Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media

Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media
WINDOWS® GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment
from Windows Media Center
I n T h i s Guid e
Set up Windows
Media Center Page 2
Use Windows Media Center
to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos,
and Videos
Page 6
Record TV with
Windows Media Center
Page 19
What You’ll Need
n Windows
Media® Center—included on Windows Vista® Home
Premium and Ultimate editions
nA
television
n An
analog or digital TV tuner
nA
Windows Media Center Extender device.
nA
computer running Windows Vista
Windows Guides is a library of easy-to-use guides that show you how to
get more from your Windows experience. Share these guides with your
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© 2008 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Set up Windows Media Center
So much of our entertainment is digital these days—digital music, digital videos and photos, even
digital TV, and there seems to be different programs for each one. But what if you could combine all of
your digital media in one place? Even more, what if you could enjoy it from anywhere in your house,
and on your own schedule? Well, now you can. Windows Media Center puts you at the controls of your
entertainment world.
With Windows Media Center a whole spectrum of digital media is at your fingertips. Enjoy your full media
library with the click of a button, connect to online media, watch and record live TV, or listen to music.
1. Press the green Start button on your Windows Media Center remote.
2. If you do not have a Windows Media Center remote, use your mouse to open Windows Media
Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center from the programs list.
3. On the Welcome to Windows Media Center screen, click Next.
4. The following screen says you must complete two sections: 1) Required Setup and 2) Option Setup.
Click Next again.
5. View the Privacy Statement, and then click Next.
6. Select Yes or No on the Help Improve Windows Media Center page, then click Next.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Set up Windows Media Center (continued)
7. On the Get the Most from Windows Media Center screen, select Yes to allow Windows Media
Center to download album and DVD cover art, current TV guide listings, and other useful
information from online media services.
Figure 1—Get the Most from
Windows Media Center
That completes the setup. Click Next again, and continue with the Optional Setup if you’d like to do any of
the following:
n
Optimize how Windows Media Center looks on your display
n
Set up your speakers
n
Set up your Music, Pictures, and Videos Libraries
Click Cancel if you don’t want to set these up. Otherwise click Next.
When you choose to proceed with the Optional Setup, the Windows Media Center wizard guides you
through each part of the process with a series of easy-to-understand questions based on the type of
display and sound system you are using.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Set up Windows Media Center (continued)
When you reach the Set up your Music, Pictures, and Videos Libraries section, you have the option to
Add folder to watch. This allows Windows Media Center to access and track changes to a local or shared
folder. It also allows you to view all of your digital media from within Windows Media Center.
1. Select Add folder to watch and then click Next.
2. Click to select one of the Add folders options.
Figure 2—Add folder options
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Set up Windows Media Center (continued)
3. Browse for the folder(s) containing media files.
4. Click to check the box next to any folder(s) you want to add.
5. Click Next.
Windows Media Center will search the folder(s) for digital music, photos, or videos. It will also save your
folder selections for the next time you start the program.
6. When you’ve finished setting up Windows Media Center, select I am finished to open Windows
Media Center and start exploring.
If you want an alternative to the transport controls on your PC, consider purchasing Windows Media Center
remote.. To find this and other Vista certified accessories, go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/
winfamily/mediacenter/buy/default.mspx
More Information
n
Windows Media Center Overview: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/
mediacenter/default.mspx
n
Windows Media Center—What Do I Need?: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/
winfamily/mediacenter/buy/requirements.mspx
n
Windows Media Center—How-to Videos: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/
winfamily/mediacenter/getstarted/videos.mspx
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize,
and View Entertainment, Photos, and Videos
You’ve put so much time and effort into building your digital media library, collecting music, videotaping
special occasions, snapping tons of photos. Why not give it the platform it deserves? By adding your digital
media folders to Windows Media Center, you do just that, and because all of your entertainment needs are
in one place, you can sit back, relax and enjoy them.
If you did not add folders to your Windows Media Center libraries during setup, you can easily do it now.
