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Chapter 7. Finding Shows to Record > About the Program Guide

About the Program Guide

One of the most powerful software components of your Media Center is the electronic program guide (EPG), which serves as your conduit to live television programming. If you have ever subscribed to a service such as TiVo or ReplayTV, or a digital cable offering, you may already have some experience with an interactive EPG. If not, you're in for a treat—especially because Microsoft is treating you to a free EPG. Although standalone digital video recorders such as those previously mentioned charge a subscription fee to use their EPG offering, Microsoft is giving away the service to users of its Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system.

The guide lets you check what's currently playing on TV and provides more details on each show, but that's just the beginning. You can also browse for TV shows, searching by title, keyword, or category. By selecting shows you have found using the guide, you can also record them with the touch of a button (for more information on recording shows, see Chapter 8, “Recording Shows You Find”). You can even choose to record an entire series of programs, so you'll never have to miss another important plot twist in your favorite soap opera, or the final installment of that blockbuster miniseries.


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