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

If your computer has no TV tuner, an optional analog or digital TV tuner is required to play and record TV in Windows Media Center.

There are different models available of the Windows Media Center remote control with a variety of options. The remote control can come with the Windows Media Center computer you have purchased or it can be purchased at retail locations.

You will also need a transceiver or infrared receiver (IR) for the Windows Media Center remote control to work properly. This can be IR (which is usually connected by a USB cable to the computer), or it can also be non-IR products like Bluetooth or Radio Frequency. This receiver may be internal or external to the computer. Please refer to your hardware documentation to determine which version of the receiver you will need.

You can use a remote control to do many things in Windows Media Center. Here is a sample of actions you can perform:

  • Watch, record, control TV (with tuner present in the computer)

  • Control, play, and rip music

  • Create, play, and control slide shows of your pictures

  • Access online partners for an expanded experience to include games, additional music, and other software products.

  • Navigate using text

With the remote control you can navigate through information using the number keys on the remote control to find shows, and other information.

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Microsoft Required Remote Control Buttons

The following sections describe the required buttons on the remote control. These button categories are used throughout Help when listing Windows Media Center remote control buttons and describing button functionality. The tables in this section identify the Microsoft required buttons. Which remote control buttons are required will differ based on whether the remote control will be shipped with a Windows Media Center computer that has TV tuner hardware.

Navigation Buttons

The following table shows the Microsoft required navigation buttons for Windows Media Center computer.

Button Name
Required for computers that include TV tuner hardware
Required for computers that do not include TV tuner hardware

Green Start button

Yes

Yes

Up

Yes

Yes

Down

Yes

Yes

Left

Yes

Yes

Right

Yes

Yes

OK

Yes

Yes

More

Yes

Yes

Back

Yes

Yes

Transport Controls

The following table shows the Microsoft required transport control buttons for Windows Media Center computer.

Button Name
Required for computers that include TV tuner hardware
Required for computers that do not include TV tuner hardware

Play/Pause combination button

Yes

Yes

Play

Yes

Yes

Pause

Yes

Yes

Stop

Yes

Yes

Rewind

Yes

Yes

Fast forward

Yes

Yes

Skip backward

Yes

Yes

Skip forward

Yes

Yes

Record TV

Yes

No

Audio and Video Controls

The following table shows the Microsoft required audio and video control buttons for Windows Media Center computer.

Button Name
Required for computers that include TV tuner hardware
Required for computers that do not include TV tuner hardware

Power/Standby button

Yes

Yes

Power On

Yes

Yes

Power Off

Yes

Yes

Volume Up

Yes

Yes

Volume Down Off

Yes

Yes

Mute

Yes

Yes

Channel/Page Up

Yes

No

Channel/Page Down

Yes

No

Windows Media Center Shortcut Keys

The following table shows the Microsoft required shortcut keys for Windows Media Center computer.

Button Name
Required for computers that include TV tuner hardware
Required for computers that do not include TV tuner hardware

Guide

Yes

No

Teletext

The following table shows the Microsoft required Teletext buttons for Windows Media Center computer.

Button Name
Required for computers that include TV tuner hardware
Required for computers that do not include TV tuner hardware

Red

Yes

No

Green

Yes

No

Blue

Yes

No

Yellow

Yes

No

Teletext On/Off

Yes

No

Enter text

To enter text using the remote control, press a number repeatedly to scroll through the choices that are available for that number. With each repeated press of a number, a different character appears. When you find the character that you want, press the ENTER button on the remote control. For example, if you are a fan of cooking shows, you can search the Guide by keyword for "food" by doing the following:

For letters and numbers, use the button corresponding to the letter or number you want.

  1. Press the number 3 three times for the letter "f", and then press ENTER.

  2. Press the number 6 three times for the letter "o", and then press ENTER.

  3. Press the number 6 three times for the letter "o", and then press ENTER.

  4. Press the number 3 one time for the letter "d", and then press ENTER.

    Sometimes you do not have to enter every letter of every word into your keyword search. The list of possible choices appears after the third letter.

You can also do the following:

  • To switch between character sets such as uppercase, lowercase, and symbol modes, press the CH/PG+ or CH/PG- button on the remote control.

  • To backspace, press the CLEAR button on the remote control.

  • To enter a space between words, press the (0) button on the remote control.

Do more with the MORE button

When you press the MORE button on the remote control, a list displays in Windows Media Center of additional options to choose from. The options that are available depend on your selection on the screen. For example, if you select a picture, and then press the MORE button on the remote, you will get the following options: Picture Details, Rotate, Burn, and Settings.

You can access Settings from anywhere in Windows Media Center by pressing the MORE button on the remote control.

To dismiss the list of options without making a selection, press the BACK button on the remote control, press the ESC button on the keyboard, or click the screen outside the list by using the mouse.

Put Windows Media Center into Sleep mode

The remote control can be configured (through Windows  Vista) to put your Windows Media Center computer into sleep and to wake from Sleep mode. You can press the SLEEP button Illustration of the Standby button on your remote control to place your desktop in Sleep mode. Also, this power-saving state can intelligently determine if you need to record a show, or are recording a show when you press the power/sleep button on the remote control. Please refer to your user manual on how to allow the remote control to perform this function in Windows  Vista with Windows Media Center.
Some Windows Media Center computers may enter hibernation instead of standby when you press the SLEEP button Illustration of the Standby button on the remote control or click Sleep on the Shut Down menu. While in SLEEP mode, your computer appears off—the speakers and monitor or TV are off—but it can still perform tasks that do not require your input, such as recording TV. In this state, the computer does not need to power on to complete recordings.