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. On your Windows Media Center start screen, use the up and down arrows to scroll to Tasks.
3. Use the left arrow to scroll to Settings.
4. Click to select Settings.
5. Click on Library Setup.
6. Select Add folder to watch, and then click Next.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
7. Choose a folder location to browse (your computer, a shared computer, or both)
8. Browse for the folder(s) containing media files.
Figure 3—Selecting media
folders in Library Setup
9. Click to check the box next to any folder(s) you want to add.
10. Click Next.
11. When the folders have been added, click Finish to return to the Settings menu.
Windows Media Center saves your folder selections for the next time you start the program. It will
also update the contents of the corresponding picture, video, or music library automatically so they
remain in sync.
Now that you’ve added your media folders to Windows Media Center, it’s time to start enjoying
them in new ways!
To remove a folder from Windows Media Center, follow these same steps, but select Stop watching a folder from the
Library Setup options. Click to clear the checkbox next to any folder you want Windows Media Center to stop watching.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
V i e w pictures and h ome vi deos
Don’t hide your digital photos and videos away to gather dust on your hard drive. Give them the spotlight
they deserve by bringing them center stage with Windows Media Center.
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. Scroll to Pictures + Videos, and then click picture library.
Figure 4—Pictures + Videos in
Windows Media Center
3. Click on the picture folder you want to open.
4. To view a single picture, click on it. It will open in full screen mode, and you can use the transport
controls to manually scroll through the other photos in the folder.
5. To view a slideshow of the photos, click play slide show.
Figure 5—Playback Controls in
Windows Media Center
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
The navigation controls will disappear after a few moments. Move your mouse to any point on the screen
for them to reappear.
6. Use the transport controls to skip, fast forward or pause the slideshow.
7. Click the arrow in the upper left corner of your screen to return to the previous page or menu.
8. Click the green Windows Media Center button to return to the main menu.
Figure 6—Back button and green Windows Media Center button
You can organize photos and video by folder, date taken, or by tag name. To organize by tags, click tags.
Windows Media Center will immediately reorganize your files and folders based on the new criteria. Do the same
to organize by date taken or by name.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
To customize a slide show
You can specify which pictures are shown and in what order, the type of transition you want, the duration
of the transitions, and other aspects of a slide show presentation.
1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, and then click Pictures. Customize your slide show
by using the options on this screen.
Figure 7—Customize picture
slideshow options
2. Click Save to save the slide show settings.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
To play home videos
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. Scroll to Pictures + Videos, and then click video library.
3. Click on the video folder you want to open.
Figure 8—Video folders
in the video library
4. Click on the video you want to watch. It will open in full screen mode, and you can use the transport
controls to fast-forward, rewind or pause.
5. To return to the previous page or menu, click the arrow in the upper left corner of your screen.
6. Click the green Windows Media Center button to return to the main menu.
You can scroll left or right through your digital media collection by moving the mouse to the edge of the screen,
or by using the left and right arrow buttons on your keyboard.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
L i st e n to music
Give your music library a worthy venue. Use Windows Media Center to play your favorite albums or
playlists, add music to a queue, or even to a picture slideshow.
1. On the start screen, scroll to Music, and then click music library.
2. Browse by album artists, albums, artists, genres, songs, playlists, composers, or years.
3. You can also search songs by clicking songs, and then typing the first few letters of the song you’re
looking for.
Figure 9—Search for songs in
the Windows Media Center
music library
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
4. When you find the album or song you want to play, click on it, and then choose from the
options provided.
Figure 10—Album options in
the music library
5. Choose Play Album or Play Song to start listening immediately or choose Add to Queue to add it to
a temporary list of music you want to play.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
To view and edit the queue
1. From your Windows Media Center start screen, click Now Playing + Queue, click music, and then
click View Queue. The queue opens.
2. Click Edit Queue, and then do one of the following:
n
To move a song up or down in the list, click the up arrow or down arrow buttons.
n
To remove a song from the queue, click the Delete button (looks like an X).
