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How to Run Your Media Center From a PC

By Emily Green - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Connecting computers with other media outlets has been the focus of much research and development in recent years. PCs are already used for music, photos, home movies, and media services like NetFlix and Hulu. The last step in putting it all together is finally within grasp so today’s PC users can create an integrated home media center in their own homes.

Get the Right Equipment

Windows 7 is the most important product to have if you want to build a comprehensive home media center with your PC. If you’re running an older version of windows, it’s time to upgrade. If the media devices in your home are newer, they’ll probably be equipped for wireless communication with your PC. Set up a wireless router in your home so your devices can communicate with one another.

If your television isn’t set up for wireless communication, you can connect it to your PC with an HDMI cable. Another way to connect your television to your PC is through a media extender. Many different devices can act as media extenders, including the Xbox and PlayStation gaming systems. Media extenders connect directly to your television, but communicate wirelessly with your PC.

Connect Your Media Devices

Connecting your various media devices is simple when you’re working with Windows 7. Begin by setting up a homegroup. Open the Start menu and go to the Control Panel. Open the Network and Sharing Center and click on the homegroup option. A series of step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process of creating your homegroup.

Repeat this process on every PC in the home. Once you connect all your devices, you’ll be able to view files from your PC on other devices throughout the home. Simply select the “play to” option in the upper right corner of the media viewer on your PC.

Protect Your Privacy

Your homegroup is automatically password protected so neighboring wireless devices can’t access it. This will protect you from neighbors within range of your network. If you want another computer to connect to the homegroup, all you have to do is give them the password.

If you have personal files on your computer that you don’t want to share with the homegroup, you can edit the settings for these files so they’re only visible on your PC. While the homegroup facilitates easy sharing, it also gives you ample opportunities for privacy when needed.

Explore the Possibilities

Once you have everything connected through your homegroup, you can begin exploring the possibilities with your new home media system. Sharing your accomplishments with family and friends is easier than ever.

If you’ve worked on a home video on your PC, you can now share your progress on the television without burning the video to a DVD. Share your vacation photos in a slide show on the TV that you’re running from your own easy to use laptop. Set up a playlist on your PC and you can choose to play it on the stereo downstairs.

The options are endless when you have your home media system connected through the Windows 7 homegroup.

About The Author

Emily Green is a freelance writer with more than 6 years of professional experience in blogging, copywriting, content, SEO, dissertation, technical, and theses writing. She has written more than a thousand webpage content articles and has worked for established companies like Emily specializes in a variety of topics such as tech, fashion, lifestyle, travel and more.

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