Extenders Not Playing Video from WMC VM

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giggitygoo

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Extenders Not Playing Video from WMC VM

#1

Post by giggitygoo » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:30 am

I've run into the most bizarre issue I've ever had in the decade+ I've been running WMC. A few weeks ago, all my extenders simply stopped playing any video - live TV or recorded. When I try to play anything, I just get a blank screen with no audio. The extenders connect just fine, all the menus work. I can stop the "video" from playing and try another, and can switch channels. But nothing ever comes up. MY HDHomeRun Prime reports tuners being used to the channels I tune to - so WMC is apparently controlling the tuners just fine. WMC also detects the tuners with no problem when I run TV Signal setup.

I have been running my current setup, with WMC on Win 7 running in a VM on ESXi 6, for the past few years. I figured this must just be a glitch in the VM, so I spun up another Win 7 VM and tried again. But the same issue is happening there too. Then I figured maybe it was a recent Windows patch that caused a problem, so I spun up another VM with Win 7 SP1 and disabled updates. Set up my extenders, and .... same problem. Then I tried creating a Win 8.1 VM with WMC, connected my extenders, and the same exact problem appears. I have 2 Xbox 360s and one Ceton Echo - the problem appears on all 3 extenders - so it's not a faulty extender.

Just to test my sanity, I installed Win 7 on an old PC I had lying around. That actually works - the extenders play video and channels no problem. I installed Win 7 in a VM locally on my desktop instead of my ESXi box - and that works too! So this is some sort of problem with running WMC in a VM on ESXi. I should note that this problem happens even with non-copy protected videos and channels, so it's not a PlayReady issue. I also Googled this to the best of my ability and can not find this ever popping up for anyone else. Nothing shows up in the Event Logs on the WMC box. No error ever appears on the extender screen. Plus I can play back video in Windows Media Player in the VM itself. (WMC has never played video locally in the VM, even when this worked just fine)

I would really like to keep running WMC in a VM. Anyone have any ideas for troubleshooting?

adam1991

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#2

Post by adam1991 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:45 am

to clarify: this problem exhibits itself ONLY via your ESXi rig, correct?

In other words, the problem follows a single piece of hardware with a form of underlying operating software installed. The "same" Win7 software setup on physically other hardware/OS does NOT exhibit the problem, correct?

Start there.

I will also suggest that extender problems are usually caused by network issues--hardware and/or software. That means everything from your ESXi box, NIC, and drivers all the way through the cabling itself on down to the network port/switch it's plugged into.

Start there.

"when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"

giggitygoo

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#3

Post by giggitygoo » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:15 am

Turns out, the problem was the VM adapter. For whatever reason, I needed to change from E1000 to VMXNET. Now it works again. Strange.

adam1991

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#4

Post by adam1991 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:26 am

so, something changed a few weeks ago--something inside your VMWare rig.

Were I you, I'd be VERY interested in finding out what. Because next time, it may not exhibit itself in something so unimportant as WMC.

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