Chapter IV.6. Setting Up Media Center

In This Chapter

  • Figuring out where all those %$#@! wires go

  • Getting Media Center adjusted

  • Coercing your TV into submission

  • Recording TV

By the time you finish putting together your first Windows 7 Media Center (WMC) system, you may swear off assembling PCs ever again. If you can get it all in one box, you have it made. But the minute you start mixing and matching, adding home theater sound here, slapping around a set-top TV box there, and wedging that 120-inch LCD screen somewhere in the middle, you're going to find out a lot more than you ever wanted to know about Dolby 7.1, IR blasters, and DVI connectors.

In fact, one of the very best reasons for buying a WMC component system from a local store is that you can hire the company that sold you the unit to put it together for you.

Not long ago, a friend of mine told me that he was getting out of the computer business because it has just gotten too complicated. He made that announcement — you guessed it — immediately after assembling a Windows Media Center PC. Of course, he built it from scratch.

Media Center PCs combine all the frustrations of assembling a complicated PC with the joys of figuring out how to attach your satellite box, where to hook up the speakers, which stack of books to stick under the TV, how to keep all the wires from pulling each other out, and what to do with the subwoofer. The only saving grace? You don't have to worry about a video recorder. Probably.

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