Friday, June 23, 2006

Media Center Trick Play Functionality

Many Media Center users have taken advantage of the ability to receive broadcast television shows with VCR-like functions such as pause, rewind, fast forward, replay and skip, collectively known as 'trick play', all while rendering a live video stream.

These functions are all easily accessible via the Media Center Remote, as the buttons are all quite clearly marked. For example, you can skip forward 29 seconds by pressing the Skip button, you can skip backwards 7 seconds by pressing the Replay button, or you can Rewind or Fast Forward at multiple speeds via repeated presses of the Rew or Fwd buttons.

However, there are trick play functions that might not be so obvious. Media Center offers three additional trick play modes, including frame by frame advance and slow motion advance.

How do you access these modes while watching Live or Recorded TV?

Advanced Trick Play Functionality

  • Frame by Frame advance (forward)
    • Press the Pause button, then hit Skip button
  • Frame by Frame advance (backward)
    • Press the Pause button, then hit Replay button
  • Slow motion advance (forward)
    • Press the Pause button, then hit Fwd button

These advanced trick play functions are great for sports (such as the reviewing offside calls or dives at the World Cup) and I am sure you can find other ways to use this function. These functions work in both Media Center 2005 and Vista. In addition, the keyboard shortcuts for Skip, Replay and Fwd, once the Live/Recorded TV is paused, will do the same thing. See here for a list of Media Center 2005 keyboard shortcuts.

Note that the above three trick play functions are not available on Media Center Extenders and the Xbox Media Center Extender or the Xbox 360 Media Center Extender.

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