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Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM under Win10?

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:46 pm
by DSperber
I'm thinking about attempting this project. I have two Win7 HTPC's, one (Z170) of which is no longer actively recording but is still in "passive" use for viewing down my old copy-protected recordings backlog which can only be played on this machine that did the original recording. My second HTPC (M910t) is the current "active" one, in production use 24/7.

I also have a newly purchased Win10 machine, still in its carton. I would like to put it to the use I had intended for it, which is to replace the inactive Win7 HTPC when I finally view down my existing recordings backlog to zero (should that day ever actually arrive!!), with a new Win10 machine environment. But if I could actually create a working and 100% functioning Win7 VM on this Win10 machine, which could be put to use as an HTPC and making new recordings, I believe I'd like to do that. This would theoretically replace my currently active M910t primary HTPC which is true Win7, covering myself for January's end-of-life for MS's support of Win7.

I would transfer the two TV tuner cards (Ceton and Hauppauge) currently in Z170 into the new Win10 machine, for the project research and development. I don't need these TV tuner cards in Z170 in order to continue using WMC to view down recordings.

I anticipate potential problems with Win7 drivers for Ceton and Hauppauge getting installed and operating correctly in the Win7 VM. I anticipate problems running DCA during WMC initial setup in order to allow PlayReady to get installed, although that problem and its workaround has already been well documented and successfully overcome even in real Win7 environments. In fact I faced it myself only recently when trying to install WMC on M910t, which is how I know about the manual "hack" to the Registry that indicates "DCA has been successfully run, and PlayReady can now be installed".

I also expect potential problems dealing with HDCP and DRM, and the ability to play copy-protected contents to the DVI-attached external monitor that is handled from Win10 but needs to be available to WMC inside the Win7 VM.

In all my years I've never actually used any VM software because I've never needed it. Running the latest Windows native has always been fine, with no problems demanding that I retain through VM the ability to run some older app(s) on an older copy of Windows. But here I actually do have a need, since I have no intention of trying to run a "hack" of WMC itself that purports to be usable in Win10. I want to run the real genuine Win7 version of WMC, in Win7 and with all Win7 drivers and MS WMC software... just in a VM under Win10.

Anybody ever try this?

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:14 pm
by cwinfield
Ceton's drivers don't support vm, eth might work. Not sure about Hauppauge. Temviewer you can watch live TV and drm but the quality was terrible and I could not get audio to work despite setting it to be on, although this was a trial version and is not a vm. I hear that VMware drm and live tv work but I have not tried and don't think it will work full screen. If you do hyper-v the GPU driver does not have enough memory for live tv, but you can attach extenders to it without any problem.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:35 am
by adam1991
Now I'm curious about this in a purely OTA/Silicon Dust environment.

Or maybe just a passive/backlog environment of OTA shows.

I may move on to Tivo, but would like to have the old setup available for awhile to clear backlog. If I could do it in a VM, that would be very interesting.

I guess there's no harm in trying.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:58 am
by DSperber
I've got a similar thread going in TenForums, in the Virtualization sub-forum.

I got a reply from @DigitalLife, who I think might have been the guy who got WMC to work "native" in Win10. He had tried initially to run it under VMWare Workstation Pro, but said he had some performance issues and just decided to "go native". He then said he had recurring problems from major Win10 version upgrades that required reinstalling WMC, but I'm not at the point of worrying about that just yet.

I don't think EPG123 is built to run "native" in Win10, but I can't see that it would be too difficult to make that happen, assuming there was also a "native" WMC to work with... should that approach turn out to be more promising than trying to run WMC under VM.

I still think the basic issues concern the Win7 drivers for both Ceton and Hauppauge. It's not likely they will run "native" in Win10, and I'm sure there's zero possibility of resolving this. I would think the only chance is Win7 in VM, but even that is clearly questionable.

As far as limiting usabilty of displaying copy-protected content on local monitor (requiring HDCP, etc.) I could easily live with a restriction of only using extenders. As long as I can record the content and play it back even if only on extenders, that would be fine. I only need to be able to open WMC within VM in order to do settings, set recordings, etc., and that doesn't require HDCP-connected local monitors.

Seems like it might be interesting to at least give this a try. Again, I'm not relying on it being successful. My existing Win7 machines are still both perfectly usable.

