Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center is a digital video recorder and media player developed by Microsoft. It is an application that allows users to view and record live television, as well as organize and play music and videos. The application is included in various versions of Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate, and all editions of Windows 7 except for Starter and Home Basic. It is also available for Windows 8 Pro as an add-on.

Media Center can play slideshows, videos and music from local hard drives, optical drives and network locations. Users can stream television programs and films through selected services such as Netflix. Content can be played back on computer monitors or on television sets through the use of devices called Windows Media Center Extenders.

It is possible to watch and pause live TV with support for up to four TV tuners or two dual-tuner cards (a maximum of two tuners outside of the United States). These TV tuner cards can support TV broadcasts in Standard Definition as well as high definition video through DVB-T and ATSC standards. These standards are unencrypted broadcast television. It is possible to view encrypted private network television stations that are not broadcast over the air with internal and external tuner options that support the insertion of a CableCard provided by the Cable TV company. Many brands of tuner cards allow connection of traditional TV antennas to the RF connector on a PCI or PCIe expansion card that is installed within the PC with Windows Media Center functionality.

Read more about Windows Media CenterHistory, Features, Application Development

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