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Modern8 - A Metro Inspired Windows Media Center Theme


NeoMesal

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ABOUT MODERN8

Modern8 is a metro inspired theme for Windows Media Center. It uses Patchou's Media Center Themer to apply the new and improved UI
 
Modern8 is unique to many other Media Center themes (see details & screenshots further below):

  • Improved modernized UI experience – clarity and usability comes first. No more fogs or ‘glass buttons’. No more blue.
  • 500+ images have been completely redesigned or retouched
  • Includes genuine Microsoft Xbox One navigation sound effects
  • All new bar design for on-screen media controls
  • Choice of 5 different accent colours – standard (black), blue, green, orange and red. A light theme is also included

52ca1ec417e0e_Splash.jpg
Splash screen animation with flattened logo (alternate files are provided if you prefer the new official Windows logo)
 
There are NO changes to any system files, so there is minimal risk of corruption. It is also extremely easy to apply to your system, in less
than a few minutes you can have a modern Media Center experience!
 
And like all Media Center themes, Modern8 is entirely customizable so you can easily tweak Modern8 to your design tastes. It already
includes some alternative artwork to try, just mix and match.
 
Please, if you have anything to say, be it good or bad: contributions, suggestions or problems – let me know! (:

 

DOWNLOAD LINKS via MediaFire

 

v1.3 - January 30th 2016 24MB

 http://www.mediafire.com/download/1oy02koillba1le/Modern8_1.3.zip

 *Please note, an alternative XML file is provided for no string changes/non-English users.

​-Small improvements to start-up sound & animation

​-Action icons are coloured when highlighted (e.g. record, delete, review conflict)

​-Changes to guide record icons to improve contrast (red/yellow/blue instead of red/orange/blue)

​-Program info panel background (see last screenshot) covers the whole screen

-New loading animation spinner

 

Remember to remove any existing Modern8 files beforehand, and backup the files if you have done any of your own customising

If you notice that some text is not being recoloured to white from the default blue (especially if using an extender):

52e9b12b9d05a_BlueTextProblem.jpg

An example screenshot of the issue.

Note that text which is not 'in focus' remains blue, this is due to a special legacy text condition in Media Center and occurs mostly in menus.

 

THIS SHOULD MOSTLY DO THE TRICK:

 

COPY THIS TEXT:

<TextFormat>
<LegacyText Color="RGB(104,185,200)">
<Replace Color="RGB(255,255,255)"/>
</LegacyText>
<Text Font="Segoe Media Center">
<Replace Color="RGB(255,255,255)"/>
</Text>
<Text Font="Segoe Media Center Light">
<Replace Color="RGB(255,255,255)"/>
</Text>
<Text Font="Segoe Media Center Semibold">
<Replace Color="RGB(255,255,255)"/>
</Text>
</TextFormat> 

 

DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH THIS TEXT 

<?xml version="1.0" 
encoding="UTF-8"?><MediaCenterThemer xmlns:xsi=http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance 
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="MCTSchema.xsd">
IN MCTDEFAULT.XML (C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer\MCTDefault.xml)
 
NOTE: 255,255,255 = white text. Changing the shell files to recolour text may have no effect if this XML is in place, you must instead change the font colours
from within MCTDefault.xml (i.e. - replace 255,255,255 with 0,0,0 (black text)
Thanks to NNate on page 3 who outlined the problem (and a solution!) with his Xbox 360
 
If you are not using a Media Center over an extender, try this registry method by humantorch14 on page 2 if the above does not work

 

 

 

Remember to also check out The Green Button Modern8 Thread

 

INSTALLATION AND REQUIREMENTS
1
Download and install Patchou's Media Center Themer (v1.51 mirrored copy from MediaFire http://www.mediafire.com/download/3v2ers338cx0f3r/MediaCenterThemer_1.51.zip)
For Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 (Media Center editions) and Windows 10.
2
Download and extract all of the contents of the most recent Modern8 zip file (v1.3).
3
Copy the contents of the extracted zip file to C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer\ or use the shortcut provided
Remember to remove any existing Modern8 files and the MCTDefault.xml beforehand

(but backup the files if you have done any of your own customising)
4

Open the newly copied Modern8 folder and run the registry file WindowsSetNewDefaultBeep.reg

This works exactly as if you were to change the default beep via Sound settings and can be just as easily undone. You may need to logout or restart afterwards.

5
Enjoy  B)  And if you really like Modern8, you can donate via PayPal and help me pay for my studies (or at least a drink or two!) ^_^

Special thanks to TheOsburnFamily and JBL!

