Windows 7 Media Center

Media Centre PCs are increasing in popularity with many people now hooking up computers to HD televisions, or watching, recording and pausing live TV right from their laptops. While there is a host of free media centres around that can be downloaded for free, few are able to match the popularity of Windows Media Center, mostly because of the fact that it is bundled with many new computers, and also because of the Windows name. With the release of Windows 7 Media Center, Microsoft promised something better than ever before, and they duly delivered.

New features

When designing the new Media Center for Windows 7, Microsoft listened to its users and added a host of new features suggested by fans. One outstanding feature is the ability to watch more than ever before. The new Media Center supports more global TV tuners and standards that it ever has done in the past, with digital and HD included. A range of popular audio and video formats have also been included, such as:

· 3GP

· AAC

· AVCHD

· MPEG-4

· WMV

· WMA

Also supported are AVI, Xvid, MOV, and DivX files.

Speed has also been improved. Previous Media Center releases were regarded as being sluggish when it came to navigating your way through massive music libraries and browsing through TV listings. Microsoft has introduced a new Turbo Scroll feature that is designed to speed everything up, giving users a more slick and smooth experience.

Slide shows are excellent for displaying photos in a unique way and showing them at parties and family reunions. Windows Media Center lets you make stunning photo slide shows set to your favourite music which you can also use as a screen saver.

A new HomeGroup feature has also been included, letting you enjoy recorded TV shows, videos and music, even when they have not been stored. The feature makes all media available to every Windows 7 PC in the household.

Compatibility

Windows Media Center has been made for use on all versions of Windows 7, these are: Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise.

Setting up

The set-up of Windows Media Center has also been made straight-forward, providing you with Express and Custom set-up options. If you are looking to get started with your entertainment hub quickly, the express option is the best; however, if you are looking to personalise your experience, Custom is the preferred option.

If you are looking to make the most of your computer, Windows 7 Media Center is the way forward.