What's New

Windows Media Center in Windows 7 provides an enhanced Windows Media Center application platform and support for hosting Windows Media Center applications and services. 

The following list summarizes the changes that have been made to the Windows Media Center SDK.

Data Access—Binding View Items to XML Web Data

  • Data access model items facilitate binding to Resource Oriented Architecture (ROA) web services most commonly associated with the Representational State Transfer (REST) style of web development. RESTful web development is based on the fundamental building blocks of HTTP verbs (such as GET, PUT, and POST), headers, and entity documents. For more information, see Binding to XML Data From the Web and the Microsoft.MediaCenter.DataAccess namespace.

Media Collections—Working with Dynamic Playlists

  • New media collection objects provide a rich, dynamic representation of an audio or video playlist that can be manipulated by an application. These objects are tailored for content and ad delivery, and allow the application to manage play states that are related to that content. But they are also flexible for other scenarios such as interactive content. Buffering and metadata retrieval have also been improved. For more information, see Working with a Media Collection.

Running a Single Instance of an Application

  • Applications can now run as a single instance, rather than allowing multiple instances. For example, if the user tries to start the application a second time while another instance of the application is already running, Windows Media Center returns to the first instance of the application rather than starting another instance. For more information, see Ensuring the Application Has a Single Instance.

Incorporating Standard Windows Media Center UI Features

  • Applications can use the new onscreen keyboard that is included with Windows Media Center. This feature provides a consistent method of text entry for users, regardless of whether they are using Windows Media Center or a Windows Media Center application. For more information, see Displaying the Onscreen Keyboard.
  • New background modes allow applications to achieve a true full-screen background. Applications can use the many built-in animated backgrounds, including full-screen video, which respects overscan. An additional benefit is the seamless transition from the application to a native Windows Media Center experience (such as the Start menu overlay with video in the background). For more information, see Creating Full Screen Video.
  • The Zoom Mode button and its modes (normal, zoom, stretch, and panoramic) are now available when the user opens the More Information context menu for a full-screen video in an application.

Improved Page Model, Page Navigation, and State Information

  • Windows Media Center now includes a true page model that provides the ability for pages that were authored in MCML to persist their state and discern between navigation direction (forward or back in the page stack and history). Pages can also be omitted from the backstack. For more information, see Working with Page Sessions.
  • Applications can now truly determine whether they are on the page stack. The ApplicationContext.IsCurrentlyVisible property indicates whether the application page is currently the active page that is being viewed by the user.

Improved Application Installation

New Features for Media Center Markup Language (MCML)

Interactive TV

  • The Interactive TV (iTV) Framework in Windows Media Center provides third parties the ability to develop Windows Media Center applications that combine traditional TV with interactivity similar to that of the Internet and personal computer. For more information, see Developing iTV Framework Applications and the iTV Reference.

New API in the Managed Code Object Model


Changes to the Existing API

Deprecated APIs

  • Hosted HTML

    All new platform features for this release are in the Managed Code Object Model and the Windows Media Center Presentation Layer. While there are no new features for hosted HTML, it is still available for application compatibility. If you still want to develop a hosted HTML application or update an existing application, you can download and use the previous version of the Windows Media Center SDK from the Microsoft Download Center.

  • Media State Aggregation Service

  • Input Method Editor Module

    Instead, developers can use the native onscreen keyboard in Windows Media Center that provides support for international text input.

See Also