And I've asked @DigitalLife for more info on his own "native Win10" WMC product, if I'd like to see how it functions.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:38 pm
by KarterJK
DSperber wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:58 am
I've got a similar thread going in TenForums, in the Virtualization sub-forum.

I got a reply from @DigitalLife, who I think might have been the guy who got WMC to work "native" in Win10. He had tried initially to run it under VMWare Workstation Pro, but said he had some performance issues and just decided to "go native". He then said he had recurring problems from major Win10 version upgrades that required reinstalling WMC, but I'm not at the point of worrying about that just yet.

I don't think EPG123 is built to run "native" in Win10, but I can't see that it would be too difficult to make that happen, assuming there was also a "native" WMC to work with... should that approach turn out to be more promising than trying to run WMC under VM.

I still think the basic issues concern the Win7 drivers for both Ceton and Hauppauge. It's not likely they will run "native" in Win10, and I'm sure there's zero possibility of resolving this. I would think the only chance is Win7 in VM, but even that is clearly questionable.

As far as limiting usabilty of displaying copy-protected content on local monitor (requiring HDCP, etc.) I could easily live with a restriction of only using extenders. As long as I can record the content and play it back even if only on extenders, that would be fine. I only need to be able to open WMC within VM in order to do settings, set recordings, etc., and that doesn't require HDCP-connected local monitors.

Seems like it might be interesting to at least give this a try. Again, I'm not relying on it being successful. My existing Win7 machines are still both perfectly usable.

And I've asked @DigitalLife for more info on his own "native Win10" WMC product, if I'd like to see how it functions.
It would be interesting to see if this actually works.

I have never gotten WMC to work Win 10, with exception to old old versions. If there is a working version, I don't think EPG123 would have problems.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:50 am
by DSperber
I've decided to approach this in a much more convenient way. Instead of using my new Win10 machine (still in its carton) and have to transfer the two TV tuner cards over from my "passive" HTPC into the Win10 machine (and also transfer all 32GB of memory over, since I scavenged the memory in the Win10 machine for use in another machine), I'm just going to install Win10 as a second bootable Windows on the "passive" HTPC itself! It already has 32GB of memory and the two TV tuner cards needed for the project, so why move anything at all when I can just use this actual machine itself??

So that's the plan. Re-boot, enable "virtualization" on the ASUS Z170-Deluxe board, and then install Win10 Pro to available space on my NVMe SSD, allowing me to then boot to either Win7 or Win10.

I really have no desire to try and get a hacked version of WMC running in Win10 native, with EPG123 if possible. I would much rather see if I can get WMC and EPG123 running in a Win7 VM under Win10, or if that truly fails then just continue to run my genuine native Win7 HTPC's forever. No complaint if that's what it turns out to be.

Time to play in the sandbox.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:03 pm
by DSperber
Making good progress.

Got my Win7 VM machine operational under VMWare Workstation Player 15. Installed from retail Win7 ISO (i.e. without USB 3.0 driver support and without NVMe drive support). Applied all Windows updates, installed my usual Win7 customizations and 3rd-partt software products so that I would feel at home. I didn't install every 3rd-party software products because this is still a research project at the moment, not a production machine. I then installed the latest Intel USB 3.0 driver, which cleared up the "other devices" in Device Manager.

I then discovered that Hauppauge has a Win-TV 8.5 version of their products, which has a driver for the Quad-4 card that installs in native Win10 and with an improved user interface for Win-TV. I separately downloaded just the Win10 driver, and also paid $10 for a Win-TV 8.5 activation license. For the moment I've only installed the Win10 driver, and will deal with exploring Win-TV 8.5 itself at a later time. So for now, the Hauppauge Quad-4 card is supported by a properly working Win10 driver. In fact I also confirmed that TSReader Lite will operate in Win10 for OTA/ATSC using this latest Hauppauge driver, and everything works perfectly.

I then did a bit more research into the Ceton card usability beyond Win7, since the Win7 version of the driver refuses to install in Win10. Lo and behold, although I never knew it before because I never needed to know it before, Ceton has a standard working driver for the InfiniTV PCIe card which supports their hardware in a Win8 environment. And... it also installs perfectly in a Win10 environment!

