Unable to watch premium channels in WMC

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Unable to watch premium channels in WMC

Post#1 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:08 am

So I am sorry if some of these questions have been posted before. I have read many many posts and lots of my questions have been answered, but I have one more. I have an HDHomeRun Prime, and I have it working with Plex, the HDHomeRun app on my cell phone, my PC, a few Smart TVs, and an Xbox One. My understanding is I can only watch premium channels with WMC. Well in short. I can watch every channel I have but those. They will play for a few minutes, but then my WMC goes all BSOD on me. I had a few other issues with it before like needing to update drivers, a thing called digitalcableadvisorsetup_x64 that needed to be installed, and getting my cable card activated the right way(that only took three calls). I would like to replace most if not all of my STBs with Mini PCs with WMC, but I need to be able to set them up right. So right now I am learning how to use WMC on my desktop before I start with the Mini PCs. Anyways my setup as of today is an Old Dell Desktop PC running Windows 7 64 bit OS, with an AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 250 Processor 3.00 GHz, 8.00 GB RAM, and an ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics card. If anyone has any ideas of what I should do please let me know. Last time this happened I did not think to take a picture of the BSOD, but next time I will.

Also, has anyone tried a MINI PC as a STB? If so what's the best inexpensive Mini I can get? I did pick up a Mini off of Ebay for about $90 after shipping, but to be honest I'm not sure it was a good buy. I know it's a Windows 7 with 3GB of RAM. I don't know much more than that, as I can't find anything on the make or model... I guess you could say it was an impulse buy... Here is the info I do have on it (Tangent Rugged Mini-GM BAR-068 Micro Form Factor PC Win 7 3GB 120GB MS Office!) I did look up Tangent and it seems to be a computer distributor for the medical industry. Again guys any help for a noob would be great and thank you ahead of time.
CyborgBob
 
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Post#2 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:59 pm

Since you are running Windows 7 x64, I recommend that you look at setting up 1 server (potentially on this PC) and then use Media Center Extenders like the Linksys DMA-21000 and DMA-2200 (has DVD, in addition to extender capabilities). These are low powered and connect to your Media Center over the network (wired network is HIGHLY recommended).

As far as your problem is concerned, the 1st thing I would look at is determining where the crash is occurring. Try to record from a premium channel without displaying it. If the recording is successful (ie: no BSOD), then you know that the tuner thru the network and onto the hard disk is working. I would then try to playback the recording and see if the BSOD re-occurs. This would point to the video card and/or driver being the cause.

I am a bit concerned that your hardware may not be up to this task. That's a pretty slow machine with an old/slow video card.

Lastly, make sure you have the latest drivers for your video and network cards.
DanH
 
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Post#3 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:13 am

DanH,

Thanks for the info. I am also thinking that this is a hardware issue. I have read that premium channels can go from 30fps to 60fps, and older video cards can't take it. Also it only happens with the premium ones. So I think hardware maybe the issue. This old desktop is really only used for surfing the net, and remoting into my Plex Server. I just wanted to use it to learn about WMC till I can find STB replacements. I have ever used windows media extender, but I have read about it. These Linksys DMA-2100 and 2200 do they act like a STB? I mean can I use a remote, and change the channel just like a STB or WMC? Is there a load time? I checked youtube, and a few other places, but I am not finding must info on them. Again thanks for the help.
CyborgBob
 
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Post#4 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:24 am

The so-called "29/59 issue". Yes, the signals on a lot of channels on a lot of cable systems do that. As a data point, I started out many years ago with a mobo with integrated 4250 display adapter. Was a disaster, could not cope and stuttered badly (although never got a BSOD from it). Could be driver as well. DanH's advise is good for that test.

The Linksys boxes are extenders to your primary WMC machine, not standalone. And if your main box is underpowered they may not work too well, extenders put some extra load on the main system. They act like the main box, same interface - they use the main WMC to tune live TV and play recordings. BTW, you don't say what cable system you're on - Comcast has essentially rendered the Linksys units useless due to the MPEG4 conversion.
webminster
 
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Post#5 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:46 am

As was stated above, these are "extenders. If you look around, you will see that they aren't even being made anymore, and that they don't really do what I would call quality HD, and they aren't something that you want to "invest" in for the future.

You didn't say what cable company, but if you can't even get the DRM working (and you are paying for it - right) on the Silicon Dust applications that run on the PC to just view the content, then you're not too likely to get it working on WMC...

And Why do you want WMC on all the various STB locations? Is it cost based? Ease of access centrally recorded content? Other? Is there any WAF involved? Some other options to the whole use of "extenders is to use ONE machine to record, and the others to access the recorded material. You still can run into tuner access issues, and setup of recording needs to be managed centrally, but at least you have an actual "PC" to augment a dumb TV.

Best of luck. Even though what you are playing with, if you can get DRM working with the SD apps, then it should handle the work on that PC you are playing with.
sbaeder
 
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Post#6 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:57 pm

First, to answer the question everyone seems to be asking. My cable provider is Xfinity by Comcast. I have not had an opportunity to do what DanH recommends, but I will tonight. I am guessing that I should not even look into the Linksys extenders because of the MPEG4 conversion, and as sbaeder says not a good investment in the future. As to why I want WMC on all the various STB locations. Well, I think the interface "with remote" is something my parents will understand and be able to use. I live in a multigenerational home, and I have older people here that understand a simple point and click system. I also have kids in the house that are smaller, and I think it will be easier for them as well. Is there a better way to accomplish this? At the same time, WMC seems to have many of the things my family knows and likes. Great "menu or guide", the DVR, and as stated before simple point and click system. Also, no load times when changing the channel, and access to my premium channels.
CyborgBob
 
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Post#7 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:51 am

Update,

I did as DanH suggested and recorded one of my premium channels. It recorded fine, and I was able to play it back fine. Still when I try and watch Live TV on my premium channels I have all the same issues. I will be able to watch for a few minutes, then BSOD.
CyborgBob
 
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Post#8 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:01 pm

You have parents who want ease of use. You have kids who want the same.

