How to convert your PC into a media centre   Leave a comment

If you have an HDTV and an old PC, you can easily make a multimedia powerhouse with some free software and a little patience. ET outlines the basic software you need and steps involved. ‘
WHAT YOU NEED Media Centre Software

Windows Media Center Media Portal Available for Windows, Linux, OS X and iOS, XBMC is a preferred and doit-all media centre. You can use it for photos, movies, TV series, music or internet streams. It has a built-in scraper – a tool that finds and downloads relevant information about your media.

It is capable of playing all popular audio/video formats, playing content directly from CD/DVDs and even files stored inside zipped archives. Just install it and tell it where your media is stored. It might take a few hours, but the end result is worth it. Get it from

Windows Media Center
Included with Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional & Ultimate editions, Windows Media Center is capable but often underused. By default, it looks plain, but there are ways to improve the interface and add more functionality. Add a codec pack (see Shark’s codec pack below) to improve file support.

It supports most media formats and can be set up to play Internet radio, rip music from an audio CD and even do basic photo editing. If you have a TV tuner attached to your PC, Windows Media Center can also record live TV and schedule a recording.

Media Portal
Media Portal is like a mix of XBMC and Windows Media Center. Like XBMC, it works with movies, music, photos & TV series, plays DVDs, has lots of plug-ins, customisation options and even a scraper to get relevant info about your media.

And taking a cue from Windows Media Center, it can record live TV (if you have a TV tuner card) and play internet radio. It goes a step further and adds support for RSS feeds, built-in Daemon tools (to create virtual drives) and offers various preloaded system utilities. Get it from

Additional SoftwareEmber Media Manager
Ember is the perfect scraping tool for XBMC – it scans your media and collates various bits of information like DVD covers, fan art, posters, wallpaper, ratings & movie synopses from IMDB. All the info is stored neatly along with the media files. Get it from Companion
Use this to pull information about your media files. For example, if you rip a DVD into a DivX file, you normally just have the digital file. Media Companion will use the file name to pull out album art (DVD covers), posters & movie info. Get it from The Renamer
If your media files have long, unrelated file names, you can use this software to rename them in batches using simple drag & drop. The Renamer pulls data from Google and databases like,, and Get it from


Posted May 27, 2012 by avinash2060 in Uncategorized

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