Convert Windows PC to Media Center PC Part 2: Configuring the Media Center application

In our last tutorial on how to convert your Windows PC to a Media Center PC, we learnt about configuring the hardware and configuring the Media Center application to adopt the new hardware. In this part, we will talk about configuring the Media Center application, and making a Media Extender with the help of Xbox 360.

To begin with, open up the Windows Media Center that is pre-installed at your PC. Go to the “TV” option and hit Enter on Live TV setup. This wizard will guide you completely throughout the setup.

Once the wizard runs its course, you will have successfully configured your Media Center with Capture or TV tuner card.

Using XBox as Media Center Extender

This part is completely for gamers. It is now time to take out your Xbox 360 and put it to use again.

How Xbox can help you

If you are an Xbox owner, then you have some real benefits here. You can just connect your Xbox to your TV and the Home network, and your TV is all set to go. There will be no extra cable or DTH connection required for your TV.

Setting Up your Xbox with your Media Center PC

The first step would be, to connect your Xbox to the Home network, via wireless or any wired interface. When you have successfully connected to your home network, you will have to follow these:

Steps to be followed on Xbox

  1. Go to “Apps” option and select “My Apps”. Then select Windows Media Center. If you are unable to view the apps, then you may need to upgrade your Xbox software, you can do so by going here.
  2. Select “Continue”.
  3. Make a note of the 8-digit setup key, visible on your screen. You will need it later.

Steps to be followed on your Media Center PC

  1. Start Windows Media Center
  2. Go to “Tasks” and then click on “Add Extender”
  3. Enter the 8-digit key that you copied down from your console
  4. Click “Next” to complete the setup.

Now on your Xbox, go to “Apps” > “My Apps” and then select “Windows Media Center”. Let it take some time to build up the new Libraries as you are using it for the first time with your Windows PC.

To navigate through the Media Center Menus, you can use the Xbox controller. But if you want a real TV remote look and then you can get an Xbox Universal Remote for around %16. But I feel that there is a no need for this, really.

You could face some problems while playing some content via your Xbox, as the Xbox doesn’t support non-Microsoft codec. To get around this, you can use one of the many transcoders out there. You can even try “Transcode 360” – that’s a really good one.

Now that you have successfully created your Media Extender, in the concluding part of this tutorial series, we will learn about scheduling, recording and streaming the recorded video.

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Lavish loves to follow up on the latest happenings in technology. He loves to try out new Windows-based software and gadgets and is currently learning JAVA. He loves to develop new software for Windows. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software is always recommended, he feels.