Infrastructure // PC & Servers
08:36 PM

How To Set Up Windows 7 Media Center For Best TV Watching

Here's how to set up Window Home Media Center for watching TV, cable and other media.

For years, the Windows Media Center (WMC) has been something of a hidden jewel in the Windows OS. WMC is a great way to organize your digital video, music, TV, movies and more. Here's how to set it up.

To set up WMC, you'll need Windows 7 Home Premium or higher.

Also, to use WMC to its full potential, you'll want to have a TV tuner installed in your PC.

Launch WMC by clicking Start >> All Programs >> Windows Media Center.

You’ll be presented with a Welcome screen. Click Continue to get started.

Express install works just fine for most users. Click Express to proceed.

Next you will see the basic WMC interface. Use your keyboard, remote, or mouse to navigate through the menus.

Select Live TV Setup to begin the process.

TV Setup begins with you identifying the region you live in. Verify it's correct and click Next.

Now, enter your ZIP code and click Next.

Review and agree to the Program Guide Terms of Service.

A second review and agreement is needed, this time for the use of PlayReady, Microsoft’s digital rights management for premium content.

Once you’ve clicked Next, WMC installs the necessary components on your system.

Next, WMC determines the TV tuners available to your system and asks that you confirm its selection. Respond by clicking the appropriate choice and then click on Next

WMC will ask that you identify your digital cable provider. Do so and click Next.

Confirm your setup and click Next.

Now the TV program guide for your local service for up to the next two weeks will be downloaded. The guide will be updated periodically so the listings stay up-to-date.

The next step is a scan of your tuner or tuners to identify the channels you receive. The Media Center default is to show all channels that receive signals. Later on, using the Media Center Task menu, you can choose to omit channels you don't care about. For example, you might delete all foreign language channels. When you're done here, Click Finish.

Congratulations! You’ve finished installing Windows Media Center. Take time now to explore WMC and try out its functions.

Based in San Francisco Mike Rothman is a senior contributor for BYTE. You can follow him @thatworksforme or email him at

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