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Problem
Sometimes, recorded TV shows have no sound. This is of course very annoying because the recorded show is worthless.
Also, when switching channels while watching live TV, sometimes a channel has no sound. This is always solved by switching channel again and then back (most often, once will do the trick). Media Center doesn't do this trick by itself when recording of course, so that's the bigger issue - but the cause is certainly the same.

Details

  • The computer is running a newly installed Windows 7 and Windows Media Center.
  • It has 2 different tuner-cards installed. Both are installed with signed and up-to-date Win7 drivers and appear OK in Device Manager.
  • Both tuners get the same antenna signal, from a split cable from the wall. The cable delivers analog cable TV (40+ channels) and digital cable TV (4 channels) at the same time.
  • Both tuners have been configured to receive both analog and digital channels.
  • This only happens with analog channels.

How can I fix the no-sound problem?

Update:
I've now spent some time with the computer to try and pinpoint the problem, but I've had little success so far:

  • I flipped through the channels until one didn't have sound, then I disconnected the antenna cable from one of the tuners. It was the right one because then the video also went away.
  • I flipped lots more channels to see if the other card also would come up mute once but I never had a channel without sound. It might still be possible, I don't know.
  • Then I disconnected the "good" tuner and connected the "bad" tuner and again flipped lots of channels but again I never had a channel without sound.
  • It seems to me that the problem is erratic. It happens on any channel, and I haven't ruled out yet that it only happens on one tuner.
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Doesn't anybody have any suggestion about this? –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 17 '10 at 13:43
    
+1. I also experience this issue, and I have missed several very important recordings because of it. I've decided to use all my current rep at SO to start a bounty here. –  Andreas Rejbrand Mar 9 '13 at 23:17

2 Answers 2

Perhaps one of the tuner cards has audio problems. This might be a driver issue, not likely to be a hardware problem.

Determine which of the cards has a problem:

  1. Try unplugging the antenna cable from one of the tuners, then watch some TV.
  2. If the sound is consistently missing on all channels, you've found the defective card: it's the one that still has the antenna cable.
  3. If the sound is consistently present on all channels, you've found the defective card, too: it's the one without the antenna cable.
  4. If the sound is sometimes missing, then it's unlikely to be a problem with the cards but rather with the software, though I think it's unlikely that Windows Media Center has such a bug.

Look for updated drivers on the card that was found in step 2 or 3.

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This answer didn't conclusively solve the issue; see the update in my question. I'm still looking for the cause -- and the solution! –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 9 '10 at 14:45

Microsoft's What should I know before adding TV tuners to use with Windows Media Center? says:

If you have an analog tuner and you plan to install a Digital Cable Tuner (a special device needed for receiving a digital cable signal), you must uninstall the analog TV tuner. (This restriction does not apply if you are receiving a digital signal via satellite or over-the-air antenna.)

If this applies to your case, then you should know that your setup is not supported, so there wouldn't be much use of getting in contact with Microsoft Support.

You might consider disabling the digital tuner while using the analog one, and vice-verso.

If Windows Media Center does not support your setup, you might try an alternative. Well-known free alternatives include XBMC, Plex and MythTV. You might get better support from them than from Microsoft.

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