allowing you to personalize the look and feel to your liking.

Q3. Are these alternatives available for Mac and Linux users?
A3. Yes, most of these alternatives, including Kodi, Plex, and Emby, are compatible with Mac and Linux operating systems.

Q4. Do these alternatives support streaming services like YouTube and Netflix?
A4. Yes, many of these alternatives, such as Kodi, Plex, and Universal Media Server, offer support for streaming services like YouTube and Netflix.

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Conclusion

Windows Media Center might have been discontinued, but the alternatives discussed in this article provide robust and feature-rich media center solutions. Whether you prefer Kodi’s versatility, Plex’s organizational capabilities, or Emby’s open-source approach, there is an alternative to suit your needs. Explore these options, unleash the power of media, and enjoy an unparalleled viewing experience!

Do you think any other Windows Media Center alternative deserves a spot on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

SEE ALSO: 10 Best Video Players For Windows