HTPC Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center Death Watch


For years, at least since 2009, many have announced the death of Windows Media Center. It’s no surprise to our readers that we don’t agree that it has been killed. Even with the latest announcement that it won’t be included in Windows 10, we still don’t think our beloved HTPC software of choice is dead.

It’s simple really. As long as we can continue to use Windows Media Center as a DVR, we can’t call it dead. There are two events that will need to happen for us to officially call it dead. First, the operating systems on which it runs will need to cease being supported by Microsoft. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 still have Windows Media Center, and they won’t see the end of their support lifecycles until 2020 and 2023 respectively.

The other event that could kill Windows Media Center is if Microsoft stops providing electronic program guide data. If Microsoft has a date in mind for this, they haven’t published it. It’s our thought that Media Center’s guide data is being pulled from the same source as the Xbox One’s OneGuide. Therefore, our guess is that Media Center’s guide data won’t be going away anytime soon.

That being said, it would be foolish not to keep a closer eye on the guide data we’re receiving. So today we’re launching Is Media Center Dead Yet? We’ve written an app that runs on our Windows Media Center machines to poll the guide data. It then checks to see how many days of guide data are available and publishes that information to this site’s backend. Now you can check out and see just how much guide data is available. A normal day should see between 12-14 days worth of guide data. As long as there is more than a few days of data remaining, we won’t consider Windows Media Center dead yet.


About the author

Josh Pollard

Josh has been writing software since his parents brought home their first computer. His love for gadgets and technology eventually spurred a passion for home theater technology. After starting the DMZ, he received Microsoft’s MVP award for Windows Media Center. Even though the beloved home theater PC platform is all but dead he continues to tinker with consumer entertainment technology. He’s a life-long gamer and DIY smart home enthusiast. He co-hosts the Entertainment 2.0 podcast with Richard Gunther and the DMZ’s gaming podcast, Story Players, with Joe DeStazio.