With the launch of Windows 8 we unfortunately no longer have the amazing Windows Media Center many of use grew to enjoy and utilize on a daily basis. The only way to get Windows Media Center is if you pay and upgrade to Windows 8 Pro or purchase it outright. Many of us have no interest in paying for something that was once free.
Luckily if you do no want to pay for Windows Media center there are a handful of alternatives to choose from.
Windows 8 Media Players
- Windows 8 Apps – There are several modern apps that Windows 8 offer that you can utilize as a replacement to Windows Media Center. These include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Prime and other media services. These will all allow you to play back movies and enjoy you favorite TV shows.
- XBMC – the majority of people utilize XBMC as their Windows Media Center alternative. XBMC stands for Xbox Media Center (which is created by Microsoft). This software works on practically any platform include Mac OS, Linux, Android, IOS and of course Windows. It gives you a wide variety of options such as TV capturing and gives you access to the Apps mentioned above.
- Plex – Similar to XBMC, Plex gives you the ability to add movies, TV shows, Home Movies and Music to your Windows 8 devices. It creates a computer into a server and then can be accessed from all other devise at your house through the Plex software/App.
- MediaPortal – This platform was originally based on XBMC but was rewritten from its core database later on after launching. If you are just not interested in how XBMC looks, feels or works but enjoy the features then MediaPortal is a great alternative. It allows you to do a large assortment of features such as pause live TV, rip DVD’s, watching online media platforms and play music.
- Moovida – This is an up and coming platform that is very robust and dynamic. It offers all the features that the above alternatives offer but even more. You must be careful when downloading it though because it is filled with bloatware and junkware so make sure to uncheck downloading it when installing the software.
With the lack of Windows Media Center there will be a plethora of other alternative apps and programs that will be released. These 5 are only a handful of the many media playing platforms available but all of these 5 are tested and are some of the highest rated platforms available to utilize. Currently Windows is in talk of creating a new Windows 8 version that is similar to the popular Windows Media Center we enjoy but most likely will have a Metro-interface incorporated with it.