Friday, October 26, 2012

Windows 8 Pro Media Center

Updated (see below)

Windows 8 finally became Generally Available (GA) today which means one thing: Windows Media Center (WMC) feature add-on is finally available!

If you try to add this feature through Windows 8, you'll notice there's a $9.99 price tag. Well, good news: until January 31, 2013 it's available for free! To get a free code, go to: and input your email address. The code will show up in your Inbox within a few minutes.

I installed WMC loosely using the following instructions:

In order, I did the following:

  • Go to Search -> Settings. Type "Features" and launch "Turn Windows features on or off"
    • Install .NET Framework 3.5
  • Install the latest Ceton InfiniTV Windows 7 drivers. Yes, these will work in Windows 8
  • Go to Search -> Settings. Type "features" and launch "Add features to Windows 8"
    • Insert the free code you've received to download Windows Media Center feature and install the feature (this will take a few minutes and may take a few restarts)
  •  Run Windows Media Center and set it up as usual for your purposes. Keep in mind that to run Digital Cable Advisor (DCA) you must be physically connected to a monitor, not remoted into the server

That's it!

Unfortunately, it seems that my current Media Center Extenders do not work with Windows 8 Pro WMC. They connect to the server and then all of the sudden there's a black screen and that's it. Nothing. I've tried with a Samsung Media Live and a Linksys DMA2100.

Very disappointing... I had just ordered several upgrades for the server, specifically for Windows 8. If anyone has gotten this to work, please let me know!


  1. I've refrained from upgrading to Win8 WMC for a few reasons:

    1. Theming plugins have been disabled because of DLL protection in Win8

    2. Unresolved blocky video issue related to AC3 (

    Now your issue makes #3 :)

    Are there any good reasons to upgrade that I'm missing?

  2. I wanted to do it because I thought it would be like combining the power of WMC with a server (having Storage Spaces, Hyper-V role, backup for other machines on the network, etc).

    Appreciate your comments - again, I wasn't aware of the AC3 issue.