An extender is a device on your home network that allows you to play content streamed from your computer via the Windows Media Center software. A particular movie, song or image file is added to your Windows Media Center library, at which point it is then transferred to the extender so that you can enjoy that content on a connected television set. An example of an extender would be Microsoft’s own Xbox 360 video game console. You can add an extender to your home network through Windows Media Center at any time by adjusting a few key settings on each device.
Open Microsoft’s Windows Media Center software on your computer. To accomplish this, you can either select the option labeled “Windows Media Center” in your computer’s “All Programs” menu or search for the program by name using the “Windows Search” function that is built into the “Start” menu in your operating system.
Turn on your desired Windows Media Center extender. Not all types of hardware will work with Windows Media Center, even if a particular component is capable of accessing information contained on home media servers. Check inside the manual that came with your hardware component to make sure that Windows Media Center is on the list of compatible programs. Once your extender is powered on, select the “Windows Media Center” menu option to continue.
Selecting this option will cause a unique 8-digit code to appear on your television set. The device will use this code to connect with the Windows Media Center software on your computer.
Return to your computer and scroll down to the section of the Windows Media Center program that reads “Tasks.” Select the option reading “Add Extender” from this section to continue.
Click the option reading “Next” in the Windows Media Center “Extender Setup” screen. Enter the 8-digit setup code that your media extender is currently displaying on your television set. Click the “Next” button to continue.
Enter your computer’s administrator account password. You will be prompted for this information in the event that you are not already logged in under this account. Typing in the administrator password will allow your hardware and Windows Media Center to connect with one another. You can now add content to your various Windows Media Center libraries, which will then immediately be available on your television set via the connected extender hardware.
Keep in mind that both your computer and your extender need to be connected to the same wired or wireless home network. If your computer is unable to find the extender (or vice versa), check the Internet connection settings on both devices to make sure that they are in fact using the same network connection before continuing.
Sam Jones, the author, has recently set up an extended network at his home so that he can use windows media on all his 3G devices.