Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center has been the most popular way techies has been watching TV with their computer. It works with all your video and video formats. Just about everything supports it. It has been around a long time. Fairly mature.
- Organizes media: Audio, Movies, Videos, Pictures
- Native Netfix Support
- Supports TV cards: Over-the-Air Analogue & Digital.
- Supports Digital Cable Cards
- Movies section is really slow if you have a lot of movies
- You need to dedicate a computer
Windows 8 Media Center
Just read about the Windows 7 Media Center. I can find no difference in Windows 8 except you have to pay for it. I do not think they changed anything.
Windows 7 Media Center
This is the best version yet. There are a ton of plug-ins. I use it as a front-end to also run XBMC and Hulu. At one time I used Boxee but Boxee discontinued the PC version.
Windows Vista Media Center
Several improvements of XP. Stable. I did set this up for a customer because the laptop they were using had it pre-installed. Since Vista is slow they eventually upgraded to Windows 7.
Windows XP Media Center Edition
I didn't use this very much. I found it kind of buggy.