This Win8/10 version of the Ceton driver installer package also includes a working Win8/10 version of the Ceton Diagnostic Utility, along with a Win8/10 version of the USB Digital Tuning Adapter driver necessary to support SDV. Not only did this Win8/10 pacakage install without a hitch in Win10, but I also confirmed that the Diagnostic Utility verified a working cablecard and Motorola Tuning Adapter, meaning that I was able to manually tune through the utility to basic cable channels, premium cable channels, and SDV-delivered channels requiring the Digital Tuning Adapter. It all works flawlessly under Win10 native.

Unfortunately, at the moment the two TV tuner PCIe cards are only seen by Win10 Device Manager, and not by Win7 VM Device Manager. I'm investigating whether or not it's possible to "add PCIe card" to the configuration of Win7 VM under VMWare Workstation Player (free), same as purports to be the case with removable USB devices. VMWare in theory allows for the disconnection of those USB devices from Win10 host, and re-connction of those same devices through Win7 VM, although I was unable to get that to actually work with the USB IR Reciver and WMC remote. Still doesn't work in Win7 VM even though it appears in Win7 VM Device Manager. Still working on that problem.

But I'm not sure there is a way to similarly get the two PCIe cards detatched from Win10 host and re-connected to Win7 VM (presumably perhaps utilizing the native Win10 driver and somehow virtualizing support inside Win7 VM, or maybe actually allowing me to install the true Win7 drivers for both cards). However for now, EPG123 "save & exit" RUNS JUST FINE UNDER WIN10, except that when it gets to the point of wanting to launch EPGClient it fails because there is no device/tuner discovered inside of WMC in Win7 VM. So it's absolutely critical to get the two PCIe cards visible inside of Win7 VM, and supported by either the real Win7 driver or a virtualization of the native Win10 driver. But if I can solve the PCIe card visibility issue, I believe EPG123 will have no problem working.

I was able to get WMC to actually run normally, to a limited degree. I made it through first-time setup and basic configuration, although I didn't run the TV Signal setup because there are still no visible PCIe TV tuner cards. Also, I was able to PLAY a copy-freely previous recording, and it worked perfectly operating within Win7 VM. I was also able to install PlayReady, which didn't complain or require that I first run DCA. This might have been a little out of the ordinary sequence, but PlayReady was willing to get installed. However the expected DRM ban on playing copy-protected content on a "different machine than the original Win7 recording machine and its installed Win7 OS). So I wasn't able to play those recordings. But I fully expect that if I can get WMC to start working in Win7 VM after getting the PCIe TV tuner cards visible and with working drivers, new copy-protected content will be playable just like with real Win7.

Because I haven't got copy-protected content usable yet, I don't know yet if I will be able to play that copy-protected content on a local monitor which otherwise satisfies HDCP restrictions of HDMI/DVI cable connection (i.e non-DP). The Display Adapter in Win7 VM shows as VMWare SVGA 3D, rather than as the nVidia GTX 1050ti it really is (and whose driver DOES conform to HDCP). I also don't know if playing content through an installed WMC extender will work properly or not, as I haven't got that far yet. And besides, until I can produce new copy-protected recordings I can't properly confirm that extenders under Win7 VM will play copy-protected content problem-free.

Nevertheless, all things considered I think I've learned a great deal about VMWare, and about what Win7 looks like running in a VM, and how that virtual machine gets installed and built-out (which really is very much just like doing a real Win7 install on a real machine). With some assistance from some experts in the TenForums Virtualization sub-forum, I'm hoping to learn whether or not I can use WMWare Workstation Player (free) to resolve my current issues, or whether I will have to go to some non-free and/or different VM software product. Most importantly, I have been able to actually run WMC in Win7 VM to a limited degree so far but with promise on the near horizon.

I'll report more results tomorrow.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 2:56 am
by jdlive

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 8:20 am
by RyC
You're not going to be able to expose the PCIe card itself to the VM in Workstation Player. You "may" be able to use network bridging and network tuners to expose the tuners to the guest.

Viewing copy protected content on an extender connected to the VM should work as long as PlayReady is activated. I exclusively connect to WMC in a Win 7 VM via an extender, but my VM is running on VMware ESXi and I use a Prime tuner. I'm able to view copy protected channels via the extender.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:04 am
by DSperber
jdlive wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:56 am
viewtopic.php?f=97&t=12082
Thank you for this lead.

