Sharing from my Windows Media Center Experience

/

image

I’m a big fan of Windows Media Center from Microsoft, below I will share my story on how my media center has been configured. I have spent the last couple of months on tuning my media center, so it could be the center of entertainment and TV in the family, as well as reasonable WAF-accepted.

Hardware

I bought a new PC to replace my old media center. The main goal of the new PC was:

  1. it had to have a low power consumption
  2. be small in size
  3. low noise
  4. and still quite powerful
    The choice I ended up with was the Mini PC with the following specs:

  • Intel Core i3 Mobile Processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD Graphics, Support Native Full HD 1080p Playback
  • BD (Blu-ray Disc) Combo drive
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with THX TruStudio Pro
  • MCE Remote Controller
  • Those specs suited my needs perfectly and I mu say, after running with it for 3-4 months, that I’m not disappointed at all, it runs perfect.

TV Tuner

Since my TV provider uses IP TV, I see if I could find a solution that would work with WMC. After a lot of search the Internet and HTPC forums I found a solution from DVBLogiv, who has a product called DVBLogic TV Source IPTV. Which fit perfectly to my scenario and it was very easy to configure. The hardest part was to find channel information, but thanks to the HTPC and DVBLogic forums, that was possible too.

This replaced the set-top box provided from my TV supplier. The WMC works way better and I ‘m able to record on up to 4 different channels at the same time.

Software

As stated above, the media center software I’m running is Windows 7 Media Center (WMC), which I perfect for my needs and easy to use. I have extended it with several plugins and after extensive testing of a lot of different plugins/add-ons, I have settled with the extensions below:

  • MyMovies – Great media software, I use this software to present my DVD, currently stored on a Windows Home Server to my media center, I did try MediaBrowser for a while, but I liked the MyMovies interface better, even though MB gives more room for customization
  • DVB Logic TV Source – The software that controls the IP TV tuners in WMC
  • MCImportXMLTV – which is used to provided 3. part EPG data for my WMC, EPG data is pulled from ontv.dk, where I subscribe to these data
  • Home Server Connect Software – connects my Windows Home Server to my WMC
  • MacroTube – used to access YouTube, DailyMotion and Soapbox directly in WMC
  • Remote Potato – used to remote control my WMC using my iPhone, the App is available through their homepage or the App Store
  • My Channel Logos – used to add Channel logos to my program listing
  • My Center Studio – Application used to customize the WMC menus
  • Kylo Browser – Browser optimized for WMC usage
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD – software used for Bluray support within WMC, since WMC does not support Bluray natively
    I don’t use my WMC for music, since I have Sonos system taking care of music in my house.

Conclusion

My Windows Media Center has never run more stable and has now taken the wanted position as the main system in our living room for TV and Movie entertainment. All in all I have never been more happy with WMC and the benefit that the different extensions gives me.