RELEASE HISTORY

16th December 2013 (1.52MB)

Modern8 Initial Release

6th January 2014 (11.4MB)
Modern8 1.0 || Modern8 1.0 (NON-ENGLISH, NO STRING CHANGES)

9th January 2014 (11.1MB)
Modern8 1.1  || 
Modern8 1.1 (NO STRING CHANGES, NON-ENGLISH)*

-Fixed RDP crashes

-Minor string changes

16th January 2014 (22MB)
Modern8 1.2  || 
Modern8 1.2 (NO STRING CHANGES, NON-ENGLISH)*

-Tweaked EPG appearance slightly and included some alternative EPG focus accents

-Improved folder layout to be more intuitive and easier to customise

-Among other minor changes

2nd March 2014 (22MB)
Modern8 1.2.1a  || 
Modern8 1.2.1 (NO STRING CHANGES, NON-ENGLISH)*

-Darkened default background image slightly

-Improved default text recolouring; selected text should now have greater contrast to text which is not selected (does not apply to all situations)

-Improved text readability for TV Debug menu (411 CTRL+D/411 More Info when playing TV)

 

 

 

 

ENHANCEMENT HIGHLIGHTS & SCREENSHOTS

 52ca1efa297f4_AccentsShowOff.jpg
Your choice of accent colours – a simple copy and paste is all that is required to change the accent.
There is also a ‘light’ theme available (but this doesn’t have the same polish or ‘completeness’ as the standard theme)
And of course, you can mix and match UI elements quickly and easily to suit your preferences
 
52ca1f1e1af38_Home.jpg
Start screen with metro icons. Tiles are colour coded into their respective categories (Settings, Music, Video, etc)
The background image animates in a subtle glowing cycle
 
52ca1f32b6389_MediaBar.jpg
Entirely new bar design for on-screen media controls
 
52ca1f45b3d31_Guide.jpg
Media Center TV guide (Just note that I'm also using My Channel Logos to change the guide layout – this is not part of Modern8)
 
Among other minor changes
 
52ca1f584c9bd_TIME.jpg
Extended time format
 
52ca1f6e1879b_NPCAP.jpg
Improved ‘now playing-hinting info’ for TV – text should no longer be cut off for long titles
 
52ca1f8583734_DETAILS.jpg
A few text changes (English only) for clarity and/or aesthetics

LIST OF MEDIA CENTER SUB CATEGORIES WITH ENHANCED MODERN UI
Picture favourites
Picture library
Video library
Music favourites
Music library
Music search
Movie guide
Movie library
Movies search
DVD
TV guide
Recorded TV
TV guide search
Power options
Settings

LIST OF REVISED STRINGS (does not apply to the NO STRING CHANGES/NON-ENGLISH VERSION)

old string new string

shut down  power options
sync  sync device
search  search music
search  search guide
search  search movies
VIEW CATEGORIES  GUIDE CATEGORIES

All  All Channels
other showings  showings
Resolve Conflict  Review Conflict
resolve conflict  review conflict
Programme Details  Details
programme details  details
programme information  information (changed to 'info' since v1.3)
interactive tv  interactive

Exit  Exit Media Center
Log Off  Sign Out
LOG OFF WINDOWS  SIGN OUT OF WINDOWS
Are you sure you want to log off?  Are you sure you want to sign out?
View Song List  Now Playing List
TEXT  [empty/blank string - replaced with a graphical icon on the media controls bar. This is still included with the NO STRING CHANGES VERSION]
 

LIMITATIONS - PLEASE READ
FURTHER DETAILS MAY BE FOUND IN THE CONTAINED README FILES

Media Center includes most of its own sounds, however it still uses one sound which is shared by the Windows OS: the 'Default Beep' The included .reg registry files can quickly change the 'Default Beep' to the provided Xbox One sound effect found in the Modern8 Audio directory. The .reg registry files work exactly as if you were to manually change the 'Default Beep' via the Windows control panel; but obviously much faster!
 
Much of Modern8’s text elements have been colourized white. This may be an issue for other add-ons such which contain predominantly light backgrounds. Alternative files are provided for darker text if needed.
 
If ENGLISH is NOT your operating system language, you should choose the NON-ENGLISH version to download. Modern8 makes a few subtle language changes.
 
As mentioned briefly above, the included ‘light’ theme currently doesn’t have the same polish as the standard theme – I have just quickly inverted the colours of the standard theme
 
ORIGINAL WORKS

I DID NOT create everything from scratch myself, details of original art sources are included in the corresponding README file

Big thanks to Keef and his un8y theme, which inspired Modern8. It was a great template and an inspiration for me to make this theme. :)  (I also grabbed a few of your icons ;)  :ph34r: )

Edited by NeoMesal
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AlwinHummels

Hwoo love the way you made this, but to make it more metro you should use the square WIN Logo instead of the Windows Flag but that's my opinion.

