Now Playing on Windows Vista Media Center, May 2008 Edition

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When It Comes to Online Media, the Only Constant Is Change

The Online Media menu in Windows Media Center is the place to go for a constantly changing variety of educational, information, and entertainment content. When you run Windows Media Center and open the Online Media menu, menu options to the right of Explore are limited-time features that change with the seasons.

Back in March, Online Media offered coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four. In April, Online Media put its own satirical spin on the presidential nominating process with its own "The Big Debate" series, pitting pairs of entertainment, celebrity, and pop-culture figures against each other.

That Was Then, So What's On Now?

The current lineup includes:

    • Learn How, a series of videos teaching you how to use Windows Media Center
    • Extenders, an introduction to the new crop of extenders for Windows Media Center from Logitech, Niveus, and HP (which builds theirs into a TV)
    • ACM Awards, featuring stories from the 2008 Academy of Country Music awards show
    • NBC Nightly News, bringing you stories from the most current news broadcast

Need More? Internet TV Has It

As we first told you about last fall, Windows Media Center also features Internet TV , accessible through the TV+Videos menu. Miss the story about the 107-year old light bulb still hard at work? How about a real-life Prince Charming and his horse? Seen the rare newborn green boxer puppy? They're all playing on Internet TV now, and they have plenty of company.

Currently, Internet TV features hundreds of TV shows, clips, news stories, teasers, and features from sources as diverse as cable and broadcast TV channels (Showtime and Speed are recent additions); viral videos collected from TV and online sources; satiric and entertaining mashups; self-help videos on gardening, cooking, tech, autos, and other subjects, and much more, as well as election, current affairs, entertainment, and sports news.

By the way, if you missed a limited-time feature in Online Media, it might have a second life somewhere inside the Internet TV menu. For example, "The Big Debate" is now available in the TV series menu.

The only thing missing is an online program guide: there's so much inside the Internet TV menu that you'll be wishing for one similar to the guide Windows Media Center provides for broadcast and cable TV viewing. Just grab your mouse or Windows Media Center remote and start clicking. Between Online Media and Internet TV, you'll find plenty to watch, with no TV tuner needed.

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Mark's currently working on his new book Unleashing Windows Vista Media Center . Get a 'sneak peek' of what's coming here .

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