Media center software has long been a staple of PC usage, but over the last decade it seems like the “media” portion of media center is becoming more and more irrelevant. The future might be in streaming or renting movies instead of owning them outright; meanwhile, some people are still using traditional media centers because they’re easier to use. What’s your favorite?
The “best home media server 2020” is a software that allows users to stream their media from one device to another. It’s a perfect tool for those who want to share their content with friends and family members.
authored by Matthew Adams
Expert in Windows and Software
Matthew is a freelance writer who has written a number of articles on different technology-related themes. His major interest is the Windows operating system and all that surrounds it. He is enthralled by… Read more
- Up to Windows 8.1, the Windows Media Center (WMC) was included with Windows platforms, but it was removed with future versions of Windows.
- However, with the correct tools and resources, you can still transform your computer into a multimedia center.
- With little effort, dedicated third-party software solutions may let you replace WMC’s features and enjoy multimedia material on your PC once again.
- Plus, you can watch hundreds of amazing episodes on highly user-friendly platforms with media support.
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Up to Windows 8.1, the Windows Media Center (WMC) was a feature of the Windows operating system. Microsoft, on the other hand, has officially retired the WMC, thereby removing many of its multimedia choices from Windows 10.
The Media Center provided a single location for organizing video, photos, and music as well as setting up a home theater system. There are a number of third-party media centers that may serve as a substitute for the WMC in Windows 10.
To begin, keep in mind that media center software differs from media players. Media players are mainly intended for music and video playing, and therefore lack some of the features included in traditional media centers.
Users may manage their films, games, music, and photographs on all-in-one media centers and play multimedia material on both a PC and a connected TV in a home theater setup.
Users may also stream TV shows and films, watch and record live television, and see picture slideshows with the software.
What is the best Windows 10 Media Center software?
PlayOn is an excellent platform for anybody looking for a reliable media streaming service. It is a media center that provides some of the highest-quality media material available online.
The most fundamental notion of this application is that you may view programs from streaming sources while recording them straight on your PC. At the same time, you may watch your favorite movies on your computer.
As a result of its large content bank, this program offers all you need for media enjoyment. You may basically record any movie you want to watch later from streaming applications like Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, or Amazon.
A fantastic benefit you may utilize is the mobile app, which has a lot of information and allows you to record in full HD 1080p resolution. Ad skip, off-peak recording, synchronization across several devices, auto-download recordings, and more are all included.
Whether you choose the desktop or cloud version, both are efficient and provide pleasant media services. There are various distinctions between the two, which you can see on their own websites.
As a result, you get improved video quality and closed captioning for your movies on the cloud version, ensuring that you have a peaceful experience while viewing your favorite programs.
This media center offers high-quality recording services, so you can watch fantastic programs online.
Plex is a client-server media center software that is more distinctive. To put it another way, the program allows you to share or stream your material across many devices.
As a result, Plex Media Server software is needed, as well as a Plex front-end client, which you can get from this website and install on Windows 10.
Although the Windows software is free, it only allows for one minute of media playing unless you pay for it with an in-app purchase or a monthly Plex Pass membership.
Plex is a fantastic tool for organizing music, movie, and picture collections. The program supports practically all music and movie formats, and its library UI displays artwork, biographies, narrative summaries, and other information about your media.
Online material is available from a variety of sources, including NPR, Comedy Central, and Spike. The music player may also display timed lyrics, which is a unique feature.
Plex, unlike other media centers, allows you to create numerous user profiles and block access to inappropriate material. Plex now has DVR recording and access to 86 of Nielsen’s most-watched programs thanks to recent improvements.
Content streaming is what actually sets Plex distinct from other media centers.
Users may sync material across a variety of devices, including phones, tablets, digital media players, and gaming consoles, with a Plex Pass subscription.
You may also sync your media to cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. If you have images, music, or movies on both a laptop and a tablet, you may use Plex applications to instantly access all of your material on both platforms.
XBMC (Xbox Media Center) was the initial name for this program, although it is now more often known as Kodi. Kodi is a popular third-party media center that works across a variety of systems.
Windows 10, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Apple TV OS, and Raspberry Pi are all supported by the program. Kodi is another free and open-source software, which you can get by clicking Installer on this page’s Get it on Windows 10 button.
Kodi media center can play all of the major video and audio file types, as well as stream material from a variety of online media streaming providers.
Users may access large TV program and movie collections with poster, disc, and banner graphics with a little setup. Within the Kodi interface, you can watch and record live TV.
You may customize Kodi’s skins (or themes), screensaver, background wallpaper, GUI audio effects, home page buttons, typeface, add-on shortcuts, and more using the software’s rich GUI customization tools.
Kodi has some incredible music visualization effects as well.
Kodi’s add-ons, on the other hand, are its finest feature. Add-ons for music, video, images, screensavers, games, weather, applications, and skins are available for Kodi, allowing you to customize the software even more.
The ROM Collection Browser, for example, allows users to explore and run vintage games from inside the media center.
Exodus is one of the most well-known third-party Kodi add-ons, allowing you to stream and view a wide range of blockbuster movies and TV episodes.
MediaMonkey is an excellent option for anybody who wants to manage their video and audio collections. This is the app to use if your ‘Music’ and ‘Movies’ folders are a mess. You may organize your files by tagging, categorizing, and selecting them.
If you need to switch from iTunes or Windows Media Player, you may easily transfer your playlists and choices into Media Monkey and utilize it. You may change the way it appears and add genres, albums, artists, and songs to the lists.
You may also use Media Monkey to share files with TVs, DVD players, and other UPnP/DLNA devices. In only a few clicks, you may watch your favorite videos.
