Add Background Images and Themes to Windows 7 Media Center

Changing the Background Image with Media Center Studio

Themes and custom backgrounds need to be added with the third-party software, Media Center Studio. You can find the download link at the end of this article.

You can use your own high resolution photo, or download one from the Internet. For best results, you’ll want to find an image that meets or exceeds the resolution of your monitor. Also, using a darker colored background image is ideal as it should contrast better with the lighter colored text of the start menu.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed Media Center Studio (link below), open the application select the Home tab on the ribbon and make sure you are on the Themes tab below. Click New.

MCS01

Select Biography from the left pane and type in a name for your new theme.

MCS02

Next, click on the triangle next to Images to expand the list below. You’ll want to browse to Images > Common > Background. You should see a list of PNG image files located below Background. We will want to swap out the COMMON.ANIMATED.BACKGROUND.PNG and the COMMON.BACKGROUND.PNG images. Select COMMON.ANIMATED.BACKGROUND.PNG and click on the Browse button on the right.

MCS03

Browse for your photo and click Open.

MCS04

Your selected image will appear on the left pane. Now, do the same for the COMMON.BACKGROUND.PNG. When finished, select the Home tab on the ribbon at the top and click Save.

MCS05

Now switch to the Themes tab on the ribbon and the Themes tab below. (There are two Themes tabs which can be a bit confusing). Select your theme on the right pane and click Apply.

Note: You won’t see the image backgrounds displayed.

MCS06

Your theme will be applied to Media Center.

MCS07

Close out of Media Center Studio and open Windows Media Center to check out your new background.

MCS08

Conclusion

Media Center Studio runs on Windows 7 or Vista and gives users a solution for personalizing their Media Center backgrounds. It is a Beta application, however, so it still has a few bugs.

Currently, there are only a handful of themes available at Themes7MC, but what they have is pretty slick.

If you’d like to further customize the look of Media Center, check out our previous article on how to customize the Media Center start menu with Media Center Studio.

Downloads

Media Center Studio

Theme7MC

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Media Center and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s