I've taken a deep-dive into the thread you pointed me to, chasing down all further-imbedded links and leads to gather as much information as I can. I've now got some additional insights.

First, I still have no answer for whether or not it's possible to pass-through the "native Win10 PCIe driver support" for this card (using the Win8/10 Ceton driver, which works perfectly in Win10) into the Win7 VM. However I did discover that I can get to the card itself by addressing 192.168.200.1 using a browser running inside Win7 VM. The network device being communicated with is clearly the PCIe card itself as hosted by the Win10 machine hosting VMWare, which is running Win7 VM as a guest.

Following through further on this notion, it turns out that when I installed the Ceton Win7 driver into Win7 VM I had neglected to check the "network tuner sharing" option, as I'd never used that feature before on my real HTPCs. I simply used all 4 or 6 tuners (I have two Ceton cards, in two HTPCs) in the local HTPC. But I had always known it was possible to share 1-6 tuners from a Ceton card between a host Win7 HTPC where the Ceton card was installed and hosted, to other network Win7 HTPCs also running WMC and where the "network tuner sharing" option had been installed on both host and client machines.

So it dawned on me (along with some obvious implications of several of the assorted forum threads I now read) that perhaps I could access the needed Ceton tuners through this "network sharing" (aka "network bridging") method, even if the locally installed PCIe card itself was invisible to Win7 VM. Sound like a perfectly terrific idea, since obviously 192.168.200.1 was completely visible to Win7 VM.

Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men...

Turns out the "network tuner sharing" option for the Ceton card driver is ONLY AVAILABLE WITH THE WIN7 VERSION OF THE DRIVER! It is NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE WIN8 DRIVER even though WMC is theoretically available in Win8, and thus is also not available in Win10, where WMC doesn't even exist: "Network Bridging (a.k.a. Network Tuners) is compatible with PCs running Windows 7 with Media Center only. It is not supported on Windows 8." Thus sayeth Ceton. And in fact, the "network tuner sharing" option isn't even available for checking when running the Win8 driver install in Win10. It doesn't exist as an option, except for Win7-to-Win7 environments.

So that means I can't network-share the Ceton tuners via the Win8 drivers installed on the host Win10 machine, and access them via 192.168.200.1 with WMC running in Win7 VM (even if I check that "network tuner sharing" option, aka "network bridging", when installing the driver within Win7 VM). That would have been a perfect workaround for the inability to get to the PCIe card directly from Win7 VM.


So I'm now back to finding some other solution, including being still open to using a different non-free VM product if it supports connecting the PCIe card installed in Win10 Device Manager and thus supported by usable drivers, over to the Win7 VM... if that other VM product supports this desire.

As an immediate option which is available I've decided to invest in buying what seems like it should be another perfectly acceptable workaround for the unavailability of the PCIe cards locally to Win7 VM. And that solution is a genuine external Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH Network Cable TV Tuner. Ceton is out of business, and no US retailers have any for sale. But I did find one of these available right now on eBay Canada, so I've put a bid in (and will bump it greatly on Wednesday just before the auction closes, in order to ensure that I win it) to buy it.

This new external ETH version of my PCI tuners would be accessible directly from my normal 192.168.1.x network, which is perfectly accessible to Win7 VM. It's conceptually a universal hardware network version of "network tuner sharing" for the PCIe tuners via the software driver feature which is only available in the Ceton Win7 driver. I wouldn't need to install the Ceton PCIe driver in Win10 at all. I think network tuner approach this should work, and would thus avoid all current issues dealing with PCIe tuners and Win7 VM.


Now I have one remaining issue, and that is that the Ceton ETH tuner solution in Win7 VM addresses only the cable channels which I currently get through the cablecard-enabled Ceton tuners. But I still would like to have access to my Hauppauge Quad-4 OTA/ATSC TV PCIe tuner card, and that too is invisible to Win7 VM guest Device Manager even though it too is installed properly in Win10 host Device Manager. However the Win-TV 8.5 software is apparently able to run in Win10 native.

