Thanks for choosing freeTVEE for your TV and Entertainment! Even though we charge $0 a month, our goal is to give you the most Robust and Easy to Use service available. We do everything we can to make sure you are happy with your TV and Entertainment services but please remember freeTVEE is different than traditional Pay TV-for more details check out What To Expect From Your freeTVEE Installation & Service and the Customer Agreement & Legal Stuff, or just skip to the Quick Start Guide instead. Read on if you want more of the details that we not covered in the Quick Start Guide and feel free to skip over any sections that have already been covered.

GENERAL RULES

  • The more money you spend up front, the better & easier to use your freeTVEE setup will be.
  • The more complex your setup (AVR, HDMI splitter, Multiple TVs or PCs), the longer it will take to setup & potentially the more work it could be to maintain.
  • It takes a little work to initially setup freeTVEE. We give you a lot more than just TV, so your setup time is dependent on how many of the extras you want to use.

Internet Streaming Services Comparison Chart

Streaming ServiceCostContentTiming
AMAZON PRIME $99/yr subscriptionGiant selection of unlimited TV & Movies + free 2 day shipping3-6 months & older
NETFLIX $8-$12/mo subscriptionHuge selection of unlimited TV & Movies3-6 months & older
SLING TV$20+ /mo. cancel anytimeTop 25-40+ Cable Channels for less! ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, NBC Sports, NFL Network, NFL Red Zone, TNT, TBS, AMC, A&E, CNN, HGTV, History, H2, FX, Disney, CNN, Food, Cartoon, SyFy, USA, Lifetime, etc.LIVE-Same as Pay TV & Some On Demand
VUE$30+ /mo. cancel anytimeTop 55+ Cable Channels for less! Same as Sling above +Fox News, Discovery, E!, MSNBC, Nick, etc.LIVE & DVR included-Same as Pay TV
HBO$15/mo. cancel anytimeHBO-full catalog Live & On DemandLIVE-Same as Pay TV
SHOWTIME$9/mo. cancel anytimeShowtime full catalog Live & On DemandLIVE-Same as Pay TV
PlayOnNo Monthly RateDVR that records any online streaming content, skip commercials & let's you access from anywhere!LIVE, next day & older
STARZ$9/mo. cancel anytimeStarz full catalog Live & On DemandLIVE-Same as Pay TV
AMAZON VOD$1-$5 PPV optionsEnormous selection of PPV TV & MoviesNew releases
iTUNES PPV$1-$4 PPVMassive selection of PPV TV & MoviesNew releases
FREETVEE INTERNET TV LINKSFREEAll the free stuff we can find on the internet + stuff Hulu doesn't have!LIVE, next day & older
HULUFREELarge selection of unlimited TV showsNext day & older
HULU PLUS$8/mo subscriptionExtra large selection of unlimited TV showsNext day & older
VUDU 1080P HD$2-$6 PPVBig selection of 1080P HD PPV TV & MoviesNext day & older
Live Sports Including ESPN$5/mo. cancel anytimeESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, TNT, TBS, SEC, Universal Sports, BeIn, etc.LIVE-Same as Pay TV
Fox Sports, FS1 & Regional Sports Networks30 channels for $20/mo.Fox Sports, FS1, Regional Sports Networks, FX, National Geographic, TNT, TBS, CNN, AMC, A&E, HGTV, Food, History, etc.LIVE-Same as Pay TV
Live International Sports$10/mo. cancel anytimeInternationalLIVE-Same as Pay TV
International Television$25/mo. cancel anytimeInternationalLIVE-Same as Pay TV

Getting Started and To Do

Your Getting Started Checklist

Click a topic below to learn more:

To Do Item

Check Date and Time on your Media Center PC(s) and make sure the date/time are correct to your location. If needed, right click on the time in the bottom right corner and update.

Once you have created an account & added content to your queue from any of the links above, you simply need to log in to these same service links from your WMC User Interface on your freeTVEE HTPC. Click on any of the matching Apps in your WMC homepage UI-when you log in for the first time also select the option to remember log in info. In the future when you click on a corresponding app from your freeTVEE UI it will automatically load with your queue/stations/playlists/feeds..

