Top 5 free Windows Media Center alternatives for Windows 10

Now when it is officially announced that there won’t be any Windows Media Center functionality in Windows 10, you might be looking for some good alternatives. Launched back in 2002, Windows Media Center was best known for its media playback and support for TV tuners.

Later, Microsoft stopped offering free Media Center for Windows 8 and made it a paid add-on, and now the company is moving on and decided to abandon the software in Windows 10. Hence, anyone who upgrades their system to Window 10 won’t be able to use this PC software. No matter how good or bad it was, Windows users now have to look for some good alternative to play or record TV with an over the-air-tuner.

While Windows Media Center has always been the first choice of Windows users or their home entertainment setups, there are several other free and good alternatives for users to choose from.

Windows Media Center alternatives for Windows 10

Let us have a look at some of the best Media Center alternatives, like Kodi (Xbox Media Center), MythTV, MediaPortal, Plex Media Player and Freevo Media Center.

Kodi (Xbox Media Center)

Kodi Media Center

Kodi previously known as Xbox Media Center is by far considered as the best alternative to Windows Media Center. It was originally designed for Xbox and was later made available for various platforms like Mac, Android, Linux, iOS and more.

Kodi is an open source free media player which allows users to watch videos, play music, podcasts and all other digital media files from local storage or from media card. Kodi is available for most of the common platforms for use with televisions and remote controls. It comes with various plugins which let users to access the online content on websites like Pandora Radio, YouTube, Spotify, and Grooveshark etc.

While there are many unofficial tuners available for Kodi, company has also started testing the official U.S TV tuner support on Xbox One to let users watch live TV programs on their gaming console, pause them and rewind them.

MythTVWindows Media Center alternatives

This Open Source media software was developed in 2002 and comprises almost every standard feature a Media Player requires. It can convert your PC into a complete digital multimedia home entertainment set-up with a digital recorder. Other functionalities of MythTV include ability to pause, rewind and skip like TV shows, schedule recordings, adjust audio pitch, and an infrared remote control.

It can be considered as one of the best alternative to Windows Media Center and also supports most of the popular operating systems like primarily Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. Download MythTV here.

MediaPortalmediaportal

This open source media center software is worth adding in the list of alternatives to Windows Media Center. The functionality of MediaPortal includes recording, playing and pausing live TV channels, playing videos and music stored in media card and local storage and showing pictures. The plugins added to MediaPortal lets users watch the videos or listen music online. Its LCD displays, TV tuners, and infrared receivers makes it a complete home entertainment setup.

Specifically designed for Microsoft Windows, this media player can be controlled by any input device, supported by the Windows Operating System like a PC Remote, Gamepad, Kinect, Keyboard, or Wii Remote. Basically it transforms your PC in to a complete entertainment media solution.

Plex Media Playerplex media player

While Plex doesn’t allow users to record the live TV shows, it is still one of the most popular media players around. Besides Windows, Plex supports Mac, Linux, FreeBSD and mobile devices too. It organizes your media data stored in the local devices and stream them to the Digital Media Players and Smart TVs.

Users can view photos, watch videos or podcasts on a computer running Plex Media Server. Furthermore, the plugins let users watch the online content on Netflix, Hulu and CNN video. Get Plex here.

Freevo Media Center

This is yet another open source media center which can be used as a substitute to Windows Media Center. The functionalities of Freevo include digital video recording, personal video recording, playing videos, gaming, listening music and more. Freevo can record TV streams and can also stream the online videos from the websites like YouTube, Hulu, and Flickr etc. Users can pause or rewind live TV shows and also schedule recordings with Freevo Media Center.

This media player can be controlled by simple input devices like infra-red remote control, keyboard/mouse or some network app. Download Freevo here.

Have a look at VLC Media Player and Moovida too.

These are some alternatives for Windows Media Center. Almost every software comes with a similar set of features and functionalities. Pick the one which suits your preferences the best.

This post will show you how to play MP4 on Windows 10.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

10 Comments

  1. Phil Brigido

    Do any of these programs have a substitute for a Windows Media Center Extender? Such as the Xbox 360? That is one of the most important features of Windows Media Center, and as far as I know, there is no replacement.

  2. chris miraillet

    nice done, the best are there

  3. DutchPete

    How can you leave out VLC media player? Even Microsoft itself mentions it as an alternative.

  4. Added it towards the end. 🙂

  5. DutchPete

    OK, did not see that, sorry. However, in view of the popularity & user footprint VLC has, I still find it strange you only mention it in a little footnote at the end.

  6. Devin Mariah

    VLC I guess is the best player for win 10. Recently, a totally free player- macgo free media player for windows is free and works on win 10 since win 10 cannot playback dvd freely. After a long-time trial. this one is definitely my type.

  7. Mark Wheeler

    SCAM!!! No real TV, they want $$$$$$$

  8. Alex McCulloch

    No, you just need a capture card.

  9. Go Kevin

    sichbopvr, nextpvr and progdvb all are TV playback through a TV tuner card.
    Tried all and they work . mpc-hc will also work with standard freeview (UK) but I have not been able to set it up for satellite. The ones mentioned above(on this page) I have not been able to get working.
    The ones I have mentioned have free or are free and I can watch live TV.
    Late message but hope they are helpful now.

  10. Will Baker

    Im still pretty new to all things tech. but, i am catching on quick. i want to connect my pc to my xbox360 to play and watch movies from my pc, i am looking for a substitute media player as well. i too am running windows 10 on a hp beats laptop. thank you in advance for any replies.

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