With the change from Windows 7 to 8, Microsoft removed some elements present in the Windows 7 a significant feature being the WMC. Windows Media Center or WMC has always been a place where you can watch movie and music files from various sources like DVDs, record TV, etc. The interconnection between devices also helped you to access it in any other Windows-based device in your home network. But, with the discontinuation of Windows Media Center, we require alternatives for it in Windows 8 or Windows 10. Similarly, if you are using Linux or Macintosh and want a Windows Media Center as a media hub, there are Windows Media Center Alternatives right here for you:
It is a free and open source home theatre software that was previously known as XBMC. It helps to play local storage files, stream web media content from services like YouTube, Spotify and Pandora Internet Radio, etc. It also has PVR that help in recording TV Programmes using corresponding hardware. It can also be used for playing python based mini games. It has various skins and many add-ons. You can stream content from elsewhere by installing suitable add-ons and any other thing required. Kodi usually requires a PC with a good graphics-based configuration to give you a great media experience. Kodi right now is available for Windows, Linux, Android, Macintosh and iOS and is considered to be one of the best.
It is a great media centre solution, but you cannot record T.V. or watch it live here. It supports a comprehensive range of media formats and lets you access to content in almost any device, regardless of the platform. Thus, Plex is a sensible choice for people who need a Home Theatre PC, which can be expanded to other devices. Plex also is socially connected and has a community for media lovers. Plex also offers support for YouTube, Vimeo, CNN, TedTalks, etc. it is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, along with Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Windows 8. Plex comes with an easy user interface, and it is the best media centre with easy organization methods.
3. Media portal
MediaPortal is another Home Theatre PC that lets you do things such as watching and recording Live TV, playing media files from storage as well as DVDs and Blu-rays, hearing to music files as well as radio, stream media files to PCs or HTPC devices that are in your network. It also has a large User Interface and the easy-to-access organization method making it a popular media centre. Here you can install corresponding plug-ins to stream content from popular services. Media portal is based on Kodi, and an important feature of it is its ability to control the software using methods like PC Remote and Kinect. MediaPortal is open source and free and is available to Windows only. It with its user-friendly features is an excellent alternative for WMC.
Emby is a great solution when you need to store and organize your media and access it from various devices. Emby was previously called a Media Browser, and it had limited features and capabilities. After the update, Emby has got features like Cloud Sync and Folder Sync, features that improve the viewing experience, playback improvements, etc. It’s other features are parental controls, detect DLNA-based devices and many other apps. Emby can be classified into three parts, its Emby Server, TV Applications and the Mobile apps. The Emby server is available for Windows, Linux and Mac while its TV Apps supports many devices like Android TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, etc. You can find its apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It is a sleek Windows Media Center alternative actually.
5. Universal media server
This helps to keep the media contents organized so that you can have access to your movies, music or any else from various devices like TV! The UMS is a great alternative when you want to stream your media to different kinds of devices you have. It offers support for any DLNA-compatible device out there; and if there is no DLNA support, one can use the web-based interface too. It also offers many plugins to choose from like an extension for external services such as Google Play Music and a plugin that lets you find information from IMDB when you are watching media content. Universal Media Server supports many other devices like Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Roku 3, etc.
It is an operating system that turns your computer into a Home Theatre powered by Kodi. Whose PC’s are with a lower configuration, can install OpenELEC Operating System in it and organize all media files while watching. If you have a Raspberry Pi or Apple TV, you can have separate builds of OpenELEC. It can do a lot of thing like movie organization, TV show management, music player, picture browser and also record T.V programs. OpenELEC is the more developer-oriented alternative for the people who have a PC to spare for media management and setting up OpenELEC is easy and quick.
It is great to have OSMC when you want to play TV Shows, Videos, Music and other things. It also has an App Store so that you can customize your OSMC as per your liking with the required plugins. It also supports a range of media files, meaning that you can play any kind of popular media formats you come across in it. OSMC comes with a device that can extend media experience to a new level called Vero. OSMC is available for Mac, Windows, OS X and Linux; and it has support for Raspberry Pi, Apple TV and Vero. OSMC is the minimal, and classy User Interface and a great alternative for WMC.