#1 By: howtogeek, May 19th, 2013 06:42
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/163376/forget-windows-media-center-use-a-free-linux-based-media-center-system/
Windows 8 no longer comes with Windows Media Center. To get it, you’ll need to purchase both the Pro Pack and Media Center Pack upgrades from Microsoft for a total of $110. Consider using a free, Linux-based media center system instead.
#2 By: Samuel_Groves, May 19th, 2013 09:17
Why choose? Pick both. That way you can get the best of both worlds and not have to compromise.
#3 By: Rounak Dutta, May 19th, 2013 10:16
Try xbmc with some add ons it's good enough
#4 By: mattcoughlin64, May 19th, 2013 11:14
The article mentions streaming services like Netflix can be used with XBMCbuntu. Is this true? Their website mentions it as well. I thought Linux couldn't stream Netflix due to Silverlight issues? I'd be excited if it could run Netflix and play any media file I throw at it. Right now I use my Xbox, but it can't play all media files.
#5 By: David Cosgrove, May 19th, 2013 11:45
I am a big fan of using Media Portal instead of Media Center. I record a lot of TV. Has some good addons. Worth a look. I found Myth hard to set up.
#6 By: Dpos89 , May 19th, 2013 11:49
Is there any support for people that are not savvy with Linux quirks, writing code, or any other things that cause a problem for installing and negotiating a Linux program? I hate Windows but am forced to use it because the Linux stuff is over my head, the support is too technical to understand, or questions are not answered in a timely manner. I'd like to try it but suppose I will have to uninstall it because of past experiences.
#7 By: Cambo, May 19th, 2013 12:50
There's no Linux knowledge required for xbmcbuntu. It's a very simple installation that asks you for a few details like name and location. After that you don't even see the Linux desktop. I've been running it for 8 months now and never had a need to jump into the desktop that runs on the background. Very simple solution that was much easier and faster than Windows.
#8 By: David Froncyk, May 19th, 2013 14:08
There is a Windows version (free) available that runs on my Windows 7 (64 bit) machines quite nicely. And there is pretty solid support in the XBMC forums for Win 7 and 8. Does not require Linux installation or knowledge.
#9 By: C Dobson, May 19th, 2013 17:20
My Dell desktop PC from Costco includes Windows Media Center.
#10 By: 2Noob2BTrue, May 19th, 2013 17:48
If your Dell desktop is running Vista or 7 then you probably have WMC.
#11 By: Archey, May 19th, 2013 18:21
When I think of a Media Center I think of one that can handle all media including cable TV. Windows media center is still great for this when used in conjunction with Cetons, InfiniTVCard. If someone has any other suggestions or has a media center other than Windows that does this I would like to hear about it.
#12 By: theMike, May 19th, 2013 22:32
windows media center has spoiled me. there's nothing that really comes close to it. i've tried a few media centers in linux but they're particular about the tv tuner you use
#13 By: Darr247, May 19th, 2013 22:53
You can boot Open-ELEC as a Live CD or USB stick to try it before you actually install it.
Use the 3.0.x version from http://openelec.tv/get-openelec/viewcategory/8-generic-builds unless you know for sure your hardware can use one of the other builds.
The wiki at http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Live_Boot_%26_Manual_Installation
tells how to make a bootable USB stick so you don't need to burn a CD.
#14 By: Henry Ashman, May 20th, 2013 05:33
The other advantage of media center (and windows in general over Linux when it comes to media) which isn't mentioned is how much easier it is to play blu-rays on windows (with the right software no more difficult than a DVD or using a standalone blu-ray player).
Whereas Linux requires a lot of terminal window fiddling, along with some sketchier copy-protection circumventing every time you put a disk in.
#15 By: Josh_Campbell, May 20th, 2013 15:52
Why not do at least a bit better. Order a Raspberry Pi, and install OpenELEC on the SD card. Instant HTPC.
#16 By: darkstar77, May 30th, 2013 16:53
You can say forget Windows Media Center all you want. The fact of the matter is there is no alternative to PlayReady. There is no other media software that can record Cable Card Protected media aside from the $15 a month Tivo. MythTV, MediaPortal simply can't accomplish this goal and its something that can not be ignored. If you just wanted to watch videos, you wouldn't use media center anyway.