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Hi NeoMesal,

 

Great work, I really like this. Just one issue though - the colour changes to the MCE theme flow though and effect the theme in MBC also (using Lotus theme).

This doesn't seem to happen with the un8y themes. Not sure if you can check this out, or what may be causing it.

 

I can post some images tomorrow if you need them.

 

Thanks though, great work.

 

Adam

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@ AlwinHummels

True, but personally I prefer the flattened Media Center logo as a differentiator from the Windows logo. But I'll look into including some optional updated Windows logos soon. I'll also look into categorising images so people can remove/add what they want a bit more easily

 

@ asmithau

Yes, some pics would be good. What colour? - I suspect that because unlike the un8y theme, I've done some universalised colour changes (in other words - lazy!) and this might be having an effect

 

Thanks, and I appreciate everyone's feedback :)

Edited by NeoMesal
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@ AlwinHummels

True, but personally I prefer the flattened Media Center logo as a differentiator from the Windows logo. But I'll look into including some optional updated Windows logos soon. I'll also look into categorising images so people can remove/add what they want a bit more easily

 

@ asmithau

Yes, some pics would be good. What colour? - I suspect that because unlike the un8y theme, I've done some universalised colour changes (in other words - lazy!) and this might be having an effect

 

Thanks, and I appreciate everyone's feedback :)

 

Yeah, I noticed you were using Media Center Themer's "colorize" function, as well as having some global color definitions in there ;).

 

Great job, though

Edited by keef
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AlwinHummels
Change the Universal Background Image (semi-)Automatically in Modern8 with Bing (advanced)

This current implementation requires Bing Desktop to be installed, running and setting your wallpaper to the Bing daily image

 

Download and install Bing Desktop (or any other program that changes

http://www.bing.com/explore/desktop

 

Download and install ImageMagik command-line tool photo editor:

http://www.imagemagick.org/script/index.php

 

Copy and save the following text as a .bat file

 

FOR /F "delims=|" %%I IN ('DIR "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\BingDesktop\themes" /B /O:D') DO SET NewestFile=%%I

convert -brightness-contrast -40x-40 "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\BingDesktop\themes\%NewestFile%" "C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer\Modern8\Images\BACKGROUND.jpg"

 

Running the .bat script should automatically retrieve the most recent Bing Desktop photo, darken the photo, and copy it to the Modern8 file directory. A relauch of Media Center is required.

 

I really like this option but I thought a little bit further :) maybe it's possible to use the backdrop pictures from your own collection at random as background, this must be possible trough the api but i don't know how to realize it myself :)

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I was actually toying with the same idea earlier  :) so I've changed the .bat file in the first post, and that ought to do the trick (or close as I can get it ;) )

Edited by NeoMesal
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Hi NeoMesal,

 

Sorry for the delay. I've been really busy at work trying to finish up for Christmas!

 

Please find attached the images as requested.

NB. I've included non-working and working / correct images.

 

If you have any questions, please let me know.

 

Thanks

Adam

 

post-654-0-49154300-1387600561_thumb.jpg

 

post-654-0-19933800-1387600594_thumb.jpg

 

post-654-0-63123300-1387600606_thumb.jpg

 

post-654-0-40078500-1387600619_thumb.jpg

Edited by asmithau
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No problem - Christmas can be a busy time!

 

And as before, I believe this is possibly because of Media Center's colourize function or it's just that text recolouring carries through to Media Browser

 

I'll look into including options for alternate text colours soon

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love the direction of this theme...I only have two comments/suggestions/criticisms/ideas

 

1. This might just be me, but I personally would like a little more transparency for the black part of the channel info when you change channels (the last screenshot of the OP). I know there is some slight transparency, but again I myself would like a little more. If there is a way to change that in one of the XML files, def. point me in the right direction and I'll change it on my end.

 

2. For the clock, if there is a way to show AM and PM for us in the states that would be great. Not that its a big deal, and I can normally just look outside to tell what time of day it is :), but still. 

 

Even without those changes, I still love this theme. Great work!

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@ ProAm500

 

Firstly, thanks for your feedback! I appreciate it :)

 

1. I also noticed things were a little too dark on my TV screen compared the computer screen which I have been using to edit the images. So I'll definitely increase the transparency a bit along with some other elements in the next release.

