Monday, June 05, 2006

Vista Media Center - Guide Favorites

Matt Goyer posted a blog entry describing the new Favorites filtering option for the Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) in Vista's Media Center. Basically, Media Center will monitor the channels that you most often watch (roughly 7 channels) and display these seven channels in the filtered output.

This is a new filtering option, joining the previous filter options of 'On Now', 'Sports', 'Kids', 'Movies', 'News' and 'Specials' found in Media Center 2005. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to specify your own 'Favorite' channels, as the thinking behind this is that the most commonly viewed channels will match your 'Favorite' channels.

How do you filter by Favorites

  • Enter the guide (press the Guide button or Control-G on the keyboard);
  • Enter the context menu on it by pressing More Info on the remote, or CTRL-D on the keyboard, or right clicking with your mouse;
  • Select ‘Filter Guide’ on the context menu you’ll see some more options (Alternatively, skip these first three steps by pressing 'Guide' twice on your remote, or Control-G twice on your keyboard); and,
  • Select ‘Favorites’ will narrow the guide down to your favorite channels.

What are some of the downsides toward Media Center choosing the favorites automatically for you? Two things that immediately came to mind for me are:

  • Your channel choices are now public to others with access to your computer (maybe you don't want someone else to know that you watch a certain channel); and,
  • Your most commonly watched channels may not be your favorite channels.

What do you think of this new feature?

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