Customizing Microsoft Windows Media Center

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    Searched the forums, and haven’t found anything that seems to fit.

    I have Windows Media Center (on Windows 8 Pro, which should mean it’s very nearly the same as Windows 7 or Vista). I can’t use a tuner due to my location (no signal strong enough to watch). I’d like to be able to let my technology-challenged wife find TV Shows I have ripped from our DVDs in the “Recorded TV” section of WMC instead of under “Pictures and Video.” Ideally, I don’t want to have to reconvert them (they’re in a mix of MP4, AVI, and MKV formats now, all of which I have playing nicely as videos).

    Anyone have a clue how to do this? I’m OK with registry edits and whatnot, but I don’t want to have to buy more software.


    I don’t know about registry hacks that will allow you to do this, but if you can get away with not buying coffee and making it at home for a week, you can buy the Recorded TV HD plugin. It will not only allow you to access your ripped TV shows, it will gather all the metadata and present it in with a variety of themes (including a WMC-looking one). If you ever find a way to pick up OTA or finally get cable TV, it will actually blend the tuner-recorded content and the ripped content. You can also created ‘favorites lists’ so that your wife can see only the shows that interest her. I’m very impressed with this plugin. Hats off to the developer (No.. I am not the developer.. just a fan)! 30-day free trial!


    Can’t you just set up the “Recorded TV” library to see your folders that contain the TV shows?  Or will that only work for *.dvr-ms and *.wtv files?

    You can customize WMC using MCE Reset Toolbox (small fee).  You can probably find a copy of Media Center Studio floating around (free, but no longer under development, not sure if it will work with Win8).  Mikinho has some basic WMC mod tools (free).  However, I strongly recommend that you do not modify WMC unless it is on a thin client that you don’t mind reinstalling the OS on.

    Mymovies is an excellent program (free for basic) that allows you to make some small customizations to WMC, such as adding a “TV series” tab, that can be easily undone without any headaches.  You can also use this software to organize your collection and play your files without converting formats.


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