If you have a TV signal connected to your computer, you can use the Guide to keep track of TV listings in Windows Media Center. The Guide is useful for scheduling programs you want to record, or for simply browsing through channels to see what's on TV.
Before you can use the Guide, you'll need three things:
An Internet connection. The Guide stays up to date by automatically downloading information from the Internet. For more information, see Connecting to the Internet in Window Media Center: frequently asked questions.
A compatible TV tuner. An analog or digital TV tuner is required to play and record TV in Media Center. If your computer did not come with a TV tuner, you might be able to add one. For more information about getting a TV tuner, see What should I know before adding TV tuners to use with Windows Media Center?
A TV signal. You'll need to set up your TV signal in Media Center before you can access the Guide. The basic settings for your Guide listings are set up during this process. To learn how to set up a TV signal, see Set up a TV signal in Windows Media Center.
You can use a mouse and keyboard to find your way around the Guide, or you can use a Media Center remote control. To use a remote control, an optional Media Center remote control and receiver are required.
Open the Guide
On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Guide.
Press the GUIDE button.
Jump directly to a specific channel in the Guide
Use the keyboard to type the channel number.
Press the numbered buttons to enter the channel number.
Scroll to the next or previous time slot
Click the right arrow or left arrow button.
Press the right arrow or left arrow button.
Scroll through time slots at a fast pace
Click and hold the right arrow or left arrow button.
Press and hold the right arrow or left arrow button.
Scroll through the TV channels one at a time
Click the up arrow or down arrow button.
Press the up arrow or down arrow button.
Scroll through the TV channels at a fast pace
Click and hold the up arrow or down arrow button.
Press the CH/PG+ or CH/PG- button.
Filter the Guide by category
Click Categories (to the left of the Guide), and then click a category. You can hover the mouse over each category for a preview. To see the Guide without filtering, click All. (In some regions, it's not possible to filter the Guide.)
From the current time slot, press the left arrow button twice to open the Categories menu. Press the up arrow or down arrow button to choose a category, and then press OK to filter the Guide by that category. (See "To create a category of only your favorite channels" below to learn how to create your own categories, or Favorite lineups.)
View program information
Right-click a program, and then click Program Details.
Select a program, press the MORE button, select Program Details, and the press the OK button.
Select a program to watch
Click a program that is currently airing.
Select a program that is currently airing, and then press the OK button.
Record a program from within the Guide
Right-click a program, and then click Record or Record Series.
Select a program, and then press the RECORD button. To record the series, press the RECORD button again.
You might want to change the way your Guide listings are configured. For example, you might want to manually add channels to the Guide that were not detected when you set up your TV signal.
On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Tasks, click Settings, click TV, click Guide, and then do one of the following:
To change the settings for existing channels in the Guide, or to disable extra channels that you're not actually receiving from your TV tuner, click Edit Channels, and then follow the instructions.
To manually add a channel that isn't showing up in the Guide, click Add Missing Channels, and then follow the instructions.
To change some basic settings to the way the Guide listings are displayed, such as sorting channels by name rather than by number or applying colored backgrounds based on category, click Guide Page Options, and then follow the instructions.
To manually download the most recent Guide listings, click Get Latest Guide Listings. (Media Center usually does this automatically.)
To view the technical details about your Guide listings, such as the type of TV signal they're associated with, click About Guide Listings.
Some TV service providers offer channels that don’t contain the necessary information to show up properly in the Guide. In some cases, you can still watch these channels even though Media Center can’t display the information in the Guide automatically. To use these channels in Media Center, follow the instructions above to manually add the missing channels.
Media Center will automatically download the latest Guide listings at a certain time each day, but these settings can be changed. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Tasks, click Settings, click General, and then click Automatic Download Options.
If you receive an error when downloading Guide information, it could be because the Guide server is temporarily out of service, your Internet connection failed, or a number of other reasons. For details, open the Event Viewer in Windows, and then, under Applications and Services Logs, check the Media Center log. For more information, see What information appears in event logs (Event Viewer)?
If the Guide appears empty, and manually downloading the latest Guide listings doesn't seem to be working, you might need to set up your TV signal again. To learn how to do this, see Set up a TV signal in Windows Media Center.
You can create custom categories—called Favorite lineups—then quickly filter the Guide to see only the channels you want.
On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Tasks, click Settings, click TV, click Guide, and then click Edit Favorite Lineups.
Click Add New, type a name for your category, and then click Save.
Click the check box next to your favorite channels, and then click Save.
When you return to the Guide, you can click View Categories on the left, and then click your custom category to show only your favorite channels.