Windows 7 Media Center is one of the hidden gems within Windows 7. With a few tweaks this program can do everything you need and can replace every other piece of AV connected to your PC e.g. set-top boxes, DVDs, Blu-ray players etc.
Every bedroom in my apartment and my living room has a Windows 7 Media Center machine – here are 12 Essential Windows 7 Media Center Addons that get the most out of W7MC.
1 – DVBLogic TVSource & Network Pack
Allows you to share or ‘pool’ TV cards installed in one W7MC machine not only with other W7MC machines, so that you can watch live tv on every Windows 7 machine within your home. As a bonus, live tv from your W7MC can also be streamed online via a browser and can be watched on iPhones and iPads. Read a full review here.
2 – My Movies
Probably one of the most advanced W7MC addons. My Movies contains collection management tools for both movies and now also TV shows, that pulls in rich metadata about the films and tv shows in your collection. This metadata is then presented within MediaCenter in a fantastic interface that allows the easy selection of content to watch.
More: My Movies
3 – Recorded TV Manager 3
Manages your recorded TV collection through a convenient series-centric interface. Powerful AutoMove tools that allows recordings to be moved to another location, such as another PC or to a network share so that it can be accessed by other PCs.
- Download Recorded TV Manager 3 here
More: Recorded TV Manager 3
4 – Shark007 Codecs
The only codec pack you will ever need. Out of the box this codec pack will cover 90% of usage scenarios, and the easy config tool will allow users to easily accommodate the other 10%. Windows X64 users need to install both the X86 AND X64 packages
5 – MediaControl
Media Control is a plugin for Microsoft Media Center that adds lacking features such as : fast forward/rewind for any video format, resume video, switch between audio/subtitles streams, sets brightness/contrast, improves picture quality
This plugin is essential if you watch mkv files within media center and need to switch audio streams.
6 – My Channel Logos
This great app now not only adds channel logos to Windows 7 Media Center’s TV guide, but the latest version can also increase the number of rows in the guide and mini-guide.
More: My Channel LogosMore Galleries: All Galleries | Windows 7 Galleries | Windows 8 Galleries