It is perfectly optimized for Windows 7, 8, and 10 systems, so you should have no difficulties installing it. It is available in over 15 languages and does not cause your computer to slow down.
You can better organize your media files and discover every movie or music in one location by utilizing this program, and you can just push a button when you’re in the mood for entertainment.
Obtain Media Monkey
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Jellyfin is a volunteer-built program that provides a spectacular media platform for watching the greatest productions.
To summarize, this program is absolutely free and provides useful features such as movie, music, and television show distribution. Any media material you choose may be collected and accessed straight away.
As a result, the provided assistance is limitless and caters to all amusement inclinations. This platform’s server enables free downloading and media streaming in the blink of an eye.
You may also set up live TV and record any show you want to save in your library. In terms of assistance, you may view your media on the move.
Even if you choose not to watch on a computer, you may do it on your Android or iOS mobile. As a result, you may stream material on a Fire TV device or via a Kodi installation to take your media with you wherever you go.
Because its initial source code was cloned from Kodi, MediaPortal is a descendant of that media center. MediaPortal, on the other hand, has little similarity to Kodi. This is a Windows-only version of open-source media center software.
From this website, you may install either MediaPortal 1 or 2 for Windows; although MP2 is the most recent version, it offers fewer skins and plug-ins.
MediaPortal offers a visual feast with a variety of eye-catching skins to pick from.
The program features a larger assortment of skins than Kodi, which include full-screen fan art, alternate themes, add-ons, and a number of customization options.
Skins for certain screen sizes, high-definition resolution, and touch screen devices are also available in MediaPortal.
You may play your media files straight from your HDD, DVD, or Blu-ray discs in MediaPortal. One of the benefits of utilizing this program is that it automatically searches your HDD for media files, eliminating the need to manually search for and access them like you would with Kodi.
Users may watch live TV from hundreds of stations and record shows to their hard drives using MediaPortal, which also includes its own TV Guide.
You may use the program to listen to and record radio, create picture slideshows with transition effects, check the weather, and play Tetris and Sudoku games.
There are 246 official MediaPortal plug-ins available, including WiFiRemote, which allows users to navigate the program via a variety of remote control devices.
Obtain Media Portal
Emby is another multi-client media center with a centralized database. As a result, Emby, like Plex, has its own server.
It provides programs for a variety of operating systems and devices, and by selecting the Download button on this page, you may add Emby Theater to the more contemporary Windows platforms.
Alternatively, you may download the software’s app from its Store page and install it on your Windows 10 mobile device. To use the applications, you’ll need an annual Emby Premiere membership.
Emby’s Home Theater software allows you to record live TV and programs. Its attractive media presentation showcases cover artwork and information, and the GUI’s powerful search options allow for rapid and easy browsing.
The Live TV Guide is a useful addition to the theater app, and you can schedule TV recordings with the Emby DVR. Emby also contains several useful plug-ins like Cover Art, which allows you to improve media pictures, and GameBrowser, which allows you to play games.
Emby’s most valuable asset is its media streaming, which incorporates centralized database administration that consumers may access through simple online tools.
Emby offers 20 applications for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as gaming consoles and digital media players such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, and Apple TV.
As a result, you can sync your media across a variety of devices. You may also use media streaming to sync and backup music, video, and images to cloud storage.
JRiver MC was initially known as Media Jukebox, but the publisher has since developed it to become a full-fledged media center.
This media center program has a lot of features and functions, as well as support for audio, photos, music, TV, and even DLNA network devices. JRiver MC is a proprietary Windows, Mac, and Linux application.
JRiver MC excels with video and television playback. The program includes a revolutionary Red October system that configures DirectShow filters automatically for high-quality video playback.
For live TV playback, the media center supports TV tuners from most manufacturers, and users may even record high-definition TV.
JRiver MC’s integrated YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix services let users to watch internet videos. The software also offers five other view modes, including Theater View, which is great for TVs and touch screens.
When it comes to media streaming, JRiver MC isn’t quite as good as Plex or Emby, but because to its DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compatibility, you can still share your content across desktops, laptops, and other devices that implement the DLNA standard.
You may share media on the software’s Media Network. External interfaces are also supported by the Media Network, allowing you to set up Android and iOS devices as remote controllers or servers.
JRiver MC even has its own Id network hardware that can be configured in a variety of ways.
These are the five finest Windows Media Center alternatives. You may turn your desktop or laptop into a home theater PC by using JRiver MC, Kodi, MediaPortal, Plex, and Emby.
Even if you don’t need a complete HTPC, the program is an excellent way to organize and explore your music, movie, and picture collections, as well as play media material.
JRiver Media Center is available for download.
You should confidently check out our multimedia devoted area for additional information on this subject. Please feel free to submit any further questions in the comments area below.
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The “best media center software for Windows 10 users” is a list of the top 5+ best media center software for Windows 10 users. The list includes both free and paid options. Reference: best media center hardware.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best Media Center for Windows 10?
A: The best Media Center for Windows 10 is Microsoft Edge.
What is the best replacement for Windows Media Center?
A: This is a hard question to answer because there are so many different Windows Media Center alternatives. Some people like Plex, which can be downloaded for free and without limitations, while others prefer the fast speeds of Kodi. YouTube also has an app that allows you to watch TV shows or movies on your Xbox One X console at home!
Is there a Windows Media Center for Windows 10?
I want to watch my TV shows and movies on it. A: This is a Windows 10 feature that was taken out due to Microsofts switchover from Media Center software in the operating system. Currently, there are no alternatives available for this task as of now.
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