Extending Windows Media Center

In spite of many third party solutions, Windows Media Center Edition remains my favorite way to marry my PC experience to my living room entertainment experience. The Xbox 360 as Media Center Extender is probably the biggest win in this arena, from my personal perspective, because I will likely have a game console in my living room for the foreseeable future and the combined experience is virtually flawless. There are a few cool add-ins I’m finding in dispensable in my Media Center Experience, including the recent discovery of a Google Maps plug-in. Browsing the world from your couch only seems strange until you try it. If you’re really handy with the remote, you can track down a restaurant in your neighborhood and order from the couch without ever putting down the remote.

If you are using an Xbox 360 with your Media Center, I compiled a few handy Xbox 360 networking tips over at InformIT. Couple those with the AV Music Game to entertain party guests and a more efficient way to sort movies in the Media Center interface and you’ve got a near perfect recipe for keeping the entertainment level cranked without overwhelming anyone with the geeky aspects of controlling your media from a PC.