WMC with tuners is not for them. WMC to play videos/DVD's, yes. Save yourself a lot of grief and forget WMC. Tivo is your best bet here, or even Comcast's boxes.

I am not trashing WMC/tuner setups, I use several myself with WMC installed on laptops now migrated to Dell SFF's. But they require attention and are not glitch free, especially now with the Comcast/MPEG4 fiasco.

If you must continue, upgrade your system. I use Dell 980 SFF's (need eSATA), Win7 (NO UPDATES), AMD 5450 video cards. That's as small as you can get and still be able to swap video cards when needed. Do not rely on a system without this capability! That means no USFF, no Mini, no NUC systems, despite their "wow" factor.

The only issue I have is fast skipping forward on live TV/recordings sometimes freezes the video; pressing the close window remote button gets me out of WMC and then the green button gets me back in; I can live with this. I don't think there's a solution except to try Nvidia cards.
artm
 
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Migrated from HP 4420S, i5, Intel HD3000 to Dell 980 SFF, i5, Nvidia GT710 (thanks Comcast !)

Post#9 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:54 am

Can you watch encrypted channels such as a hbo with a hd homerun prime through windows media center? I see some correspondence about only sd videos can be recorded if its encrypted? is that through windows media center as well? coming from a Ceton, with recent freezing issues, considering going with hd homerun but want to make sure I can do the same thing with the HD homerun prime (obviously minus the additional tuner)
wethead4
 
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Post#10 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:07 pm

Yes, can watch any DRM on Dell 980 SFF, i5, Win7, AMD 5450, WMC. HDHomerun Prime. Only issue is as i explained above with fast forward/backward/skipping.

I have another test system with a Nvidia Quadro FX580 that does NOT display these issues. I can't use this card in my WMC setup but at least we know it works fine.

I'll be trying out some other videl cards soon to see if I can find something better.
artm
 
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-Art -- Win7 Ultimate x64 (NO UPDATES!), HDHomerun Prime
Migrated from HP 4420S, i5, Intel HD3000 to Dell 980 SFF, i5, Nvidia GT710 (thanks Comcast !)

Post#11 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:17 am

CyborgBob wrote:So I am sorry if some of these questions have been posted before. I have read many many posts and lots of my questions have been answered, but I have one more. I have an HDHomeRun Prime, and I have it working with Plex, the HDHomeRun app on my cell phone, my PC, a few Smart TVs, and an Xbox One. My understanding is I can only watch premium channels with WMC. Well in short. I can watch every channel I have but those. They will play for a few minutes, but then my WMC goes all BSOD on me. I had a few other issues with it before like needing to update drivers, a thing called digitalcableadvisorsetup_x64 that needed to be installed, and getting my cable card activated the right way(that only took three calls). I would like to replace most if not all of my STBs with Mini PCs with WMC, but I need to be able to set them up right. So right now I am learning how to use WMC on my desktop before I start with the Mini PCs. Anyways my setup as of today is an Old Dell Desktop PC running Windows 7 64 bit OS, with an AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 250 Processor 3.00 GHz, 8.00 GB RAM, and an ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics card. If anyone has any ideas of what I should do please let me know. Last time this happened I did not think to take a picture of the BSOD, but next time I will.

Also, has anyone tried a MINI PC as a STB? If so what's the best inexpensive Mini I can get? I did pick up a Mini off of Ebay for about $90 after shipping, but to be honest I'm not sure it was a good buy. I know it's a Windows 7 with 3GB of RAM. I don't know much more than that, as I can't find anything on the make or model... I guess you could say it was an impulse buy... Here is the info I do have on it (Tangent Rugged Mini-GM BAR-068 Micro Form Factor PC Win 7 3GB 120GB MS Office!) I did look up Tangent and it seems to be a computer distributor for the medical industry. Again guys any help for a noob would be great and thank you ahead of time.


I had similar issues years ago when I first got started with WMC. It was due to the Nvidia control panel. Something, for some odd reason, got changed in the control panel. I didn't change it. However to fix the problem I went into the Nvidia control panel and clicked or checked a box "Reset to defaults" or "Return to defaults". After that I bounced the box, and the problem disappeared. I'm not sure what caused it, and I'm not sure what fixed it, but it was one of those things where it no longer mattered, lol. If your card has a control panel like that, and you can't find a fix, try resetting to default. Starting at "ground 0" is just one of my troubleshooting steps that always seems to pay off.

I've had Comcast with HDHRP on 7x64 for years in the past. No problems after that initial setup issue that actually occurred using Fios. As for using mini PC's, the problem is sharing records. It works fine for non-drm channels, but drm channel recordings get cranky and won't play. So I use Ceton Echo boxes. Love them. The only thing I hate about them is you can't configure the network manually. Otherwise I'd have my tv running on a 2nd network.
GreenMachine
 
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