So although this would be a completely separate TV DVR solution outside of WMC, it would run native in Win10 and would provide full support for view/record/playback the Quad-4 PCIe card. Again, I've not ever used this software so I don't know how it gets its EPG data, but I'm sure it would be easily learned. I had hoped I could continue to access both the Hauppauge and Ceton cards from within Win 7 VM, but if I'm forced to go with Win-TV in native Win10 for the Hauppauge card and OTA/ATSC channels, and Win7 VM using the new Ceton ETH tuner for cable channels including copy-protected content, well that still represents a "complete Win10 DVR solution" to me.

For now, I will take a break from this Win10 DVR project, until I [hopefully] win the Ceton ETH tuner Wednesday night and can get it in my hands [hopefully] within a week after that (since it's coming from Canada). Win10 is fully installed in a dual-boot mode with Win7 on that physical machine, VMWare is installed in Win10, and WMC is installed inside the Win7 VM and otherwise works perfectly to at least play back copy-freely content. I will experiment with playback of copy-freely content through an extender connected to WMC in Win7 VM, which should then ensure the ability to eventually also play copy-protected content through an extender when I eventually get the ability to record new copy-protected content using the Ceton ETH tuner.

More to follow...

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 10:24 am
by adam1991
RyC wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:20 am
You're not going to be able to expose the PCIe card itself to the VM in Workstation Player. You "may" be able to use network bridging and network tuners to expose the tuners to the guest.
The Ceton PCIe tuners are, in fact and in practice, actual network tuners--available that way to any device that can see them. Alas:
"Network Bridging (a.k.a. Network Tuners) is compatible with PCs running Windows 7 with Media Center only. It is not supported on Windows 8." Thus sayeth Ceton.
man, does that not SUCK.

I would suggest, at this point, that a Silicon Dust tuner is in your future...

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 10:30 am
by adam1991
DSperber wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:04 am
As an immediate option which is available I've decided to invest in buying what seems like it should be another perfectly acceptable workaround for the unavailability of the PCIe cards locally to Win7 VM. And that solution is a genuine external Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH Network Cable TV Tuner.
Why? Why not buy a Silicon Dust tuner?

Why buy into an old product from a company that's no longer in business, when you can buy a brand new product from a company that's in business?

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:13 pm
by cwinfield
the network tuners supposedly work in win 8 but it is not supported. You can turn it on in driver properties and manually bridge it to your network adapter. Not sure how to get the wizard slice in WMC without the install file though.

viewtopic.php?t=3926

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM uinder Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:30 pm
by Space
adam1991 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:30 am

Why? Why not buy a Silicon Dust tuner?

Why buy into an old product from a company that's no longer in business, when you can buy a brand new product from a company that's in business?
I agree, but there is no such thing as a new Silicon Dust Cable Card tuner (assuming he wants/needs a Cable Card tuner). They don't make them anymore. So it's either buy a used one or wait until SD releases their 6 tuner HDHomerun Prime. But I still think buying a used SD tuner over a Ceton one is the way to go if you are not willing to wait for the new Prime to come out (which may never happen).

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM under Win10?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 11:31 pm
by adam1991
I didn't realize Silicon Dust was in between cableCARD tuners right now.

I was going to say what you said: buying a used SD tuner, which has active support from a company still in business, is WAY better than buying a Ceton product.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM under Win10?

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 11:45 am
by DSperber
I have emerged victorious!

(1) Win10 (1809) installed (to GPT Samsung 850 Pro SATA3 SSD) in a dual-boot (through Boot Manager) along with my original Win7 (on MBR Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSD), on my ASUS Z170-V Deluxe homebuilt machine (i7-6700 CPU, 32GB DDR4-2400 RAM, nVidida GTX 1050ti graphics).

(2) VMWare Workstation Player (free for personal use) installed, creating Windows 7 VM (with 8GB RAM, 4 processors, 60GB C-drive, bridged network adapter to provide all LAN devices to the Win7 VM). All partitions of Win10 mapped (i.e. network drives) in Win7 VM to make them available with the same drive letters (D, E, F, etc.) as they are in native Win10, since they're not passed through and provided as "local drives" through VM itself.

(3) Hauppauge WinTV 8.5 installed in Win10, thereby installing driver for my Win-TV QuadHD TV OTA/ATSC 4-tuner PCIe card, as well as installing Mainconcept MPEG-2 codec. I tried out WinTV but it was very primitive interface and functionality, more like a VCR. Unacceptable if you are used to WMC.

