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29 Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center is an innovative application, available in the Home Premium and Ultimate editions, that takes your media viewing and presentation to another level. Beyond the photo slideshows that make images come to life and the music explorer that displays the album art and information, Windows Media Center allows you to record TV and movies. If you don't have a TV tuner loaded in your PC to do the recording, you can still view previews and clips from many popular shows and cable networks.

You can even display the media from your computer to your TV, using a wireless or wired network and an additional piece of hardware called a Media Center Extender. You then can use Windows Media Center on your TV, just like you would in front of your PC. However, you can more practically display and present your pictures and videos, from the comfort of your living room.

Accessing Windows Media Center

You can open Windows Media Center from the Start menu:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Windows Media Center.

Touring Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center will open to the main menu (shown in Figure 3.32), where you can choose the desired media type. You can use the arrows that appear when hovering on the top and bottom of the list to scroll through the media types. Then, you can use the left and right arrows to scroll through the options for the particular media type.

Figure 3.32

Figure 3.32 Windows Media Center.

You can use the left arrow, in the upper-left corner of the screen to return to the previous screen. In addition, you can return to the main menu by clicking the Windows Media Center icon.

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