HTPC or the Home Theatre Personal Computer is a PC that has been turned into a TV. It does not just ease the use of ordinary TV, but also provides the users to store, manage, and watch pictures, videos, and music rather not only using it as a Television.
While the Home Theatres Personal Computer must be managed by a software which is called as the HTPC Software. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the 5 Best Examples for HTPC Software’s that you should be using in 2019.
I believe HTPC is the best alternative for the Smart TVs available in the market in the expensive price tag. That is where the HTPC replaces your TV to do a ton of tasks at an affordable price.
So basically, it boasts the unique functions and features that ever a Television could offer you. You can even use the HTPC as a media player with CD/DVD/USB to experience entertainment from any of these sources.
A simple and standard PC can be made into HTPC installing a media player software and some extra components like a TV Tuner Card, a High-Quality Sound Card, and a case to keep it safe.
Why HTPC Like Software?
These components are required to connect your Normal TV and Speakers along with the Cable or Satellite. Television can be connected via HDMI or DVI, while if it is an older TV, then you can use composite, VGA, coaxial, etc.
For all these reasons, an HTPC is also called a Living Room PC, which is the perfect and meaningful definition. So, let me list you the best examples of HTPC software for your Personal Computer.
1. Plex – Best Among The Rest
Plex is a Media Center Software that is suitable for all kinds of users, including the client and the server.
The Plex Media Server Application runs on different platforms like Windows, macOS, Network Attached Storage (NAS), or Nvidia Shield TVfor streaming media and television on various devices.
Plex has two components, Front end, and Backend. The front-end is a media player, and while the backend is Plex Media Server which can be used separately with Kodi like applications. This feature rewards flex more fans and users compared to other HTPC Softwares.
Much like Kodi, it supports Live TV, DVR, streaming music and videos from the Internet and accessing media libraries from the same system or same local network.
Plex has more than 100+ apps, including Amazon Prime, YouTube, Netflix, MTV Music Videos, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vimeo, and More. It even allows you to customize your Plex Media Player User Interface with a variety of skins.
Plex has taken a decent effort to implement personal streaming (media in your Media Server) between your devices that enable your devices on the same network of the Plex HTPC and also other devices over the internet.
In general, Plex is the most conscious Home Theatre Personal Computer Software that you will ever get to implement your own Media Center with hell lot of features.
2. Kodi Or XMBC
Kodi is a popular Open Source Home Theatre Software, which was previously known as XMBC (Xbox Media Player).
It allows you to experience videos, music, podcasts, from various sources including internet streaming services, physical storage devices, and the old-school cable connections.
There are a lot of features available on Kodi like EPG and DVR support, preview last episode, Movie Quiz Program, and customize its UI with various skins available on the internet.
It also has a web interface that allows remote support to manage your system.
It also supports over 20 audio and media formats like AAC, MP3, FLAC, OGG and WAV, games library, and online streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube. It also offers the user language translation option to over 75 different languages.
It supports all major Operating Systems and Platforms like Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, tvOS (Apple TV OS), Linux, Xbox One, and FreeBSD.
Kodi is deemed with the best software by almost every trusted review because of its easy and quick user interface with not much clutters.
Emby is a Home Theatre Personal Computer Software that is developed to stream Music, Videos, and Images. Emby Server is built to convert and play the media files that have been fetched from any device.
Emby comes with an easy-to-use and user-friendly user interface that meets up all your requirements, including almost all streaming features.
It also enables you to maintain a customized library, organize playlists, edit metadata, add cover images, and find subtitles for those media files.
It offers the DLNA services that enable streaming Media on over almost all devices that are in the home network such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It also supports various plugins that improve usability, like Google Drive and Game Library.
It supports various operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, Docker, AS, FreeBSD, and also platforms like Android, iOS, etc.
Emby Server can be considered as a perfect beginner HTPC software. It is relied on to User Friendliness and lite Media Centre that meets all your essential streaming services.
4. Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center was the inbuilt HPTC Software that is familiar to most of the Windows users.
The WMC comes along with your Windows OS from a long ago for Windows 7,8 and 8.1. But sadly, Microsoft has discontinued it from their latest version, i.e., Windows 8.
But you can use Windows Media Center in these Operating Systems and also can be download and install on your Windows 10 from third-party websites. It has a really simple and beautiful user interface and all significant features for perfect HTPC software.
Fortunately, it is one of the Media Center Software in 2019 that enables you to use a Blue-ray player without any other extra plugins. It also allows users to watch and record live TV.
It is suitable for both beginners and advanced users since you can play almost all formats in the application along with streaming live TV.
5. Big Picture (Steam) – Best HTPC Software For Gamers
Big Picture is another HTPC Software that has launched by the popular video game platform Steam to enable it working across various High Definition Televisions.
It is aimed to embark on the 10-foot user interface that allows Steam users to play games with a gamepad or with a keyboard and mouse on these big display TVs from your living room.
It is one of the best examples for HTPC software which is easy to connect your Laptop or Personal Computer to the Television using HDMI cable.
It supports the gaming controllers like Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows, Xbox One or Xbox 360 Wired Controller, or Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710.
They have introduced VR gaming mode, SteamVR, to play games using VR Headset. It has the Remote Play option to play steam games on your personal computer from whichever devices connected to the network or over the internet.
The steam supports working on various operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, SteamOS.
They say TV meets PC; it is true because if you are a gamer who loves to play games with friends and family, steam makes you sit and play them from your couch, with all the features of normal television.
These HTPC Softwares directly suggest a Home Theatre Personal Computer can be your ultimate solution as an All in One media hub for your living room with lots and lots of connectivity features. I’m sure this article has helped you to know the best examples for HTPC Software available on the internet.