Media Center PC - (Windows Media Center, Windows XP PC, Windows Media Edition, WMC, WME, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows Media Center Edition, Media Center PC, MCE PCs, Living Room PC, MCPC, HP MCPC. Associated with Windows XP Media Center based-PC, TV-centric PCs.) - The Microsoft® Windows XP Media Center Edition, and many versions of its upgrades have software that's used to turn a PC into a media center. Windows Media Center is included in Windows 7 Home Premium, Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise; and in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate.

This media center can integrate digital entertainment experiences — including live television, DVR, digital music, digital video, DVDs and photos. This can be done with the use of a remote control device. The Media Center PC is a PC that's designed to be viewed from across the room, like your TV is. Note Microsoft does not manufacture Media Center PCs, they only provide the software for it. To utilize the media center PC, one can use a desktop computer or a PC that's especially built to be viewed from across the room like a TV.

It's been said that Viiv is an upgraded Windows Media Center computer and easier to use. One of the features touted for Vista was its media center abilities for connecting to TVs and allowing users to better manage video, photo, and music files.

A Media Center PC is not the same as a Home Server (Home Media Server) but might have many of the same functions.

As of this writing you're not charged a monthly fee for the Media Center TV guide service.

The Green Button - "The official community based portal to blogs, articles, and forums about Microsoft media based software."

HP Windows Media Center PC

Vista Windows Media Center

"There are already more than 10 million Media Center PCs in homes today, and the number is expected to grow tremendously as the release of Windows Vista brings new ways for consumers to enjoy their digital entertainment," said Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of the Entertainment and Devices eHome Division at Microsoft Corp. (April, 2006).


Media Center Demo Microsoft Media Center Edition Demo


Windows XP Media Center Edition

Windows Vista Ultimate

Windows Vista Home Premium

Metafile - A generic term for a file format that can store multiple types of data. This commonly includes graphics file formats. These graphics files can contain raster, vector, and type data. In a Windows Media Technologies system, it's a text file that contains information for media content. Windows Media Services use three kinds of metafiles: .asd file metafiles, .asx file metafiles, and .nsc file metafiles.

Microsoft Media Server Protocol (MMS Protocol) - A protocol used to reference and stream .asf files from a Windows Media server.

Multiple Bit Rate Video - For live broadcast or on-demand distribution. 

NetShow - Early form of  Microsoft's Media Player.

Online Spotlight - Microsoft provides this rich platform that allows third-party media and software companies to deliver on-demand video and audio content to the “digital home.” Many media partners around the world offer such services through the Windows Media Center Online Spotlight portal.

Portable Media Center

Windows Media Player - Delivers the most popular streaming and local audio and video formats, including ASF, WAV, AVI, MPEG, Quick-Time, and more. Windows Media Player can play anything from low-bandwidth audio to full-screen video.

Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers -

Xbox™ Media Center

Media Center in Windows Vista

- Windows without Media Player.