I've got a Media Center machine that I have been playing around with at home in order to ramp up on the functionality we offer now that I've joined the Media Center team. One of the really cool things I've found so far is the ability to remotely schedule TV recordings via the web. I have a first-series Tivo at home that I've been using since sometime in 2001, and I have found myself at work surfing the web during lunch a few times in the past when I stumble across an article about an interesting-sounding TV show coming up that night that I wish I could record without needing to brave rush hour traffic to get home in time to configure the recording options.
While I was sitting at home last weekend browsing through the Online Spotlight in my Media Center PC I noticed the MSN Remote Record service and decided to try it out. After installing a small MSI package on my Media Center machine, I was able to navigate to a web site from some other machine and schedule shows to record via a web service. Not only that, but since I have 2 tuner cards in my Media Center I could remotely schedule 2 shows to record in the same timeslot. 🙂 Some of this isn't too valuable right now since we just went through season finale weeks on the major networks, but I'm seeing more and more interesting new summer shows that are being released, plus there are random documentaries on the History Channel or highlight shows from old NBA Finals series on ESPN that I like to have on in the background while I'm working at home.
Overall, I found the remote record feature pretty easy to configure, but then after setting it all up I found a really good walk through that has been published on the Microsoft Media Center site that makes things even easier. You can find this article here if you're interested in more information about what the remote record feature is and how to get it up and running on your Media Center machine.