The media center software list

A while ago I did a roundup of the different softwares I have been using in my HTPC. The list in that post is not complete, so I it’s time to put together a quick list of links to software alternatives when you want to build your own HTPC.

And if you are interested in HTPCs and media centers in general here is a good collection of links from

Digg this story here.

Windows Media Center Edition
Windows Media Center Edition (Review)

TVedia (Review)

ShowShifter (RIP) (Unfortunately not existing anymore)

Beyond Media / Beyond TV (BeyondTV – Review)

Sage TV
SageTV (Review)


J River Media Center
J River Media Center


Cyberlink PowerCinema

CQC (screenshots here and here)


Sesam TV (Free)

Nero Home
Nero Home

Intervideo WinDVD Media Center

Nvidia Purevideo Decoder with nStantMedia

Sceneo TV-Central
Sceneo TV Central

Yahoo Go for TV
Yahoo! Go for TV (Formerly Meedio) (Free)
(MeedioTV – Review) (YahooGo – Preview)

Xlobby (Free)

GBPVR (Free)

Media Portal
MediaPortal (Free)

Got all media
Got All Media (Free)

GameEx (Free)

Tvoon (Free)

Theatre@Home (Free)




MythTV (Free)

Sage TV

Freevo (Free)

GeexBox (Free)

VDR (Free)

My Media System
My Media System (Free)

LinuxMCE (Free)


Apple Front Row


Elgato EyeTV

Sage TV
SageTV (Review)

Center Stage
CenterStage (Free)

iTheatre (Free)


A very good collection of links for Apple media software (Thanks, Ole)


Xbox Media Center
Xbox Media Center (Free)

Windows Apple Linux
Cross plattform

Sage TV
SageTV (Review)


Elisa Media Center
Elisa Media Center (Free)

And over here you’ll find a list in Wikipedia comparing features of some of the packages.

Please comment if I forgot something important!

…if you consider buying books or software related to this topic. And if you would like to support when buying them, here are some suggestions:
Creating a Digital Home Entertainment System with Windows Media Center Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 PC for Dummies PC Magazine Guide Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Beyond TV 4 & Beyond Media Bundle Beyond TV 4

The media center software list

114 thoughts on “The media center software list

  1. The CenterStage project is an open source project, to build a media center solution for the mac:

    “CenterStage is on open source project to build a powerful and intuitive media center application for the Apple Macintosh, this project was inspired by the launch of the Mac mini, an ideal Mac to use as part of a home theatre system.”

    Looks interesting. Couldn’t figure out if it has TV recording in the software. But there’s a nice list of Mac TV tuners at the site.

    They ask for people to help with the project!

  2. Jeg benytter selv GBPVR . Dette er et gratis, men ikke Open Source lisensiert produkt. Etter å ha prøvd mange produkter, både komersielle og gratise produkter, windows- og Linuxprodukter, er det GBPVR jeg har fått til å fungere. I tillegg har den det meste jeg trenger i en PVR så jeg er godt fornøyd.

  3. Stephane says:

    You should had VDR for Linux
    It’s mainly a free and open source digital TV (sat/cable/aerial) “setop box” software, and it has lot of plugins for playing videos, audio, etc..
    I use it since 2-3 years and it’s a must.

  4. NickJ says:

    Add a vote for GB-PVR. After spending weeks trying to get MythTV to work properly with Norwegian EPG etc, it took about 30 minutes from start to finish using GB-PVR (and O2Grabber to fetch the EPG-data). Wonderful!

  5. And thank you for the compliment. I can see from my logs that quite a bit of people find this page. Still, a real and genuine positive feedback like yours adds real and genuine motivation! 🙂

  6. […] To make it easier for Dagbladet’s readers I will give you a quick roundup of some media center links and advice: – The complete list of software solutions – A quick roundup of some of the systems I have tried – An update with links to other articles as well – Converting DVR-MS files from your media center – Placeshifting, your media everywhere! – Remote control your music collection in MCE – Everything in the HTPC category […]

  7. Thank you! Chris-TV is a very powerful video recorder. With the skinnable GUI it starts looking like a media center as well. But it is not tailored for use on a TV screen with navigation done by a remote.

    I think I’ll have to add a new section with powerful support software like this one, Zoomplayer, Girder, Netremote etc…

    Keep the good suggestions coming!

  8. Sascha says:

    Hi Erik!

    Allways remember: If your computer becomes nasty on friday evening and you shoot it saturday night, you might want to watch your movies on sunday until you can buy a new one on monday.

    Allways split tasks which are not reasonable linked to each other.


