Chapter 7, Build a Windows-Based Home Theater PC
3. Install .NET Framework, Windows Media Player 9,
and DirectX 9
Although not absolutely required by the HTPC we’re building, youll want
to download a few things from Microsoft. They’re all free and are signifi-
cantly better than the previous versions. You can use Windows Update to
make installation easy.
1. Use your web browser and go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
Click Yes if youre prompted for permission to install components.
2. Click Scan For Updates. Windows Update will examine your computer
for installed updates and report them back to the web site to determine
which updates are still required.
3. Select Windows XP from the navigation tree on the left.
You’ll find all three of the components youre looking for in this section.
Unfortunately, DirectX and Media Player must be installed individually, so
you have to do all three separately.
1. Find Microsoft .NET Framework version 1.1 (or a newer version, if
available) and click Add.
2. Click “Review and install updates. Any critical updates that you’ve
missed will automatically be added.
3. Click Install Now and then click Accept to accept the license agreement
and begin the installation.
When the installation is complete, click Windows XP in the tree on the left
to go back in and repeat the process for DirectX 9.0a End-User Runtime.
Restart the computer when the installation is finished.
Windows Media Player 9 is not essential to the success to this project; Version 8,
which ships with Windows XP, will also work. However, Version 9 is a significant
update, and it’s free.
When the machine is finished booting, go back to the Windows Update site
and add Windows Media Player 9 Series. Go to Review And Install Updates
and click Install Now.
The User Interface
In this phase youll be introducing the user interface to the home theater
PC. Youll begin by installing the software that provides the frontend, and
configure it to accommodate new components that youll be adding in the
Services Layer.
Enabling Automatic
Update for Windows
You can configure your PC to check
with the Microsoft Windows Update
web site and automatically install
critical updates at a scheduled time.
To enable this behavior:
1. Go to Start Control Panel.
2. Select Performance and
3. Click the System Control Panel
4. Select the Automatic Updates tab
and ensure there is a checkmark
next to “Keep my computer up to
5. Select “Automatically download
the updates, and install them on a
schedule I specify” and click OK.
6. Your computer will keep itself well
maintained, and you can just keep
watching TV.
One more thing: some updates
require a reboot. Windows will auto-
matically reboot when necessary.
If you want your HTPC to behave
like an appliance, then create a user
account for using the HTPC and con-
figure it to log on automatically. (See
the sidebar on the next page.)
The User Interface
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