Media Center Edition

Despite popular belief, television is still great and still very alive. Sure, technology and the internet are awesome. But what I’ve found to be more awesome is the combination of the two. Windows Media Center Edition brings my TV to my computer. No longer do I need two seperate screens in my room (hah, but I do anyway). I just pull up Media Center and can tune into my cable TV. Besides, I watch the History Channel like it’s my job and I’m glad I can take screenshots from Modern Marvels:

Modern Marvels

In fact, I use Media Center to watch TV more than I use my bigscreen. Why? For beginners, MCE downloads program data into the ‘Guide’. When we had basic cable I had to sit and watch the TV Guide channel for 10 minutes before I realized there was absolutely nothing on. MCE let’s me search and sort by genre (Movie, Children, etc).

My favorite feature is the ability to record shows. I have a bunch of storage space (about 250g) and I have no problem finding space to record three or four different programs each day. The best part is I can Suspend the computer and it will automatically wake itself up to record shows when I’m not around.

Media Center PicturesI’ve also found Media Center’s ‘My Pictures’ to be a great feature. I can watch professional looking slideshows with no effort at all. It’s also simple enough to play music in the background. When you’ve got a nice looking slideshow all you need to do is then hit the ‘Burn’ button and you’re good to go.

But, some of my favorite features are found under the ‘Online Spotlight’ section. Here I can pull up MTV’s Overdrive and watch music videos, on demand, with my remote. I can visit Comedy Central’s channel and watch clips. Even the Associated Press has news clips and a scrolling news ticker.

If Media Center’s Music capabilities were a bit better (it doesn’t handle my 12,000 MP3s very well) then I’d really have no reason to ever close the window. So, to recap, Media Center is the best because:

  • Screenshots,
  • Built in TV guide,
  • Record shows (and even entire series),
  • Picture slide shows,
  • Online Spotlight, and
  • MCE remote and keyboard

In short, I don’t think most people realize how useful Media Center Edition is. I use it constantly and can’t picture myself having another computer without it. I’m sure Nathan would agree.
[tags]tv, entertainment, media center, mce, windows, pictures[/tags]