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I have a problem watching TV in Media Center. The TV constantly pauses 1/2 second then plays 1 second, pauses 1/2 second, plays 1 second - it is constant and does not vary. This problem occurs on all channels, live or recorded. The bottom 5th of the screen is solid green. I know the problem is Media Center because I can use Pinnacle's TVCenterPro and there is no skipping/pausing (and not green on bottom).

I was using cable, and switched to DirecTV (satellite). Trying to do "Set up TV signal" in Media Center seems to be what broke it. I get an error "IR Hardware not detected." I can use the remote to "try again" - so the IR hardware works fine (Media Center's remote/sensor). I tried plugging the IR Blaster into both ports, and I tried a different USB port for the IR receiver. I can't complete the setup. Media Center was playing it okay before I tried to run setup. (I ran setup to try to do recording with Media Center.)

Pinnacle PCTV 800i HD PCI card (coax cable from DirecTV tuner), ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics, Windows XP SP3 Media Center Edition, AMD Athlon Dual Core 2.5 GHz, 1.75 GB RAM.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I found the solution in a Newegg product review (see the third entry down by Brandon):

Add these lines to the most recent copy of irbus.inf:

%USB\VID_045E&PID_006D.DeviceDesc%=IrBus_V2, USB\VID_2304&PID_0225


I added those two entries to the irbus.inf file. This gets the Pinnacle Remote kit for Vista to work on XP MCE 2005. Then I checked for a new driver on the USB entry in the Device Manager (it didn't have the device name, something unusual - I forget), and POOF, it installed a new driver and gave the device the correct name (eHome Infrared Receiver).

Now it works correctly. I can change channels from Media Center's guide, and set up a recording from there in one step.

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Woah! I faced the exact same "IR Hardware Not detected" problem an hour ago; talk of a co-incidence.

An IR blaster is not the same as your Media Center sensor. When you connect the TV tuner to the STB using the component video cables (because of a set top box), and not coaxial (RF), Media Center needs an IR blaster device so that it can change the channels itself without requiring you using the STB remote. If it cannot change the channels, it cannot record from specific channels, thereby depriving you of one of Media Center's main features (of recording TV).

After an hour of googling around, I managed to 'solve' it by using a workaround. I installed a virtual IR blaster driver which fools WMC into thinking that there is an IR blaster device attached. I don't know which Windows version you have; the virtual IR blaster driver comes for Windows Vista. You can find it by googling for "Vista MCE IR Blaster". I got my driver from here.

You can install the above driver in Windows 7 32-bit too (that's what I am using); it will give a warning about unsigned driver, but it will install fine if you ignore the warning. However, if you are on 64-bit, it may not work because IIRC, Windows 7 64-bit requires digitally signed drivers.

PS: I have also been facing problems of skipping audio on my cable connection using Media Center; however, there is no such problem using my STB. I will see if the Pinnacle app can solve my problem.

Edit: Just noticed your mention of XP SP3 in the last paragraph. You could try some google-fu for a virtual IR blaster driver for XP. The one I have mentioned is primarily for Vista, and I don't know if it would work in XP.

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I have both the IR Blaster and IR sensor - they were part of the official Media Center package. Media Center is saying it doesn't detect the IR Blaster. – Carl Apr 15 '10 at 21:41
Tried Google, and followed the two possible matches. No virtual IR blaster matches. My search was ""media center" xp "+virtual +ir +blaster" -vista" - the "+'s" are to make an exact string match - Google was dropping "virtual." I also tried ""MCE virtual IR Blaster" XP" – Carl Apr 15 '10 at 22:05
Did more Googling, dropping the "-vist" and using MCE. Several people are looking for a virtual IR blaster for XP, nobody has replied. – Carl Apr 15 '10 at 22:14

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