Since the VCR project is centered around Kodi/XBMC, I have no need for Microsoft’s default media suite. To wit, I would prefer not to have it pop up if I accidentally bump the big green button on my remote control (and, consequently, be able to use said button for a different function), so I need to disable Windows Media Center.
Disabling Windows components has gotten much easier since Windows XP. Microsoft has built in a dialog that allows certain “required” components such as Internet Explorer to be removed from the OS (or, at least, hidden from view and disabled). To reach this menu, click on the “Programs” link in the Control Panel, then click the “Turn Windows features on or off” link.
Allow the list to populate, then uncheck the box next to “Media Features”. This will remove Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, and Windows DVD Maker. Uncheck any other boxes you might want to rid yourself while you’re there. Click the “OK” button and Windows will remove the deselected components.