Use a Windows Media Center Extender device


You can use a Windows Media Center Extender to stream the media stored on your Windows 7 computer to another room in your home. For more information about Extenders, see Set up a Windows Media Center Extender and Windows Media Center Extenders: frequently asked questions.

Accessing music, pictures, and other types of media on an Extender is very similar to using Media Center on your computer. (For general information about setting up and using Media Center, see Using Windows Media Center: recommended links.)

However, there are some slight differences when using Media Center on an Extender as opposed to a computer. The following procedures highlight some of these differences.

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To add media (or playlists) using an Extender

After you've successfully set up an Extender, you might need to add media (such as music, pictures, and recorded TV shows or playlists) so that they show up on the Extender. This process is similar to adding media to Media Center on your computer. For more information, see Add media files to Windows Media Center.

  1. On your Extender, on the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Tasks, and then select Settings.

  2. Select Media Libraries.

  3. Select the type of media that you want to add, and then select Next. (If you're adding playlists, select Music.)

  4. Select Add folders to the library, and then select Next.

  5. Depending on where your media or playlist files are stored, select one of the options under Where are the folders you want to add?, and then select Next.

  6. Navigate to the folders that you want to add by selecting the PlusPicture of the Plus button or MinusPicture of the Minus button buttons, and then select the check box next to each folder. (Files in subfolders will be included in your selection.)
  7. When you've selected all the folders that you want Media Center to monitor, select Next, select Yes, use these locations, and then select Finish.

    After you've finished adding files, it might take several minutes for the files to appear in the libraries.

Notes

  • After your Extender is set up, you can add media to Media Center on your computer, and the files will also show up on your Extender. However, if you add movies to the Movies library in Media Center, they won't show up in the Movies library on your Extender unless you manually add them on the Extender using the procedure above.

  • If you added a password-protected network folder to Media Center on your computer, you'll need to add it to the Extender manually using the procedure above. In step 5, select Let me manually add a shared folder, and then follow the instructions to enter the credentials for the network folder.

To use an Xbox 360 (or another device) as an Extender

If you have an Xbox 360 connected to a home network, you can use it as a Media Center Extender. This is an easy way to stream your pictures, music, videos, and other media from your PC running Windows 7 to your TV. For more information, search for "Extender" on Xbox 360 online.

If you have an Extender device other than the Xbox 360, you can connect that to your home network much in the same way. There are a handful of Extender devices available today that are compatible with Windows 7. For example, some DVD players have Extender functionality built in. These devices generally come packaged with a remote control that has a Media Center green start button Picture of the Green Start button on the remote control .

Before you can use an Extender, you need to set it up in Media Center on your Windows 7 computer. For more information, see Set up a Windows Media Center Extender. Once it's set up, do the following:

  1. Make sure that your computer is running.

  2. Turn on the Xbox 360 console (or other Extender device), and then do one of the following:

    • If you're using an Xbox 360, use your Xbox 360 controller (or Xbox 360 remote) to scroll to My Xbox, and then select Windows Media Center.

    • If you're using a different Extender device, press the green start button Picture of the green start button on the remote control on the remote control that came with the Extender.
  3. When the Windows Media Center start screen appears on your TV, you can access media, watch live TV, or change settings the same way you would in Media Center on your computer.

Tips

  • If you're using an Xbox 360 as an Extender and you already have a Media Center remote, you can set up your Xbox 360 to recognize the remote. On your Xbox 360 dashboard, scroll to My Xbox, select System Settings, select Console Settings, select Remote Control, and then select Both Remotes.

  • For more information about using Media Center on an Xbox 360, check out the Media Center Quick Reference Guide on the Xbox website. It contains a detailed diagram that shows how to use different features in Media Center with an Xbox 360 controller or Xbox 360 remote.

To remove an Extender connection from your computer

You might need to remove an Extender connection from your computer and then install it again. This is common if you previously set up an Extender (such as an Xbox 360) to work with one computer, but you want to use the Extender with a different computer. You'll need to remove the connection with the first computer because an Extender can only be connected to one computer at a time.

To remove an Extender connection from your Windows 7 computer:

  1. On your computer, open Windows Media Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Media Center.
  2. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Tasks, click Settings, click Extender, and then click the Extender device you want to remove.

  3. Click Uninstall, and then follow the instructions to remove the Extender connection.

  4. If you're using an Xbox 360 as an Extender, use your Xbox 360 controller to do one of the following:

    1. Scroll to My Xbox, select System Settings, and then select Computers.

    2. Select Windows Media Center, and then press the A button.

    3. Select Disconnect.

    4. Press the B button repeatedly until you return to the System Settings screen.

    5. If the Xbox 360 console has a hard drive or memory card, on the System Settings screen, select Memory.

    6. Select Hard Drive, select Games, select Xbox 360 Dashboard, and then select Windows Media Center.

    7. Select Delete, and then press the A button.

    8. Press the B button repeatedly until you return to the System Settings screen.