Your freeTVEE Service Quick Start Reference Guide

Thanks for choosing freeTVEE for your TV and Entertainment Solution!

Even though we charge $0 a month, our goal is to give you the most Robust & Easy to Use TV & Home Entertainment service available. PC setups will vary, so please skip any items that do not apply (i.e. you need a TV Tuner & Antenna for your free TV Guide & DVR to work). We recommend you do NOT upgrade to Windows 7, as new versions do not include the main Media Center for free. Simply click on any of the tabs along the left side below to see related details on whatever subject you need help with. For more advanced options check out our New Customer Info Section,

Key Terms

Terms We Frequently Use

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Definition

This is your main homepage User Interface (UI) for everything.

This is your default Web Browser for surfing online and is also what is programmed to launch when you open most apps from within your WMC homepage UI.

This is where you end up when you close out (X out in top right corner) of WMC, Chrome and all other applications. You should be here everyday when you are done watching TV. Nothing should be open when you power on/off your TV/Monitor.

If you move your mouse to the bottom of your Desktop, the Taskbar will pop up. You can access important things (from right to left) like: date/time, internet connections, volume/audio options, currently running apps/updates, on screen keyboard, Chrome, WMC, explorer folder and the main start orb.

Move you mouse to the very bottom left corner of your desktop taskbar & click on the blue circular Microsoft start logo. Access to important things like: Computer, Control Panel, Search and All Programs live here. Click on All Programs to find secondary programs that you have on your Media Center PC.

General Recommendations

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Recommendation

It’s much easier to show you things and help you out in person during your initial installation. Please take this time to ask any questions and use our expertise to help you setup everything correctly the first time.  To facilitate your freeTVEE installation, please have your:

  • Personal media ready to transfer (e.g., photo files (jpg, png), music files (mp3), video files stored on a USB flash drive)

  • Correct login info for all your streaming apps (e.g., Netflix login info)

  • Family present for the demo at the end of the installation, if possible. This greatly facilitates training the people that will be using the system where we can answer any questions any family members may have about how to use the system.

freeTVEE offers a lot more options than Pay TV, so it can be a bit overwhelming for some at first – if you let it… You can control this stress by figuring out what WMC Sections and Apps are most important to your family. Start with the basics in the “TV” Section, and use a few main Apps (Netflix, Pandora, etc.), until you are more comfortable with things.

The more time you spend initially setting up your TV series recordings in the “Guide”, adding your personal media to Taskbar-Explorer Folder-Media E:, signing in to all your apps, finding streaming content & adding it to your queue-the better your freeTVEE experience will be. Take a little time before you get your Media Center PC and explore the Streaming Internet App Options (most are FREE) to get the most enjoyment out of your freeTVEE setup. We suggest you create an account from your regular desktop PC, laptop or tablet (not your freeTVEE Media Center PC to start) and add stuff to your queue/create a playlist/create stations for each App while you are logged in to your account online. Then when you get your new freeTVEE Media Center PC, click on any of the matching Apps in your WMC homepage UI-when you log in for the first time 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.

Your freeTVEE Media Center PC comes pre-built with everything you need and all settings are generally already set for your greatest ease of use. To avoid frustration we suggest you start simple, only make changes IF NEEDED. You don’t even need to worry about updating anything on your Media Center PC, if something isn’t working it will prompt you to update (see below – make sure it’s authentic). Do NOT add on extra unnecessary software, anti-virus, or files that could be corrupt as these could create software interaction problems and viruses that could nullify your warranty. Your Media Center PC comes with the free anti-virus Microsoft Security Essentials, which is scheduled to automatically run one night per week. This should be all you need and is all that is recommended. If you do get a Virus (on any PC) I would recommend you get Malwarebytes ASAP.

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WMC is the main front end user interface where you spend all of your time. It is setup to seamlessly work with your Media Center PC’s back end, which is your Computer’s Windows Explorer (Media E: Drive folders). Any editing that you do to the folders in the back end (Recorded TV, Movies, My Pictures, etc.) will then show in the WMC front end (Recorded TV, Movie Library, Picture Library, etc.). Example: Go to the back end folder E: Media > Pictures > Screenshots and replace the stock windows pictures with some of your personal favorites. Now in WMC when you navigate to Pictures > Play Favorites or Picture Library > Screenshots you will see your personal pictures (as well as the default for the WMC screensaver slideshow).

Just like with Pay TV, glitches might happen from time to time with your electronics. At least now you are not paying over $100 a month to have these issues, plus you don’t have to go through Pay TV’s automated “help line” and terrible customer service… 👿  It’s important to remember that your Media Center PC is a Windows 7 based computer and your HDTV is just acting like a big monitor for it. You are more likely to have an issue initially, when you are first getting used to your Media Center PC/WMC UI and your Media Center PC is getting used to your network & newly interacting with all of your electronics. If needed, our Media Center PC Troubleshooting Guide will give you some help, or even better get live support for any issue with a freeTVEE Support Plan.

Windows and Windows Media Center (WMC) User Interface Tips

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Tip

The most important button on your remote control is the Green button media center remote control green button in the middle, it will always get you back to the main WMC Homepage User Interface. If you are ever lost or confused just hit the Green button to go home. This also automatically closes out of most Apps launched from within WMC!

We 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. Your Media Center PC is very efficient and should always stay powered on just like your old Cable box. When you are done watching TV close WMC and all apps, then simply power of your TV/Monitor.  Leave the Media Center PC on so it will record shows.

