Windows 7 Entertainment

A few odds and ends in the entertainment department are worth noting. Though this is not the full list, these are the notables:

• Media Center versions—The Ultimate and Home Premium editions include Media Center, including support for Media Center Extender and Media Center Games. Media Center, just as in Vista (or in XP Media Center Edition), marries to a specific kind of computer that meets Media Center specifications. As always, Media Center PCs are designed for home entertainment, are typically more quiet than normal PCs, and come with remote controls and other goodies. They can connect easily to projectors and TV sets so you can record and watch TV, see slick slideshows of your digital images, watch movies, listen to your MP3 songs, and so on, all using a hand-held remote control. Windows 7 Media Center supports improved HDTV recording (if you have an HDTV source, that is) and built-in Blu-ray playback support. It has a better menuing system that is easier to navigate, and handles multiple displays (usually HDTV set and PC monitor) much better than Vista or XP Media Center versions.

• Launch TV from Start menu—You can put Media Center at the head of the Start menu, or on the taskbar, and use its Jump List features to see (and play back) recently recorded shows, as well as regularly used features and commands.

• Floating Media Center gadget—Drop this gadget on your desktop, and you don’t even need to hit the Start menu or taskbar to access Media Center commands and controls.

• Copy remote content—When browsing several media libraries (Music, Videos, Pictures, and so on) you can view or save content for later use by instructing Windows 7 to make a copy. As long as no digital rights restrictions adhere to the item you choose, it gets copied to your local hard disk, where you can play it back at your leisure.

• Play to streaming media—In a long-overdue move, Windows 7 adds support for DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) devices to Media Center. This gives the OS the information it needs to enroll any DLNA devices on your network in its database, whereupon it can push media to that device on your command (given multiple DLNA devices on a network, things get even more interesting in that Windows 7 Media Center can pull the stream from one DLNA device and play it back itself, or push it to another DLNA devices instead). This makes streaming media on home networks with Media Center much easier and, in fact, fun. Good job, Microsoft!

• Windows Media Player 12—Windows Media Player 12 comes standard with Windows 7. It has numerous new features, including support for Libraries. It also supports numerous mediastreaming options, including local network and Internet-based access to your media collection. Version 12 doesn’t represent quite the facelift we saw in version 11, but there are some nice changes here for mediaphiles.

Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth

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