MCE - TV plays 1 second then pauses 1/2 second, continuously

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by Robert, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Robert

    Robert Guest

    This is a software, hardware, and setup problem - so I cross posted it.

    Hardware/Software/firmware/drivers:
    ------------------------------
    Windows XP SP3 Media Center Edition (MCE) w/all current updates, Pinnacle
    PCTV 800i HD PCI card (coax cable from DirecTV satellite tuner), ATI Radeon
    HD 3200 graphics card, AMD Athlon Dual Core processor 2.5 GHz, 1.75 GB RAM,
    official (came in the MCE box) IR sensor and blaster. MCE has all current
    updates. Current firmware and drivers are installed for the PCI TV card, the
    motherboard, the processor, and the graphics card.

    The Windows XP Video Decoder Checkup Utility reports that "Cyberlink
    Video/SP Decoder (PDVD8) v. 8.2.0.926 is set as "preferred," "MCE
    compatible," and "MP10 Compatible." There are several others on the list,
    but only this one is marked as "preferred."
    ------------------------------

    FIRST, the MCE genuine IR Blaster is not detected during MCE "setup TV
    signal." The error is "IR Hardware not detected." I can select the "try
    again" button with the remote - so the remote and IR sensor work. I never
    plugged in the blaster before, it's very simple and shouldn't be broken.

    SECOND, when watching TV through Media Center, it plays 1 second, then
    pauses 1/2 second, continuously at a regular frequency. Watching TV through
    "TVCenter Pro," which came with the TV tuner card, works PERFECTLY.

    This problem occurred a week ago, after I tried running MCE "setup TV
    signal," after I switched from cable to DirecTV. ***After DirectTV was
    installed, and *BEFORE* I ran MCE setup, MCE was playing TV from DirecTV
    okay***. After DirecTV was installed I just went to channel 4, and it was
    there, playing perfectly. Later that day I tried running MCE "setup TV
    signal." I get to a point where it says "IR Hardware not detected" - and I
    can't continue the setup. I tried the other IR blaster port, and I tried a
    different USB port for the IR sensor. I've tried several times, including
    after powering everything down and restarting the computer. Now (after
    running "setup TV signal") when I go to channel 4, I get the pausing problem
    (I tried setting the DirecTV box to channel 3 - I get the same problem).
    After several failed attempts to run setup, I re-ran MC setup saying I had an
    antenna (so it wouldn't need the IR Blaster), and setup completed. I still
    get the pausing. When I use "TVCenter Pro" that came with the TV tuner card,
    the TV plays perfectly (Media Center is not running).

    Somehow, running MC setup broke MC. I also need to get the IR Blaster
    detected, so I can use MC to change channels on the DirecTV box, so I can
    record shows in one step. (I checked the listed drivers/firmware for
    updates. There aren't any. I last updated them this past October when I
    had a different problem.)

    Thanks for any help.
     
    Robert, Apr 16, 2010
    #1
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  2. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Update. I tried recording TV with MC, and it records the pauses. I tried
    all the other decoders in the "checkup utility" (above), and I still get the
    pausing, although with a couple of them (non MCE compatible decoders) the
    pausing is slightly different.
     
    Robert, Apr 16, 2010
    #2
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  3. Robert

    Jaime Guest

    Robert,

    Just for grins, have you tried using the nVidia Pure Platinum decoder? It
    the one most people felt was the best for the XP version of MC. You can
    download and try it for 30 days for free ($20 after that).

    It would at least eliminate the possibility (however small) of it being a
    decoder issue. If you have the discs for the other MC decoder you have,
    probably best to remove those, then install Pure Platinum, sometimes
    multiple decoder can cause issues.
     
    Jaime, Apr 16, 2010
    #3
  4. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Are you under the impression that my Pinnacle PCTV card or the ATI Radeon
    card use the NVIDIA GeForce graphics chip?? According to the websites I just
    visited they don't. The website for the NVIDIA PureVideo Decoder Platinum
    says the system requirements include NVIDIA GeForce graphics chips (5
    different ones).
     
    Robert, Apr 16, 2010
    #4
  5. Robert

    Curious Guest

    Well that’s in Error, the Nvida XP pure video decoder $20 version (I am not
    sure if that is the Platinum version) the most recommended decoder for both
    ATI and Neidia chips .
     
    Curious, Apr 17, 2010
    #5
  6. Robert

    Jaime Guest

    No, the nVidia decoder has nothing to do with what video card you have.

