Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

New Host / Open Thread

by @ 1:18 pm on June 12th, 2012 in site news with 26 Comments


As you may have noticed we’ve been suffering a bit of downtime lately. Unfortunately, our previous hosts’ (vps.net) services have been degrading for quite some time and we’ve been forced to make a change. They seem to have expanded far passed what their actual staffing would allow resulting in poor uptime and support services. I saw the signs and should have made the move sooner.

That said, the actual move was far less frustrating than I suspected it would be (so far). It appears that the bulk of the site is once again functional. However, if you do find something not working properly on the site please drop a line below so I can check it out. It’s been a while since I’ve had the ambition to post a steady stream of updates but I am committed to keeping the site online for as long as possible. With luck that task will be reasonably easier now.

Unfortunately, this also means a bit of the database was lost (actually 2 portions from two separate time periods in the last 30 days) and some comments have been lost. If your comment was lost and you’d like to repost it (contains helpful info or questions yet unanswered) feel free to do so and apologies for the inconvenience.

I don’t have a new theme available at the moment but it’s nice to have one on the front page ready to download and I particularly enjoy this one. You can download the original wallpaper as well right here at Perfect Hue, created by Jason Benjamin.

mobius front


Post Open Questions / Tips / Media Center Related Below

Also, feel free to use the comments section below to drop questions, tips or media center related links and such. I’ll try to reply as I see them and as I have time or a fellow Media Center enthusiast may come along and have the answer. Dropping links is fine but they must be Media Center related and if a comment contains 2 or more links it is sent to moderation, please be patient. You can also send an email to mhealy@hack7mc.com and I will do my best to answer them but they frequently fall by the wayside due to time constrictions and the nature of an email inbox.


Comment #73491 from Mike [Reply]

Not being able to play recorded tv shows around the house was one of my biggest disappointments with w7mc so far. I have a wonderful Ceton infiniTV4, and I love it, but I’d like to be able to watch recorded TV in my office and bedroom. Are there any extenders/streamers/3rd party software available to me to be able to have a true “whole house DVR”?

Comment left June 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #73492 from Carl [Reply]


The only extender currently being sold is the XBOX 360. However, there are 2 other paths as well.

1) Wait for Ceton to release their Ceton Extender for Windows Media Center (or Echo). Don’t have a release date or price as of yet.

2) Check online for Linksys DMA2100/DMA2200 or HP x280n extenders. They work but don’t support some of the “newer” containers and/or codecs.

That’s it for now. There are no software options to make you PC/Laptop an extender.


Comment left June 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #73678 from Mike [Reply]

Just so I’m clear, the XBOX360 will play recorded shows? Will it also stream live TV over the network? I might be buying a few XBOXes soon if that’s the case! Any tips on scoring some cheap? Is the used market safe or is it best to go new?

Comment left June 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #73726 from Carl [Reply]

Yes, the XBOX360 will play back recorded shows and those flagged as copy once (DRM).

The issue with using a PC to play back recorded tv is that some cable companies flag everything copy once, and if that is the case, you won’t be able to play it back on anything except the PC it was recorded on.

Comment left June 14, 2012 at 10:20 am Permanent Link
@Reply #73493 from Michael Healy [Reply]

You should be able to set any pc running Media Center to use a network location to store/view recorded TV. As long as you’ve got enough storage on the central machine to store the recorded TV files. Just share the Recorded TV folder on the main machine (server). Then should be as simple as opening MC -> Recorded TV and Manage Library -> Add folders — on each client machine.

If you’ve got tuners on each machine you might want to set the record location to the central server as well. This will likely require you to map a network drive (right-click Computer in Explorer) though and I’m not sure how well it will work transferring that much data over your network, could work fine or be a terrible experience.

OR conversely you could simply set each box to share it’s personal recorded TV folder with each other box in the house. Though this would require having all machines available to share when you want to watch recorded TV.

If you need an actual “Extender” device I believe the only one still being manufactured is the Xbox360. I believe there are several mini-pcs available capable of delivering HD content as well, relatively cheap.

Edit: Fixed it up some.

Comment left June 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #73679 from Mike [Reply]

Thanks, I just tried this and I thought it was going to work! AHH! But then…. (insert price is right fail sound) DRM! Ugh.

Comment left June 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #73500 from clay [Reply]

Mike I’m running in to that issue as well. Some of the cablecard channels are encrypted and cannot be played back except on the computer that recorded them. Even worse, if you reinstall Win 7 you cannot play back any of your previously recorded encrypted shows. I haven’t found a way around this yet.

Comment left June 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #73502 from Michael Healy [Reply]

As far as I know there is no way around this DRM/encryption outside of reprocessing the file through a secondary device such as an HD PVR. That would entail more work than it’s likely worth.

Comment left June 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm Permanent Link

Comment #73650 from JohnP [Reply]

Daily backups of MySQL are pretty easy

Other DBMS have similar capabilities.

Pretty much all websites can retain 60 days of backups with negligible storage requirements. Only the huge sites have complications.

Data lose beyond a few recent hours doesn’t need to happen for anyone anymore.

Comment left June 13, 2012 at 9:48 am Permanent Link
@Reply #73653 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Regular backups were (and are) being made, however, the service provider had serious disk failures on both the main server and the backup server. Being a purported “cloud” vps service, this is something that should have never happened imo.

Comment left June 13, 2012 at 9:58 am Permanent Link

Comment #73824 from john [Reply]

Hey Mike -
Great to see the site back.

