Synopses & Reviews
Absolute Beginner¿s Guide to Windows XP Media Center
teaches the reader all about the technology that Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates calls the centerpiece of his vision for the home of the future. After all, why settle for just a television set, a DVD player/recorder, an MP3 audio jukebox, a game machine, a digital photo viewer or a personal video recorder when you can have all of the devices wrapped up inside a nimble Windows XP computer with online access? Windows XP Media Center brings it all together for the first time, and adds push-button access to rich online services that transform the idea of interactive TV from a pipedream to reality. It¿s time to put away the keyboard and mouse, grab hold of Media Center¿s remote control, and hang on for the home entertainment experience of a lifetime!
Absolute Beginner¿s Guide to Windows XP Media Center is your key to enjoying the home of the future ¿ today! Here¿s a small sample of what you¿ll find inside:
- Watch, pause, rewind and record live television with push-button ease! XP Media Center provides the functionality of standalone TiVo or Replay TV persona video recorders ¿ but with no subscription fees!
- Save your favorite TV shows and movies to your hard drive, then burn them onto DVDs that you can play anywhere!
- Shoot and edit your own home movies using XP Media Center¿s easy controls, then burn them onto DVDs that you can share with family and friends.
- Enjoy your favorite TV shows, DVD movies, music and more ¿ on your computer screen or your television.
- Rip, organize, and burn your favorite music tracks to CDs that work in any CD player.
- Capture, edit, and sort your own digital photos using XP Media Center¿s user friendly tools, then display them on your TV.
- Listen to FM Radio on your Media Center PC. You can even pause, rewind and fast forward live radio!
- Use your Media Center remote control to tap into all sorts of exciting online services from movie and music downloads to news, games, shopping, and more.
The perfect tool to get these new Windows users up and running, by focusing on how the features of the operating system are used in everyday tasks. Includes the latest coverage of Service Pack 1-the first update to Windows XP since its 10/01 release.
Although the Windows XP Media Center is designed as a consumer product, it is actually more complex than the conventional computer and home entertainment devices it replaces. That's why this book is required reading for buyers of these multitasking, media-centric machines.
About the Author
Journalist and author Steve Kovsky has covered every aspect of high technology in the past 19 years. His reports have appeared internationally in newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and on the Internet. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor for ZDNet AnchorDesk and a Technology Commentator on CBS Radio (KFWB AM 980, Los Angeles). In addition, Kovsky serves as Vice President and Editorial Director for Centric Events Group, an organizer of technical trade shows and conferences across North America. His first book, High-Tech Toys for Your TV: Secrets of TiVo, Xbox, ReplayTV, UltimateTV, and More, was published in March 2002 by Que Publishing.
Table of Contents
I. GETTING STARTED. 1. Preparing for XP Media Center.
Getting Prepared Mentally. Getting Prepared Physically. 2. Basic Setup of an XP Media Center System.
Taking Inventory. Getting Connected. 3. Getting Started and Taking the Tour.
Running the Setup Wizard. Taking In the Sights. More Orientation Tools and Options. 4. Navigating XP Media Center's “10-Foot” Interface.
Getting to Know the Media Center Remote Control. Exploring the Media Center Interface. 5. Navigating XP Media Center's “2-Foot” Interface.
Your Windows XP Desktop. Controlling Media Center with Your Mouse. Controlling Media Center with Your Keyboard. Customizing Your 2-Foot Look and Feel.
II. MY TV. 6. Watching the Show.
Why Watching TV on Your Media Center Changes Everything. Watching TV and Time-Shifting with Your Remote Control. Watching TV and Time-Shifting with Your Mouse and Keyboard. Watching Out for the Kids: Using Parental Controls. 7. Finding Shows to Record.
About the Program Guide. Using the Program Guide. 8. Recording Shows You Find.
Recording as You Watch. Recording from the Program Guide or Search Results. Recording Manually. Keyword Recording. Recording a Series. Fine-Tuning Your Recordings.
III. MY VIDEOS. 9. Playing and Organizing Your Digital Movies.
Navigating My Videos. Organizing and Sorting Videos. Watching Videos. Troubleshooting My Videos. 10. Capturing and Creating Videos with Media Center.
Connecting to Your Camcorder. Using Windows Movie Maker.
IV. PLAYING AND RECORDING DVDS. 11. Watching DVDs on an XP Media Center PC.
Basic DVD Playback. Playback Preferences: Changing DVD Settings. Troubleshooting DVD Playback. 12. Creating DVDs on an XP Media Center PC.
Choosing Your Tools. Copying and Copyrights. Troubleshooting the DVD Burning Experience.
V. MY MUSIC. 13. Preparing Your Music Collection for XP Media Center.
Supported File Formats. Putting the Music into My Music. Ripping CDs. Metadata Tags and You. 14. Playback Time: Sorting, Viewing, and Controlling Your Music.
Playing Audio CDs with Your Music Center PC. Sorting Your Collection. Controlling My Music Playback. Additional Audio Options. 15. Radio.
Setting Up Radio. Finding Radio Stations. Using Presets. Using Pause, Play, Replay, and Skip. Adjusting Radio Settings. Using Radio with My TV. 16. Customizing the Media Center Audio Experience.
Working with Playlists. Working with Internet Radio Stations in Media Center.
VI. MY PICTURES. 17. Importing and Storing Your Digital Photos.
Transferring Your Photos. Getting Your Photos into Media Center. 18. Creating Slide Shows.
Selecting Pictures. Organizing Your Pictures. Launching a Slide Show. Adding a Music Background. Selecting Transitions and Durations of Photos. Setting the Display Order for Your Slide Show. Additional Slide Show Options. 19. Preparing and Sharing Digital Images.
Accessing Picture Details. Additional Windows XP Photo Features. 20. Customizing the My Pictures Experience with Microsoft Picture It!
Opening Photos with Picture It! Touching Up Photos. Cropping, Resizing, and Creating Cutouts. Adding Text or Shapes to Your Photos. Adding Edges, Frames, and Mats. Adding Special Effects. Additional Options.
VII. ADVANCED MEDIA CENTER SETTINGS AND OPTIONS. 21. Customizing the XP Media Center Interface.
Changing Your Media Center's Appearance and Background. Turning Media Center Sounds On or Off. Setting Media Center's Parental Controls. Setting Your Privacy Options. 22. XP Media Center and Your Home Network.
Networking Your Media Center PC: What You Can and Can't Do. Types of Network Connections. Setting Up Your Network for Media Center. 23. XP Media Center and Your Internet Connection.
Establishing Internet Connectivity with Media Center. Online Spotlight 24. Downloads and Enhancements.
Making Sure You Have the Latest Version of Media Center. Special Media Center Downloads. Third-Party Software Enhancements for Media Center. 25. Hardware Features and Options for Media Center PCs.
Media Center PCs: What's the Difference? Other Media Center Hardware. Index.