The user interface was redesigned and tailored for the Support for multiple tuners was added in later releases and varies depending upon the version of the operating system purchased. Support for many Windows Media Center Extender hardware devices, that had been released pre-Vista, was also dropped leaving many owners out of luck if they did not upgrade to one of the supported Windows Vista versions from the Windows XP Media Center Edition.
Also introduced to U. It also allows video game content. Each button in the main menu, which contains sections such as "Music", "Videos", and "TV", gets encased in a box when selected, and for each selection, a submenu comes up, extending horizontally. When any of the options is selected, the entries for each are presented in a grid-like structure, with each item being identified by album art , if it is an audio file , or a thumbnail image if it is a picture , a video or a TV recording, and other related options, such as different views for the music collection if "Music" is selected, extend horizontally along the top of the grid.
Similarly, other items are identified by suggestive artwork. The grid displaying the items is also extended horizontally, and the selected item is enlarged compared to the rest. Other features of the WMC include: Tasks button that provides access to jobs such as setting up and configuring a media center extender device. Any video playing is overlaid on the background of the user interface , if the UI is navigated while the video is still playing.
It is not available as an update for existing WMC users. Much of the functionality added with TV Pack was included with the version of Media Center included in Windows 7 , along with an update to the user interface.
Some notable enhancements in the WMC include a new mini guide, a new scrub bar, the option to color code the guide by show type, and Internet content that is more tightly integrated with regular TV via the guide. When browsing the media library, items that don't have album art are shown in a range of foreground and background color combinations instead of using white text on a blue background.
When the left or right remote control buttons are held down to browse the library quickly, a two-letter prefix of the current album name is prominently shown as a visual aid.
The Picture Library includes new slideshow capabilities, and individual pictures can be rated. Also, while browsing a media library, a new column appears at the top named "Shared. Windows 8 and 8. List of features removed in Windows 10 During the Build developers' conference , a Microsoft executive confirmed that Media Center, with its TV receiver and PVR functionality, would not be updated for or included with Windows 10 , thus the product would be discontinued.
Since the update a large number of reports have been posted to the Microsoft Media Center Feedback page  indicating that the EPG data feed from Rovi has significant data quality issues relating to incorrect channel lineups, outdated and incorrect program data and failure to download the EPG data from Rovi through Microsoft's servers. Features[ edit ] Media Center uses TV tuner devices to play back and record TV shows from standard antenna, cable or satellite signals.
Users can record television programs manually or schedule recording via the electronic program guide. Recordings can be burned to Video DVD or, barring copy restrictions, be transferred to a portable media player. Media Center supports both analog and digital tuners and allows up to six of each tuner type analog, digital over-the-air , Clear QAM , CableCard to be configured.
All the tuners use the same guide data but it can be edited and configured to include additional channels such as Clear QAM not found or included in most Titan Guides. While playing live television, the program keeps a buffer that allows users to rewind or pause live TV and skip commercials. A third party program MCEbuddy allows automatic commercial skipping on recorded programs. Media Center can stream both live and recorded contents to Windows Media Center Extenders such as the Xbox console, but other Windows computers can just access recorded content.
Playback of content on television is possible through Media Center Extenders or by directly connecting a computer running Windows Media Center to a television. The menus of Windows Media Center are displayed in a foot user interface suitable for viewing on large screen televisions and can be navigated using various remote controls. Windows Media Center PCs require a sensor to be able to interact with the remote control.
To advertise Media Center support, remote controls must also have certain buttons such as the Green Media Center logo Start button and buttons for navigation, playback and volume controls, power and channel flipping.
Music albums are arranged with accompanying album art that can be downloaded off the Internet automatically or added manually into Media Center. Users can create playlists of different songs or albums as well. While playing music, the user can pause and fast forward songs and view visualizations. Analog FM radio support is also available if the user's TV tuner supports it. Media Center allows users to browse pictures and play them in slideshows, as well as play video files. Media can be categorized by name, date, tags , and other file attributes.
In addition, users can organize and play films through the "Movie Library" feature introduced in Windows Vista Media Center. Through the "Internet TV" feature, users can also stream television and web shows from select content providers.
Microsoft's Zune cannot use the sync function, but can play Media Center recorder TV files when they are copied to a Zune monitored folder. While synchronizing television shows, Windows Media Center encodes the shows using Windows Media Encoder to a Windows Media Video format at a lower quality than the original format used for viewing on the desktop media center. This is to complement the limited storage space and processing power of such portable devices. Optionally, music can also be re-encoded to a smaller file size upon synchronization.
The functionality of Windows Media Center can be extended by three different types of applications: Presentation Layer applications can have full access to both the. NET Framework as well as the Windows Media Center API, with the latter exposing a managed object model to access and manipulate the current states of the media management and playback, live television, video recording as well as the presentation capabilities of Windows Media Center.
MCML is used to define the user interface, with animation, text input, navigation, data binding, and local storage support available from the markup itself.
If custom code or other functionality is required to implement a certain feature, CLI assemblies can be referred. Any CLI language can be used to write the code-behind assemblies that implement the required functionality. Content which defines what that UI element will display, Properties to control the presentation aspects of the element, Locals which enumerate the set of private state data for the element, and Rules which allow the attributes to be modified based on certain triggers.
By modifying these attributes at runtime, either from markup or code behind classes, the interface is generated. However, in the latter case, the code is untrusted; only the. NET classes that are marked as safe for use by Internet-originating code can be used. Before an application can be used, it has to be registered with Windows Media Center.
An application can either register itself as a top-level menu item, in any of the sub-menus depending on the type of application , as an autoplay handler, into the Program Library the menu category for all programs , or as a background application without a user interface running as long as a WMC session continues.
HTML applications are also not fully supported for streaming to extenders.