This tip comes to us from an Entertainment 2.0 listener, Jeff. It’s very important for the time on a Media Center PC to be accurate. If the time is wrong on your computer, then your recordings will likely start late or get cut off too early.
Many Windows Media Center users have complained that Microsoft’s time service against which Windows’ time gets synchronized is unreliable. Whether the time itself is accurate or not, one thing is certain—syncing against the default service fails a lot! You can improve the reliability of your time service updates by changing to one of a number of different services offered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Open the Date and Time control panel and select the Internet Time tab. One quick way to get to this is to click the clock in the notification area, and then click the Change date and time settings link.
Click Change Settings to open the Internet Time Settings window. Provide your administrator credentials, if prompted.
Open the Server list and select a NIST time server. If Synchronize with an Internet time server is not already selected, click it now.
Click Update Now. Wait for a response from the service.
Click OK to close any open windows.
It’s worth noting that changing the service may not be enough to fix your problems. Windows doesn’t update the time often enough to keep some PCs on schedule. If your PC’s clock runs a little fast or slow, you may also need to explore creating a scheduled task on your computer to trigger the synchronization more frequently. Here’s a tutorial we found on how to make Windows 7 synchronize time more frequently.