An earlier optional interface in Windows that served as a media server or home theater PC (HTPC) control panel. Debuting as Media Center Edition (MCE) in Windows XP in 2002, Windows Media Center was available in subsequent Windows versions, except for Windows RT, until it was officially dropped as of Windows 10.
Windows Media Center (WMC) was designed to organize and store a music, video and photo collection, and content could be viewed and heard on the PC or sent over the network to a stereo or TV. In practice, millions of PCs with Windows Media Center were used like ordinary PCs, and the Media Center interface was never selected.
Local or Remote
With Windows Media Center, content could be played and viewed on the PC or streamed over the local network to an Xbox or Media Center Extender (digital media hub) connected to the home theater. Windows Media Center's "10-foot user interface" was designed for living room control on a TV screen. See HTPC
, 10-foot user interface
, Media Center Extender
, digital media server
and digital media hub
CybertronPC Home Theater PC (HTPC)
Running Windows Media Center, this HTPC plugged into an A/V receiver in the home theater rack. With 2TB of disk storage, wireless keyboard, Blu-ray player and HDTV tuner card, Windows Media Center was a media server and regular PC that displayed on a TV screen. See HTPC
. (Image courtesy of Cybertron International, Inc.)