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Recording Movies

You can record movies from the Movies Guide in a variety of ways, which is perfect if you don’t have time right now to watch your favorite films but don’t want to miss them. You can use the On Later, Genres, and Top Rated menus as the starting points for recording, depending upon where your movie is listed.

Recording from the Movies Guide

To record a movie from the Movies Guide, select a movie using any of the menus, open the Movie Details menu for the movie, and select Record from the menu.

When you select a movie for recording, its Movie Details listing displays the message, “This program will record,” and the movie listing displays the red dot icon WMC uses to indicate recording (see Figure 5.13).

Figure 5.13

Figure 5.13 When you select a movie for recording, its Movies Guide listing indicates you’ve selected it for recording.

Recording Movies Not Listed in the Guide

What if you want to record a movie, but it’s not available in the Movies Guide yet? Are you stuck checking the guide every day from now until...whenever? Thankfully, no.

From the Similar Movies menu (refer to Figure 5.6), you can select movies to record, even if they’re not listed in the guide. When you select an unlisted movie to record in the future, the Movie Info dialog lists a Record in Future option (Figure 5.14 A). Select this option, and the movie will be automatically scheduled for recording the next time it appears in the Movies Guide (Figure 5.14 B), and the Movie Info dialog also reminds you the program will record (Figure 5.14 C).

Figure 5.14

Figure 5.14 Selecting a non-Guide movie for recording (A), confirming the selection (B), and viewing the reminder (C).

You can also select a non-Guide movie from the Movies search shown in Figure 5.11 for future recording. Press the Record button on your WMC remote or right-click the movie and select Record from the menu.

Recording from the Search Tool

The Search tool can be used for very fast selection of movies to record, especially if you know what you’re looking for. When you search by title or keyword, highlight the movie you want to record and press the Record button on your remote. If you prefer, you can still open the Movie Details dialog and select Record instead.

Searching by category involves a couple of additional steps: First, you must select Movies and then select the genre you’re interested in. Then you can record right from the title listing.

When you search by Movie Star or Director name, highlight the picture you want to record and press the Record button on your remote.

Customizing Recording Options

The Movie Info dialog lists Record Settings or Advanced Recording as a menu option. Record Settings is displayed after you select the movie to record, while Advanced Recording is displayed for films you haven’t yet selected for recording. Select either of these options to open the Record Settings dialog and view (or change) the settings that will be used to record the movie (Figure 5.15).

Figure 5.15

Figure 5.15 Adjusting recording settings for best quality and “permanent” storage.

You can choose from three options in the Record Settings menu: Stop, Quality, and Keep. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Stop: Movies generally start and stop on time (unlike some types of sports events), so you should use the default Stop: On Time setting.
  • Quality: If you are building a permanent WMC movie library, or if you plan to burn a DVD of your movie before deleting it, use the Quality: Best setting. For movies you are merely watching once, use lower quality settings, depending on how much disk space you want to use and how critical viewing quality is to your enjoyment. Note that if you have digital cable, broadcast TV, or satellite TV service, selecting lower-quality settings has no effect on quality or disk space used.
  • Keep: If you are building a permanent WMC movie library, select Keep: Until I Delete. With this option, you’re in charge of how long the recording stays on your system. If you have plenty of space but don’t plan to keep the recording, use the default Until Space Needed setting. Want an incentive to watch your recordings right away? Choose After 1 Week. To automatically delete a movie after you watch it, choose Until I Watch.

Be sure to save your changes by clicking Save.


For more information about how much disk space is used by TV/movie recording, see “Crunching the Numbers: TV Recording” in Chapter 2, Equipping Your PC for Media Center,” p. 29.

Canceling a Recording

Change your mind about recording a movie? Whether you realize that you selected the wrong movie, want to record a different showing to avoid a recording conflict, or just plain changed your mind, it’s easy to cancel a recording.

You can look for films scheduled to be recorded by checking the Movies Guide or searching for the film title. The films that will be recorded show up with a red dot in the listing (refer to Figure 5.12) or have a red dot overlaying the thumbnail (refer to Figure 5.13). If you want to cancel a recording, open the Recorded TV menu, select View Scheduled, and scroll through the listing to the movie you want to drop from the schedule (Figure 5.16).

Figure 5.16

Figure 5.16 Use the Recorded TV menu to view scheduled recordings, and choose a picture to cancel from the recording schedule.

After you find the picture, open the Movies Info dialog and select Do Not Record (Figure 5.17). The movie is removed from the schedule.

Figure 5.17

Figure 5.17 Using the Do Not Record option in the Movie Details menu to cancel recording.

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