Windows Media Center – The End is Nigh

Dear fellow Media Center users,

I was hoping this day would not come – but since Microsoft ended support for WMC we have all been living on borrowed time. I’ve tried to delay this as much as possible for myself – because of the large investment I have in WMC technology – and for the community by offering new streaming options and other features for WMC. But – the reality is the technology I am clinging to is showing its age… and I can’t fix entropy.

I’m not going to tell you what to do – you guys will know when and what. I’ve reached a decision regarding my home media center experience that I thought I would share. I’ve begun the process of converting my massive library and systems over to Plex and a combination of Apple TV and Fire TV. Why? Right now Plex is the leading media platform (in my opinion). With the launch of their Live TV and DVR services it now has the last piece I needed to replace. As I am heavy into the Apple ecosystem – a couple of Apple TVs on my primary TVs make sense. I am also using the awesome Channels app for Live TV from my HDHomeRunPrime and Netflix. With Amazon about to release an Apple TV compatible Prime Video App – All of my media sources will be represented. On my other TVs I think I will be using a combination of Fire TV and Fire Sticks – mostly because of cost and amount of viewing time on those devices.

Couple of other recent events affected my decision and timing to begin the cutover – including the recent Rovi guide issues.

For those that are interested – here is what I am going with for the new setup:

Plex Media Server

  • HP 8300 USFF Desktop; Core I7-3770s @ 3.1GHz
  • 8GB RAM
  • Samsung EVO 240GB SSD
  • Running Windows 7 X64 Pro (Why? Personal choice)

Storage

  • Synology DS414 with 12TB of storage

Tuners

  • HDHomeRun Prime (2)

Media Streamer Devices

  • Two Apple TV (4th Generation) devices
  • Fire TV or Fire Stick (3)

Apps

  • Plex (with Plex Pass)
  • Channels for IOS and TVOS
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • MCEBuddy (for file naming and conversions)
  • AnyDVDHD (For ripping)

This brings us to the Add-ins: Amazon Video for Windows Media Center and Netflix for Windows Media Center. At the moment everything is the same as it was yesterday; the apps are still available and I will be supporting them with updates and fixes as needed. I am mulling over my long term plans though. One option would be to just release them on GitHub and let the community update and manage the solutions. The other would be finding a motivated WMC developer that would like to take ownership of these projects – like I did for the Amazon plugin – and continue to develop them for the community. If you are such an individual – please contact me.

I would like to thank my many followers here and on The Green Button for their suggestions, donations and comments over the past 3 years. It has been a pleasure to contribute to the WMC community. WMC’s reign was good. The king is dead! Long live The King!

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