Wondering if I might ask for some help.

I had my computer all set up for streaming MKV videos to the xboxes, and something changed…

I wish I knew what!

How can i remove all the codecs completely and get this set up again? I’d already converted about 100 DVD movies to a big hard drive array…


Comment left June 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #73863 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Most codec packages should be able to be uninstalled from “Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features”. After locating and uninstalling all of the codecs/packages should be as simple as reinstalling. I prefer ffdshow tryouts myself. More complete directions on an ffdshow install for mkvs can be found here.

Comment left June 16, 2012 at 11:16 am Permanent Link

@Reply #73915 from john [Reply]

Mike -
Should I remove the DIVX stuff then? Just use the instructions you have there?

Comment left June 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #73959 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Yes, you can remove DivX as well, if you aren’t using the actual divx software for any other purposes. FFdshow should be capable of playing just about anything you throw at it including divx files.

Comment left June 18, 2012 at 9:40 am Permanent Link

Comment #74209 from Michael [Reply]

I have a brand new Assassin HTPC running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and WMC. I mostly experience synch issues when playing back recorded TV shows. In particular the synch seems to get worse when I use the fast forward or 30-second skip commands on my remote. It does NOT seem to help if I pause for a minute and then restart-in-place. The synch seems to get worse and more pronounced as the show progresses. I want to make it clear that I only experience this with recorded TV, NOT with downloaded movies (where it is easy to adjust synch).
I have already removed any 3rd party firewalls, and only enabled Windows Firewall.
I have already disabled all options referencing “Offload” inside the Network Interface properties.
I have already disabled network throttling by changing the registry to ffffffff (Hexadecimal)
My COX provider has tested my signal and optimized it with the correct level filters and/or boosters. And they ran a dedicated line from the house input to the TV Media Center so no other TV’s or CPU’s are on that run.
I have the following configuration:
Silicon Dust HDHomerun Prime 3 channel Tuner
Onkyo TX-NR509 (HD) Receiver
Logitech Harmony 700 Remote
Sharp LC-70LE734U 70″ LED TV
Assassin HTPC with Intel Pentium CPU G620T, 2.20 GHz Sandy Bridge 3MB Cache, LGA1155, 500GB HD, 2GB DDR, 1333 RAM,
I have pretty much exhausted all sources of information that I can find and really could use some expert advice on what is causing this conflict. Thank you.

Comment left June 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #74565 from Brian [Reply]


What do you mean by synch? Is sound OK but video choppy and out of synch? If so it might be a frame rate issue. Try resetting your video card to the factory defaults and see if that solves the issue.

Comment left June 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm Permanent Link

Comment #76371 from tai1spin [Reply]

There used to be so much activity on this site, is the site being actively maintained or updated.? I used to love coming here to read about all new MC related news and hacks. Now I see that there is barely any new content.What happened?

Comment left July 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm Permanent Link

Comment #76445 from b [Reply]

Ditto ditto ditto

Comment left July 21, 2012 at 9:27 am Permanent Link

Steen Fauerby
Comment #79209 from Steen Fauerby [Reply]

Which formats will DISPLAY in Win 7 MC “Recorded TV”?

I have a number of TV recordings from earlier versions of MC, which I can see using Microsoft Explorer, but can’t see when displaying list of recorded TV in MC

Tried to find a tool to convert those old TV recordings to WTV, though not being lucky yet.

If there is a way to display other than WTV-files in “Recorded TV”, it would be much easier.

Can I make my Win 7 64 bit MC do that?

Kind regards,

Comment left August 20, 2012 at 2:03 am Permanent Link

Comment #79969 from b [Reply]

Wmc should display most file types; especially dvrms files. Make sure your recorded tv directory id set to where your files are located. Other than that, look into shark 007 codec pack. Also, ask the same question on thegreenbutton.tv forum and you’ll for sure get a working answer.

Comment left August 24, 2012 at 9:56 am Permanent Link

J Ezra
Comment #93003 from J Ezra [Reply]

I recently purchased a Sony NSg-MR5U remote, which normally comes bundled with the NSZ-GS7 GoogleTV box. This remote seems like it would be the first-ever viable all-in-one solution to control a Media Center PC, but although I can get it to pair with my PC via bluetooth and the keyboard and remote portion works, the trackpad is dead. Windows only sees it as a keyboard. Does any1 know of a way to get the trackpad portion of this remote working?

Comment left December 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #95266 from GzStation [Reply]

I’m trying to pair the Sony NSg-MR5U remote but can’t find the way to put the remote discoverable ;-( can enyone help me ? Thank’s

Comment left December 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #100965 from Chuchi [Reply]

I had the same problem. The only solution I could find is to go to the device the remote is paired with and delete the remote from that device. Once this is done, the remote appears as discoverable by other devices.

Comment left January 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #108511 from Dina [Reply]

If you can’t use your MSG-MR5U, I’ll buy it off you. My mom somehow submerged ours in a glass of water.

Comment left March 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #108512 from Dina [Reply]

Of course, I meant, “NSG-MR5U”.

Comment left March 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #275278 from Anonymous [Reply]

I know this is a super late reply, but to put the nsg-mr5u in pair mode: hold the “FN’ button and the select button between the navigation arrows on the remote side. you should see the light on the side of the remote flash In a slightly different pattern than when disconnected. :) good luck

Comment left September 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm Permanent Link

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