WAIT! This post is a little out dated. Try our new guide to the Top 10 Windows Media Center Plugins for Summer 2010!
Each time a reinstall is in your future it’s time to look around for the must have plug-ins that get installed before you’ve even had a chance to setup the tuner and customize the listings. Below is my personal list of Media Center favorites on Windows 7 beta 1 so far. Let me know yours in the comments!
- Media Browser
This plug-in is one of those few that make you slap your forehead and ask why this isn’t the way it was to begin with. Media Browser shows up the native Movie Library by adding fanart backgrounds, detailed movie and cast information and even a fancy coverflow mode. >>
Yet another indispensable plug-in since the latest revisions of Media Center have all but gotten rid of weather forecasts. This handy little thing will let you setup detailed weather information for any number of locations and give you access right from the main menu. >>
- My Channel Logos
Sure adding those colored strips to the Media Center guide does a lot for the astetic of the TV listings but channel logos? Forget-a-bout’ it. Not so much a plug-in as a program, either way this is a must have! You can even add your own custom logos through the program! >>
Media Center may come with the ability to add an XM radio subscription through an awkward interface but why not break free with some Shoutcast Radio? mcShoutcast will give you access to all those free internet streams and a smooth interface to boot! >>
- PlayIt with PlayOn
There are a few options for adding streaming television to your Media Center but PlayIt with PlayOn’s integration with the default functions and displays in Media Ceter make it hard to pass up. Give PlayIt and PlayOn a shot and you may just want to get rid of your cable provider! >>
A couple other solutions for those who don’t want to sign on for PlayOn are TunerFree MCE and SecondRun.tv. Though not quite as well integrated as PlayIt they do provide great interfaces with some features that PlayIt is lacking such as fanart backgrounds and sleeker interfaces.
Don’t be shy! Drop a line on your favorite plug-ins for Windows 7 Media Center, chime in with your support or hate on the ones above and add any that are left out!