Question How do I turn my PC into an “entertainment hub”?

Hopefully this is the right category to post this.

Basically I want to transform my PC into an Xbox-style entertainment hub, capable of controlling it using just my Xbox controller. I want to lay in bed and use my controller to seamlessly switch between games and streaming apps.

I know I can use Steam Big Picture for the games part, but what about streaming apps? Is there a program that lets me chose my Steam games to play, then be able to exit the game and go straight to something like Netflix or Hulu all while using my Xbox controller?

I’m struggling to find apps that can do this or any workarounds/alternatives. I am finding lots of things for your owned media but I only use streaming services now, I don’t have any saved movies or music directly on my computer.

I basically want to turn my PC into an Xbox of sorts. The main reason, apart from my PC being way more powerful than my old Xbox One, is that my Xbox cannot utilize my full internet speed unless I pay an extra $5. It has something to do with my ISP using public IPs, and the Microsoft Teredo service that powers the Xbox network ecosystem not playing along nicely. On Steam I download at an average of 26MB/s which is the full speed I pay for, but the Xbox struggles to reach a consistent 3MB/s.
 

Alm

Jan 17, 2020
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According to this website there is a Steam app called Controller Companion that lets you use your Xbox controller as a mouse and keyboard (tip#2):


I don't know how much that fits your needs.
 
According to this website there is a Steam app called Controller Companion that lets you use your Xbox controller as a mouse and keyboard (tip#2):


I don't know how much that fits your needs.
That definitely might be useful. I’ve seen lots of posts of people saying to create shortcuts on Steam to streaming apps or website shortcuts, but I’m not sure if those will use the controller properly. With that program they just might. Thank you!
 
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Considering the options, checking out Plex could prove beneficial. It boasts compatibility with the prevalent streaming services. However, it's important to note that the most recent update has unfortunately caused a disruption in controller support. Despite this setback, you have the option to employ a mobile app on your Android or iPhone to manage it effectively.
 
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Aug 24, 2023
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Hopefully this is the right category to post this.

Basically I want to transform my PC into an Xbox-style entertainment hub, capable of controlling it using just my Xbox controller. I want to lay in bed and use my controller to seamlessly switch between games and streaming apps.

I know I can use Steam Big Picture for the games part, but what about streaming apps? Is there a program that lets me chose my Steam games to play, then be able to exit the game and go straight to something like Netflix or Hulu all while using my Xbox controller?

I’m struggling to find apps that can do this or any workarounds/alternatives. I am finding lots of things for your owned media but I only use streaming services now, I don’t have any saved movies or music directly on my computer.

I basically want to turn my PC into an Xbox of sorts. The main reason, apart from my PC being way more powerful than my old Xbox One, is that my Xbox cannot utilize my full internet speed unless I pay an extra $5. It has something to do with my ISP using public IPs, and the Microsoft Teredo service that powers the Xbox network ecosystem not playing along nicely. On Steam I download at an average of 26MB/s which is the full speed I pay for, but the Xbox struggles to reach a consistent 3MB/s.
Turning your computer into an Xbox-style entertainment hub is not only possible but also a fantastic idea! For full control with your Xbox Controller, you have options to create a seamless gaming and streaming experience.

As you've mentioned, Steam Big Picture is an excellent solution for navigating your games library. The interface was, in fact, designed for televisions and therefore works well with controllers.

For streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu, consider applications like Kodi or Plex, which are designed to organize and play your media in one place. However, they focus more on locally stored media, not as much on streaming services.

To solve the streaming services issue, some folks use a device such as a wireless air mouse/keyboard which they find simpler for anything outside of gaming. But to keep everything to the Xbox controller, an application named Controller Companion could bridge the gap. It allows you to control your entire PC with just the controller, including mouse movement and typing.

Alternatively, another method might be to add each streaming app as a non-steam game, allowing you to switch to them within Steam Big Picture mode.

Remember to be cautious when downloading third-party tools and always choose ones from trusted developers.

As for your internet speed concern, you might want to try directly connecting your Xbox to the modem or contact your internet service provider (ISP) to see if they have any solutions. If the issue is on the Xbox network end, Microsoft support could provide some insight too.

Enjoy your new entertainment hub!
 

ZedClampet

Community Contributor
know I can use Steam Big Picture for the games part, but what about streaming apps? Is there a program that lets me chose my Steam games to play, then be able to exit the game and go straight to something like Netflix or Hulu all while using my Xbox controller?
I don't use televisions, but don't they all come with Netflix and Hulu apps these days? And it seems like they would have Xbox controller compatibility apps (if it isn't naturally compatible).

Doesn't the Steam Link have it's own SmartTV app now? Seems like that would solve some problems, too.
 
I don't use televisions, but don't they all come with Netflix and Hulu apps these days? And it seems like they would have Xbox controller compatibility apps (if it isn't naturally compatible).

Doesn't the Steam Link have its own SmartTV app now? Seems like that would solve some problems, too.
My TV is really outdated haha. One thing I never bothered to buy, always got them for free from friends and family. However TVs now are seriously cheap, I could get a decent 50in TV for less than $300 it seems. My original goal was to be able to have my games and streaming apps all together and so far that Chrome extension listed above works well. I added shortcuts to Netflix and Hulu to Steam, and with that extension I’m able to continue to use my controller and it’s been working pretty good.
 
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Turning your PC into an entertainment hub involves several steps to maximize its capabilities for enjoying multimedia content. Here's a summary of the key points:
  1. Hardware and Operating System: Ensure your PC has the necessary hardware and an up-to-date operating system for seamless multimedia performance.
  2. Media Player Software: Install versatile media player software like VLC, Kodi, or Plex to manage and play your multimedia content.
  3. Connectivity: Connect your PC to the internet and consider using wireless peripherals for convenience.
  4. Streaming Services: Install streaming apps for services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify to access a wide range of content.
  5. Media Library Organization: Organize your local media library with descriptive file names and metadata for easy access.
  6. Storage: Consider external storage options like hard drives or NAS devices for large media collections.
  7. Gaming: Install gaming platforms and connect controllers for gaming experiences.
  8. Audio/Video Output: Connect your PC to high-quality displays and audio equipment.
  9. Remote Control: Use remote controls or smartphone apps for remote operation.
  10. Media Center Software: Consider dedicated media center software like Kodi or Plex for improved organization and user-friendly interfaces.
  11. Security and Updates: Regularly update your PC for security and performance.
  12. Backup: Implement backup solutions to prevent data loss.
  13. Customization: Customize the look and feel of your entertainment hub to match your preferences.
  14. Extras: Add hardware like TV tuner cards, Blu-ray drives, or home automation for added functionality.
By following these steps, you can transform your PC into a versatile entertainment hub capable of handling movies, TV shows, music, games, and more, providing a centralized and enjoyable multimedia experience.
 

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