 

But if you want to edit the file for yourself now, the picture is contained in the Images folder of Modern8 and is called NP_HINTING_BACKGROUND.PNG

 

2. I’ll be setting the time format to DY, DTE MNTH, HR:MN (e.g Wed, 3 Mar, 12:49) in the next release. This is because if the day/date is very long (especially when the hours are between 10 and 12) Media Center will fade out the seconds if you haven’t noticed already. The problem is if using AM/PM instead, it also has the same problem

 

52bb778b53d7d_TimeCut.jpg

 

It isn't a huge issue, but I don't want to annoy people by cutting off their time during some parts of the day :P 

 

But you're more than free to edit the clock how you like. Heck, you can put have the year on there if you want, something you can't tell from looking outside your window! :lol:

 

All you need to do is open up the CLOCK.MCML in the Shell folder of Modern8 with notepad

 

and you should be able to spot the following line:

 

<DateTimeFormats Name="Format" DateTimeFormats="AbbreviatedLongDate,ForceDayOfWeek,LongTime,NoYear, NoAMPM"/>

 

Just delete the text and coma NoAMPM,

 

But you'll need to remove the seconds, otherwise AMPM won't show at all because it is cut out consistently. To do this, you'll have to change LongTime to ShortTime

 

There quite a few other time formats you can play around with as well; just check out this page which has a list for strings you can add as well as their descriptions if your interested.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb189046.aspx

 

Again, have to give credit to Patchou for uncovering this ;)

 

Cheers,

NeoMesal

Edited by NeoMesal
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@ ProAm500

 

Firstly, thanks for your feedback! I appreciate it :)

 

1. I also noticed things were a little too dark on my TV screen compared the computer screen which I have been using to edit the images. So I'll definitely increase the transparency a bit along with some other elements in the next release.

 

But if you want to edit the file for yourself now, the picture is contained in the Images folder of Modern8 and is called NP_HINTING_BACKGROUND.PNG

 

2. I’ll be setting the time format to DY, DTE MNTH, HR:MN (e.g Wed, 3 Mar, 12:49) in the next release. This is because if the day/date is very long (especially when the hours are between 10 and 12) Media Center will fade out the seconds if you haven’t noticed already. The problem is if using AM/PM instead, it also has the same problem

 

52bb778b53d7d_TimeCut.jpg

 

It isn't a huge issue, but I don't want to annoy people by cutting off their time during some parts of the day :P 

 

But you're more than free to edit the clock how you like. Heck, you can put have the year on there if you want, something you can't tell from looking outside your window! :lol:

 

All you need to do is open up the CLOCK.MCML in the Shell folder of Modern8 with notepad

 

and you should be able to spot the following line:

 

<DateTimeFormats Name="Format" DateTimeFormats="AbbreviatedLongDate,ForceDayOfWeek,LongTime,NoYear, NoAMPM"/>

 

Just delete the text and coma NoAMPM,

 

But you'll need to remove the seconds, otherwise AMPM won't show at all because it is cut out consistently. To do this, you'll have to change LongTime to ShortTime

 

There quite a few other time formats you can play around with as well; just check out this page which has a list for strings you can add as well as their descriptions if your interested.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb189046.aspx

 

Again, have to give credit to Patchou for uncovering this ;)

 

Cheers,

NeoMesal

 Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Made the adjustments on the file you suggested and they work like a charm! Cant wait for more improvements as you progress along with this. Brilliant work...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Updated to 1.0 and edited the first post. Enjoy :)

 

PS: And would it be possible for a mod to rename the title to 'Modern8 - A Metro Inspired Windows Media Center Theme'?

Thanks

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SilentAssassin

When applying this theme to my Win8 Media Centre it crashes WMC when trying to launch. Using the basic theme that comes with Themer works fine.

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Have you copied both the extracted Modern8 folder and MCTDefault.xml into C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer\ ?

Did you then make any other changes?

And are you using the standard or non-English version?

And did you delete the old Modern8 files (if any)?

 

Thanks.

Edited by NeoMesal
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Hi Neomasal,

 

I've been playing around with the latest release and its fantastic. Excellent work!

 

Well done.

 

Adam

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This appears to crash my extender. I'm also unable to open Media Center via a RDP session (same technology the extenders use).

I also noticed I can no longer arrange my start menus using Media Center Studio after setting this up. I had to restore my PC to a restore point to fix my start menu order (Recorded TV).

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SilentAssassin

I was also doing this over an RDP connection. Modern8 and the file copied over, all traces of old one removed. I will need to try this direct on the computer and see if it works.

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My issue is that you can't open Media Center if you are in an RDP session or use it on an extender with this theme. It works fine on my main HTPC (aside from my Recorded TV HD menu being moved to the top). I think there still exists an issue with the theme that doesn't allow extenders to work.

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