Most of what you need should already be installed on your Media Center PC. Please be careful what you download, there is a lot of tricky and nasty stuff online. Do this at your own risk of viruses and nullifying your warranty.

Your Media Center PC comes with the free anti-virus Microsoft Security Essentials, which is scheduled to automatically run 1 night per week. This should be all you need and is all that is recommended. If you do get a Virus I would recommend you get Malwarebytes ASAP.

If necessary (out of area only), you will need to hook the Coax cable from the antenna into the TV Tuner & Setup you TV Signal. Run Windows Media Center (WMC/freeTVEE Homepage UI) and go to Tasks-Settings-TV-TV Signal-Setup TV Signal. After the TV Signal is setup you access “Antenna Signal Strength” in the same area and do a Channel Scan-which is also where you can edit channels in or out at any time (see TV Guide below to compare with detailed online listings), and be sure to edit out bad signal strength channels, out of area repeats and ones you will not watch.

Transfer all of your Music, Pictures and Videos to your new Media Center PC’s back end (windows folders). Simply open “Computer” or click on the folder icon and navigate to the each specific folder (music, pictures, videos, etc.) to copy/paste the files to their proper locations (you can copy a small group of favorite pictures into the “Screenshots” folder. The front end WMC UI should automatically show these newly added files, which can be edited at UI-Settings-Media Library. If your files are located on another windows 7 or newer PC (or you want to share the files on your new Media Center PC with another newer PC) you can do so by Setting Up A Homegroup. Here is a summary of the steps to move files in Windows:

  • Make sure that you have closed out (X out top right) of WMC & are back at your Desktop.
  • Click on the yellow folder in the taskbar on the bottom left of your desktop (you need to move your mouse cursor off the bottom of the page to see it).
  • On your Computer you will see the C: drive, and your E: which is where you want to store your media. When you plug in an external HD or thumb drive with your media on it you will see it show up as something like the F: drive.
  • 1st access the F: drive (or wherever your pictures are) and highlight all of the folders you want to move to the E: drive. Right click on one of the highlighted folders and hit Copy-which will copy all highlighted folders.
  • Move over to the E: drive/Pictures Folder & Right click-Paste. This should move over all of the Pictures you just highlighted. Do the exact same thing for any music or video files you want to transfer to E: drive/music, etc.

After getting everything set up to your liking (below) and transferring all your important files please RUN A BACKUP (which includes a system image) OR AT LEAST CREATE A SYSTEM IMAGE DISK. All Windows PCs no longer include a system restore disk, so you need to do this yourself ASAP in case that your PC crashes. We suggest using one of these External Hard Drives for your backup or another newer Windows PC on your homegroup. It only takes a few minutes to do and is well worth it to preserve all of your precious pictures and home videos-if you add additional content in the future run backups too. You can use Window’s built in Backup program (under Control Panel-details linked above), or Macrium is another backup program loaded onto all newer Media Center PCs.

Media Center PC General Info, How To and Basic Operations

freeTVEE does as much work up front as possible to make your Media Center PC easy to use and plug and play. However, due to the infinite electronics and wiring possibilities that are unique to each home some things need to be setup after your Media Center PC is at your home. It does take a bit of work up front to get your freeTVEE service setup, and some time to get used to the plethora of new apps and content that you now have access to. To avoid frustration we suggest you start simple, only make any the changes below IF NEEDED. Do NOT add on extra unnecessary software, anti-virus, or files that could be corrupt as these could create software interaction problems and virus that will nullify your warranty. We also suggest you leave your Media Center PC powered on at all times, and close out (hit the X in the upper right hand corner) of the WMC Homepage UI when you are done watching TV..

Topic

Click a Topic to View the How To Description

How To Description

Whenever possible hook your Media Center PC directly to your AVR or HDTV via an HDMI cable-use HDMI 1 if possible. If the Media Center PC has too much or too little screen fill first try your TV remote and push the “picture size”/”format”/”screen resolution” button to see if you can adjust the picture size on your HDTV itself to fill the screen. If necessary you can fix the PC to fill the full screen on your Media Center PC by following the following steps: Right click your desktop-select Graphic Properties-then Advanced Mode-Display-TV Settings-Custom & adjust the Horizontal and Vertical as needed.

