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Windows Vista®: Home Entertainment with Windows® Media Center and Xbox 360™

Book Description

Discover family entertainment choices like never before! This easy-to-use guide features projects for creating the ultimate home entertainment experience for your family. Youll focus on funnot technologyas you discover how to use Windows Vista, Windows Media Center, and Xbox 360. Written by a family for your family, this book highlights the features and capabilities that are most important to you. Its organized by activitysetting up your system, creating digital family memories, and healthy gaming for the entire family. Youre no longer limited to watching a video on your PC, or keeping your music on your MP3 device. Now, you can extend your entertainment possibilities through the entire house for everyone to enjoy!

Table of Contents

  1. Windows Vista®: Home Entertainment with Windows® Media Center and Xbox 360™
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    2. Acknowledgments
    3. Introduction
      1. Getting Ready for Media Center
      2. Support
    4. I. Technical Matters
      1. 1. Media Center Overview
        1. Learn Windows Media Center Basics
        2. Know Where Content Comes From
        3. Navigate Media Center
          1. Using a Remote Control, Keyboard, or Mouse
          2. Tips for Using the Mouse or Keyboard
        4. Work with Libraries
        5. Understand What Types of Files Are Supported
        6. Use Media Center Throughout Your Home
        7. Chapter Summary
      2. 2. Understanding Audio/Video Formats and Connectivity Issues
        1. Get a High-Level View of Audio Formats
          1. Surround Sound
          2. High-Resolution Music Formats
        2. Get a High-Level View of Video Interfaces
          1. Analog Formats
            1. Composite Video
            2. Component Video
          2. Digital Formats
            1. DVI Standard
            2. HDMI Technology
          3. Media Formats
            1. DVD
            2. HD DVD
        3. Understand Connectivity Concepts
        4. Meet the Standard Home Entertainment Components You Need to Know
          1. Speakers
          2. TV Displays
            1. CRT TVs
            2. LCD TVs
            3. LCD Rear-Projection TVs
            4. LCD Front-Projection TVs
            5. Plasma TVs
          3. Computer Screens
        5. Chapter Summary
      3. 3. Working with Networks
        1. Understand Wireless Technology
        2. Set Up Your Wireless Network
          1. Install a Network Interface Card
          2. Install a Wireless Access Point
          3. Configure Your Computer
          4. Secure Your Network
            1. Use a Strong Password
            2. Disable SSID
            3. Use Windows Vista Firewall
        3. Chapter Summary
      4. 4. Obtaining Theater-Quality Sound
        1. Think of Sound as Air in Motion
        2. Explore Your Home Entertainment Environment
        3. Stereo Receiver Considerations
        4. Incorporate Your Media Center PC
        5. Planning Speaker Placement
          1. Speaker Placement in Intensive Listening Rooms
          2. Speaker Placement in Entertainment Rooms
          3. Speaker Placement in Ambient Listening Rooms
        6. Get Optimum Sound
          1. Family Room
          2. Kitchen
          3. Office, Study, Bathroom
          4. Bedrooms
          5. Garage or Workshop
          6. Outside
        7. Chapter Summary
      5. 5. Hardware Basics
        1. Meet the Minimum System Requirements
          1. System Memory
          2. Hard Drive
          3. Video Support
          4. CD/DVD Drives
            1. DVD+R
            2. DVD+RW
            3. Dual-Layer DVD+DL
          5. Audio Support
          6. TV Tuners
        2. Use the Windows Experience Index
        3. Chapter Summary
      6. 6. Using Media Center Throughout Your Home
        1. Set Up Media Center
        2. Use Media Center Throughout Your Home
        3. Connect Any Media Center Extender
        4. Set Up Xbox 360 as a Windows Media Center Extender
        5. Set Up a Windows Media Center Extender Device
        6. Add the HD DVD Player
        7. Chapter Summary
    5. II. Managing Your Home Entertainment System
      1. 7. Accessing and Organizing Your Media
        1. Organize Your Libraries
          1. Add Folders for Media Center to Watch
          2. Stop Watching Folders
        2. Optimize Media Center
          1. Set Up a Windows Media Center Optimization Schedule
        3. Chapter Summary
      2. 8. Setting Up Voice Commands
        1. Get Started with Speech Recognition
        2. Turn On Speech Recognition on Your Media Center PC
          1. Use the Tutorial
        3. Use Media Center with Speech Recognition
          1. Try the Mousegrid
        4. Chapter Summary
      3. 9. Working with Media Center Controls and Settings
        1. Work with General Settings
          1. Startup and Window Behavior
          2. Visual and Sound Effects
          3. Program Library Options
            1. Allow Applications in Program Library to Perform Certain Tasks
            2. Edit Program Library
          4. Parental Controls
            1. TV Ratings
            2. Movie/DVD Ratings
            3. Reset Parental Controls
          5. Automatic Download Options
          6. About Windows Media Center and Privacy
        2. Set Up Music Visualizations
        3. Set Closed Captioning Options
        4. Chapter Summary
      4. 10. Watching and Recording TV
        1. Get the Goods on the Guide
        2. Navigate the Guide
        3. Watch Live TV
          1. Use the Guide
          2. Use the Remote
          3. Use the Mouse or Keyboard
          4. Rewind
          5. Fast-Forward or Skip-Forward
          6. Pause
        4. Record TV Shows
          1. Use the Remote Control
