Random “Weak TV signal” errors and failed recordings

Random “Weak TV signal” errors and failed recordings

Post#1 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:00 pm

For potential benefit to others I wanted to share a problem that I’ve been having; and also the solution I found.

Win 8.1 Media Center - Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe.

For some time I’ve had what appeared to be random recording failures. Sometimes a recording would suddenly stop for no apparent reason (other than the “Weak TV Signal” error message on screen at the end of the recording). Confusing and suspicious since all signal levels at the Ceton tuners have always been quite good (between +5 db and +10 db on all channels). I also noticed that the same “Weak TV Signal” error occurred “randomly” just watching live TV. And I never see any pixelation immediately prior to the “Weak TV Signal” message.

However, recently it was apparent that the “Weak TV Signal” message on Live TV was occurring regularly after having just finished watching videos encoded with h.264/MPEG-4. I found I could prevent the live TV error message by simply stopping and then re-starting Media Center after watching the h.264 video and before watching live TV. But also I noticed that recordings going on in the background were stopped (with the same “Weak TV Signal” error) as soon as I started watching a h.264 encoded video. And I found I was able to reproduce these errors on demand; so no longer was this a “random” problem. Very clearly, somehow watching h.264 videos was causing problems with ongoing recordings and also subsequent watching of live TV.

I searched for previous reports of this issue but could not find any in this forum and others. So I decided to look at the installed codecs as the source of the problem. Installed in my system was the CCCP codec pack (admittedly a somewhat old version dated 2015-10-18 – but apparently still the latest version). So I uninstalled this and installed the K-lite standard codec pack (V 14.0.0 with default install settings) and then the most recent 14.0.4 update. And magically the errors disappeared! No more failed recordings and “Weak TV Signal” error messages with live TV after watching h.264 videos.

Maybe some of you are more knowledgeable than I regarding these codecs and can easily explain the cause of the problem and why this solution works. I noticed that all my TV recordings are encoded in MPEG-2; could there have been some conflict between the MPEG-2 and h.264 decoding that caused the “Weak TV Signal” error messages?

In any case, I just wanted to share with all this issue. Clearly, the “Weak TV Signal” error message is a red herring in this case. And maybe others with similar problems should consider the codecs as the source of such problems.
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