Launching apps from within Windows Media Center - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

Built my new gaming/htpc computer this weekend. So far so good, except Time Warner broke all the cable card and all of my boxes somehow while I was calling them to activate the card. They are coming out today to fix everything.

My question is this: I would like to keep the "10 foot experience" going as much as possible. Is there a way to launch apps/games from Windows Media Center? I couldn't find a way to add programs to the main menu. Likewise, it would be nice to remove some of the options from the menu that I dont need (ie pictures, music, etc).

Thank you!
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 09:08 AM
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Web browsing is going to suffer no matter what, if you find a good 10 ft browser let me know please

Patchou's Media Center Themer

Easiest way to modify WMC, changes stick

In the installed folder there should be an xml configuration file. Copy and paste, name one of them .bak

There is a lot to learn from his documentation, but essentially I would eliminate all the TextFormat fields. Patchou feels like font colors and formats are very important. I don't agree, and that's mostly because I like the basic look of WMC. If you just want to change the background, find a 1920x1080 image to your liking and save it to the MCThemer\Theme folder as bkg-demo.jpg. Then leave his Rcdata lines in the xml file. Your xml file should look similar to this
Code:
<MediaCenterThemer xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="MCTSchema.xsd">
        <Resources>
                <Rcdata>
                        <!-- Picture Resources. Modification of the default background -->
                        <Resource Id="COMMON.BACKGROUND.PNG">
                                <Replace File="Theme\bkg-demo.jpg"/>
                        </Resource>

                        <Resource Id="COMMON.ANIMATED.BACKGROUND.PNG">
                                <Replace File="Theme\bkg-demo.jpg"/>
                        </Resource>
                </Rcdata>
        </Resources>

        <StartMenu>
                <!-- Changes to the built-in menus -->
                <Builtin>
                        <Pictures Visible="false"/>
                        <Music Visible="false"/>
                        <Extras Visible="false"/>
                        <Movies Visible="false"/>
                </Builtin>
        </StartMenu>
</MediaCenterThemer>
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 09:11 AM
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A caveat to the above, if anything is broken in the code then WMC revert to default

I can't remember if Pictures + Videos was named Pictures or Photos. The correct one should be named in the Pictures Visible="false"/> line


Afterwards you can launch games through XBMC or Mediabrowser

XBMCs rom collection browser is free, mediabrowser's GameBrowser II has a free trial

Either one can be launched from WMC, but neither one will add unique menus to WMC. You'll either click MB or XBMC and essentially leave WMC before being able to do anything that looks nice
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 09:11 AM
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If you have a Ceton tuner, then there are settings in the extras library to remove items from the menu. There are other 3rd party tools that do the same, but one of those broke my media center entirely, so be careful.

Relaunch works well for launching other apps/games/streaming sites.


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post #5 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 09:15 AM
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MebiaBrowser has a great plug in for launching games. Not sure if it can be used for launching other apps, but I don't see why not.

I used Kylo for a long time for websites, but the last version of it didn't seem too stable. Really since I got Pandora on my AVR, the only thing I use a web browser for is streaming Longhorn Network from Verizon.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

MebiaBrowser has a great plug in for launching games. Not sure if it can be used for launching other apps, but I don't see why not.

I am not familiar with MediaBrowser...I will look into it. Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

If you have a Ceton tuner, then there are settings in the extras library to remove items from the menu. There are other 3rd party tools that do the same, but one of those broke my media center entirely, so be careful.

Relaunch works well for launching other apps/games/streaming sites.

I do not have a Ceton tuner. I'm using the HDHomeRun Prime. I will check out relaunch. thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Web browsing is going to suffer no matter what, if you find a good 10 ft browser let me know please

Patchou's Media Center Themer

Easiest way to modify WMC, changes stick

In the installed folder there should be an xml configuration file. Copy and paste, name one of them .bak

There is a lot to learn from his documentation, but essentially I would eliminate all the TextFormat fields. Patchou feels like font colors and formats are very important. I don't agree, and that's mostly because I like the basic look of WMC. If you just want to change the background, find a 1920x1080 image to your liking and save it to the MCThemer\Theme folder as bkg-demo.jpg. Then leave his Rcdata lines in the xml file. Your xml file should look similar to this

Thank you! I'll take a look at the Media Center Themer. Looks good for removing things I don't want, but I don't see how it lets me launch games.

I'm not really too interested in Browsing the web...that being said, it does seem like Steam's big picture mode web browser is pretty cool...especially the way it handles text input with a 360 controller. Steam is free to download, you may want to give it a try.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrantMeThePower View Post

Thank you! I'll take a look at the Media Center Themer. Looks good for removing things I don't want, but I don't see how it lets me launch games.

I didn't intend to imply that. Themer is for cleaning up the default look of WMC and changing the background if you want. MB or XBMC will be required to launch games

Your at the atmospheric tip of the iceberg biggrin.gif Your themer xml can be modded to to use the mct files that Assassin hosts in his paid guides. XBMC and MB are what really make everything shine, WMC is still required for copy-once cablecard content.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I didn't intend to imply that. Themer is for cleaning up the default look of WMC and changing the background if you want. MB or XBMC will be required to launch games

Your at the atmospheric tip of the iceberg biggrin.gif Your themer xml can be modded to to use the mct files that Assassin hosts in his paid guides. XBMC and MB are what really make everything shine, WMC is still required for copy-once cablecard content.

First- Thank you again...you always are really helpful on here and I really appreciate it. It was based on your posts that I went with the HDHomerun Prime over the Ceton, and I'm really glad that I did. Having it attached to the network is so much easier than built into the PC.

Secondly, I wish I was able to use XBMC, but as you say, WMC is required for my TWC content, so that is why I'm trying to shoehorn everything into that.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

If you have a Ceton tuner, then there are settings in the extras library to remove items from the menu. There are other 3rd party tools that do the same, but one of those broke my media center entirely, so be careful.

Relaunch works well for launching other apps/games/streaming sites.

While not 100% positive, I believe that this app is the same as that used by ceton BTW.

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrantMeThePower View Post

First- Thank you again...you always are really helpful on here and I really appreciate it. It was based on your posts that I went with the HDHomerun Prime over the Ceton, and I'm really glad that I did. Having it attached to the network is so much easier than built into the PC.

Secondly, I wish I was able to use XBMC, but as you say, WMC is required for my TWC content, so that is why I'm trying to shoehorn everything into that.

Your certainly welcome

I see it as a "mouse-click-either-way" when using WMC. You either click to enter MB, or click to enter XBMC. MB is a really nice plugin, but you do have to teach everyone to back out of it or program a guide button on your remote to get back to WMC tv

If you use this tool http://xbmcwmc.teknowebworks.com/ then XBMC integration is similar, but the typical WMC shortcuts won't work through XBMC where they do in MB. You can get around this by pinning a specific Guide shortcut to your W7 taskbar, and program your guide key to Win+(location where it's pinned). I think shortcuts are easiest made with option 2 of this post http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/198220-windows-media-center-tv-guide-create-shortcut.html
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

While not 100% positive, I believe that this app is the same as that used by ceton BTW.
Thanks. Although the Ceton settings work, that app is the one that really screwed up my system. Could have been my fault, but it didn't work for me.


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post #12 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 11:26 AM
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Maybe Michael improved it for use be ceton too?

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