Kinect for Media Center released


Controlling Windows Media Center from the sofa without a remote is something that just sound cool so using Kinect sounds a really good idea. Last year there was a beta for Kinect for Media Center and now thanks to the commercial released of Kinect for Windows the final version is out.

With the Kinect you can use hand gestures and voice commands to control Windows Media Center and then control the addins that run on it including Netflix, My Movies and Media Browser. The developer says that that the addin has been designed so that audio coming from a TV show or music can’t trigger a voice command and that there are lots of configuration settings so you can get it working the best way for you.

The addin costs $6.99 and you need a Kinect for Windows (the Xbox 360 version is not supported but may work). I am going to give it a try on the 360 version and will report back on how well it works. Head over to the developers site for details and the download links

Here are some of the features:




  • Hand Swipe Left, Right, Up, Down
    • Moves the selection in Media Center based on velocity of gesture.
  • Hand Swipe then Hold
    • Moves the selection in Media Center and repeats the swipe continuously until you release the Hold.
  • Hand Tap
    • ‘Ok’ in Media Center.
  • Hand Zoom (Hands moving away from each other)
    • ‘Ok’ in Media Center.
  • Hand Pinch (Hands moving closer to each other)
    • ‘Back’ in Media Center.
  • Dominant Hand Hold
    • ‘Play’.
  • Secondary Hand Hold
    • ‘Stop’.
  • Wave
    • Signals that you are in control of the gestures, if multiple people are in view.

Voice Commands


  • ‘Stop gestures’
    • Temporarily stops watching for Gesture Commands.
  • ‘Start gestures’
    • Starts watching for Gesture Commands again.
  • ‘Stop voice’
    • Temporarily stops listening for Voice Commands.
  • ‘Start voice’
    • Starts listening for Voice Commands again.

Basic Media Center:

  • Ok, Enter, Select
    • ‘enter’ key
  • Up, Down, Left, Right, Back
  • Home, Start
    • Media Center home page
  • Play, Stop, Next, Previous, Pause
  • Info, Record


  • ‘Go to music,’ ‘Go to my music’
  • ‘Go to movies’, ‘Go to my movies’, ‘Go to movie library’
    • Launches ‘MyMovies 4’, ‘MyMovies 3’, the built in Movie Library, or ‘Media Browser’, depending on your configuation.
  • ‘Go to pictures’, ‘Go to my pictures’
  • ‘Go to videos’, ‘Go to my videos’
  • ‘Go to Netflix’
    • Launches Netflix add-in if installed.
  • ‘Go to Media Browser’
    • Launches Media Browser add-in if installed.
  • ‘Go to Now Playing’
  • ‘Go to weather’, ‘Go to HeatWave’
    • Launches HeatWave add-in if installed.


  • ‘Play Artist …’
  • ‘Queue Artist…’
  • ‘Play Album…’
  • ‘Queue Album …’
  • ‘Play Playlist …’


Kinect for Media Center has the following requirements:


  • Microsoft ‘Kinect for Windows’ Sensor
    • the ‘Kinect for 360’ sensor is not supported
  • Computer with a dual-core, 2.66-GHz or faster processor
  • 2-GB RAM (4-GB RAM recommended)
About the author Ian Dixon:
Founder of The Digital and host of The Digital Lifestyle Show. Started podcasting in 2005, Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP. Lover of gadgets from the Raspberry Pi to the iPad, Android to Windows 8. Also a massive motor racing fan
  • ecicdraven
    How about we get a fix for those of us that can’t use Xbox as an extender since installing Win7 SP1 before we worry about controlling MC winth Kinect. I have another post on this site along with several others with the same problem they have had for over a year now that after installing SP1, the live tv and recorded tv wont work on the extender. We get the message of: Video Error, the files needed…
  • steve
    Are you connected to xbox live? mine does that if not connected with live tv and movie files..
    • ericdraven
      I am not sure. It never mattered before if I was connected to xbox live or not. This problem only happened since my install of SP1 on my home theater pc running Win7 and my new update to the new user interface on the xbox. You are saying that you can’t watch recorded tv or live tv on your xbox extender unless you are signed into xbox live? I will have to try this tonight.
    • ericdraven
      Well I was hopefull this would fix it. I signed in to xbox live and still couldn’t watch live tv or recorded shows on my xbox. Once again I am using my newly updated xbox as an extender to my HTPC that I also recently updated to SP1 and now i can;t watch live tv or recorded shows.
  • SteveP
    Really interested in trying this with my 360 Kinect but looks like you have to shell out the money before you can try it.
    Have you had a go on your 360 Kinect yet Ian??
  • cw-kid
    ■Microsoft ‘Kinect for Windows’ Sensor ■ the ‘Kinect for 360′ sensor is not supported

    What does this mean? That an XBOX 360 Kinect sensor will not work with the Kinect for WMC software?

    What’s the difference between the Kinect for Windows and Kinect for XBOX 360 sensor? Apart from the Windows one is like $100 more.


  • Vancelot
    I connected the Xbox 360 Kinect to my PC using the following:

    I installed the Kinect for Media Center software and the device is recognized by Windows. However, the software won’t initialize it because it says that you have connected unsupported hardware “You are using XBOX 360 hardware”.

    Is really that the hardware won’t work or the software refuses to use it because of a licensing agreement?

  • steve collins
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