Record TV in Windows Media Center


With Windows Media Center, you can record live TV shows and movies directly onto your computer. You can even schedule a recording in advance or automatically record new episodes of your favorite TV series.

Picture of the recorded TV option in Windows Media Center
Access your recorded TV shows in Media Center

To record TV in Media Center, you need two things:

  • A TV tuner (a device that connects to your computer through an internal expansion slot or an external expansion port).

  • A TV signal source (such as from a TV antenna or a cable TV jack).

To change the options for recordings, such as the recording quality or the location where recorded TV shows are stored, see Set recording options in Windows Media Center.

There are two primary ways to control Media Center: with a mouse and keyboard, or with a Media Center remote control. The following procedures explain the mouse and keyboard method using the playback controls that appear when you move your mouse.

Picture of playback controls in Windows Media Center
The playback controls when using a mouse to control Media Center
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To record a live TV show or movie

You can record a TV show or movie that's currently airing. When you do this, the show is recorded from the moment you start recording. For example, if you're halfway through watching a show before you start recording it, the recording won't include the first half.

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Center.
  2. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Live TV.

  3. While a program is airing, move the mouse so that the playback controls appear, and then click RecordPicture of the Record button.

Note

  • If you don't see the Record button, it might be because the Media Center window is too small. If this is the case, increase the size of the window, or go to full-screen mode by clicking the Maximize button Picture of the Maximize button in the upper-right corner.

To schedule recordings using the Guide

You can quickly schedule recordings while browsing the Guide for upcoming TV shows and movies. To learn how to set up the Guide, see the section in Getting started with Windows Media Center entitled "Configure tuners, TV signal, and Guide."

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Guide.

  2. Right-click the program that you want to record, and then click Record to schedule a recording of the program.

To schedule recordings using Search

You can search in Media Center to find a TV show or movie that you want to record.

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Search.

  2. Click the category that you want to search by (such as Title), and then follow the instructions to start a search.

  3. On the search results page, click the TV show or movie that you want to record, and then click Record to schedule a recording of the program.

To record a TV series

Rather than schedule the recording of your favorite TV show every week, you can automate the process by scheduling the recording of an entire series.

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Guide.

  2. Locate the TV series that you want to record, click it, and then click Record Series.

Tip

  • If you're using a Media Center remote control to browse the Guide, you can press the RECORD button twice to quickly schedule a series recording.

To play a recorded TV program

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, click Recorded TV, click the show you want to watch, and then click Play or Resume.

  2. To control the playback of a recorded TV program, move the mouse to display the playback controls, and then do any of the following:

    • Click Pause  Picture of the Pause button to temporarily pause the program. You'll see a time span bar that shows how much time has passed in the recording. When you're ready to resume the program where you left off, click PlayPicture of the Play button.
    • Move the slider that appears above the playback controls to a different point to start watching from that point in the recorded program.

    • Click Skip BackwardPicture of the Skip Backward button or Rewind to watch something again, and click Fast Forward or Skip ForwardPicture of the Skip Forward button to move ahead in the program.
    • Click the Volume Increase button Picture of the Volume Increase button or the Volume Decrease button Picture of the Volume Decrease button to increase or decrease the volume, and click the Mute button Picture of the Mute button to turn the sound on or off.
  3. When you're finished watching the recorded program, move the mouse, and then click StopPicture of the Stop button.

To schedule recordings based on channel and time

You can set up Media Center to automatically record a specific channel at a specific time.

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Recorded TV.

  2. Click Add recording, and then click Channel and Time.

  3. In Channel, enter the channel that you want to record.

  4. In Frequency, click the PlusPicture of the Plus button or MinusPicture of the Minus button button to specify how often you want to record the channel.
  5. If you selected Record Once for Frequency, in Date, click the PlusPicture of the Plus button or MinusPicture of the Minus button button to specify the recording date.
  6. In Start time, enter the time you want the recording to start.

  7. In Stop time, enter the time you want the recording to stop.

  8. Under Keep, click the PlusPicture of the Plus button or MinusPicture of the Minus button button to specify how long you want to keep the recorded show.
  9. Click Record.

Note

  • You can change the title of a scheduled recording based on the channel and time. To do this, on the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, click Recorded TV, click Add recording, click Channel and Time, then click Change Title, and then follow the instructions.

To schedule recordings based on keywords

You can set up Media Center to automatically record TV shows and movies based on keywords that are associated with a program. These include an actor's name, director's name, or even a word that appears in the title. In the future, when a TV show or movie airs that matches keywords you specified, the program will automatically record.

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Recorded TV.

  2. Click Add recording, click Wish List or Keyword, and then click a category depending on the keyword that you want to use for recording (such as Actor name).

  3. Type the keyword for your recording, and then do one of the following:

    • Click the matching keyword you're looking for in the search results to record programs based on that keyword.

    • Under Add to wish list, click the Record All Shows with button to record based on the exact word you typed. This can be useful if you didn't see the keyword you were looking for in the search results, but you want to record future programs based on that keyword.

    • If you clicked the Generic Keyword category in step 2, click Save to record programs based on that keyword.

  4. Click the PlusPicture of the Plus button or MinusPicture of the Minus button button in the different categories to modify the settings that will be used for your custom recording, click Record, and then click OK.

To add or remove folders that Windows Media Center searches when it looks for recorded TV

You can add folders for Media Center to monitor for recorded TV files. To be recognized by this version of Media Center, the files must be either Windows TV files (.wtv) or Microsoft Recorded TV files (.dvr-ms).

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Tasks, click Settings, click TV, click Recorder, and then click Media Libraries.

  2. Follow the steps to add or remove locations that Media Center will search when it looks for recorded TV.

Note

  • You can watch recorded TV files from multiple locations, but Media Center will record only to the location specified in Recorder Storage.

Notes

  • When you record a TV show or movie, it's saved on your hard disk as a Windows TV file with a .wtv file name extension.

  • 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, you might be able to add one. For information about obtaining a TV tuner, see Get help for your TV tuner or contact your computer manufacturer.

Article ID: MSW700049



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