  9. NewAge says:

    should include Intervideo Media Center and Home Theather and nVidia Purevideo decoder, with have nStantMedia.

  10. Media Centers NOT ready for primetime…

    The Inquirer reports that Media Center doesn’t sell. In Great Britain, only 150 000 have bought a Media Center PC, while over 2 million have bought a DVD recorders.
    Although the comparison is a bit unfair (DVD recorders are much cheaper, and also…

  11. Jan Erik says:

    Denne siden og noe av infoen her er jo bare gull.. tester ut gbpvr rait nuu. SÃ¥ hÃ¥per jeg det er dette som gjør dagen fullkommen. takker sÃ¥ mye Ã¥ vurderer donasjon om dette funker bra. 😀

  12. Jan Erik says:

    forgot to say .. MEDIAPORTAL combined with ant movie database and imdb.. No more hustle just wicked all the way. hehe den satt.. 🙂

  13. Looks very interesting. This page is for what I call Media Center Software. In general, media frontends that are tailored for use with a remote control on a TV screen.

    However, I consider adding a section for useful stuff like the KMplayer, Zoomplayer, Netremote, Girder etc…

  14. Just wondering if you have any recomandation for a software for PVR – when using XP. I have Win MCE, but I’m wondering if there is other software that can record tv and have the same or better quality than when using Win MCE?

    Any software for linux that you like?

  15. tomas says:

    can anyone help me??
    I’m looking for a media center that can play live stream TV from the internet, as well as everythink else.
    can anyone help

  16. Hej

    Jeg har for et stykke tid siden købt Aldi’s Blue Tinum Multimedie Netværks DVD BT-DNP2901 og har prøvet BlueTinum eget program blue I world, jeg har ogsÃ¥ kørt med wizd og mÃ¥ nok fremhæve Wizd som det bedste men nu kommer mit spørgsmÃ¥l, hvilken andre streamings programmer findes og er der nogen der gerne vil fremhæve et bestemt program.

    m.v.h. Boie

  17. rsbrux says:

    I am a user of XP MCE, but am more interested in music than TV. In particular I want to be able to record not only form CD but also from cassette and LP and to access a large library (>150 GB) by various methods (composer, artist, title, genre, year) without waiting forever.
    Which of these alternatives is particularly strong in these areas?

  18. The software that was called Medio before had really powerful possibilities regarding administration of the music library. I don’t know how this is for Yahoo Go TV, but as far as I know it is possible to run Yahoo Go TV with the old Meedio admin and plugins if you do some adjustments.

    For the recording I think you’ll do that best in a proper recording software outside of the media center environment.

    Or, maybe J River Media Center! It has quite impressive recoring facilities and very good music archive administration. And even a 10 feet GUI for the media center presentation.

  19. rsbrux says:

    Just getting started with JRiver Media Center 12, but so far, favorably impressed.
    Music features are very good, including the ability to loacate music by file path as well as by tags. Having some problems getting TV audio, but music is primary for me.

  20. Anyone having an idea on where to get a xmltv file for mediaportal?

    Need it for EPG. Norwegian!

    Any other things I should be aware of when it comes to mediaportal?

    By the way, did not get the compression to xvid to work, how is it fixed?

  21. O2Grabber doesnt work with norwegian TV-listings starting from some months back. The program needs to be updated to get listings from the norwegian TV-source. Sadly it doesnt seem to be updated any more.
    Myself I use XMLTV downloaded from Theres good installation documentation for GBPVR at It shouldnt be much different when using Mediaportal. THe big difference between O2Grabber and XMLTV is that XMLTV downloads program listings for just one week in advance where O2Grabber downloads for two weeks in advance.

  22. rsbrux says:

    Meanwhile I have started playing around with Media Portal and find it more satisfactory than JRiver MC12. Most of the great JRiver features are not accessible via the 10′ interface (Theater View), which is important to me.
    Media Portal’s display features in the 10′ interface (native) are far more extensive and far more flexible (customizable).

  23. I don’t have the time to test all the applications in this list on a regular basis so this discussion is very valuable. Keep it coming. This post is by far the most popular on right now, so a lot of people come here for information about media center software.

    Thank you for adding information.

  24. I’m very interested in info about MediaPortal. Have a Hauppauge PVR500 tv-card.
    Have not yet found out how to setup both tv-card on it, so when setting up a recording, the tv-show shows up twice, with the recording (red-dot) apears in the midle!

    If anyone have some smart tips or what ever regarding MP, please share them with us!

