Tag Archives: media center

Windows 7 Media Center can record from hibernate!

A new feature in Windows 7 Media Center that enhances it’s power saving!

One thing I used to find really annoying about Windows Media Center in Vista was that if you wanted to record a programme, the system always had to be in either awake mode or S1/S3 standby mode.

This has changed with Windows 7 Media Center and Microsoft has finally solved the issue.

With Windows 7 Media Center (providing your motherboard supports it), you should be able to hibernate your comptuer – and Windows will wake your computer approximately 10 minutes before a scheduled recording. It should then return to hibernate shortly after a recording has finished.

This is a really big advantage. No more wasting vast amounts of electricity by leaving your computer in standby. I can finally leave my computer over a weekend and come back knowing that the system has done all of my recordings and hasn’t cost the Earth in electricity!

So incase you weren’t already aware of this – next time you need to leave your computer to record TV while you are away, put the system into hibernate.

Hibernate works differently to standby. When you hibernate a system, the entire contents of the RAM is saved to a big file on the hard drive. The system can then fully shut down. When you wake the system, it will transfer all of the RAM contents on the hard drive back to the RAM, and your system should be able to just return to its previous state.

Remove Sky Player channels from Windows 7 Media Center

If you’re like me and get really annoyed by the Sky Player channels in the new Windows 7 Media Center, you’ll be pleased to know I’ve worked out how to get rid of them.

Simply right-click on each Sky Player Channel in the TV Guide, and click Disable channel. This will remove it from the guide and stop it showing up.

I suppose the service is only really useful if a) you’re a full Sky subscriber and b) you have unlimited broadband bandwidth. I have neither so it is useless to me!

Mediamote – free remote control for Windows Media Center, designed for iPhone and iPod Touch

I recently stumbled across this free app, available on the App Store, which is designed to work as a remote control for Windows Media Center on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The app works over wi-fi, so you’ll need a wi-fi connection for it to work. You’ll also need to download the Mediamote server from here and install the software.

Once it is installed, simply run the Mediamote app from your iPod Touch or iPhone, select the PC that it is installed on and then you are good to go.

Now it is up and running, you’ll see that the app has some quite concise options that allow you to control most aspects of Media Center.


When I tried this with the Windows 7 Media Center, I was very pleased at how quickly it worked and how all of the buttons worked properly.

I would recommend this to anyone who can’t afford to shed out of a new Media Center remote but would like something simple and easy to use.

Windows 7 Beta: Hands On Review

Well, after several hours last night in line for a download of Windows 7, I finally have it installed on the computer. I’ve had a little play-around with it and seen what the biggest new features are, and also checked to see if there are any common bugs.

Anyway, what do I think? Well generally I think it looks very promising. The speed and performance is relatively good, there aren’t too many bugs despite it being in beta, and overall it looks side of it is relatively good.

There are a few things I don’t like, such as the new “super bar” (new name for the start bar). I don’t think that designed very well at all at the moment – but don’t forget when Vista beta 1 went out the start bar looked nothing like the final release. Personally, I’m not a fan of the “super bar” not showing my window names. I don’t know what other people think, but I much prefer having the names of my windows shown to me all the time, instead of having to hover over the logo.

However, I do like the new feature on the “super bar” that shows on demand information such as recently used items, commonly used features and the likes. That would be very useful to me.

I’m a fan of the new boot screen which looks snazzy while not to over the top. The nice glow of the Windows logo looks good with the simple ‘Starting Windows’ text below it. Boot time isn’t fantastic on a 1GB RAM laptop with a dual core processor (running in Virtual PC over XP), but it’s not worryingly slow and I’m sure if I had just installed it on a proper partition on my computer it would have been much quicker.

Media Center has had a few modifications, but nothing ground-breaking yet. There’s a few new features, but I wouldn’t get too excited about that yet.

So should you go and get a download from Microsoft? Well, if you really want to test it for yourself, go ahead. Beware that Microsoft are limiting download to 2.5 million and the servers have been under extreme pressure since the launch of the download yesterday. You are very unlikely to be able to get in first time (or even second or third) so unless you’ve got a lot of spare time on your hands, just don’t bother. To give you an idea, I waited nearly 6 hours to merely get to the download. The download itself took another hour and a half or so (it’s a 3GB file so don’t download it if you are on strict bandwidth limits) and then you have to worry about the actuall install process, which on a slow computer may take a good hour or two. You could end up spending a whole afternoon and maybe some of your evening on this.

So if you want a simple answer, I recommend you don’t go downloading it unless you really want to see for yourself. But, on the other hand, I do think it is something to look forward to as Microsoft are saying it could be ready in time for Christmas 09.

Next up on the reviews list is the new Windows Live Essentials pack, which will be on review here on GEEK! in the next few days.

Update: Microsoft has postponed the public release of the BETA due to high traffic. They say that especially this morning there was excessive traffic to the beta. They are now “adding infrastructure support” and I hope the beta will be up again for download soon!

Further Update: Just went and tested the beta download, and the news that the beta is no longer available isn’t entirely correct. You can still download the beta. I just went to the Technet page and tried getting to the download, and it worked first time. Go and get it now if you want a download.