How to Watch an Internet TV Show Using Windows 7’s Windows Media Center - dummies

How to Watch an Internet TV Show Using Windows 7’s Windows Media Center

By Greg Harvey

Windows 7 is full of fun stuff to keep you entertained, from watching TV to viewing your photos. The Media Center interface offers you the ability to watch Internet TV downloads or to stream snippets from recorded TV shows on the Web as well as live TV that’s being transmitted by any of the seemingly millions of TV stations.

Even if your computer isn’t equipped with a TV tuner card, you can still watch Internet TV in the Media Center, such as recorded clips from your favorite TV shows, sports events, music videos, and movie trailers that are downloaded from the Web.

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


    The Media Center opens to the main menu.

  2. Highlight TV on the Media Center main menu and then click the Guide option.


    Alternatively, you can press the Live TV button on the Media Center remote. If you don’t set up the Guide for live TV, the Guide displays thumbnails for each of the available Internet channels arranged by category.

  3. Select the thumbnail for the type of program you want to watch.


    The Media Center displays a filmstrip of video clips that are available for viewing.

  4. Click a thumbnail in the filmstrip.


    A Synopsis box containing a description of the clip along with its total running time opens beneath the strip of video clips.

  5. Click the Play button that appears in the Synopsis box to start the video clip.

    To view the playback controls in the Media Center window, position the mouse pointer near the bottom right side of the Media Center window.

You can click the Guide button (second from the left on the playback controls) to return to the original Media Guide screen. If you don’t press the Pause button first, the video will continue to play in the background of the screen showing the table of channel icons. If you click the Back button to return to the filmstrip of clips, the clip you’re watching will continue to play in a thumbnail that appears in the lower-left corner of the window beneath the filmstrip.

Keep in mind that you can connect your Media Center computer directly to your home entertainment center by purchasing the Media Center Extender. You can connect your computer directly to your Xbox 360 by purchasing the Media Center Extender for Xbox.

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 displays links to Internet TV videos on the Web.