If you have a Media Center PC from freeTVEE you have the best OTA TV guide available built right into your Homepage UI! All stations with .1 behind the channel number are your HD stations, and the rest (.2 – .7) are digital. If you live in the Denver area you will have the Network Logos pre-populated on your TV Guide next to the channel number, however since channel lineups vary by location you will need to set this up if you are out of the Denver area-(OPTIONAL). You can download the main Network Logos Here. Then go to Windows Start – All Programs-My Channel Logos and launch the program. Select the Channel from the “Listing” on the left, and then double click the “Logo” box on the right to navigate to where you saved the proper logo and select-I usually just add the logo on the main .1 HD station. Here is an excellent online OTA TV guide-make sure to select Broadcast Antenna as your source.

If you own a Gyration or Dell remote control please check out the Owners Manual for lots of helpful tips and programming options! These remotes are universal and in most cases can be programmed to control basic functions on other devices such as a TV. We have also noticed that some batteries do not fit/work well while others do.  If you are having issues please try different batteries-these seem to work in all remotes: Duracell, Energizer, GP Alkaline and more… If you are using a keyboard WMC Keyboard Shortcuts will come in handy. We have programmed an OSK (On Screen Keyboard) to pop up automatically when needed in your web browser, but you will also see an OSK in your Taskbar that you can click on and launch if needed.

Most people connect their Media Center PC to their HDTV or AVR with a HDMI cable which is recommended. Windows will usually automatically recognize your default audio device. If you need to manually setup the sound in Windows 7 right click the speaker in the bottom right of your desktop and select “Playback Devices”, where you will see your HDTV or AV receiver displayed. Right click on it and set this as “default” if it is not already done, to tell Windows you want to use the HDMI that is connecting your Media Center PC to your AV Receiver as your default device (select SPDIF/Digtal Optical if your AVR doesn’t have HDMI. If needed, you can click on the audio output device that you just connected (either HDMI or SPDIF) and select “Configure Speakers”, then tell Windows to set your speakers as “stereo”. If your Media Center PC remote doesn’t seem to be controlling the volume properly on your PC go into WMC Homepage UI-Settings-TV-Audio-and select Auto Volume.

With freeTVEE you can go anywhere you like on the internet & operation is easy, but it does take some getting used too. iTV is where you will need to use your remote’s mouse (we generally suggest you do NOT use your mouse anywhere else on the Homepage UI for navigation and control-use arrows and ok/back). The most important button on the remote is the Green button in the middle, it will always get you back to your Homepage User Interface-THIS IS THE SAME BUTTON YOU PUSH TO PROPERLY EXIT THE ITV WEB BROWSER (hulu & itunes can be x-ed out instead). The mouse is activated by holding down the mouse button built into the middle of the remote and then the cursor is moved by gently flicking your wrist. The the top front edge (pointer) is the area that you want to move and stop on a link before clicking. Move your cursor to the right of the screen for the scroll bar & to the bottom of the webpage to access the full navigation bar. The navigation bar is where you can type in a specific website url and change any Settings such as fill TV screen, text size, etc. Additional features you can play with are double clicking the mouse button to lock it on, right click to go back a page in the browser, placing your cursor on the scroll bar and holding down the mouse button in between the left click and center to scroll and drag a page, etc.

Windows & WMC will play most normal DVDs directly (not Blu-Rays). We have also added a freeware VLC program in the Videos section of WMC to play those odd file types that Windows doesn’t recognize. If you want to play Blu-rays directly you need to have a Blu-ray drive on your PC & the correct software to play them-we highly recommend you get PowerDVD.

If you want to save your personal DVDs & Blu-rays on your PC’s hard drive for back up protection & easy access we will give you some tips. All of the apps you need are in All Programs or the Windows Start Menu (accessed from the windows logo-bottom left hand corner of desktop) and are in order at the very top of the start menu that pops up. The process does take some time & getting used to initially so do a few test runs.

