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Home Media Centers
(Last updated in 2012)

Click here for the definitions of Media Extenders, Digital Media Adapters, (DMAs), Digital Media Receivers (DMRs), Network Media Receivers and other Portable Digital Devices.

Media Centers (Home)– (May be known as, or associated with Media Center PCs, Home Media Centers, Entertainment PCs, Multimedia Home Entertainment Center, Residential Gateway, Residential Gateway Device, Home Telecom Center, Digital Media Center, Entertainment Gateway, Multimedia Gateway, PC-centric Entertainment Center, Digital Home Media Center, Home Media Option, Home Media DVR, Broadband Media Center, Broadband Game Consoles, Entertainment Consoles, Home Cinema, Home Theater, Hybrid PVR, Personal Media Center, Television-computer Device, Online TV Content Hubs.) - Home Media Centers are advanced set-top boxes, or can be in the form of software. Home media center software typically is stored on your personal computer and transferred via a connection to your television and/or other display device.  Home Media Centers can incorporate PC components and functionality such as memory and a hard drive. These media centers usually also have DVR capability.

These media centers can offer wireless connections, HDTV reception, remote keypad and/or IVR capacity, videoconferencing, a VCR, a Web browser, multi-screen displays, split screen viewing for TV and the Web, smart card capacity, a modem for Internet connections, Interactive Program Guide, CD Player, DVD Player, a high quality sound system, home networking and security capacity, gaming and content filtering services. A fully integrated Media Center is one that has all the hardware and software installed. The device comes with a GUI (graphical user interface) which is controlled by an air mouse, and/or remote control and if available, an optional wireless keyboard. Moxi was an award winning example of such an advanced media center.

A Home Media Center can be created by adding Media Center software to a PC or certain other computerized devices. If a particular service doesn't originally come with the customers media center, it may be added to their system by downloading software and/or the addition of other components such as a Digital Media Adapter (DMA). (A "sidecar" was an earlier name for something of this nature.) A Digital Media Receiver (DMR), Media Extender (Windows Media Extender), Portable Media Players or DMA might be used to communicate with your TV system.

Sellers of media centers, media servers and integrated digital TVs might include a free membership to their own entertainment portal. The buyer of the product could stream content from that portal over the Internet to their iDTV, media center, etc. This content would be formatted and otherwise set up (in theory) so the customer can better enjoy their device.

Windows Media Center is included in Windows 7 Home Premium, Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise; and in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate.

Media Center PC - (Windows Media Center, Windows Media Edition, WMC, WME, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows Media Center Edition, Media Center PC, MCE PCs, Living Room PC.)
This media center can integrate digital entertainment experiences — including live television, DVR (previously known as PVR), digital music, digital video, DVDs and photos. This can be done with the use of a remote control. The Media Center PC is a PC that's designed to be viewed from across the room, like your TV is. Click here for more information.

Home Server - (Home Media Server, Media Server, Entertainment Gateway, Multimedia Gateway, Digital Hub, Home Gateway, Gateway Decoder Platform, Home Gateway Media Centers, Home Media Server, Home Networking Gateway, Home Media Adapter, Media Adapter, Home Server Software.) - Compared to a media center, a home media server (home server) is more oriented to activities related to home networking. HP's MediaSmart Server was the first device to use Microsoft’s Windows Home Server software. Click here for more information.

Integrated Digital TV (Integrated TV, iDTV, Advanced High Definition Television) (Associated with Smart TVs, PCTVs, PC-TVs, PC to TV Signal Converter, Computer Televisions, Next Generation TVs, Integrated Smart Televisions, TVPCs, Multimedia Television, Intelligent TV Sets, Full-service Integrated Interactive TVs.)

PC-centric Entertainment Center - With a PC-centric Entertainment Center, the Media Center is replaced and/or controlled by your PC. Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition is a major example of this. (Formerly code-named "Freestyle"). (An example is Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center.)

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

Also see:


Related Definitions

Digital Media Adapter - (DMA)

Gaming Consoles - (Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo)

Home Theater PC

Home Media Adapter

iTV (Apple TV)