Mastering Windows Media Center25
Microsoft introduced Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) with Windows XP.
The company has followed through and added the functionality of MCE to Win-
dows Vista. In Windows Vista, Windows Media Center gives you a “living room”
computer that will connect to your home entertainment system and allow you to
manage your media easily without the need for a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. You
can connect directly to your television for a display, and you can use an optional
remote control with Windows Media Center.
Windows Media Center allows you to control how you watch television by letting
you record programs and schedule content, and it gives you an easy-to-use schedul-
ing window so that you can view programming many days in advance. You can also
use Windows Media Center to play your digital music, watch movies, and even burn
a DVD, so you can share your content or archive it for later use. This chapter dis-
cusses the different features of Windows Media Center and gives you detailed infor-
mation on how to set it up and purchase the correct hardware to make Windows
Media Center come alive for your entertainment.
Understanding Windows Media Center Requirements
Only computers running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ulti-
mate have Windows Media Center. When considering using Windows Media Cen-
ter, you should ask yourself the following questions:
• What type of entertainment equipment do I want to connect to my computer?
• What type of network bandwidth will I need for media services?
• Where do I want to locate my computer?
Each question leads to different requirements for using Windows Media Center and
each feature that Windows Media Center provides requires different software and