Many Windows Media Center alternatives cannot work as good as WMC does - able to record TV (including encrypted, copy protected content with a cable card tuner), and pause, rewind and fast forward LIVE TV; you can also throw a couple terabyte HDDs inside, and use WMC to copy over your movie archive. However, cord-cutting movement with people ditching cable subscriptions has pushed the notion of this HTPC into a dark corner. Due to decreased WMC usage, described as “infinitesimal”, it's hard to fault Microsoft's economical decision on killing Windows Media Center for Windows 10, while alternatives are surging to fill the hole. We still have all the ways to vote for Windows Media Center alternatives Windows 10 for HTPC experience:
Searching for the best Windows Media Center alternatives for Windows 10 that function exactly as Windows Media Center can be very hard. So here come the solutions:
Ignore the free upgrade of Windows 10 and alternatives to Windows 10 Media Center entirely.
You can balk at upgrading to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Media Center alternatives. Stick with Windows 7 or 8/8.1 Pro with Media Center Pack add-on supported until the year 2020 and 2023 respectively. Also, here we find a useful guide on solving Windows Media Center not working on Windows 7/8/8.1, in case you encounter that problem.
Go to the Windows 10 Media Center Alternatives Bandwagon:
Windows 10 Media Center Alternative 1: Free HTPC software -5KPlayer
This Windows 10 dedicated media player transforms your Windows 10 PC into a great media solution! This alternative:
*supports popular audio and video formats on Windows 10, including 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, MPEG-4, WMV, and WMA, AVI, DivX, MOV, Xvid files and more;
*gives you access to tons of movies, music from over 300 online websites, like YouTube, VEVO, Vimeo, Facebook;
*lets you stream Netflix movies and watch Netflix latest episodes on TV;
*plays DVDs, 4K/8K res videos, as well as music and internet-radio-stations worldwide like Heart/BBC with high fidelity.
Features like AirPlay, Mirroring, and live screen video recording are also provided for streaming content to your big HDTV in your living room, or even receives streams from your mobile devices! Watch and record, wherever you want, with 5KPlayer to realize a HTPC of your own.
Windows 10 Media Center Alternative 2: Mediaportal
With a built-in DVR, Mediaportal, forked from XBMC, is considered the closest thing to Windows Media Center for Windows 10 as an alternative since it can let you watch, schedule and record live TV(TiVo), play music/radio/video etc. and has integrated weather forecasts and built-in RSS reader. However, MePo (1.12.0) at present only supports Windows OS up to 8.1, not even Windows 10 preview, so you may have to wait until MePo version 2.0 rolls out.
Windows 10 Media Center Alternative 3: XBMC(KODI)
KODI well handles live TV, audio/video/pictures, and supports millions of formats ranging from physical digital media like Blu-ray to network protocol clients like DLNA, UPnP, RTMP etc. to internet video streams and radio stations like streaming Netflix, Hulu, Veoh and streaming Pandora. However, it does not have built-in digital TV-tuner code of its own for Live TV or DVR/PVR recording utility, as instead it performs as an unified DVR/PVR front-end with an EPG TV-Guide GUI interface, which requires 3rd/4th party programs or add-ons.
Windows 10 Media Center Alternative 4: Cost-Based Streaming Services
Cost-based streaming services, like Netflix movies/TV shows streaming, well known for its exclusive and abundant streaming content, yet does nothing for current broadcast shows and TV series compared with WMC. Forgo Hulu, which extracts money from you and lets you enjoy endless commercials!
Other Windows 10 Media Center Alternatives:
Plex media server, popcorn media player, and many great streamers like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV, to name a few, are also good alternatives to Windows Media Center for Windows 10 if you care for digging.