Tag Archives: windows media center

How to add / edit missing QAM channels in Windows Media Center

This is the part two in our series of tutorials in how to use Windows Media Center as a DVR for your high definition clear QAM channels. Unfortunately the operation is most cases is not as plug and play as we would like and I lost a day in the process of figuring a way to make everything work. The first part of the tutorial described how to deal with the “No channels were found error” that Media enter displays after a full scan for clear QAM channels. This part will describe how to add missing channels and set the proper Guide source so the right guide information and schedules are displayed.

In my case, although I knew KTTV-DT (the high definition Fox 11 affiliate in my area) had to be among the found channels, for some reason it wasn’t in the list. In this case ,you’ll have to add them manually by entering the modulation/frequency ID of the channel. An excellent resource for this is the SiliconDust website. Add your zip code, don’t forget to select the cable provider in the top left list box (Antenna channels list is selected by default) and you’ll see the actual channel number together with its virtual number. In my case, LA area, KTTVDT is 88.548. Read More…

How to fix “No Channels were found” error in Windows Media Center

I recently reviewed a couple of QAM TV Tuners (SiliconDust HDHR3 Dual ATSC/QAM Network Tuner) and MyGica A680B I recently bought as part of my effort to get rid of expensive cable subscription, DVR fees, etc. I use a server running Windows 7 and Windows Media Center as a DVR and a bunch of XBOX 360 game consoles as extenders. While the tuners performed well, I had big problems setting up and finding clear QAM channels in Windows Media Center and I wasted a day trying to figure out why it doesn’t work. The result is described in this tutorial.

If you are trying to watch clear QAM channels using your newly purchased tuner, maybe you were surprised to find out that after a full scan Windows Media Center displayed a the message: “No channels were found” prompting you to check if your TV equipment is properly connected to the computer. Yes, it was! What next? Read More…

How to fix Netflix error n8156-6013 on Windows Vista/7 x64

I have several ways to watch Netflix, mostly via dedicated media streamers as WD TV Live Plus but the Netflix interface in Windows Media Center for Windows 7 is second to none. I started to miss it and today I wanted to play with it again. However, I had a nasty surprise: While I was perfectly able to browse Netflix queue / categories, I couldn’t play any movie. Instead, the following error message was displayed in Netflix for Windows Media Center:

“An Internet or home network connection problem is preventing playback. Please check your Internet connection and try again.” with an error code n8156-6013.

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Media Browser releases a new version – 2.2.8 codename Orion

The folks from Media Browser recently released version 2.2.8 (codename Orion) of their excellent Windows Media Center plugin called – you guessed – Media Browser. The new release contains performance fixes and several new features (see Changelog: Media Browser 2.2.8 (codename Orion) for the full list). What was a pleasant surprise was the addition of 3 plug-ins for the supporters (Media Browser is by far my favorite Windows Media Center plug-in and I am proud to be one of the early supporters)

  • MB Trailers (replaces the previous Apple Trailers plugin and offers HD trailers inside Media Browser)
  • CoverArt – (available for $4 for non-supporters) – gives you full access to automatic cover art processing.
  • Pearl Theme – new and really cool theme

We reviewed a previous version of Media Browser plugin a while ago, it should still be relevant today – check it here.

Hauppauge’s HD PVR is officially supported now in Windows Media Center

Hauppauge finally announced official support for their HD PVR box and Windows Media Center, a move awaited for a long time by Windows Media Center users across the world. The HD PVR box features component inputs and is widely used to capture high definition video (it is actually the lowest priced unit capable to capture 1080i + 5.1 surround sound). While the Hauppauge HD PVR was used before today with the Windows Media Center, it wasn’t officially supported by its manufacturer and the support came via DVB Link’s software bridge. You can download Hauppauge’s official Windows Media Center drivers (now out of beta)  from their support website.

Read the full press release after the break.

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Windows Media Center Netflix Client gets updated to HD

Well, after Netflix announced several days ago the availability of HD streaming (720p) on PC, everybody expected at some point that the Windows Media Center Netflix streaming plug-in to be upgraded as well. Guess what, it already happened and there is a new client available to be updated for your streaming pleasure. The update process is fairly similar with the first one you went through to install the Netflix client for the first time, so no surprises here. If the update doesn’t start by itself, just go to Settings->General->Automatic Download Options and click Download Now. And by the way, I just did the whole process on train, while commuting back home from work tethering via my iPhone. It literally took 2 minutes. Check some screenshots after the break.

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TwitterMCE – Twitter on TV from Windows Media Center – Review

I’ll never write myself tweets while watching TV, but reading the ones I follow might prove useful from time to time. I have been looking for a while for Windows Media Center plug-ins to improve my TV watching experience, and TwitterMCE from MCEZone seemed to be a rather useful one, so I went ahead and install it.


TwitterMCE will allow you to post tweets, view friends, followers, timelines, Read More…

Made for Media Center – an app store for Windows Media Center

If the recent history proved something right, is the need to have an integrated experience, regardless of what software platform we are using. The phenomenal success of iPhone is not related to any amazing hardware, but to the fact that everything works so well together. One doesn’t need to tinker endlesly with software configurations, or dig on various websites to gather whatever software packages might be compatible with his platform. (Yeah, I know, WE do it, but if you want something to be really popular, you got to make it simple for the average Joe).

That being said, many companies are headed to the app store dirrection, Microsoft being one of them. However, Read More…

How to Auto Login in Vista and Windows 7 after wake up from sleep or hibernate

A simple to fix, yet annoying problem, especially for a Windows Media Center computer. After waking up from sleep or hibernation, Windows asks you to log in with your user-name and password. While this is a very good security measure for a work computer, for your home computer or more important, your  HTPC configured to be used without a keyboard, it could be annoying. A simple configuration will enable auto-login after wake-up.

1. Open Control Panel->Power Option Dialog (Go to Start->Settings->Control Panel->System and Maintenance or Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Control Panel->System and Maintenance). After opening, Click Require a password on wakeup.

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Auto login in Windows Vista and Windows 7

If you have a home computer and you want to skip the password input every time you boot your computer, there is a simple way in Windows Vista and Windows 7 to do this. I do not recommend to to this with your work computer or your laptop (that you might loose) but if you are using a home theater PC it might be a good idea, so here it is.

1. Go to Start->Run or press Windows key + R. A new windows will pop-up. In it, write “control userpasswords2” and hit OK.

2. A new dialog will display, populated with your current windows users. Select the user name you want to Read More…