    The page (http://www.nvidia.com/object/dvd_decoder_1.02-150-trial.html) says
    "chips supported" and it lists just the nVidia ones, but the only
    requirements are:

    - Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004/2005/New BETA, Windows XP
    Professional, or Windows XP Home Edition
    - DirectX 9.0 or higher
    - Windows Media Center or Windows Media® Player 9.0 or higher for DVD
    Playback
    - DirectShow compatible software for MPEG-2 file playback
    - A DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) compatible graphics processor, such as
    GeForce 7800 GTX.
    - DVD-ROM drive required for DVD viewing
    - TV Tuner is required for TV viewing under Windows Media Center and must
    meet the Designed for Windows XP Media Center Edition logo requirements

    It will work with any card, it is the one most people seemed to have the
    least trouble with with XP.
     
    Jaime, Apr 17, 2010
    #6
  7. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Since I don't have any other ideas, and two people say it will work anyway
    (non-supported chip) here it goes... downloaded... installed.

    The Windows XP Video Decoder Checkup Utility reports NVidia is the preferred
    driver (I didn't have to change it).

    There is no change. Uninstalled NVidia. Thanks for the idea.
    ** Any other ideas? ** Thanks.

    BTW: Here's what the website says:
    The page at: http://www.nvidia.com/object/dvd_decoder_1.02-223-trial.html
    reads:
    -------------------------------
    System Requirements

    * Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004/2005/2006 Update Rollup2, Windows
    XP Professional, or Windows XP Home Edition
    ... (SNIP)

    Graphics Chips Supported

    * NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series
    * NVIDIA GeForce 7 Series
    * NVIDIA GeForce 6 series
    * NVIDIA GeForce FX series
    * NVIDIA Quadro FX Series
     
    Robert, Apr 17, 2010
    #7
  8. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Since I don't have any other ideas, and two people say it will work anyway
    (non-supported chip) here it goes... downloaded... installed.

    The Windows XP Video Decoder Checkup Utility now reports NVidia is the
    preferred driver (I didn't have to change it).

    There is no change. Uninstalled NVidia. Thanks for the idea.
    ** Any other ideas? ** Thanks.

    BTW: Here's what the website says:
    The page at: http://www.nvidia.com/object/dvd_decoder_1.02-223-trial.html
    reads:
    -------------------------------
    System Requirements

    * Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004/2005/2006 Update Rollup2, Windows
    XP Professional, or Windows XP Home Edition
    ... (SNIP)

    Graphics Chips Supported

    * NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series
    * NVIDIA GeForce 7 Series
    * NVIDIA GeForce 6 series
    * NVIDIA GeForce FX series
    * NVIDIA Quadro FX Series
     
    Robert, Apr 17, 2010
    #8
  9. Robert

    Curious Guest

    Curious, Apr 17, 2010
    #9
  10. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Several years? You actually used Vista? Or Linux... I hear Windows 7 is
    great.
    In my experience SP3 is the best O/S MS has had. I will try the search you
    suggested.
     
    Robert, Apr 17, 2010
    #10
  11. Robert

    Robert Guest

    I just read several of the links, and did two more searchs adding "IR
    hardware not detected" and "skipping." The extra searches match nothing
    relevant.
    The links mention problems with using SP3 with MCE 2002 (I have 2005),
    and with going from SP1 to SP3, skipping SP2. I had SP2 before. One of the
    links is a Microsoft website, they note these issues, and none others with
    SP3 w/Media Center. Also, I have used SP3 w/Media for several months with
    not problems.
     
    Robert, Apr 17, 2010
    #11
  12. Robert

    Curious Guest

    MCE2005 is based on XP Pro 2002 and what you have is MCE2005 running on a
    modified XP Pro OS 2002 SP3 system.
    I understand that you had no problems until you tried to reset up your
    system for a direct TV STB from using cable.
    Were you using a STB and IR blaster with a cable STB?
    If not I suspect I a hardware problem with the IR receiver unit or it's
    driver?
     
    Curious, Apr 17, 2010
    #12
  13. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Does STB = Set Top Box? (I looked it up w/Google.)
    What does this mean "> Were you using a STB and IR blaster with a cable STB?"
    Two set top box's? I wasn't using any. I had cable, and watched TV with
    Media Center. (The movie channels I subscribed to weren't scrambled, and I
    didn't have a box. I don't know how the cable company did that.) I was using
    the IR receiver, not the blaster. The IR receiver plugs into a USB port. As
    I said, the IR receiver still works, as I can select "try again" (to detect
    "IR hardware") WITH THE REMOTE. I never needed the IR blaster before - it
    was still in it's sealed package in the box. It is simple - a wire with the
    emitter in a little box (it's the "official" MCE one found in Google images).

