With the release of Windows 8, there are many new changes as well as features. While Windows 8 comes loaded with new start screen, Windows Explorer, Windows Store and other features, there are few things missing like Windows Media center, DVD playback etc. Windows Media Center was available in Windows 7, but with Windows 8 it is only available as a paid upgrade. Windows Media Center is available for upgrade free of cost for a limited time, but after than you will need to buy the pro pack to get the media center. Media center is not just a media player, but it comes with tons of features including option to connect TV to your PC with tuner card.
Now if you are looking for a free software which can be an alternative to Windows Media center, you can download the popular MediaPortal. MediaPortal is a free open source media center software, ideal for turning your PC into a very advanced multi media center, or Home Theater PC (HTPC). Using MediaPortal, you can listen to your favorite music and radio; watch your videos and DVDs; or view, schedule and record live TV, much like a digital video recorder.
With MediaPortal, the interface is also similar to Windows Media center. You can use your mouse, a touch screen, keyboard or remote. If you prefer, you can set up a separate Home Theatre PC (HTPC) to run MediaPortal, and even connect it to your existing network.
MediaPortal was designed to be extended. There are hundreds of amazing plugins available to do almost anything you can imagine. The interface is also skinable, there are many themes available for customization. Plugins and Skins are fully and smoothly integrated into MediaPortal. They can be installed and updated using a common Extensions Installer, and configured using the standard interface.
Overall, MediaPortal is a full fledged replacement for Windows Media Center on Window 8 with tons of features and customization options.
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