If you own a Gyration or Dell remote control please see the online owners manual in the HELP GUIDE below, for lots of helpful tips and programming options! These remotes work seamlessly with the WMC UI, are universal and in most cases can be programmed to control basic functions of your TV.

IMPORTANT Always remember to push the PC button in the top row of your remote to be able to control your Media Center PC (make sure it is on PC and also use the mouse to click/select the current screen if nothing seems to be responding).

When changing batteries, we have also noticed that some batteries do not fit/work well. If you are having issues please try different batteries: these seem to work in all remotes: Duracell, Energizer, GP Alkaline and more…

Only use the remote control’s mouse when needed – mainly in the Google Chrome web browser.

The remote control’s 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. Move the cursor pointer to where you like and stop on a link before clicking: take your thumb off the mouse and then hit right click or left click. Additional features you can play with are double clicking the mouse button to lock it on, 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. Mouse operation is easy, but it does take some getting used to, since you are not used to using a remote control that has a mouse. 😉

Hopefully you already listened to our advice above and have already added stuff to your queue/playlist. Internet Streaming is where you will use your mouse the most.

We suggest you do NOT use your mouse anywhere else on the WMC Homepage UI, for navigation and control in WMC use the arrows and OK/Back buttons or shortcuts).

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On Screen Keyboard There is a universal On Screen Keyboard (OSK) in the Taskbar that you can use with your remote control’s mouse if needed.

Wireless Keyboard We also have a Regular Wireless Keyboard that we use during all of our installs that is inexpensive and highly recommended. It is advised that you keep a regular wireless keyboard nearby always and is especially important to have when you are first setting up your Media Center PC and logging into all of your Apps. See HELP GUIDE below for keyboard shortcuts!

Windows, WMC and Chrome have lots of options and ways to change things. If you can’t remember how to do/change something, right click your mouse to see all possible options and then left click to select the option you want.

Easily open all Apps from within WMC. Some Apps open their own native software (Netflix, Spotify, etc.), these apps can be controlled by using the mouse or some of the other buttons on your remote control and are closed by hitting the WMC Green Home button (iTunes and Hulu are different and need to closed out/X out of application in top right corner first). All off the other apps open the same within WMC and launch a Chrome browser directly to that App’s website where you can find your show and then blow it up to full screen (bottom right corner of show that is playing). With freeTVEE you can go anywhere you like on the internet! Chrome has lots of cool features, but my favorite is that you can go directly up top to the Navigation Bar and type in a WWW. web address or jusr type in what you want to search for online (it’s like doing a Google Search). Just like any browser you can easily add your favorite websites to your Bookmarks Bar, by clicking on the Star on the right side of the chrome address bar.

We have already organized the main Streaming Apps into topical section of the WMC Homepage User Interface, however you have access to over 100 Apps in the Extras Library. Navigate to the very top row in WMC and go to Pick My Apps and Extras-Extras Library. Within the Extras Library you will see all of the Apps loaded onto your Media Center PC. You can open any of these Apps the same way you normally do and check them out. If you like it and want to add it to the main WMC Home Pick My Apps and Extras row simply right click on the App from inside the Extras Library and click Add or Remove From Start Menu.

If you want to have a App open (like playing music with Pandora or Spotify), but you also want to do something in WMC at the same time (like Play Favorite Pictures) you need to open them differently. First close out of WMC so that you are at your desktop. Then open the program (Spotify) or Chrome Website (pandora.com) and play your music. Next you can hit the Green WMC Home button media center remote control green button (it will not close your app because you didn’t open it originally within WMC) and navigate to whereever you like in WMC (Pictures > Play Favorites).

TV Guide, Recorded TV and Movie Guide is where you will spend most of your time and it will actually be similar if not better than your old Pay TV Guide and DVR – plus it is completely FREE! 😛 See the WMC Help Guide directly below for more details. There are generally a few different ways to do things, so feel free to play around with the remote control and explore these areas with the different buttons on the remote control to find which way suits you best. Remember it’s best to not change any settings and simply hit the Green WMC Home Button if you get somewhere you don’t like.  Live TV will continue to play until you hit the Stop or Pause button on the Remote Control. This means you can pull up the Antenna TV Guide while listening/watching TV still, but it is highly recommended you hit the Stop button when switching to Watch/Listen to TV via any of the Streaming Apps.

Generally it’s recommended that you do not install updates until they are needed-if it ain’t broke don’t fix it… 😉 You can generally ignore any updates that may pop up. If something isn’t streaming right it will prompt you to update it directly. Just make sure any update is authentic and not some scam Malware, also pay attention when going through the update process because some check extra options/add on/sell you things you don’t want like MacAfee Antivirus, Ask Toolbar, etc. Windows, Adobe Flash, Java, etc. are normal legit updates that can be done every 3-6 months if you like, if you opt to do these updates regularly only select Windows updates that are older (to make sure other users have gotten out the bugs first)..

Advanced Options

Access the New Customer Info Page for more details on advanced options such as:

  • Transferring your personal media to your new Media Center PC!
  • Remote access to all your media including DVR, Movies, Music and Pictures!
  • Ripping your DVDs and CDs to your Media Center PC for easy access with full artwork and metadata!
  • Networking and creating a back up for your Media Center PC and other PCs!

Check out these top Internet Streaming Services & try them Free! Find even more Streaming Service options here.

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