Windows 7 – Windows Media Center and the Xbox 360

Now I have my main base PC setup with Windows 7 I wanted to get the Windows Media Center (WMC) setup, and connected to my XBox 360.

So first of all I start up WMC from the Windows 7 computer:-

MediaCenter1

You then the option of an express setup or Custom setup, I like to see what is going on whilst things are installing so I selected Custom:-

MediaCenter2

Setup then checks for an internet connection, after this is complete click next:-

MediaCenter3

I skipped through the Customer Experience Improvement Program Opt-in page, but you can select to join if you wish, then click Next. The next screen requests permission to connect to the internet to download information about your media and TV schedules, I selected to allow this:-

MediaCenter4

After clicking Next you will see that the ‘Required Components’ are setup, now for the optional components:-

MediaCenter5

I don’t have a tuner card and my computer is going to use the Xbox360 as an Extender, therefore I will just set up the display and media libraries,

When you setup the display, after making sure you are connected to the display that you are going to use you get to select the display type:-

MediaCenter6

You then choose the connection type:-

MediaCenter7

Then the width of the display:-

MediaCenter8

And to confirm the display resolution, then either fine tune display settings, or leave them as they are, for now I am going to leave them as they are and maybe come back to them later if video playback is not acceptable, but it is good to know you can configure your display in this way.

I then need to set up my media libraries, after selecting this from the menu I get to select the various media types:-

MediaCenter9

There is the option to setup watch folders that are on the Computer, or from network shares, or both.

An interesting feature is to be able to setup DVD movies, either DVD drives, DVD multi-changers, or folders with an extracted DVD in it (in the VIDEO_TS and Audio_TS folder structure), so I setup the locations and finished the setup.

In order to add the XBox 360 I had to clear the settings from the old Vista setup from the XBox, but as soon as I did this and launched setup, as with previous versions the media center detected the XBox360:-

MediaCenter10

After selecting ‘Set Up Now’, entering the setup key, and accepting the UAC prompt the system began setting things up:-

MediaCenter11

When it got to the searching for extender section as shown above a prompt from the XBox 360 was prompting to download the update required to connect to Windows 7. This took about a minute to download and the console restarted, it then applied the update which took a couple more minutes. I went back to the computer and it was showing a ‘Configuration error’; great stuff from Microsoft here, but hitting next on this error screen brought me back to the beginning of the extender setup and it was prompting for another setup key. So back on the XBox 360 and it now thinks it has a connection to a media center PC, so I hit connect and of course it fails but gives me the option of setting up a new connection, entered the new code on the PC and it proceeds, and the Xbox 360 comes up with the WMC connection screen, and back on the PC is begins to set up the extender and the media, this take a while as there is a lot of media, but a lot quicker than in Vista.

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~ by Phil on March 26, 2009.

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