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How to Record a TV Show Using Windows 7’s Windows Media Center

The Windows Media Center is the primary entertainment component of Windows 7. You can use the Media Center’s sleek interface to watch and record your favorite TV shows right on your PC, either when you watch them or, by using your TV guide to schedule recording ahead of time, when you aren't even near you computer.

When you watch recorded TV shows in Media Center, you can use the Skip button (the one with the triangle pointing right against a vertical bar on either the Media Center’s playback controls or the Media Center remote control) to skip over all those annoying commercials.

If you’re watching a program and decide you want to record it, just click the Record button on the playback controls displayed in the lower-right corner of the Media Center window (or on the Media Center Remote).

Here's how you schedule Windows Media Center to record a program in the future:

  1. Choose Start→All Programs→Windows Media Center.

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    You can also press the green button on the Media Center remote control.

  2. Double-click TV on the Media Center main menu.

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    Scroll vertically through the main menu items.

  3. Click the Guide option or press the Guide button on the Media Center remote.

    You’ll see your online TV guide, where you can select the program to record.

    Before you can watch live TV in Windows’s Media Center, your computer has to be equipped with a TV tuner card and hooked up either to your local cable system or to a satellite TV dish. You also have to go through Windows 7 Media Center’s Live TV Setup process.

  4. Select a program you want to record.

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    Use the arrow keys to select the time and channel of a program in the onscreen TV guide.

  5. Press the Enter key to display a Program Info screen.

    Decide what you want to do:

    • Click its Record button (or Press the Record button on the Media Center remote) to set a timer to record the show.

    • Click the Record Series button on the Program Info Media Center screen to record all episodes of a show.

    • Click the Do Not Record button if you want to stop a program from recording.

    If you plan to regularly use the Media Center to record TV shows and play them back, consider adding the Windows Media Center gadget to your Windows 7 desktop. This gadget enables you to display links to your favorite recorded TV videos saved on your computer or Internet TV videos on the Web.

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