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Setting Up Windows Media Center (Windows 7)

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This document applies to HP desktop computers with Windows 7 Premium.
With Windows Media Center and a TV tuner in your computer, you can watch, pause, and record live TV. To find out what is on TV, connect to a TV source from an antenna, cable, or satellite, and download local listings to the Windows Media Center program guide.
You can use your computer as a DVR (digital video recorder) to record TV and movies directly onto your computer to watch when you want. With Media Center, if you are going to be away when your show airs, browse and search the program guide and set it to record a single show or an entire series. When you are ready to watch your recorded show, use Media Center to browse through your recorded TV programs. If you are interrupted while watching live TV, click Pause to step away for a few minutes, and then click Play to pick up where you left off, or click Record to watch the rest of the show later.
In addition, you can listen to music, look at your photo collection on your TV screen, and view online entertainment such as Internet TV. Internet TV offers movies and TV shows, all displayed in a convenient program guide; and watching Internet TV does not require a TV tuner.

Before you begin

Make sure you have the following items available before setting up the computer:
  • Coaxial (TV) cable to connect each device that accepts a television signal (set-top/receiver box, VCR, and the computer).
  • A cable to connect the TV to the computer such as S-video cable, optical, DVI, or HDMI. Which cable you need depends on which ports are available on your computer and which ports you have on your TV.
  • A flashlight, if the installation area is dark.
  • To use the TV Program Guide, you must have an Internet connection.

Step 1: Set up the TV signal from a cable TV box or satellite receiver

There are many different ways to connect the television signal to the computer and TV. The following steps are for a basic setup with a cable or satellite connection and a video recorder or player. For more detailed instructions, see the using and setup guides for your products.
  1. Connect the coaxial cable from the wall jack to the line-in connector on the set-top box or satellite receiver.
  2. Connect another coaxial cable to the line-out connector on the set-top box or satellite receiver.
  3. Connect the cable from the line-out connector on the cable box or satellite receiver to the TV-In jack on the computer.
  4. If you are using a video player or recorder (DVR, VCR, Blu-ray), do the following:
    Connect a coaxial cable from the wall jack to the line-in connector on the player or recorder.
    Connect another coaxial cable to the line-out connector on the player or recorder.
    Connect the cable from the line-out connector on the player or recorder to the TV-In jack on the computer.
    TIP If your computer has an ATSC or DVB-T digital TV tuner, you can connect an antenna directly to your computer to receive digital over-the-air broadcasting.
    TIP Do not connect a game console such as an X-Box, PS3, or Wii to the TV-In connector on the computer because of a small time delay while the signal is processed. Instead, connect the game console directly to the monitor or TV using another input such as DVI or HDMI.

Step 2: Set up the remote control for use with a set-top box

To use your remote control on a computer that receives a TV signal from a set-top box, you need to connect an IR emitter cable, also called a blaster cable, between your computer and the set-top box.
Figure 1: IR emitter (blaster) cable
IR emitter (blaster) cable
  1. Connect the IR emitter cable to the IR Out connector on the computer.
  2. On the other end of the IR emitter cable, remove the paper from the backing tape, and then press the end of the cable over the remote IR sensor window on the set-top box. To locate the remote IR sensor window, shine a flashlight through the plastic on the front of the set-top box.
    Figure 2: Removing the tape and pressing the end of the cable over the IR sensor on the set-top box
    Removing the tape and pressing the end of the cable over the IR sensor on the set-top box
    NOTE:When you first set up the remote control, hold the remote control very close to the IR sensor on the computer.
    TIP You can split the signal into separate paths that can connect to different source inputs on your TV. For example, connecting a set-top box and your computer into two source inputs on the TV through a splitter enables you to use the TV remote control to change between the set-top box and your computer.

Step 3: Configure the TV tuner, TV signal, and Program Guide

Use the following steps to configure the TV tuner and signal, and the TV Program Guide:
NOTE:You must have a compatible TV tuner installed in the computer to view live TV in Windows Media Center. A TV tuner is not required to watch Internet TV, but you must be connected to the Internet.
  1. Turn on the computer and connect to the Internet.
  2. Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Center. The Welcome page displays.
  3. On the Welcome page, click Continue. The Get Started page displays.
    Figure 3: Welcome to Windows Media Center
    Welcome to Windows Media Center
  4. On the Get Started page, click Express.
    Express Setup automatically sets up Windows Media Center with the recommended options, and opens Media Center when the setup is complete.
    NOTE:You can return to Setup later from the Windows Media Center start screen by selecting Tasks, Settings, General, Windows Media Center Setup, Run Setup Again.
    Figure 4: Get Started screen
    Get Started screen
  5. Scroll to TV, and then click Live TV setup.
    Figure 5: Setup information
    Setup information
  6. The TV Setup page displays. Choose Yes if your region is displayed correctly and click Next to continue.
    If your region is not displayed correctly, click No, select your region, and click Next.
    Figure 6: Selecting your region
    Selecting your region
  7. On the ZIP Code page, type in your ZIP Code, and then click Next.
    Figure 7: Type in your ZIP Code
    Type in your ZIP Code
  8. The Program Guide Terms of Service page displays. Click I agree, and then click Next.
    Figure 8: Program Guide terms of service
    Program Guide terms of service
  9. Wait while Media Center downloads TV setup data for your region.
    Figure 9: Downloading TV setup data
    Downloading TV setup data
  10. Wait while Media Center examines the TV signals. This might take several minutes.
    Figure 10: Examining the TV signals
    Examining the TV signals
  11. When Media Center is done examining the TV signals, the results display on the screen. For example, if the TV tuner is a dual tuner connected to a cable TV connection, Media Center displays the following:
    Digital Cable (Clear QAM) (1 tuner), and Analog Cable (1 tuner). Yours might be different, depending on the TV tuner in the computer.
    If the configuration is correct and complete, click Yes, configure TV with these results. Then click Next.
    NOTE:If you are presented with a list of providers, select your signal provider from the list.
    Figure 11: TV signal configuration
    TV signal configuration
  12. Media Center displays which TV signals will be configured. Click Next to confirm.
    Figure 12: Confirming the TV signal configuration (connected to cable)
    Confirming the TV signal configuration (connected to cable)
  13. Wait while Media Center downloads the TV Program Guide. When the guide is finished downloading, click Next.
    Figure 13: Downloading the guide
    Downloading the guide
  14. When the guide has finished downloading, Media Center scans for more TV channels. Wait while this takes place.
    Figure 14: Scanning for more channels
    Scanning for more channels
  15. When Media Center is done scanning for channels, the results display on the screen. Make sure the settings are correct, and then click Finish.
    Figure 15: TV setup finished
    TV setup finished
  16. Windows Media Center returns to the main menu.
    You can now use Media Center to watch TV or movies, or listen to music.
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