With the HTPC built, the final steps are to install and configure software, connect the HTPC to the cable and TV, and learn how to use the thing. Or at least we thought those would be the final steps. As it turned out, we needed to make a few changes before we could use the system.
We opted out of the Microsoft upgrade merry-go-round with Windows 2000, so we never install Windows XP except on testbed systems. We knew from experience with other systems that the ATi Multimedia Center(MMC) software runs well on Windows 2000, so to begin we installed Windows 2000. Ordinarily, we’re very choosy about which Windows updates to apply, but the ATi MMC software requires the latest everything from Microsoft, so we fired up Windows Update and told it to have its way with us. A couple hours and many reboots later, we had a fully updated Windows 2000 system, with the current versions of DirectX, Media Player, and so on.
Installing the ATi software is straightforward. Insert the CD in the drive and let ‘er rip. ATi provides installation wizards to configure the software appropriately for your environment using sane defaults. For example, Figure 6-51 shows one of the ATi wizard screens prompting us to choose a recording format. In each case, the wizard presents a sane default choice and explains the reason for that selection. Selecting a different option displays a concise explanation of when and why you might want to choose it.
Figure 6-51. The ATI ...