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Windows Media Center's Advanced Recording Options

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 1/30/2009

Media Center's advanced recording options let you control when, where, how, and even why to record a TV show based on settings you configure.

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    Advanced Record Options

    Advanced Record lets you tweak all of the little details of a television show recording. If you’re trying to record a television show that usually runs over its scheduled end time, use Advanced Record to make Media Center record that last five or ten minutes. You can also schedule when and if Media Center automatically deletes the television show, and whether or not to record all the episodes in a series.

    - Frequency – Frequency controls whether or not Media Center should record just one show, or an entire series. This is the same setting that was displayed on the previous screen with “Record Series". If you select Record Series on the Frequency option, you’ll notice four new options appear at the bottom of the screen: Keep up to, Channels, Airtime, and Show type. You can use these four options to further control how Media Center decides to record future episodes of the television show that air.

    - Stop – Not all television shows end at their scheduled time. Sometimes a television show might end a little later than when the Guide says it will. If this is the case, and you know that the time on the Guide is inaccurate, you can use the Stop option to control when Media Center stops recording a television show. There are nine options for Stop: On Time, 5 minutes after, 10 minutes after, 15 minutes after, 30 minutes after, 1 hour after, 90 minutes after, 2 hours after, and 3 hours after.

    - Quality – Media Center has four quality levels for recorded television shows. If you are low on disk space, you may want to alter the quality that Media Center is recording the show at. You can pick between Fair, Good, Better, and Best.

    Tip: Fair quality uses 1 GB per hour. Good quality uses 2 GB per hour. Better quality uses 2.5GB per hour. Best quality uses 3GB per hour.

    - Keep – If you’re running low on hard disk space, or you record a television series that airs very often, you should take a look at the Keep option. There are four options for Keep, Until space needed, For 1 week, Until I watch, and Until I delete. Keep controls how long the recorded television file stays on your hard drive.

    If you select Record Series on Frequency, four additional options appear: Keep up to, Channels, Airtime, and Show type.

    - Keep up to – If you record a television series that is popular and airs many times a day on different television stations, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed with the dozens of recorded television files on your Windows Vista PC. Rather than overwhelm your hard drive with a file for each episode that might air you can configure Media Center only to keep a specific number of recordings. With Keep up to you can select 1 recording through 7 recordings, 10 recordings, and As many as possible.

    - Channels – Many television series air on multiple television channels. If the television show that you select airs on multiple channels within the next two weeks, you can pick recording the series only on the station you selected it on, or multiple stations.

    - Airtime – Popular television series air several times a day on multiple stations, at multiple times. If you want to narrow down what episodes Media Center records you can pick between three settings: Around a specific time, Anytime, and Anytime, once per day.

    - Show type – Media Center is able to distinguish between episodes of television shows that are airing for the first time, and episodes of television shows that are reruns. If you only want Media Center to record new episodes, you can set show type to make sure that Media Center doesn’t re-record old episodes. There are three settings for show type, Live, First run, and First run & rerun.

Microsoft Windows Media Center - The Guide, Record Options, and Navigation

Learn how to navigate Media Center's Guide and mini-Guide, get program information, record a show or a series, and more in this informative article series.
  1. Accessing the Windows Vista Media Center Guide
  2. Windows Media Center - Getting Program Info
  3. Windows Media Center's Advanced Recording Options
  4. Control Your Recordings in Media Center
  5. Navigate Media Center's Guide and Mini Guide