Synopses & Reviews
Connect! Create! Play! And discover digital home entertainment made easy with Windows Vista, Windows Media Center, and Xbox 360. This book is full of activities that help you create a vivid entertainment experience in every room of your home. It’s loaded with easy how-to’s, helpful hints, and troubleshooting tips to help you focus on the fun. Let your imagination run wild and take a front row seat as you enjoy eye-popping graphics, 3D gaming on the big screen, and stunning cinematic experiences—all with one remote!
Discover how to:
- Transform one PC into a hub for entertainment throughout your entire home
- Bring home the concert hall and movie theater with dazzling sound and hi-def, big-screen picture
- Create digital slide shows, home movies, photo albums, and music libraries to share throughout the home
- Rent and download movies, record your favorite shows, watch them on your time
- Game on! Download the hottest games or your retro favorites, and match wits online
- Customize your system and set parental controls to meet the needs of the whole family
About the Author
Greg Slack, MCSE, is an experienced IT professional and a high-tech gadget wizard. In his own home, he created a jaw-dropping Windows Vista–based entertainment system complete with surround sound in every room—bringing his favorite action movies to life. Now, he brings his digital media expertise to your family. Warning—your neighbors might get jealous!
Table of Contents
Dedication; Acknowledgments; Introduction; Getting Ready for Media Center; Support; Technical Matters; Chapter 1: Media Center Overview; 1.1 Learn Windows Media Center Basics; 1.2 Know Where Content Comes From; 1.3 Navigate Media Center; 1.4 Work with Libraries; 1.5 Understand What Types of Files Are Supported; 1.6 Use Media Center Throughout Your Home; 1.7 Chapter Summary; Chapter 2: Understanding Audio/Video Formats and Connectivity Issues; 2.1 Get a High-Level View of Audio Formats; 2.2 Get a High-Level View of Video Interfaces; 2.3 Understand Connectivity Concepts; 2.4 Meet the Standard Home Entertainment Components You Need to Know; 2.5 Chapter Summary; Chapter 3: Working with Networks; 3.1 Understand Wireless Technology; 3.2 Set Up Your Wireless Network; 3.3 Chapter Summary; Chapter 4: Obtaining Theater-Quality Sound; 4.1 Think of Sound as Air in Motion; 4.2 Explore Your Home Entertainment Environment; 4.3 Stereo Receiver Considerations; 4.4 Incorporate Your Media Center PC; 4.5 Planning Speaker Placement; 4.6 Get Optimum Sound; 4.7 Chapter Summary; Chapter 5: Hardware Basics; 5.1 Meet the Minimum System Requirements; 5.2 Use the Windows Experience Index; 5.3 Chapter Summary; Chapter 6: Using Media Center Throughout Your Home; 6.1 Set Up Media Center; 6.2 Use Media Center Throughout Your Home; 6.3 Connect Any Media Center Extender; 6.4 Set Up Xbox 360 as a Windows Media Center Extender; 6.5 Set Up a Windows Media Center Extender Device; 6.6 Add the HD DVD Player; 6.7 Chapter Summary; Managing Your Home Entertainment System; Chapter 7: Accessing and Organizing Your Media; 7.1 Organize Your Libraries; 7.2 Optimize Media Center; 7.3 Chapter Summary; Chapter 8: Setting Up Voice Commands; 8.1 Get Started with Speech Recognition; 8.2 Turn On Speech Recognition on Your Media Center PC; 8.3 Use Media Center with Speech Recognition; 8.4 Chapter Summary; Chapter 9: Working with Media Center Controls and Settings; 9.1 Work with General Settings; 9.2 Set Up Music Visualizations; 9.3 Set Closed Captioning Options; 9.4 Chapter Summary; Chapter 10: Watching and Recording TV; 10.1 Get the Goods on the Guide; 10.2 Navigate the Guide; 10.3 Watch Live TV; 10.4 Record TV Shows; 10.5 Play Recorded TV Shows; 10.6 Chapter Summary; Chapter 11: Finding and Downloading Online Media; 11.1 Explore Online Media; 11.2 Subscribe to a Service; 11.3 Download Media from a Service; 11.4 Chapter Summary; Chapter 12: Watching DVDs and Movies; 12.1 Set Up Media Center for Your DVDs; 12.2 Play DVDs Through Media Center; 12.3 Burn a TV Program or Movie to a DVD; 12.4 Chapter Summary; Music and Memories; Chapter 13: Working with Windows Media Player; 13.1 Get to Know Media Player 11; 13.2 Navigate Media Player; 13.3 Sync Portable Devices; 13.4 Rip CDs for Your Music Library; 13.5 Share Your Media; 13.6 Chapter Summary; Chapter 14: Finding and Playing Online Music, Sports, and News; 14.1 Explore More Music; 14.2 Chapter Summary; Chapter 15: Mastering Your Music Collection; 15.1 Use the Music Library; 15.2 Access Your Music Using the Views; 15.3 Use Search; 15.4 Use Play All; 15.5 Chapter Summary; Chapter 16: Creating Photo Slide Shows and Editing Your Pictures; 16.1 Create a Slide Show; 16.2 Edit Pictures with Photo Gallery; 16.3 Burn a Slide Show to a DVD; 16.4 Chapter Summary; Chapter 17: Working with Movie Maker; 17.1 Get to Know Movie Maker; 17.2 Understand Video Formats; 17.3 Import Existing Videos; 17.4 Make Camera Connections; 17.5 Make a Movie with Movie Maker; 17.6 Publish a Movie to Your Computer; 17.7 Chapter Summary; Get Your Game On; Chapter 18: Healthy Gaming; 18.1 Get to Know Xbox 360; 18.2 Use the Xbox 360 Dashboard; 18.3 Use Xbox Live; 18.4 Chapter Summary; Chapter 19: Playing with the Xbox Controller, Downloads, and Games; 19.1 Use the Xbox 360 Controller; 19.2 Download Games; 19.3 Access the Active Downloads List; 19.4 Play Games Using Windows Vista and Media Center; 19.5 Chapter Summary; Chapter 20: Playing Games with the Family; 20.1 Understand ESRB Game Ratings; 20.2 Apply Parental Controls in Xbox 360; 20.3 Speak to Other Gamers; 20.4 Explore These Top-Five Family Games; 20.5 Chapter Summary; Chapter 21: Working with Xbox Media, Events, and Accessories; 21.1 Use the Media Blade on Xbox 360; 21.2 Connect with Media Center; 21.3 Go to Some Events; 21.4 Buy Some Accessories; 21.5 Chapter Summary; Extras for Everyone; Chapter 22: Making the Most of Windows Vista; 22.1 Explore the Ease of Access Center; 22.2 Run Windows Aero; 22.3 Use Windows CardSpace; 22.4 Chapter Summmmmmmary; Chapter 23: Troubleshooting Tips and Shortcuts; 23.1 Hot Topics; 23.2 Keyboard Shortcuts; 23.3 TV; 23.4 Voice Recognition; 23.5 Video; 23.6 Music; 23.7 Cameras; 23.8 Xbox 360; About the Authors;