Easy way to customize Windows Media Center

Customize Windows Media Center

If you prefer proprietary Windows MCE instead of open source XBMC for your media center then following two program should be interesting for you. Media Center Studio allows to to change Windows MCE background image, menu strip, and fonts for the main interface, while Media Center Themer provides you a way to customize the font style and color throughout Windows MCE, including third-party add-ins. Both program are fully compatible with Win7.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

Patchstick – a set of AppleTV’s add-ons


Patchstick is a good way to extend stock functionality of your AppleTV without breaking Apple’s firmware. It’s last version 3.0 contains following add-ons: customized slideshow with ATVdigiframe, ATVFiles allowed to navigate to files that would not normally sync to the AppleTV, organize media with IMDB plug-in Sapphire, XBMC plug-in, socila media center Boxee, FTP/SFTP/SSH access to the AppleTV box, interface to Jaman and NitoTV, Rowmote – a remote control for AppleTV via iPhone and iPod Touch. Additionally the Patchstick developers can implement your own customization for AppleTV or help you solve some troubles using remote access.

As I can see some of the add-ons included into Patchstick are open source and can be installed separately (I’m sure that DIY enthusiasts will choose that way but consumers should vote for Patchstick). But with Patchstick it’s no needed to spend time with installation one by one and applying future updates. In any case it’s good to have more then one options. Also it should be taken into account that the basic version of the Patchstick is free and can be used without limitations.

New home for MythTV themes

MythTV themes

MythTVThemes.co.uk is a place where you can grub high quality themes for MythTV developed by Justin Hornsby. There are popular themes such ProjectGrayhem, Blootube, neon-wide and new ones. But note you cannot use those themes with MythTV built from SVN. They are suit for released versions only.

Customize Vista MCE with MediaCenterFX


If you’re Windows MCE user you might be interested in customization of its interface. The new project – MediaCenterFX (it’s in beta stage as usual) gives you the ability to customize background images, sounds, animations, hotkeys and whole bunch more.

If you’d like to test the MediaCenterFX don’t hesitate to be a beta tester.

Personally I prefer Linux-based media software such MythTV or VDR. They are free but power and flexible.

[via eHomeUpgrade]