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A media center is a computer or streaming device adapted for playing music, watching movies and pictures stored on a local harddrive or on a (in some cases wireless) network, watching DVD movies and often for watching and recording television broadcasts. Some software is capable of doing other tasks, such as finding news (RSS) from the internet. Media centers are often operated with a remote control, connected to a television set for video output, and can often function as a normal personal computer. A media center can be purpose-built, or created by individuals by adding media center software to a PC or some other computer, for example an Xbox.

Though media centers are often built using similar components to personal computers, they are often smaller; media centers sometimes have hardware that is not usually seen in personal computers, such as receivers for remote controls, or television tuner cards. Media centers have not seen widespread popularity.


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