  • MakeMKV is an awesome program that allows you to rip your personal DVD’s to your hard drive (please note some countries consider this illegal so do this at your own risk-we obviously do not condone or promote ripping & distributing of media that you do not own). Make sure you label the folder correctly (title of the Movie) & then point MakeMKV to rip it to the proper Movie folder. We suggest you use the existing folders we already have setup & follow the folder naming structure we have in the E:-Movie-Kids folder. You can also change MakeMKV’s settings to only show the English title plus not show the shorter menu items to save space on your HD if you like. Additionally, you can move any Movies that you have Recorded via your OTA Antenna from the Recorded TV folder into the Movies folder via the same process listed above-you just skip the MKV step and start by creating a new folder with the Movie’s title in the proper section of the Movies folder. MakeMKV offers a free version & a paid version if you don’t want to go through the hassle of updating your product key all the time. If its asking you for an updated product key, you can get that in the MKV Forum here.
  • Media Center Master is then accessed to get all metadata-artwork, actors & other IMDB info (This step is no longer needed if you have the newer version of Media Browser 3).
  • Lastly, Media Browser 3/EMBY is a program already integrated within WMC, that not only displays your movies brilliantly but also will do the work of getting the Metadata too! Assuming you have properly created a new folder under “Movies-DVD/KIDS/DVR/etc. and named titled this new folder with the title of the movie. Example-Movies/Kids/Frozen. MB will eventually update and add the new movies itself or you can click on the Settings Gears in the upper right corner and hit Update manually.
  • Media Browser Config is only needed if you want to edit or add new folders to your default windows Movie folders, this is only recommended for advanced users-be sure to match the existing structure.
  • LAV Filters only needs to be changed if you are hooking your HTPC to an AVR and is used to encode HD audio properly. IF NEEDED click on LAV Filters-LAV Audio-Formats-and then ONLY select the formats that your AVR supports.
  • Play Blu-rays Directly: If you want to directly play Blu-rays you need to have a Blu-ray drive as well as software to play Blu-rays-we suggest you get PowerlinkDVD.

Your new Media Center PC will come pre-loaded with the server software needed to enjoy your personal media on a web browser, tablet, or smartphone. Because these options are constantly evolving and each has things it does better than the other please visit their websites directly for more info & to choose which one suits you best (both are free online): PLEX or Media Browser.

Media Browser or EMBY already has the needed MB Server on your freeTVEE PC, plus most of the Library settings & folder structure is already setup for you under E: MEDIA-Movies-Kids. More details & guides for EMBY can be found here!

Here is an ADVANCED guide that isn’t associated with freeTVEE (use this at your own risk), but might be helpful to advanced users that are looking for more content.

Other Internet Apps and Service Links

SERVICE LINKCOSTDESCRIPTION
YOUTUBE CHANNELSFREEFind free niche channels that interest you & subscribe to exactly what you want for free!
PANDORA-INTERNET MUSIC STREAMINGFREEInternet music streaming service that is customizable to your preferences-intelligent radio!
TUNEIN INTERNET RADIOFREEInternet radio stations form around th U.S. & world-featuring music, news, business, talk, sports, etc.
SPOTIFY MUSICFREECombines internet music streaming with your mp3s to give you exactly what you want to hear!
SKYPEFREEGrab a Widescreen Webcam & do a live video phone call to anyone in the world, on your big screen HDTV!
REALPLAYERFREEOrganize, Play, Download and Share your music, pictures & videos with RealPlayer.
REALDOWNLOADERFREEDownload any online video to your PC for free with just 1 click!
NET NANNY$13 on upFull suite of parental monitoring services for the internet & smartphones.
KARAOKE CHANNELFREE on upFull online Karaoke party with unlimited access to music with videos & subtitles!
MOZY ONLINE BACKUPFREE on upSecure backup of all you documents, pictures, music & home videos.

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Cash Rewards & Staying Connected

Get rewarded with cash for sharing the love! Help a friend or family member get better TV & Entertainment service plus save lots of money with freeTVEE & we will reward you with $25 cash for every BEST HTPC installation or $10 for every BASIC Antenna installation. Keep up with any changes, upgrades and new stuff,  simply click on the links below and “like”, “follow us”, “refer” or “share” freeTVEE.

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