By Michael R. Miller, Michael The Green Button
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Extra resources for Creating a Digital Home Entertainment System with Windows Media Center
Use the right software and you can edit out any commercials you've recorded, edit in all sorts of transitions and special effects, and create professional-looking DVDs with custom menus and animations. This is definitely a check in the "plus" column for the living room PC. ) Television TunerWith Program Guide Most Media Center PCs come with one or more built-in television tuners. Because the PC connects to your television display, you can use your living room PC to control what you watch on your TV.
What WMA and MP3 have in common is that they compress the original music to save file space; the sound quality is lowered to create smaller files. Now, if you're listening to ripped music on a portable audio player, you probably won't notice the compressed sound quality. But when you're listening to music on a quality home audio system, you'll definitely notice the compromised audio in WMA and MP3 files. Listening to an WMA file on a quality audio system is like watching a VHS video-tape on a high-definition TV set; all the flaws inherent in the format are magnified.
You can even search for listings that meet a certain criteria; for example, you can search for all showings of your favorite programs, or for those programs that feature a particular star in the cast. And here's where the EPG gets really useful. When you find a future program you want to watch, you can record it. That's because most living room PCs also function as digital video recorders, which we'll discuss next. (Once again, to be fair, it's worth mentioning that you don't have to buy a living room PC to get an EPG.