The real Apple media center

The real Apple media center

Summary: Although Apple's included Front Row software is adequate, MediaCentral takes the definition of Mac home theatre to an entirely new level.


media-central-ss.jpegAlthough Apple's included Front Row software is adequate, MediaCentral takes the definition of Mac home theater to an entirely new level. MediaCentral (US$29) is a Swiss Army Knife media center application from Equinux (of iSale fame) that plays virtually any media format.

Hook it up to a Mac mini and a plasma display and you've got a killer Mac media center setup. MediaCentral will play back everything from IP TV, to online clips (from Google Video and YouTube), to IPTV, to movie trailers. Oh yeah, and it plays just about every other media format on the planet, including VIDEO_TS folders (locally or on your network), AVI, DivX, DV Files, Xvid, MPEG1/2/4, DVD, MP3, AC3, Internet Radio stations - and the list goes on.

And the icing on the cake is the beautiful user interface. It's very dark and unobtrusive and extensively uses the mirror reflection effect popularized in Keynote 3 and iChat video conferences. The MediaCentral UI is responsive and has subtle sound effects that don't annoy.

If you paired up MediaCentral and Apple Fan Boy's mockup of what Apple's new media center hardware could look like - you'd really have a killer app. Apple, I hope that you're paying attention!

Topic: Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Nice. but...

    Nice, but unless I'm missing something it doesn't do garden variety analog tv, which looks to be important until at least January 2009, and maybe longer.

    - Scott A.
    Scott Atkinson
    • Analog/Digital TV available!

      Unless I am mistaken, as long as you have an add on device like the eyeTV box (Analog and/or digital), you can watch those in Media Central too. I remember seeing a menu for OTA TV in Media Central. Also, if you live in a metropolitan area, it is highly likely that you will receive digital TV OTA. Analog sucks!
  • asjrtnj 42 dra

    fmvjhv,rzgkzjlk19, gbgoy.