Windows Media Center never really became the go-to-for-everyone hub of photos, videos, Live TV and movies that Microsoft intended it to be when the company first launched it back in 2002 for the equally ill-fated Windows Vista.
In fairness, Media Center had a better run of it than Vista, only becoming discontinued when Windows 10 finally launched. More recently, however, the dedicated community of WMC die-hards have resurrected the defunct Media Center, making it work unofficially on Windows 10.
So if you want to give this old warhorse a go, here’s how to install and set up Windows Media Center on Windows 10.
First, you need to download the modified version of Windows Media Center. (Select the “Download through your browser” option, otherwise you’ll need to download the MEGAsync installer to do it.)
Extract the archive, then go into the folder “WMC-V8.8.1,” right-click “_TestRights” then “Run as administrator.”
Close the command prompt window that opens, then right-click the “InstallerBLUE” or “InstallerGREEN” file (depending on what color background you want in Media Center) and run that as administrator. Wait for the installation process to finish in the command prompt window, then press any key to close the window.
Windows Media Center should now be working on your PC, and you should be able to see it in the Start menu. (Only Windows DVD Player appeared in mine, but just type “windows media center” in the Start search box, and it will appear.)
Setting Up Live TV Tuner
Assuming you already own a TV tuner for your PC and haven’t used it since installing Windows 10, here’s a guide based on that of one “GunnerHook” in the WMC revival community on how to install it.
First, download the latest drivers for the TV tuner software HDHomerun, then once you’ve installed it, open it and select “Windows Media Center” in the BDA Compatibility Mode drop-down.
Next, open the command prompt as an administrator and type the following command:
attrib -r C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
then press Enter, and type this command:
In the notepad file, replace the penultimate hash symbol with the following entry:
Then on the next line, type the following if you live on the west or east coast in the US:
Or this if you live in the central or southern states:
Save the file, reboot your PC, then run Windows Media Center as admin to go through the Live TV setup process.
Your Windows Media Center should now be back from the grave, alive and kicking in Windows 10. It’s not the simplest process, and the entire guide above needs to be used under the full understanding that it’s not guaranteed to work, as it’s a community-made workaround. If you run into trouble using the above instructions, then look to the “Workarounds” file in the WMC-V8.8.1 folder for tips on how to get around any issues, or sign yourself up for the My Digital Life forums and go to this thread about the Windows 10 version of WMC. Your feedback will probably be appreciated and may well lead to the software getting patched up in the future!