    I’ll come back with info I find worth knowing about here!

    Skin: Project Mayhem 3! Very nice skins!

  25. Just curious, out of all of these available, which is the best one to use for DVDs & Audio? I’ve been told either Media Portal or Vista Media Centre, any chances of confirming this?

    Also is there an independent platform solution, not relying on windows or one that comes with it’s own OS?


  26. Have gone trough the list and the on to go for for PVR (recording tv) is media portal without a doubt!

    But if I only could get at EPG, Beyond would be nice, especially if you are just using it for doing the recording.

    Media Portal has more features, like Music, Pictures, Video etc. Like the Project Mayham skin – Very nice! Just download it from the forum!

    But I can’t get the norwegian TV3 to work, maybe I must reinstall it. Any tips on this matter (Channel nr)?

    And again! Any other smart programs to install? Plugins etc.? ANy way to get a preview picture of the music album etc????

  27. That’s the tool I used the last time I was running BTV. Don’t know if there are any alternatives out there.

    How do I install it? Newbie! I know, but still! RTFM? Right!

  28. Lorenzo Magri says:

    Does someone know a MCE like program that works with a Pinnacle Hybrid Pro Pci?I would like something where I can switch between analog and digital easily!I know that Cyberlink Powercinema does it, but do u know something else?

  29. eirikso says:

    I am afraid I don’t know. You’ll have to rely on some of my readers or try one of the many HTPC forums around. Maybe

  30. MediaPortal and TVEngine. I have seen a great tuturial video over at MediaPortal, but when I try to install it it gets confusing. The web-pages that the video refers to is changed and therefor complicates the setup. Any one knowing how to set up a TVEngine with a desktop server and a laptop that conects to it! By the way, this looks very interesting! Plz, need some help! Anyone!!!

  31. By the way! Have just checked out ORB. How do I manage tv-recording (tv-card on the desktop) from my laptop? Can I use Vista MCE or do I get some kind of virtual machine, where I can see/use my HTPC-software (MediaPortal on the desktop)?

  32. eirikso says:

    You install ORB on your desktop computer with the TV card and all the media files. Then you access it through a browser on your laptop.

  33. Yes! This works pretty well. I have some “problems” with streaming video, but it’s probably because I use a wireless nettwork. Have not tried with cables yet! The tv-function does not work. Can’t get the tv-provider in the list. Anyone knowing if it is possible to do this in Norway???

  34. Anna says:

    Was wondering if anybody had a recomendation for me. For the last few months I have been using mediaportal. It does exactly what I want it to do, except that it is packed full of bugs related to the TVserver.

    I would like to try a different one, but don’t know where to start. My most important requirement is that it allows for pixel ratio correction. I use s-video to connect to a 16:9 CRT, so the image is really a stretched 4:3 ratio. Pixel ratio correction in mediaportal allows me to distort the 4:3 image so it appears correctly. It is really easy, you just have to adjust a rectangle so it appears as a square and you are done!

    Anyone know which other software allows the user to do this? Thanks…

  35. Lasse Elden says:

    So what’s happening on the HTPC-front? Some news?
    You have converted from PC to Mac and I wonder if that also is on the HTPC-part?
    What will happen when the digital tv is being the standard? I’m having Hauppauge PVR-500 TV-card and understand that I need to use a S-video or something to get it to work. Will there be new standards for tv-card? Do I have to nuy a new? What would that be? ust curios!

  36. I’m currently running a Mac as my primary HTPC as well. With Elgato EyeTV as the PVR and FrontRow as the main media archive.

    It works very well, but it’s not good enough as a full screen only solution. Unfortunately I have a huge backlog of stuff I want to write some proper articles on, but due to a very heavy workload in my day job these days I haven’t been able to finsih the stuff I’m working on…

    Just need some time…

  37. John says:

    Hi Everyone!
    I am looking for a media center software running on HTPC (Windows Vista Ulimate) that can also enable me to watch live TV using a remote connection from my laptop!!!…. I tried Visa Ultimate MCE but it does not allow me to watch Live TV using a remote desktop connection gives error msg “Some features not allowed” ….

  38. […] Now on the Entertainment front, there are plenty of media players around, but the ones I prefer are for video is GOM player and for audio its winamp or foobar, Media Center’s like XBMC, J.River Media Center and built in MC in Windows XP-MCE, Windows Vista and later do the job for me in my PC’s. For a bigger list of media centers OS-wise go here […]

  39. xoupina says:

    hey! this is nice site men but i got 1 question,what media center is the better?or means what is the more capable?and the more easy to use?

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