Developing Applications for Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center delivers full-featured software and experiences to your customers by using the Windows Media Center Presentation Layer, which allows applications to have access to the same rendering technologies that are used to create Windows Media Center itself. The Windows Media Center Presentation Layer provides dynamic layout capabilities, integrated animation support, rich text and graphics support, and automatic keyboard and remote navigation. In addition, applications using the Windows Media Center Presentation Layer run remotely with full fidelity on the Media Center Extender for Xbox 360.

A Windows Media Center application is a managed Microsoft .NET Framework assembly that runs inside Windows Media Center. These applications use the following technologies to control and extend features and capabilities of the Windows Media Center experience:

  • The Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is a development and execution environment that allows different programming languages and libraries to work together seamlessly to create Windows-based applications and services that are easier to build, manage, deploy, and integrate with other networked systems. A Windows Media Center application has access to the .NET Framework's System namespace, and to namespaces provided by external assemblies.
  • The Windows Media Center Application Programming Interface (API) enables you to programmatically automate features and experiences of Windows Media Center, including media playback, queue management, tuning to live TV shows, scheduling recordings of future TV shows, parental controls, and navigation to Windows Media Center features from within a third-party application. For more information, see the Managed Code Object Model Reference.
  • Media Center Markup Language (MCML) to display the user interface. MCML is an XML-based declarative language that supports advanced concepts such as parameterization, private local storage, rich conditional-based data binding, composition-based animated visual content, and access to managed code assemblies from markup.

This section describes these basic concepts for developing Windows Media Center applications and services in the following topics.

Development Tools for the Windows Media Center SDKDescribes the tools that are provided with the Windows Media Center SDK.
Understanding the FundamentalsDescribes basic concepts to help you get started developing Windows Media Center applications.
Accessing the Windows Media Center APIsDescribes how to call the Windows Media Center object model in managed code and in markup.
Working with Windows Media Center Web ApplicationsDescribes the features and limitations of Windows Media Center web applications, and how to navigate to other pages.
DebuggingDescribes different debugging considerations.
MCML BasicsDescribes basic concepts of MCML, such as the model-view approach, MCML syntax, using namespaces, and accessing libraries and assemblies.
Defining a UIDescribes the basics attributes of an MCML UI, which include Content, Properties, Locals, and Rules.
Working with View ItemsDescribes the visual primitives that you can use to create an MCML UI.
Creating a LayoutDescribes the different options to use for laying out child elements in an MCML UI.
Working with User Input and Text EntryDiscusses how to support text entry from users for different input scenarios.
Setting Up RulesDescribes the Rules attribute of a UI, and how rules are used.
Planning for Localization and GlobalizationDescribes considerations for working with resources and implementing bi-directional (bidi) support.
Managing NavigationDiscusses navigation issues, such as managing pages, focus, scrolling, and so forth.
Working with AnimationsDescribes the basic concepts of creating animation in MCML.
Playing MediaDiscusses how to implement the different types of media playback, working with view ports, streaming versus downloading content, and using playlists.
Working with Live and Recorded TVDescribes how to tune to live TV and schedule recordings.
Developing iTV Framework ApplicationsDescribes considerations for developing Interactive TV (iTV) Framework applications to combine traditional TV with interactivity similar to that of the Internet and personal computer.
Installing Windows Media Center ApplicationsDescribes installation and setup issues, such as how to register your application and how to create an entry point for it in the Windows Media Center user interface.

See Also