3. Click Done.
4. To save your queue as a playlist, click Save As Playlist. Enter a name for the playlist and then
click Save.
Saving a queue as a playlist adds it to your permanent set of playlists, and can be accessed under playlists in
your Windows Media Center music library or from Windows Media Player under Playlists.
To play a slide show with music
1. From the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Music, and then click music library.
2. Click on the album(s) or playlist you want to listen to.
3. Click either a title or a name, and then click Play Album or Play Song. The music begins playing.
If you select a playlist, you can just push Play.
4. Click Play Slide Show.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
P lay C D s and DVDs
Want to play the basics? Pop in CDs or DVDs and enjoy them in Windows Media Center as well.
To play a DVD
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. Insert a DVD into the DVD drive on your computer.
3. If the main DVD title menu does not display automatically, scroll to TV + Movies on your Windows
Media Center start screen, and then click play dvd.
Figure 11—Play DVD option
in Windows Media Center
4. Click the appropriate button on the DVD menu to play the DVD.
Your transport controls will disappear after a few moments.
5. To skip ahead, pause, skip back or stop the DVD, move your mouse to activate the transport controls.
Once they reappear, use the buttons provided.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
To play an audio CD
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. Insert an audio CD into the CD-ROM drive on your computer.
The audio CD should begin to play. Your transport controls will disappear after a few moments.
3. To skip ahead, pause, skip back or stop the CD, move your mouse to activate the transport controls.
Once they reappear, use the buttons provided.
4. To view the CD tracks, click View Queue.
5. To change the playback order of the CD, click Shuffle, click Repeat, or select both Shuffle and Repeat.
When you shuffle and repeat playback, the audio tracks play in the same shuffled order again.
To play a data CD or DVD
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. Insert the data CD or DVD into the CD or DVD drive.
3. Under What do you want to do? click View videos, Play music, or View pictures.
Watc h T V and movies
Now entertainment can move at your pace. Use Windows Media Center to watch, pause, and even rewind
both live and recorded TV programs.
To watch live TV
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. To begin watching live TV, do one of the following:
n
On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click live tv.
n
On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, click guide, locate the TV show that you want to watch,
and then click a show that is currently airing.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
3. To display information about the TV program that you are currently watching, right-click
the TV show, and then click Program Info. To return to the TV show click Watch.
4. To change the channel, move your mouse, and then click
to go up or down
a channel.
Before you can watch TV with Windows Media Center, you need an analog or digital TV tuner. These are widely
available, and you can find specific models that are compatible with Windows Vista by going to the Windows
Vista Hardware Compatibility Center at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/
To find and watch movies on TV
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
2. Scroll to TV + Movies, and then click movies guide.
Browse movies by on now, on next, genres, or top rated.
3. Click a movie that is currently airing on TV.
4. Click Watch.
5. To display information about the movie that you are watching, right-click the movie while it is
playing, and then click Movie Details. To return to the movie, click Watch.
To pause live TV or a movie
1. Move your mouse to activate the transport controls, and then click the Pause button.
2. To resume playing the TV show or movie, move the mouse, and then on the transport controls,
click Play.
Figure 12—Playback controls
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Use Windows Media Center to Save, Organize, and View
Entertainment, Photos, and Videos (continued)
To stop playback of live TV or a movie
1. While you are watching live TV or a movie, move your mouse, and then click Stop in the
transport controls
2. When you are ready, on the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click live tv to resume
watching TV.
To adjust the volume when watching live TV or a movie
1. While you are watching live TV or a movie, move your mouse, and then click the - or + button to
increase or decrease the volume.
