One of the most practical and convenient things that you can do to breath some life into your home entertainment system is to connect a computer to it and create a home theater personal computer. Now, home theater personal computers are nothing new, but gizmos and gadgets are becoming more affordable and more accessible, making it easier than ever to turn your living room into a home theater with all of the perks of computer technology. One of the central components that you will need for your computer-powered home theater is a piece of software called a media center. Media centers are basically pieces of software that offer a streamlined, integrated, all-in-one solution for managing, viewing, and listening to your media on your television, speakers, and over your wireless network. This article will cover the advantages and benefits of three of the most popular media centers currently available: Boxee Media Center, XBMC Media Center, and Windows Media Center.
Advantages of Boxee
- Boxee is a great media center because it comes with built-in Netflix and Hulu. If you use either Hulu or Netflix, then Boxee will ensure that you have quick and streamlined access to these services.
- This media player also has good support for various files and it makes use of a rehashed Firefox browser, which can practically play practically any sort of web video on the Internet.
- Boxee’s directory of web content applications is also growing, making it a great, all-in-one media center.
Advantages of XBMC
- Perhaps the biggest advantage of XBMC is its open-source nature that allows for high customizablility by developers, coders, and hackers.
- Another advantage is that XBMC doesn’t take up too much system resources, but it is still a quick, responsive, and smooth program.
- XBMC also makes file management easy with the use of meta-data and file-recognition features. Add a new media file to your hard drive and XBMC will know where it is, what it is, and it can even grab reviews and ratings from the Internet.
- Finally, XBMC has support for a wide variety of files, meaning that you won’t have to fuss with converting files just to view or listen to them in XBMC.
Advantages of Windows Media Player
- This media center has a free and easy-to-use digital video recorder (DVR), unlike other DVR services that require monthly fees.
- There is a wide variety of Windows Media Player remote controls in the market. Because of the wide variety of products out there, you can easily find the perfect remote control for your needs.
- Networking is also quite simple and easy on the Windows Media Center, especially when connecting Windows-based systems.
- Finally, the interface is navigable and easy on the eyes, even on high-definition resolutions.