10 quick hacks to extend Windows Media Center

6. Use your iPhone or PSP as a remote control

You can turn your iPhone, iPod touch or your PSP into a Wi-Fi remote control for Windows Media Center. ngRC works with any web browser-enabled devices such as iPhones, iPod Touches, PSPs, PCs, and Tablet PCs. You can search and play music, videos and TV. The application is free and available from here.

7. Adjust the skip intervals

The skip buttons on Media Center are great for skipping adverts or skipping to a part of a programme, but you may want to change it to a longer skip interval. Here are the settings for the skip forward and back intervals. As with the other tips, fire up Regedit and navigate to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\VideoSettings

Find the SkipAheadInterval value and change the Skip Forward Interval to a figure that suits you. The figure represents the number of milliseconds you want to skip forward when you press the Skip button (one second = 1,000 milliseconds). Next, go to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\VideoSettings

find InstantReplayInterval and change the Skip Back Interval. Again, enter a number in milliseconds, but this time it will be for the amount of time you want to skip back when you press the Replay button.

8. Faster responses from the forward and rewind buttons

If you find the cue and review responses in Media Center a little slow go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\VideoConstants

and find the SeekBarBriefTimeout value. Enter a figure in milliseconds for the transition period in Seek Bar Rewind and Fast Forward Timeout. Next, go to

HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\VideoConstants

find the SeekBarSloMoTimeout value and enter a new figure for Seek Bar Slow Motion Timeout, which adjusts the transition period when in slow-motion playback.

9. Watch and record anywhere

WebGuide enables you to remotely schedule, manage, and watch recorded TV programmes over the internet. So if you forget to record Inspector Frost you can do it from any machine that has a web browser, including your mobile phone. Download it for free from www.asciiexpress.com/webguide.

10. The Media Center Swiss Army knife

DVRMStoolbox can convert recorded video files into various formats, monitor the airwaves for new television shows, perform automated commercial removals, convert shows to an iPod compatible format and shrink files down for mobile devices.