Mastering the Media Center Interface

Some brilliant (but anonymous) observer of technology once made the observation that we work with computers from 2 feet away but typically sit 10 feet away from a TV. And thus was born the concept of the 10-foot interface, which dictates the design of Windows Media Center. Every menu and option in Media Center was created so that you could see it from across the room and navigate through menus with a remote control using four arrows and a big OK button .

The Start menu, shown in Figure 14-2, is the jumping-off point for all Media Center activities . You can return to the Start menu from anywhere within Media Center by pressing the green button on the remote control (or if you're navigating with a mouse, by moving the mouse and then clicking the green Media Center logo in the upper left corner).


Pictures + Videos Music

Movies movie library movie library

Figure 14-2 The Media Center Start menu is organized into strips. Use the up and down arrow buttons on a remote control to move through the main menu; left and right arrows choose options for the selected strip

Oversized text and a clean design makes the Start menu easy to see and use from a distance. Clicking the up or down arrows on the remote control moves through the options on the main menu—Music, Pictures + Videos, and so on—each of which is called a strip. (If you go the wrong direction, just keep going. Most Media Center menus are circular, so if you press the up arrow from the top of the menu you'll move up and begin again at the bottom of the menu ) Use the left and right arrow buttons on the remote control to select an option on the current strip, and then press OK to select it

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