Microsoft ditches Windows Media Center (abbreviated "WMC") in Windows 10. That is really a bad news for WMC enthusiasts, because Windows Media Center working as an "entertainment system" for the whole PC is of great use in recording HDTV (TV tuner needed), playing DVD, video, music, online streaming, and so on.
So what to do if I need Media Center?
Option 1. Keep running your existing Windows version with Media Center. Windows 7 editions with WMC will continue to be supported until January 2020, and Windows 8 Pro with WMC will be available until January 2023. But if you are interested in the fire-new Windows 10, you are supposed to switch to option 2.
Option 2. Try some Windows Media Center alternatives compatible with Windows 10. In fact, there are free replacements that offer the similar or even more functionality than Windows Media Center do. Here, we have selected top 3 Windows 10 Media Center alternatives for your reference.
!!! Warning: You are not recommended to use hacks to get Windows Media Center onto Windows 10 involving downloading files from unverified sources and putting them onto your Windows 10 PC, to make you stay away from malware and other problems.
"What is the best Windows Media Center alternative if I upgrade to Windows 10" has become a frequently asked question that troubles folks since the release of Windows 10. Why need alternative to WMC? Different people have different answers. Some people search for replacement for Windows Media Center in order to activate DVD playback, and some may look for it to keep TV recording and viewing going as usual. Hope the following Windows 10 Media Center substitutes can help you.
What can this Windows 10 Media Center alternative do for you?
1) Play DVD. With the removal of Windows Media Center, Windows 10 misses the option for DVD playback. If you are looking for a free Windows 10 DVD player, 5KPlayer is a good choice which can play home-made DVDs and also commercial encrypted DVDs flawlessly. Moreover, it can play ISO files and VIDEO_TS folders.
2) Play Video Audio Media. It can play 8K/4K/HD/SD videos in virtually all formats including MKV, HEVC, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV and more, as well as audios in MP3, AAC, FLAC, APE, etc. This alternative supports more multimedia formats than Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player.
3) AirPlay. 5KPlayer can stream films, videos and music from iPhone, iPad to Windows 10 PC and also stream video audio media (be it locally stored or from AirPlay enabled 3-party apps like YouTube, Spotify) from PC to Apple TV and AirPlay speakers.
4) Free Download Movies/Videos/Music Online. Forget to stream videos music online. Try this Windows Media Center alternative to free download them from 300+ sites for offline watching.
5) Listen to Radio. If you want to listen to radio from BBC, Heart, Capital or other radio stations, you can give 5KPlayer a shot.
2. Kodi (former name: XBMC, short for Xbox Media Center)
Property: Free, open source
What can this alternative to Windows Media Center do for you?
Kodi, originally named as Xbox Media Center, was designed as a media player for Xbox. Later, it is available on Windows and other platforms. Besides playing videos, music and photos, it is capable of interfacing with popular TV capture cards that will enable you to record live TV shows or even pause or play them on demand. So if you want to get a Windows 10 Media Center alternative for TV recording, Kodi is worth considering.
Moreover, you can also install add-ons to extend this media center's functionality. Add-ons can help get access to internet services like YouTube and Netflix, and include informational tools like weather information.
3. Myth TV
Property: Free, open source
The last top Windows 10 Media Center alternative falls on Myth TV, a free open source media center and digital video recorder (DVR). Thanks to its plugin architecture, it can be transformed into a home media center suite, helping manage your media collections, keep you up to date with the weather, etc.
And the most important feature of this Windows Media Center replacement that I want to mention here is it can record TV shows. Moreover, you can pause, skip and rewind them. More surprisingly, it can detect and skip commercials.
Note: Myth TV is originally developed for Linux, and can be compiled on Windows. However, the pre-compiled application is not yet officially available.
Certainly, there are many other good programs like Windows Media Center in the market, for example, VLC, MediaPortal, and Plex. You are free to choose any one you like to replace Windows Media Center as part of Windows 10.
Update: Free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7/8 PC has expired.
If you are looking for the best Windows Media Center alternative to play DVD and media files on Windows 10, 5KPlayer is the best choice.
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