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Essential Plug-ins

Lately it feels like I have been helping more and more people either discover Media Center or setup their own Media Center.  This activity has really had me thinking about plug-ins so I thought I would post on what are my current essential Media Center plug-ins. 

This list is ever changing so I will come back to this topic again at a later date.  So in no particular order here are my must have Media Center plug-ins:

  • TapiRex:  Once you have caller-id showing up on the TV you will never want to go back.  I know a lot of cable company DVR’s are adding this in now, but only if you have digital phone from the cable company.  I don’t have that restriction and I can edit the contact phone book so that each contact has a picture and multiple phone numbers.  This was the first plug-in I installed when I bought my Media Center.
  • Heatwave: This is a recent plug-in but I find myself using it every day.  Heatwave is basically a weather plugin.  It has a great UI and pulls it’s information from weather.com.  You can track weather for multiple cities and have shortcuts for up to 3.  Simple install and it just works.  Install it now.
  • VideoLibrary:  This is what I use to manage my TV library.  I tried MyTV, but I like this one better.  Of course it helps that it is free.  It also helps that once you get it setup, it is super simple to use and your library is on cruise control.
  • OML / Media Browser (BETA) / MyMovies: I am evaluating all three to organize my Movie Library.  I need to do a separate post on these three plug-ins so I will not put any detail here.

As you can see the list is short (I did say ESSENTIAL).  I also don’t like to add to many plug-ins because I feel like it clutters the experience and contributes to system instability.

Next post I will list my must have Media Center utilities.

So what are you must have plug-ins??  Comment below.

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2 Responses

  1. Does VideoLibrary support x64 vista media center and does it work with extenders (xbox 360)?Thanks,jb

  2. Jason,VideoLibrary definitely works with extenders. That’s how I use Media Center 99.9% of the time.As far as x64, there is a separate x64 install but I personally have not tried it. Just follow the link in my post and there is a link to the x64 installer there.

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