Connect Media Center Extender devices to Windows 7 Media Center on your home wireless network

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A great feature of Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions is Media Center. With Media Center you can record television to your hard drive if you have a TV tuner card. With the latest TV tuners you can record over-the-air and cable signals in High Definition, wide-screen format and stream Netflix movies via Internet steaming. Media Center can store pictures, videos, and music files and organize them into libraries. Once media content is captured and stored on Media Center, the problem becomes distribution. How can the media be displayed, not just on the computer screen, but also on TVs and sound systems throughout the home?

Media Center Extender devices enable Media Center content playing anywhere on the home network. Xbox 360 is the most common extender, but Blu-ray players, HDTVs, and other devices are also popular. The limitation for Extender devices was that only wired Ethernet networks had the speed necessary for Media Center. 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks aren’t recommended for Media Center use. But the introduction of the 802.11a and 801.11n wireless specifications allows Media Center Extenders to stream HD wide-screen content.

Microsoft recommends the 5.15 to 5.356 GHz frequencies for streaming to extenders. The 802.11n has the highest speed. If you’re planning to upgrade your wireless access point, consider the dual-band 801.11n models for the best possible performance.

Check out Microsoft’s latest guidance at:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Optimize-your-home-network-for-Windows-Media-Center-Extenders

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