2. Click the Mute button to turn muting on or off.
Windows Media Center is included on both the Windows Vista Ultimate and Home Premium editions. If you are
using another edition of Vista or a different version of Windows, find out more about how to get Windows Media
Center by going to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/mediacenter/buy/default.mspx
More Information
n
Windows Help & How to—Get help for your TV tuner card: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/
Windows/en-US/Help/d7ef383d-3342-4c8b-b1ce-5ca64891bc381033.mspx
n
Windows Help & How to—TV on your computer: Understanding TV signals and TV
tuners: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/aa79e7b4-e423-4459-ad221c240a8ffcd51033.mspx
n
Troubleshoot problems with DVDs and movies in Windows Media Center: http://windowshelp.
microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/0d93980a-4c6a-4c97-8be7-90572cf0d79c1033.mspx
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center
With Windows Media Center, you can watch TV on your schedule. Record live TV shows and movies
directly onto your computer, schedule a recording in advance, or automatically record new episodes of
your favorite TV series.
B rows e recor d ed content in Window s Media Center
With an optional Windows Media Center remote control, you can schedule recordings and play back your
recorded content from across the room. If you do not have a Windows Media Center remote, you can use a
mouse and keyboard to access the on-screen transport controls.
1. Open Windows Media Center by clicking the Windows logo and selecting Windows Media Center
from the programs list.
To record a live TV show or movie
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click live tv.
Figure 13—Watching or recording
live TV in Windows Media Center
2. Click Record on the transport controls. If the transport controls are not visible, move your mouse to
make them reappear.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
To schedule recordings in the Guide
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click guide.
2. Right-click the program that you want to record, and then click Record to schedule a recording of
the program.
To schedule recordings using Search
You can search in Windows Media Center to find a TV show or movie that you want to record.
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click search.
2. Click the category you want to search by (such as Title), then follow the instructions to initiate
a search.
3. On the search results screen, click the TV show or movie that you want to record. If a second screen
appears with details of the program, click the name of specific TV episode or movie again.
4. Click Record to schedule a recording of the program.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
To set general recording options
You can change the default settings for your recordings, such as the quality at which a program will be
recorded. These settings will not apply to recordings that you scheduled before adjusting the settings.
1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, and then click settings.
2. Click TV, click Recorder, and then click Recording Defaults.
Figure 14—Setting TV recording
default options
3. In Keep, click - or + to set parameters for automatically deleting recorded content.
4. In Quality, click - or + to select the quality at which the TV show will be recorded.
5. In Start when possible, specify the time to start recording. You can choose to start recording
On time or up to four minutes before the scheduled start time of the show.
6. In Stop when possible, specify the time to stop recording. You can choose to stop recording On time
or up to four minutes after the scheduled end time of the show.
7. In Preferred Audio Language, click English or Any language.
8. Click Save.
It is important to know that when you schedule Start and Stop times, if two recordings are scheduled back to
back, but you have only one TV tuner device, a recording conflict may occur.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
To set recording options for a specific program
If you want to record a sports game that might go into overtime, you can override some select
recording defaults.
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click recorded tv.
2. Click view scheduled for a list of your scheduled recordings.
3. Click the scheduled recording that you want to change, and then click Record Settings.
4. In Stop, specify the time to stop recording. Unlike the default settings, you can choose to stop
recording up to three hours after the scheduled end time of a show.
5. In Quality, click - or + to select the quality at which the TV show will be recorded.
To record a TV series
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click guide. 2. Locate and right-click the TV series that you want to record, and then click Record Series.
You can also access the Record Series option by right-clicking search results in Windows Media Center, or by
right-clicking a TV show that is currently airing.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
To record only the new episodes of a TV series
1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click TV, click Recorder, and then click
Recording Defaults.
2. Click the down arrow button to scroll down
3. Under the Series Only Recording Defaults section, in Show type, do one of the following:
n
Click the - or + buttons to select First run. This will record the shows with an original air date that
is less than a week old, or that are not marked as reruns.
n
Click First run & rerun to record all shows in a series, including reruns.
n
Click Live to record all shows in a series that are aired live.
Figure 15—Setting TV recording
options on a series basis
4. Click Save.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
To automatically delete recordings for a TV series
1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click TV, click Recorder, and then click
Recording Defaults.
