[The promised first Media Center post here at my new home, blog.retrosight.com]
One of the most frequent conversations I have with teams developing for Windows XP Media Center Edition starts off like this...
'I've already got a Windows XP personal computer that's fairly new and powerful. Where do I get the Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system, what additional hardware do I need, and how do I go about getting it all setup.'
...and then we go back and forth about all the pieces and parts you need to coordinate.
I finally sat down and wrote it all out...
The Windows Media Player 10 License Backup And Restore document illustrates how to make sure you archive the licenses for media content on your computer BEFORE you wipe the hard disk clean to install Windows XP Media Center Edition. It also shows how to restore those licenses post-installation. Use this document in addition to your regular work backup paradigm.
The Display Adapter Replacement And TV Tuner Addition document will guide you through the general steps of swapping out the display adapter (sometimes referred to as a graphics card) and adding your choice of a TV tuner. Media Center has very specific guidelines for both and some OEM enterprise SKUs don't come with compatible hardware making these steps inevitable.
Once of the best things you can do as a developer is separate your operating system, applications and beta software from the products of your work (source code, testing, documents, etc.). Adding A Hard Disk Drive gives you an outline of how to add a second hard drive to accomplish this task as well as provide invaluable backup and storage space for digital media files.
And finally the Windows XP Media Center 2005 Setup Instructions guide you step by step from ‘Press any key to boot from CD…’ to 'Launch Media Center with the remote control by pressing the Green Button.'
These documents comprise 100+ steps illustrated with actual screenshots and handy tips to make the installation go as smoothly as possible.