Chapter 25: Mastering Windows Media Center
use. To get started, click the “Custom setup” option, read the Welcome screen, and
then click Next twice. Setup asks you to join the Microsoft Customer Experience
Improvement Project, which helps Microsoft determine how you use Windows
Media Center, and periodically asks you to fill out surveys. Joining this program is
optional, but it does help Microsoft improve product use and enjoyment. Once you
have chosen whether to join the program and you click Next, you are asked for per-
mission to connect to the Internet to retrieve album art information, additional
music information including artist and composer, and other assorted pieces of infor-
mation about the media you have listed for use in Windows Media Center. Click Yes
and then click Next twice. The wizard will inform you that the required part of the
setup is complete.
At this point, you have four options from which to choose (see Figure 25-2):
Optimize how Windows Media Center looks on your display
Selecting this option brings up the Display Configuration screen. Click the
“Watch video” button, and then click either Yes or No to watch a video that
explains the benefits of display configuration. Although you don’t have to
watch the video, doing so will teach you how to eliminate moiré patterns, opti-
mize the colors on your screen, and overcome contrast or brightness issues with
The next section requests information about the display device connected to
your machine. You have several choices: Monitor, Flat panel, Projector, Televi-
sion, and Built-in display. Select the correct device from the list, and select the
correct cable used to connect the device to your machine. You have three
options to choose from: Composite or S-Video; DVI, VGA, or HDMI; and Com-
ponent cable. Selecting the proper connection helps Windows Media Center
optimize itself to your system by using the best settings for each type of cable
and device connected to your system.
Once you have selected the correct cable type, you must supply information con-
cerning the display width of your computer. You can select from standard or
widescreen format. The standard format uses a ratio of 4:3. The widescreen for-
mat uses a ratio of 16:9, which is the same format as a movie screen. These
choices enable you to optimize your display settings based on the media formats
and device configurations available. After you make your choices, Windows
Media Center displays a final screen listing the settings you have chosen and
saved in your custom configuration.
Set up your speakers
Select this option to set up your speakers for use with Windows Media Center.
You must know how many speakers connect to your system, and then you must
test your speakers. Three speaker selections are available for use with Windows
Media Center: two speakers, 5.1 surround speakers, and 7.1 surround speakers.