If you have no idea what Window Media Center (WMC) is that is okay. Basically WMC is in all in one Media Center and TV DVR application. It allows you to completely customize and organize your collection of media and also watch and record live television. Here is a quick introduction video on WMC by my good friend Adam:
On a clean install and first run of Media Center you should be able to setup everything in one run by selecting the Custom Setup, if you choose the default Quick Setup option it will setup default options which are usually fine. However you will want to fine tune them.
Setup Tuners: Usually under TV you will find the Setup TV option, or you can go to Tasks > Settings >TV > TV Signal > Setup TV Signal. Simply follow the steps provided to setup your tuners. If you plug in the TV Tuner and Windows does not find it than make sure you go online and download your drivers yourself and install them. There should be Windows 7 drivers by now, if not use the Vista drivers as they usually work just fine.
Setup Live TV Settings: Now that you have your Tuners set you might want to tweak your Live TV Recorder.
- Under Tasks select Settings
- Select TV
- Select Recorder (Set your record drive to where you want to record your shows to. I recommend your eSata drive. If your drive is dedicated than set the Maximum TV Limit to the max.)
- Save your settings and go into Recording Defaults
- My preferred settings are as follows:
- Keep: Until space needed
- Start when possible: 3 minutes before
- Stop when possible: 3 minutes after
- Preferred audio language: Original program language
- Series Only Recording Defaults:
- Show type: New
- Channels: Any channel
- Airtime: Anytime
- Keep up to: As many as possible
Setup Libraries: Libraries inside of media center are basically locations where specific areas look for media. I point all of my video files (except movies) to the videos library, all of my movies to movies, etc. These libraries automatically map to your Libraries inside of Windows 7 so If you add a new folder in your Windows library it will automatically be added inside of media center which is nice.
Setup Optimization: Since your Revo will be on 24 hours a day it is important to have Media Center run maintenance and optimization during the night.
- Under Tasks click on Settings.
- Select General
- Select Optimization
- Check perform optimization and set a time, then save.
Codec packs: Media center out of the box will play all of your AVI files and anything else native to windows such as WMV and MP3. One of the most popular high def file formats is MKV. However out of the box Media Center does not support this. One way to to fix this is to install a codec pack, Shark007 and K-lite are very popular. However, installing these despite adding MKV playback broke my Live TV feed. One thing that I installed and did not effect anything was DivX which includes their tech preview. This allows MKV files to be streamed to any extender and should allow MKV files to be played inside media player and media center, however for me I got no sound. I attempted to install AAC3Filter, but this made all of my AVI files audio out of sync. So for me I didn't install anything, however if you want to be experimental then I would recommend going with the Shark007 pack as it has the highest success and the developer is very active if you do have any issues.