(4) Instead of WinTV, I decided to try NextPVR (free, open-source project) which turned out to be perfect in Win10. Full support for the 4-tuner QuadHD card through the Hauppauge driver. Full EPG functionality (including color-coded Guide) supported by my existing subscription to Schedules Direct (which I have been using for EPG123 in WMC). Fully customizable channel list, favorites lists (if I needed them, which I don't), etc. All the expected DVR-related settings, like output folders, recording parameters, etc. Very elegant and slick and runs perfectly in Win10. So this solves my OTA/ATSC requirement for Win10.

Amazingly, my WMC remote (and IR receiver) works identically with NextPVR under Win10 as it did with WMC under Win7. All keys are fully supported, so there is zero learning curve.

Output is TS file, which (thanks to MPEG-2 codec installed free from Microsoft App Store) can be played by Win10 app "Movies & TV*, but this is a program with a very junky interface. TS can't be played by Windows Media Player, even with MPEG-2 codec installed. However it CAN be played by Windows Media Center (more later)! And of course TS files can be played (without requiring an externally installed MPEG-2 codec) by any number of other 3rd-party mulitmedia player programs such as PotPlayer, DVDFab5, VLC, etc.

(5) Since the Ceton InfiniTV PCIe cards are not visible to the Win7 VM (even though the Ceton Win8 driver is usable in Win10, and can actually work perfectly in Win10 when controlled by the Ceton diagnostic utility), I purchased a Ceton InifiTV ETH external network 6-tuner unit from eBay which is visible inside the Win7 VM (thanks to "bridged networking" in VM) and is fully supported as a network tuner by the Win7 Ceton driver.

Everything from here on out takes place in the Win7 VM environment, exactly as if it were a real Win7 machine. The only limitations are that PCIe cards are not passed-through from Win10 to the Win7 VM, and the nVidia Graphics card is not seen as the native device (so HDCP copy-protected output from WMC to a locally connected second monitor is not possible).

Ceton Win7 software/driver installed, checking the box for "network tuner support". This installs an "extra" in the WMC Extras library to configure things to be able to use the network tuners.

Then WMC was launched, and standard TV signal setup performed, preceded by running the Ceton Network Tuner configuration performed by the Extras object. Once that was done the regular WMC TV Signal Setup could be performed. It was necessary to manually install Digital Cable Advisor (downloaded from Microsoft site), because that was not present in WMC. Furthermore, running DCA resulted in "your computer is not digital cableready", because there is no HDCP-compliant graphics card found (VMWare provides its own graphics device, but it's not the nVidia card).The solution here is to run OVERRIDEDIGITALCABLEADVISOR.CMD (well-known technique). Now, finally, TV Signal setup can be completed, and all six tuners are now available in WMC.

As per standard EPG123 technique, WMC Guide was declined. I also had to call my cable company to get the new cablecard (inserted into the new Ceton ETH network tuner box) and digital tuning adapter paired using the values provided by the WMC setup, and that went fine. After all the mechanics were complete I was able to run install, configure, and run EPG123 normally, including duplicating the WMC tweaks and other customizations. I ran MyChannelLogos, to customize my Guide logos (duplicating my real Win7 HTPC).

After completing the WMC setup (including Favorites), including EPG123 and MCL, I added an extender. I knew I wouldn't be able to display copy-protected content on a local monitor, but that was of no concern to me. I fully expected to do all of my TV viewing on one of the four extender/HDTV locations around my house (including in my office where the HTPC lives). Miraculously (again, thanks to "bridged networking") the extender was visible to WMC and got added perfectly. I was then able to play content (both copy-freely and copy-protected, newly recorded from WMC in Win7 VM) out to the extender.

No problems whatsoever. Everything works as if it were a normal real Win7 machine running WMC with a network Ceton ETH tuner. Copy-protected content can be recorded and played out to extenders without an issue.

I configured the "Videos" media library to include the 'Videos" folder (i.e. recorded TV output, holding TS files from OTA/ATSC) from NextPVR recordings. WMC can play these TS (MPEG-2) files without any problem. The user interface for playing "Videos" is slightly different than it is for "Recorded TV", but otherwise it really is a perfectly acceptable way to play recordings made by NextPVR (running in Win10, using the Hauppauge QuadHD PCIe card)) through WMC (running in Win7 VM), along with being able to play recordings made by WMC itself through the Ceton ETH tuner).


