Want to convert your Mac computer into an an amazing home theatre device? Looking for a feature-rich, highly customizable media center? There are only few options available in the market and you need to search them hard. Well, not this time as we have worked on the list and brought to you the 8 best media centers for Mac. Here are our tried and tested apps for an amazing home theatre experience. Many of them are free!
1. PLEX MEdia Server
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Plex Media Server is an amazing media center for Mac OS that really has great features that enables seamless streaming of media files on your home network. Additionally, the tool is also compatible with other front-end players like Kodi.
Plex Media Server helps you to find all your favorite media without any hassle. It is capable of transcoding TV recordings on basis of the device and network you’re using. Therefore, media will play effortlessly on your device. You can continue watching same videos on different devices using Plex. For instance, if watch a video on your home theatre and you continue watching it on another device like iPAD.
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Plex media Server has a DVR server and a inbuilt live TV. You can record live TV and watch it later on Plex.
2. Kodi Media Center (earlier known as XBMC)
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Kodi media Center is probably one of the best media centers in the list. Though, it’s bit complex to install the software, Kodi Media Center has got some amazing features.
Kodi was created as a media interface for Xbox console. further, it came out as a powerful media center for Mac OS X, Android, Windows and Linux. The software can majorly run all media file formats. The user interface of Kodi looks beautiful without any adjustments. Nevertheless, you can download different skins online that can be used modify the player according to your preference. Last but not the least, you can find several add-ons for Kodi media center which makes Kodi a must try software for users.
3. JRiver Media Center
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JRiver Media Center is a great media player that provides a ‘Jukebox’ style interface (iTunes). The application generally occupies the entire screen and is appropriate for HDTV. The software supports every codec, even the most recent one, and plays music with amazing sound quality. JRiver Media Center comes with YouTube, Hulu and Netflix services integrated. Hence, it is perfect for watching online videos. The software can be greta pick for you if you love playing formats like WAV, WM, ALAC, APE and FLAC files. You can use the trial version for free. JRiver Media Center for Mac costs $49.98.
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Emby is an amazing media center that centrally manages media files and allows you to play them using a front-end application. The software organizes your files in such way that you just few clicks to search and play them. Additionally, you organize media libraries for each family member. They can play and pause the videos according to their convenience from multiple devices. As Plex media Server, Emby also has an inbuilt live TV where you can record live TV and watch it later. Again, you can get the Emby add-on for Kodi player.
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SageTV is another great software that has been created to enhance the television viewing experience. It’s now acquired by Google.
SageTV is an cutting-edge software that enables you to manage your media center from various devices. However, the team-up with Google has exposed them to a much larger audience worldwide. The tool is reaching more devices and different platforms. We are sure that SageTV is going to make it large in the world of online entertainment in near future.
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Though Freevo was designed primarily for Linux, it runs smoothly on Mac OS X. it’s an media center tool that integrates PVR/DVR functionality with music, home automation, gaming, video etc. The tool is created in Python language (a powerful programming language) and embeds powerful players like vlc, xine, and mplayer.
Freevo is a cross-platform software that watches & record TV simultaneously, supports multi-tuners, and play and copy DVDs. It plays all formats supported by xine, vlc and mplayer. You can watch movie trailers, fetch video info., backup audio CDs, and play audio formats like mp3, Wav, Ogg and even Flac. With Freevo, you can listen to internet radio, read news, play games and even control your home equipments like sockets, lights etc.
You can also import and look at photos from a digital camera through Freevo. Freevo is undoubtedly a perfect HTPC software for Mac computers.
7. Myth TV
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We have another amazing open-source software in the list which is called MythTV. It is a free DVR and media center that manages music collections, videos, and image files and also updates you about weather through its user interface. MythTV can be converted into a HTPC suite with the help of its plugin.
MythTV can watch and record TV like any other media center. It can pause, resume, rewind and skip live TV shows and entirely automate commercial detection or skipping. It cleverly schedules records to avoid collision in operations. MythTV has the ‘parental control’ feature that keeps away kids from the shows for grown ups. You can tune in to your favorite music collection and watch DVDs. You can control many operations remotely with the help of your web browser.
In a nutshell, MythTV is loaded with many features that you will love for sure.
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Boxee like Kodi media center, is a XBMC based media center which is developed by D-Link. It was designed for Boxee Box. Boxee has many features like an inbuilt browser, basic architecture and high quality video streaming.
One of the best (may be annoying for few users) is that it will buffer the video until the software knows that the user can watch the video without interruption. Hence, you can watch videos without any hiccups even with slow internet connection. Boxee has apps like Navi-X Remix, YouTube and Netflix. With these amazing apps, you can watch almost any video on the Internet. You can also browse the Xtreme Media Portal by Navi which contains a vast quantity of user-provided video content.
Boxee can smoothly integrate with social network like YouTube Facebook and Twitter. You can find feeds on the left side of Boxee’s panel. Short and sweet, Boxee provides an elegant social experience.
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Therefore, you can choose any media center software from the list provided above. Your selection should be based on your requirements. Hope you choose the right software and enjoy the experience.