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Windows Media Center – Vista / MCE 2005
Download and install the latest video card drivers for your video card directly from the nVidia/ATI/Intel website. A number of early video driver releases for Vista cause problems with WMC.
MCE 2005: The MCE Rollup 2 update from Microsoft adds support for digital tuners to MCE2005. This update must be installed in order to use your HDHomeRun in Windows Media Center. MCE2005 requires that an analog tuner be installed in the PC in order to use a digital tuner like your HDHomeRun. The analog tuner does not need to be connected to a signal source, but it does need to have drivers installed.
Canada: WMC will display a hardware error message if you attempt to configure ATSC for use in Canada; this is a quirk in WMC and not a limitation of the hardware. See this article for a workaround.
- Download and install the latest HDHomeRun software from downloads.
- Open HDHomeRun Setup
- On the Location tab, set the Country and Zip/Postal Code
- On the Applications tab, set the Main Application to Windows Media Center
- On the Tuners tab, set the Signal Source to Digital Antenna or Digital Cable for each tuner as appropriate for the source. Set any unused tuners to Disabled. Vista and MCE 2005 versions of Windows Media Center only support one digital lineup so it is not possible to mix digital antenna and digital cable on the same PC.
- On the Digital Cable or Digital Antenna tab, click Scan to run a channel scan
- If you are using an Antenna, skip the following and proceed to Windows Media Center – Configuration
- Digital cable providers may not include the channel names in the broadcast; incorrect or missing names will result in “no guide data” being shown for TV listings in Windows Media Center. HDHomeRun Setup will attempt to use Silicondust’s lineup server to identify channel names. These names are submitted by HDHomeRun users in your area, so while they are generally a good starting point, some adjustments may be needed. Click the Zap2it Website button to launch a web browser and go to the zap2it website, then select your cable provider.
- Click the View button to view the channel. Identify the channel based on the programming currently being show, logos on screen, etc..
- In HDHomeRun Setup, change the Guide Name field to exactly match the callsign of the channel from the zap2it website. Zap2it may have two versions for some channels – one analog/standard definition (e.g. “2 KTVU”) and one digital/high definition (“702 KTVUDT”); make sure you use the correct callsign.
- Check the Enabled box to enable support for the channel. MCE2005 and Vista Media Center support a maximum of 68 channels; remap numbers will appear next to the first 68 enabled.
Advanced: The channel number displayed in Media Center can be modified by double-clicking on the remap number.
- Repeat for all channels detected.
- Click Apply to store your changes.
Note: You must repeat the Media Center TV Setup wizard each time you make changes to the channels in HDHomeRun Setup.
Windows Media Center – Configuration
- Run Windows Media Center’s setup wizard.
MCE 2005: Go into Settings, TV, Set Up TV Signal.
Vista: Go into Tasks, Settings, TV, Setup Up TV Signal.
- Confirm your region
- Select I will manually configure my TV signal. This step is required. If you attempt to use the automated setup, WMC will be missing some or all of your channels.
- If you have an analog TV tuner installed, select the input source (Cable, Satellite, Antenna); if cable is selected it will ask if you have a set top box.
MCE 2005 Media Center should ask “Is your Digital TV Antenna connected?”. This means it has detected the HDHomeRun. Choose yes.
Vista should report “TV Signal: Digital TV antenna”. This means it has detected the HDHomeRun. Cable will be reported as antenna in this step – this is normal.
- Choose Set up guide listings and go through the next screens configuring the guide data.
Digital Antenna: Media Center will automatically download the guide data based on your ZIP/postal code.
Digital Cable: If given the opportunity, select the digital listings for your cable provider.
- Media Center now will test the signal strength of each channel.
Digital Antenna: Uncheck channels that have no signal. Windows Media Center may display signal strength incorrectly at this step if other tuners are installed.
Digital Cable: Uncheck all channels below 1800. Check all channels above 1800. If there are no channels above 1800 look for a channel number in brackets. Uncheck all channels below (80.0). Check all channels above (80.0).
- Click Finish
- If you are using Digital Cable and Windows Media Center did not ask you to select your cable provider in the “Set up guide listings” screen, see the section below on No guide information or incorrect guide information
Windows Media Center – Live TV
- MCE2005: From the main menu go to My TV, Live TV
- Vista: From the main menu go to TV + Movies, Live TV
- Change to a digital channel. The digital channels have 4-digit channel numbers. Digital cable channels will be in the 1800+ range.
Digital Cable: No signal
Tuner card + Digital Cable:
- Check that the channel number is above 1800. If not, go into the “Digital Antenna Signal Strength” menu:
MCE 2005: Go into Settings, TV, Digital TV Antenna Signal Strength
Vista: Go into Tasks, Settings, TV, Digital TV Antenna Signal Strength
- Untick all channels below 1800, even if they have signal.
If you have an analog+ATSC tuner card you will need to untick the ATSC tuner. Unticking the tuner only affects the ATSC part of the card, Media Center will still configure the card for analog use. It is not possible for Windows Media Center in MCE2005 or Vista to use both ATSC and clear QAM tuners.
No guide information or incorrect guide information
The guide data does not come from the HDHomeRun but is instead downloaded over the internet from Microsoft. The guide data is downloaded based on your Lineup ID, and individual channels are matched based on callsign. For channels to appear with the correct guide information, both the Lineup ID as well as the channel callsign must be set correctly. Zap2it uses the same source as Microsoft for their guide information (Tribune Media Service), allowing you to easily look up the correct Lineup ID and callsign:
- Run HDHomeRun Setup.
- Digital cable users: Confirm the Lineup ID (see section below)
- Check that the channel names exactly match the Zap2it channel names and click Apply. HDHomeRun Setup will generate a new channel import file for Media Center.
- Run Media Center’s TV Setup wizard. Make sure you choose the manual mode – this tells Media Center to import the new channel list generated in the previous step.
For digital cable use you may need to override the Lineup ID using the Applications tab in HDHomeRun Setup. (For antenna use the Lineup ID is chosen automatically by the TV Setup wizard). To determine the lineup ID for your cable provider:
- Go to zap2it and look up your channel lineup (enter your zipcode and choose your Digital Cable provider).
The URL shown in the address bar should contain the “lineupId=XXXXXX”. For example, in the URL “http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCGrid.do?method=decideFwdForLineup&lineupId=CA04614:X&zipcode=94086&setMyPreference=false” the lineup ID is CA04614:X.
If the lineup ID is not shown in the URL then click “Change my Location” and choose your Digital Cable Provider again.
- Adjust the channel “Guide Names” shown in HDHomeRun setup so they match the zap2it website.
Note: Windows Media Center may show a “-DT” after the callsign; this is not considered part of the callsign and is for display purposes only (indicating a digital channel).
- Click on the Advanced tab in HDHomeRun Setup
- Enter the lineup ID and click Set
- If you had previously entered the correct lineup ID just click Set – this will force a configuration update.
- Force a guide data update in WMC:
MCE 2005: Go into Settings, TV, Guide, Get Latest Guide Listings
Vista: Go into Tasks, Settings, TV, Guide, Get Latest Guide Listings
Media Center will overwrite the Lineup ID setting if you run through the TV Setup wizard again; remember to repeat these steps to re-apply the lineup ID.