I have been booting to Win10 on this machine for a week now. It's still a "laboratory experiment" for now, with my real "production HTPC" still being a separate Win7 HTPC machine (Lenovo M910t) because it works perfectly and I have no mandatory reason to replace it just yet.

But it does seem that I have been 100% successful in transferring all of my Win7 TV recording capability (for both OTA/ATSC as well as copy-protrected cable content, and playing it all on WMC extenders) to a Win10 machine, through running WMC inside a Win7 VM, assisted by running NextPVR in Win10. The key was being lucky enough to fina a Ceton ETH tuner for sale.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM under Win10?

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 6:26 pm
by cwinfield
Congrats, hope it works for you. Like I mentioned it works as a great extender server, but don't expect to watch TV on the VM. Not for everybodys use case but can satisfy some scenarios.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM under Win10?

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:31 pm
by jachin99
When your 100 percent sure about your setup you should try making a copy protected recording, then cloning the VM to see if the copy protection key survives the cloning process. I know someone else has mentioned trying this, and there are a few of us around the forums looking for a success story.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM under Win10?

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 12:51 am
by cwinfield
jachin99 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:31 pm
When your 100 percent sure about your setup you should try making a copy protected recording, then cloning the VM to see if the copy protection key survives the cloning process. I know someone else has mentioned trying this, and there are a few of us around the forums looking for a success story.
I can try this sometime, have a VM on hyper V that I can setup a VM on an older computer with win 10. If it wasn't the end of the weekend and I didn't need to look into coding a new TPMS sensor for my BMW then I would do it.

Re: Any thoughts about running WMC in Win7 VM under Win10?

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:56 am
by DSperber
Well, I've not had much time to fool around since last week when I got to where I am at the moment. On Wednesday I flew to Chicago and have been visiting with family since then. I will be back home Monday night, and can continue on with testing and playing and tweaking.

I have had no DRM/encryption failures using Macrium Reflect to "restore" a system image backup taken on a machine back to the same machine, either in exactly the same location on the same drive, or on a different location on another drive. I still was able to play the copy-protected recordings made on the original system configuration. Apparently details such as HDD/SSD or drive size or C-partition location or other items related to drives are NOT part of the DRM key.

What apparently IS part of the key is the CPU and motherboard (and probably their serial numbers), date/time of the original Win7 install, date/time of the system as implicit in the "image backup", and memory size (although I know that's not supposed to be critical, in my experience adding more memory DID BREAK THE PLAYBACK of previously recorded copy-protected content, so that I had to remove the additional added memory reverting back to the original size at which time normal playback of that copy-protected content returned). I've upgraded graphics cards and disk drives without any impact, but not the case with memory additions.

And of course date/time implicit in the "system image" is also part of the DRM key. This means if you made a copy-protected recording on Tuesday, and you had made a "system image" backup on Monday that you had to restore, that you would NOT be able to play the Tuesday copy-protected recording on the restored "Monday" system, as the key of the Tuesday recording is only usable on systems whose "life date" is Tuesday or later. Trying to play it on a restored system with a "life date" of only Monday will fail. You will have lost the ability to play ALL of your copy-protected content recorded after the date/time of the "system image" backup you just restored.

Cloning is no different than backup/restore. It's just a one-step direct copy instead of a two-step out and back. If a cloned VM appears to be the very same machine (i.e. CPU and motherboard) to the installed Win7 system (which I would think it would), it seems like the only thing really different in the VM is the new C-drive which has the same content as the original C-drive. Seems to me it should look like the same "machine" just with a new C-drive. So I would think the second (i.e. cloned) Win7 VM should be able to play those copy-protected programs made by the first Win7 VM. To the two Win7 VM's it should really look like the same CPU and motherboard, so this isn't the same as copying one Win7 system to a whole different PC machine (which would definitely cause DRM to kick in). But I've never tried it before (only dabbling in VM for the past few weeks), so it's definitely worth an experiment. Does seem like it should work, and not a "loophole" in DRM, because it really is the same CPU and motherboard. But is it considered the "recording PC" to DRM? That's the question.

I will play around with this experiment this week when I get back home.