5

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.
  • 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
  • I still have this issue. I so much would love Microsoft to do something about it. (It is obivously possible, since "reselecting" the channel works.) – Andreas Rejbrand Nov 2 '14 at 20:17
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.

  • 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
1

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.

1

Disabling MHEG Support (Which disables Interactive Functions like the 'red button') worked for me for issues exactly as you describe.

Locate and delete these two registry keys and reboot to fix the issue:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Entry Points{7e7a8710-9e4a-40a3-824a-7b0baf38abcf}]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Applications{a0cd8951-e5b6-4662-9c9c-d56c5b38ca59}]

References: answers.microsoft.com: Losing sound/picture when rewinding Live TV in Media Center TechPath.com: Black screen on rewind and pause of live tv

Oh, and if the problem is not intermittent, make sure to disable Exclusive Mode in your audio driver. In Win 8.1, right-click on sound icon in taskbar, Playback Devices, select output device, press properties button, advanced tab uncheck 'allow applications to take exclusive control of this device', save out, and restart media center. This solution also applies to the 'Video Error: Files needed to display video are not installed or not working correctly. Please restart Media Center and or restart the computer' issue that appears after a few seconds of video or when switching full-screen to windowed mode.

0

I know this issue well, and am a fond user of MCE all the way back to 2005 (oh yeah) when MCE WINDOWS XP was released, and took advantage of the then, brand new digital tuners.

You won't get this issue with only a single tuner as you've discovered, I have traced this problem to two things:

1) Limited space on the recording HDD (you might think 20gig is enough but it's not as a full HD transport stream is 4gig per 30mins, then there is 'working space' (another 10gig) so make sure there is at least 50gig free on the recording HDD. In fact make this a separate, portable HDD - try to scrounge a free one.

2) Audio seems to de-sync then drop after media centre starts recording a tv show and 'stutters' momentarily. The audio might disappear but is there when you play back the recording later. You'll notice the stutter when you're watching live tv and then that tuner is called upon to record a scheduled tv show.

Solution?

Can't be fixed I'm afraid, I've tried more than you to get this working and never could. Just put up with it.. Media centre is SO OLD yet is far more useable, feature rich and outperforms ANY OTHER PVR, and this is friggin 2017!!!!

Quickest way to fix?

Flip between the now muted channel and preferably an HD channel that starts the dolby digital AC3 service, but doesn't have to necessarily be.
You might need to do this 2-3 times but can be done quickly (Hit enter 6 times on the keyboard, or OK/ENTER on the MCE remote in the centre 6 times

Best fix to reduce instance of this happening I found was to run FOUR TUNERS would you believe it. Yep, this way you're almost never using the tuner that is then subsequently used to record a scheduled recording.

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