Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

Theme Support for Media Center Themer

by @ 10:49 am on February 15th, 2012 in themes with 18 Comments

Media Center Themer is an alternative theme creation program for Windows Media Center that relies on an alternative method of application that doesn’t rely on modifying system files. There is a limited supply of themes for it however, as many themes have been created for Media Center Studio. Reader, Todd Richmond, sends along a handy file and directions on getting Media Center Studio themes working with MCT. As the latter is still available (and perhaps even developed?) from the author this is indeed a welcome tip.

Get started by downloading the file here, zipped and including a readme instruction file. Find the instructions below as well as a new theme sent in by reader Mike J. called Blue Space. Download the theme here as well and give it a try!


Download Blue Space Theme

Here are the steps to get MCS themes working with this file and Media Center Themer as sent along by Todd:

1) use winrar to extract the entire set of theme resources to c:\programdata\Media Center Themer\Theme

2) edit my MCTDefault.xml to modify any text color for the themes (my file is stock from MCT) and any other MCT additions

3) backup original MCTDefault.xml

4) copy MCTDefault.xml to c:\programdata\Media Center Themer\

5) restart MCE

Let us know how you get by with this method below if you’re using Media Center Themer, as well as any other tips you may have for the program as well!


Comment #64549 from Boris [Reply]


file path in step 1 should be C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer\Theme
(not Themes)

Comment left March 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm Permanent Link

Comment #64919 from Anonymous [Reply]

worked straight away using mcstudio launcer looks great thank you

Comment left March 9, 2012 at 5:46 am Permanent Link

Comment #67098 from Anonymous [Reply]

Will there be more custom themes provided like what was done foe media center studio? Program looks good, but I don’t have a clue on how to create my own theme, but I would love to change my media center background.

Comment left March 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm Permanent Link

Comment #67466 from Anonymous [Reply]

为什么我没有 c:\programdata\Media Center Themer\中的Media Center Themer文件夹?

Comment left March 30, 2012 at 6:05 am Permanent Link

Comment #75212 from Sinamax [Reply]

Would it be to much to ask to build a GUI for this application. Most people wanting to change the theme are not programmers and don’t have a clue.

Even though there is a help file, it doesn’t help. Just create a GUI similar to the old wmc studio.


Comment left July 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #76234 from Anonymous [Reply]

“just create a GUI similar to the old wmc studio.”

That’s a ridiculous request, considering the time the guy has already put in on this thing (which I think is a brilliant product by the way). He even says in the help file it’s for technically savvy users, but I think that’s overplaying it a bit.

I don’t know that much about computers and I learned XML in about 1 hour a couple of years ago. It’s really not that hard if you work through the examples…especially if all you want to do is change the background, the font, and possibly move some menu items around. Downloading MS’s free XML editor will make things easier.

So how about YOU give it a shot instead of asking somebody else to do more work.

Comment left July 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #97504 from Anonymous [Reply]

Yeah…learn a new programming language. That is also a reasonable request. I think the idea is good but we need a WYSIWYG editor for the masses. A suggestion of a GUI is a logical critique of the work done. It is too difficult for most people in this implementation to change anything in Media Center.

Comment left January 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #106383 from dt [Reply]

I agree. I’m going to create the gui for myself. If anyone else wants it, I can provide it. Oh, and this site seems pretty dead, sad.

Comment left February 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #106401 from dt [Reply]

Finished the gui. If you want it, let me know and I’ll post it on here somewhere or send it to you directly.

Also, the instructions mentions you need to add 170 lines to MCTDefault.xml for all the resources in a full .mch file. Anyone have those? I’ll add them to the GUI steps if I can get a copy.

Comment left February 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #110498 from me

I would certainly appreciate a GUI if you are willing to share

Comment left March 16, 2013 at 3:26 am Permanent Link

Jason Stockton
@Reply #110571 from Jason Stockton

Would you be able to send me a link or send me a copy of the Themer GUI?


Comment left March 16, 2013 at 11:03 am Permanent Link

@Reply #119665 from Nathaniel

would friggin love a gui. that would be awesome. you rock in advanced :) )

Comment left April 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #127730 from tastyratz

love that man if you wrote something. my email is @hotmail.com with my username in front. I know you posted a while ago but I would appreciate sharing it.

Comment left June 2, 2013 at 11:21 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #129314 from Jake

If you have the GUI, I’d love a copy too!

Comment left June 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #359873 from Chetter

Has this been posted anywhere? Looking for a copy as well.


Comment left December 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm Permanent Link

Comment #78685 from Rick [Reply]

I found the instructions to be hard to follow so I wrote a step by step that might help.

Here are the steps to get Media Center Studio Themes working with Media Center Themer:

1. Backup your original MCTDefault.xml

2. Download a Media Center Studio Theme(.mct) (Example: Blue Space.mct)

3. Extract .mct theme to a folder using 7zip or winrar

4. Open the extracted files folder that was created

5. Navigate to \Blue Space\Resources\ehres and rename the “Images” folder to “Theme”

6. Navigate to C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer and delete the “Theme” folder.

7. Copy the “Theme” folder you renamed previously to C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer\

8. Copy MCTDefault.xml to c:\programdata\Media Center Themer\

4. Edit my MCTDefault.xml to modify any text color for the themes as needed

5. Restart MCE

Comment left August 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm Permanent Link

Scotty Hoek
Comment #109909 from Scotty Hoek [Reply]

I think I accidentally posted in the wrong spot. I have MCS and the themes installed, they load correctly and everything, but once I get past the home screen, it just displays the default black/blue or the pics included with the theme are not showing asidie from the home screen. They are also greyed out in MCS. Any idea on how to fix this?

Comment left March 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm Permanent Link

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