          2. Use the Mouse
          3. Set Program Info Recording Options
            1. Advanced Record
              1. Frequency
              2. Stop
              3. Quality
              4. Keep
              5. Keep Up To
              6. Channels
              7. Airtime
              8. Show Type
        5. Play Recorded TV Shows
          1. Watch Recorded TV
          2. View Scheduled
          3. Add Recording
        6. Chapter Summary
      5. 11. Finding and Downloading Online Media
        1. Explore Online Media
        2. Subscribe to a Service
        3. Download Media from a Service
          1. Example Download Process
          2. Additional Notes on Downloads
        4. Chapter Summary
      6. 12. Watching DVDs and Movies
        1. Set Up Media Center for Your DVDs
          1. Set Up AutoPlay
        2. Play DVDs Through Media Center
          1. Use the DVD Onscreen Menu
          2. Play an HD DVD Using Xbox 360
          3. Play a DVD Using a Changer
          4. Play a Data DVD
        3. Burn a TV Program or Movie to a DVD
          1. Burn Music, Pictures, or Videos to a Data DVD
        4. Chapter Summary
    6. III. Music and Memories
      1. 13. Working with Windows Media Player
        1. Get to Know Media Player 11
        2. Navigate Media Player
          1. Use the Library
          2. Work with Playlists
        3. Sync Portable Devices
          1. About Auto Sync
          2. Sync a TV Show
        4. Rip CDs for Your Music Library
        5. Share Your Media
        6. Chapter Summary
      2. 14. Finding and Playing Online Music, Sports, and News
        1. Explore More Music
          1. Showcase
          2. Music + Radio
            1. Add an Internet Radio Station
          3. News + Sports
          4. Pictures
        2. Chapter Summary
      3. 15. Mastering Your Music Collection
        1. Use the Music Library
          1. It’s All About the View
        2. Access Your Music Using the Views
          1. Access the Album Details Screen
          2. Access Music Through Other Views
        3. Use Search
        4. Use Play All
        5. Chapter Summary
      4. 16. Creating Photo Slide Shows and Editing Your Pictures
        1. Create a Slide Show
          1. Use Media Center for Slide Shows
            1. Create a Basic Slide Show
            2. Create a Slide Show Using Certain Pictures
            3. Create a Slide Show with Music
          2. Use Photo Gallery for Slide Shows
            1. See Pictures as a Slide Show
            2. Use Themes
        2. Edit Pictures with Photo Gallery
          1. Fix Basic Photo Problems
          2. Change Color Photos to Black and White
        3. Burn a Slide Show to a DVD
        4. Chapter Summary
      5. 17. Working with Movie Maker
        1. Get to Know Movie Maker
          1. Explore the Collections View
          2. Explore the Tasks View
        2. Understand Video Formats
        3. Import Existing Videos
        4. Make Camera Connections
          1. Import Live Video from a DV Camera
          2. Import All of a Taped Video from a DV Camera
          3. Import a Portion of a Taped Video from a DV Camera
        5. Make a Movie with Movie Maker
          1. Create a Movie with AutoMovie
          2. Create a Movie Manually
        6. Publish a Movie to Your Computer
        7. Chapter Summary
    7. IV. Get Your Game On
      1. 18. Healthy Gaming
        1. Get to Know Xbox 360
        2. Use the Xbox 360 Dashboard
          1. Set Up a Profile
          2. Change Xbox 360 Dashboard Themes
        3. Use Xbox Live
          1. Access Xbox Live Marketplace
          2. Access Xbox Live Arcade
          3. Access Xbox Live Video Marketplace
        4. Chapter Summary
      2. 19. Playing with the Xbox Controller, Downloads, and Games
        1. Use the Xbox 360 Controller
          1. Use the Buttons
          2. Use the Sticks
          3. Use the D-pad
          4. Use Triggers and Bumpers
          5. Use the Back and Start Buttons
        2. Download Games
        3. Access the Active Downloads List
        4. Play Games Using Windows Vista and Media Center
        5. Chapter Summary
      3. 20. Playing Games with the Family
        1. Understand ESRB Game Ratings
          1. Understand ESRB Content Descriptors
        2. Apply Parental Controls in Xbox 360
          1. Create a Pass Code
        3. Speak to Other Gamers
        4. Explore These Top-Five Family Games
        5. Chapter Summary
      4. 21. Working with Xbox Media, Events, and Accessories
        1. Use the Media Blade on Xbox 360
          1. Music
          2. Pictures
          3. Video
          4. Video Marketplace
        2. Connect with Media Center
        3. Go to Some Events
        4. Buy Some Accessories
          1. Wireless Controllers
          2. Wireless Headset
          3. Chargers and Battery Packs
          4. HD DVD Drive
          5. 120-GB Hard Drive
          6. Xbox 360 Faceplate
          7. Live Vision Camera
        5. Chapter Summary
    8. V. Extras for Everyone
      1. 22. Making the Most of Windows Vista
        1. Explore the Ease of Access Center
          1. Have Text Read Aloud
          2. Make Things Easier to See
          3. Use the Computer Without a Keyboard
          4. Make the Mouse Easier to Use
          5. Make the Keyboard Easier to Use
          6. Set Up Alternatives for Sound
          7. Make It Easier to Focus on Tasks
        2. Run Windows Aero
        3. Use Windows CardSpace
        4. Chapter Summary
      2. 23. Troubleshooting Tips and Shortcuts
        1. Hot Topics
        2. Keyboard Shortcuts
        3. TV
        4. Voice Recognition
        5. Video
        6. Music
        7. Cameras
        8. Xbox 360
    9. A. About the Authors
    10. Index
    11. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly