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Which Media Center Software is Best For Me?

Boxee, XBMC, and Windows Media Center Compared

Want all your downloads, streaming video, and other techie media stuff on your TV? Wondering which media center works best for you? Here’s a look at the biggies in chart and Venn diagram form, followed by some lengthy breakdowns of each.

New to the idea of TV-connected computers? Head down below the charts for some explainers and deeper comparisons of each system. If you’re already familiar with the HTPC scene, we’ll give you the good stuff first.

We focused on three widely available, and generally popular, media centers for our comparison and review. We’re certainly aware there are many alternatives out there, as free software or stand-alone hardware boxes, but these are the three of the most popular media centers, they receive ongoing development, and they can easily be installed on a wide number of TV-connected computers.

The graphical explanations

Here’s how we see the three major media centers, in chart list and Venn diagram forms. Note: The chart is based on out-of-the-box features that don’t require the user to install any plug-ins.



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