You can use Windows Media Center to watch live and recorded TV programs. You can even pause or rewind live TV so you don't miss any of the action.

Picture of TV playing with the transport controls showing
TV playing in Windows Media Center, with the transport controls showing

If you want to find out what TV shows are on now or on later, use the Guide feature. For more information, see Use the Guide in Windows Media Center.

The Guide displays information about all TV programs that are available to watch. If you want to limit the list to just movies, use the movies guide. For more information, see the section entitled "To find and watch movies on TV" later in this topic.

Show all

To watch live TV

  1. To begin watching live TV, do one of the following:

    • On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click live tv.

    • Using the Windows Media Center remote control, press LIVE TV.

    • On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, click guide, locate the TV show that you want to watch, and then click a show that is currently airing.

  2. To display information about the TV program that you are watching, right-click the TV show while it is playing, and then click Program Info. Click Watch to return to the TV show.

  3. To change the channel, move the mouse, and then click Picture of the Channel Decrease button or Picture of the Channel Increase button to go down one channel or up one channel, respectively.

Tip

  • To go to the last channel you were watching, press the ENTER button on the remote control.

To pause live TV or a movie

  1. While you are watching live TV or a movie, move the mouse, and then click PausePicture of the Pause button.
  2. When you are ready, you can use the transport controls to control the playback of the paused TV show or movie. Move the mouse and then click Skip Backward, Rewind, Fast Forward, or Skip Forward.

  3. To resume playing the TV show or movie, move the mouse, and then on the transport controls, click PlayPicture of the Play button.

To stop playback of live TV or a movie

  1. While you are watching live TV or a movie, move the mouse, and then click StopPicture of the Stop button.
  2. When you are ready, on the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click live tv to resume watching TV.

To adjust the volume when watching live TV or a movie

  1. While you are watching live TV or a movie, move the mouse, and then click the - or + button Picture of the Volume control buttons to increase or decrease the volume.
  2. Click the Mute button Picture of the Mute button to turn muting on or off.

To use Teletext while watching TV

Some TV channels in the United Kingdom and elsewhere broadcast a Teletext service that can be rendered by the television receiver and provide text pages of news, information, games, and other services. Windows Media Center supports the rendering of Teletext. Teletext is not available in all countries or regions and is not available for all channels. If you open Teletext for a channel that does not have Teletext, a blank page will display. For more information about which channels have Teletext, contact your TV service provider.

  1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click live tv. To launch Teletext, either press the TXT button on the remote control or right-click the Context menu and select the Teletext entry.

  2. To navigate to different Teletext pages by using the keyboard, do the following:

    • To go directly to a specific page or back to the main page, enter the 3-digit page number with the numeric keypad on the keyboard.

    • To go to the next available page, click CH/PG+.

    • To go to the previous page, click CH/PG-.

    • To switch to the next subpage, click the Down arrow button. Subpages may not be available for some Teletext pages. If available, Windows Media Center automatically cycles to the next subpage every 30 seconds.

    • To switch to the previous subpage, click the Up arrow button.

    • To go to the last viewed Teletext page, click Back.

  3. To perform a task on a selected Teletext page, do the following:

    • To go directly to a specific page or back to the main page, enter the 3-digit page number using the numeric keypad on the keyboard. The toolbar displays which page you are currently on.

    • To jump to a Fastext page, click one of the four Fastext buttons on the toolbar that matches the color of the page you want to jump to.

    • To display hidden text, click Reveal Text on the toolbar.

    • To turn on or turn off automatic subpage switching, click Hold on the toolbar. If the Hold button is selected, subpage switching is turned off.

    • To switch viewing modes for Teletext, click Mix on the toolbar to change the way TV and Teletext are displayed. You can view TV with Teletext or Teletext only on a black background.

To use subtitles while watching TV

Some TV programs are broadcast in a language that is not the spoken language of the associated country or region; in this case, broadcasters sometimes include a closed-captioning language feature as part of the TV signal. You can configure Windows Media Center to display the subtitles that are broadcast in this way.

To change the subtitle settings in Windows Media Center:

  1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, and then click the settings screen.

  2. Click TV, and then click Closed Captioning.

  3. Under Caption display, click Off, On, or On when muted.

Notes

  • In countries or regions that support Teletext, you might need to locate the page on which subtitle information is broadcast (for example, 888), and then enter it when prompted in Windows Media Center.

  • Subtitles are sometimes included as part of the video being broadcast. In this case, you cannot turn the subtitles off.

  • Not all broadcasts include a closed-captioning signal.

To find and watch movies on TV

  1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, and then click movies guide.

  2. Depending on what type of movie you are looking for on TV, or what time a movie is playing, click on now, on next, genres, or top rated.

  3. Click a movie that is currently airing on TV.

  4. Click Watch.

  5. To display information about the movie that you are watching, right-click the movie while it is playing, and then click Movie Details. Click Watch to return to the movie.

To search for movies on TV

  1. On the start screen, scroll to TV + Movies, click the right arrow button to reach the end of the category, and then click search.

  2. Depending on the search criteria that you want to use, click Title, Keyword, Categories, Movie Actor, or Movie Director.

  3. Enter the search criteria.

  4. In the results, click a movie to get more information about it, such as a description or the time that it is scheduled to air.

Notes

  • An analog or digital TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Center. If your computer did not come with a TV tuner card, you might be able to add one. For more information about obtaining a TV tuner card, see Get help for your TV tuner card or contact your computer manufacturer.

  • If you want to control Windows Media Center with a remote control, an optional Windows Media Center remote control is required.