Chapter 15. Digital Media in the Living Room

In This Chapter

  • Understanding how Media Center has evolved over the years

  • Seeing how Media Center has changed in Windows 7

  • Configuring Windows Media Center

  • Touring the Media Center user interface

  • Accessing the Media Center digital media experiences

  • Extending Media Center into other rooms with Xbox 360 and other Extenders

  • Synchronizing Media Center with portable devices and laptops

  • Using Media Center to burn your own CDs and DVDs

Windows Media Center is one of the most innovative and entertaining technologies Microsoft has ever added to Windows. Essentially a wonderful, remote control– accessible front end to all of your digital media content, Windows Media Center helps you enjoy live and recorded TV shows, and digital videos, photos, and music. Media Center is equally at home in your living room or bedroom as it is in the home office or on a laptop during a cross-country flight. And in Windows 7, the Media Center environment has further evolved with added functionality and an improved user interface. It has also been made available in more versions of the operating system instead of just one or two as it was with Windows XP and Vista. Thus, it will reach a far wider audience than it did previously. In this chapter, we examine Microsoft's digital media solution for the living room, Media Center, as well as related products such as Media Center Extenders.

A Short History of Media Center

In January 2002, shortly after the release of Windows XP, Microsoft ...

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