2. Click the arrow button to go to the end of the screen.
3. Under the Series Only Recording Defaults section, click the - or + buttons to select a
Keep up to option.
4. Select the number of shows in a series that are stored in Recorded TV at one time. You can choose
to store from one to ten episodes or As many as possible. The recorder stores only up to the limit
that you indicate.
5. Click Save.
To record based on channel and time
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click recorded tv.
2. Click add recording, and then click Channel and Time.
Figure 16—Manually recording TV
based on channel and time
3. In Channel, enter the channel that you want to record.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
4. In Frequency, click the - or + button to specify how often you want to record the channel.
5. If you selected Record Once for Frequency, in Date, click - or + to specify the recording date.
6. In Start time, enter the time you want the recording to start.
7. In Stop time, enter the time you want the recording to stop.
8. Under Keep, click the - or + button to specify how long you want to keep the recorded show.
9. Click Record.
To change the title of a Channel and Time setting
If you choose to record using the Channel and Time feature, the recordings will be given a title based on
the first show in each recording, but you can also customize the title given to the recordings.
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click recorded tv.
2. Click add recording.
3. Click Channel and Time.
4. Click Change Title.
5. Enter the new title using the numeric keypad.
6. Click Save.
7. Select the channel and time you want to apply the new title to.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
To record based on keywords
Set up Windows Media Center to automatically record TV shows and movies based on keywords that are
associated with a program, such as a director’s name or a word in the title. Then, when a TV show or movie
matching the keywords airs, the program will automatically record.
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click recorded tv.
2. Click add recording.
3. Click Keyword.
Figure 17—Selecting
names or keywords to set
TV recording options
4. Click Actor name, Director name, Movie title, Program title, or Generic keyword, depending
on the keyword that you want to use for recording.
5. Type the keyword for your recording, and then click the matching keyword in the search results
and click Save.
6. Click - or + in the different categories to modify the settings that will be used for your
custom recording.
7. Click Record, and then click OK.
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WINDOWS GUIDE
Get the Most Entertainment from Windows Media Center
Record TV in Windows Media Center (continued)
To play back recorded TV
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click recorded TV.
2. Click date recorded or title, and then click the recorded TV show that you want to watch.
3. On the program info screen, click Play or Resume.
To play back a recorded movie
1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click either recorded TV or, if you have a DVD changer connected to your computer, dvd library.
2. Click date recorded or title, and then click on the recorded movie that you want to watch.
3. On the movie details screen, click Play or Resume.
To add or remove folders that Windows Media Center searches when it looks for recorded TV
1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click TV, click Recorder, and then click More
TV Locations.
2. Follow the steps in TV Discovery to add or remove locations on your hard disk that Windows Media
Center will search when it looks for recorded TV.
You can watch recorded TV files from multiple locations, but Windows Media Center will only record to the
location specified in Recorder Storage.
More Information
n
Windows Help & How to—Troubleshoot Problems with recording TV on your computer:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/f0cc7aba-db5c-48fa-ba01e00d74b5626e1033.mspx
n
Windows Help & How to—Managing recorded TV shows in Windows Media Center FAQ:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/97f1b794-907e-4428-8ae569d20aa479c21033.mspx
n
Windows Help & How to—Setup Guide listings for use in Windows Media Center: http://windows
help.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/b438589e-d38f-4c82-a4f2-7b0b687ce83d1033.mspx
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27
Sit e s M e n tioned in th is Guide
Windows Media Center Remote: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/mediacenter/buy/
default.mspx
Windows Media Center Overview: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/mediacenter/default.mspx
Windows Vista Hardware Compatibility Center: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/
Purchase Windows Media Center: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/mediacenter/buy/
default.mspx
R e lat e d Guides
Create Basic Home Videos
Use Your PC for Music
Learn more about how you can use
Windows to simplify your life with
Windows Guides
© 2008 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
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