    The links I read distinguished MCE 2002 and MCE 2005, saying the problem
    was just with MCE 2002; and a different problem w/MCE 2005 if you skipped SP2
    and did SP1->SP3.
     
    Robert, Apr 18, 2010
    #13
  14. Robert

    Curious Guest

    Yes STB stands for Set Top Box
    Since all transmissions from DirecTV are encrypted and there is no tuner
    card available for a PC that will receive DirecTV transmissions. MC is
    assuming that when you say that DirecTV is your source that you are using a
    DirecTV STB which is why it is looking for an IR blaster to control a
    directTV STB.
    DirecTV did have a project to develop a PC based tuner card for Windows but
    they cancelled the project over a year ago.
     
    Curious, Apr 18, 2010
    #14
  15. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Media Center wants the IR Blaster so it can change the channel on the STB,
    which I also want it to do, so I don't have to program everything twice. I
    am familiar that. I am familiar with the fact that DirecTV canceled it's
    HDPC-20 tuner that would have worked directly with Media Center.
    Do you have any ideas why I'm getting the pausing, or the "IR hardware
    not detected" error?
     
    Robert, Apr 18, 2010
    #15
  16. Robert

    CSM1 Guest

    I suggest that you open Device Manager and look for the IR receiver.
    Then remove it and re-boot the computer.

    To open Device Manager, in Windows (Get out of the 10 foot interface)
    press the Windows Key and the Pause/Break Key at the same time. Click
    the Hardware tab, then click Device Manager button.

    The IR receiver is located in the USB Controller branch.
    Listed as eHome Infrared Receiver.

    If that entry is not in the Device manager, you do not have the IR
    hardware installed.

    There is no extra software, the driver is built into the Media Center
    Operation System.
     
    CSM1, Apr 19, 2010
    #16
  17. Robert

    Curious Guest

    Your IR receiver should have port connections for 2 IR blasters and you
    should have received 2 IR blasters with it. Have you tried different
    combinations of blaster and connection ports?
     
    Curious, Apr 19, 2010
    #17
  18. Robert

    Robert Guest

    It's listed under "Human Interface Devices" as "Microsoft eHome Infrared
    Tranceiver." There are two "USB Human Interface Device" entries after it - I
    can't tell from properties what they are. I clearly said the remote worked.
    I will remove device from the Device Manager and reboot later today. Thanks
    for the suggestion. I doubt that will address my other problem of pausing.
     
    Robert, Apr 19, 2010
    #18
  19. Robert

    Robert Guest

    It's interesting that your suggestion apparently fixed the OTHER problem.
    See below.
    It's listed under "Human Interface Devices" as "Microsoft eHome Infrared
    Transceiver." I uninstalled it, rebooted, and it invisibly reinstalled
    itself. I still get the "IR Hardware not detected" error. The Windows
    remote still works. I don't understand how Windows even knows if a simple
    cable that has nothing on it but an infrared led is even plugged into the IR
    Reciever. It is plugged in. (Maybe I should find another plug the same
    size, cut the wire, and hook the two wires together to see if Windows see the
    connection is closed.) I've tried putting the IR Blaster in front of the IR
    Receiver during "try again" to see if Windows wants to see it work - even
    though the instructions say nothing about doing that.
    There was a very fortunate and unexpected side effect to reinstalling
    the IR Tranceiver device - the pausing/skipping while watching TV in Media
    Center is now gone. I don't know how that solved that problem - I'm very
    skeptical of coincedences.
    So now two problems is reduced to one. If I can get the IR Blaster
    detected I will only have to program to record shows in one place. (Right
    now Media Center is set up for antenna - with one channel - 4.)
     
    Robert, Apr 19, 2010
    #19
  20. Robert

    T Shadow Guest

    My video card is on the same IRQ as the front USB port. Putting anything in
    that port that keeps it very busy can cause stuttering. Possibly your IRQ
    sharing was changed, or you put it in a different USB port. I keep unused
    items, like serial & parallel ports, disabled to free up IRQs and have these
    and other free ones but XP insists on sharing the video card IRQ anyway.
     
    T Shadow, Apr 20, 2010
    #20
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