How to resolve Digital Audio Service error while playing recorded TV in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005

I have heard from a couple of customers who have run into a problem playing back recorded TV shows after installing Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005.  In the cases I've heard of so far, the show will display for a couple of seconds and then displays a blue screen with an overlay that says Digital Audio Service.  They were able to play the same shows correctly via a Media Center Extender and via Windows Media Player, but not within Media Center. 

The customers I have heard from so far were able to resolve this issue by downloading and installing updated drivers for the video card and TV tuner cards on their Media Center PCs.  When working on Update Rollup 2, we tried our best to not require any driver updates above and beyond what is required for Media Center 2005.  However, there are a few cases such as this where it has proved to not be possible.

If anyone else sees this Digital Audio Service overlay, please try to visit the websites for the manufacturers of your video card and TV tuner(s) and see if that resolves the issue.  Please also take a look at this blog post for more information about the root cause of this error and this blog post for more information about another known cause of this error.

If none of the above steps work for you, please install the Media Center Diagnostic Kit from and then run it and gather a system snapshot and send it to me at so we can take a closer look.

<update date="12/4/2005"> Updating steps to include using the Media Center Diagnostic Kit to gather a system snapshot </update>


Comments (34)

  1. The weird thing about this problem – and something other users may face which is why I also wanted to mention this – is that shows recorded before the update seemed to work fine. It was only shows after the update that failed so it still seems like the DRM update was somehow involved, though updating my video and capture drivers fixed this problem.

  2. Mark McCormack says:

    This was my exact problem. Even the follow up from Heath. It was a standard Dell 8400 MCE PC so I would think there are many others who will have that problem.

  3. Tom Beckmann says:

    Still got the same problem here. I tried updating the video & tv card drivers, but no luck till now. I even disabled the tv-card, but still no improvement.

    I would be glad to get some suppor. If there´s anythting missing, please let me know.

    My System-Configuration (Hardware)

    – Athlon X2 3800Mhz on Nforce4 Mainboard (Asus A8N-FM)

    – Geforce 6600

    – SAA7134 Philips based TV-Tuner card (DVB an Cable Dual-Tuner, but only cable is available in my region)


    – Latest Geforce Drivers MCE certified (

    – For the TV-Tuner card I tried several vendors

    currently driver version for the Philips chipset.

    MCE is running with everly available update & Rollup.

    One thing I almost forgot, but I think it does not really matter for the effect. MCE and all drivers are installed in German language / German editions.



  4. Strom says:

    Exact same problem – latest ATI drivers, and get the same "Digital Audio Service" message after a few seconds.

    Only MCE recorded content is affected (my other videos are fine), and the recorded shows are fine in Windows Media Player.

    Personally I doubt anyone really resolved this by updating drivers – that’s just MS propaganda. I concur strongly with the above posters, clearly MS broke something in their efforts to impose DRM. The funny part is, it only affected their own content in their own software… Once again making MCE look like a waste of money!

  5. AndyC says:

    I see this very occasionally (although less since the UR2 hotfix came out). I put it down to poor video reception – we sometimes get jumps in video e.g. when the weather is bad (DVB-T in UK) but the audio stays ok. I was assuming that this message was coming up as the SBE was picking up an audio stream correctly, but a duff video stream.



  6. SteveC says:

    I have just purchased a Media Centre PC. 1 week old and I have this problem. Not very impressed to say the least. Following are the PC details. MCE Rollup 2 has been installed.

    I have found that when the blue screen is displayed that if you use the skip key on the remote or pause and then play that the picture is usually then displayed correctly. This is very annoying. All drivers for the Fusion Tuner and Video card are up to date because the machine is only a week old. Have also checked the vendor web sites and have confirmed that they are up to date.

    I’d have to say that at this stage recording in Media Centre is not a viable option. Most disapointed and I expect that I will now have to wait 3 months or more for a Microsoft Patch to be released.


    A8N-SLI PREMIUM – S939

    1024Mb DDR400 PC3200 Ram (2048Mb Total)

    Seagate 400GB 7200rpm 8Mb Cache SATA NCQ

    Thermaltake Tenor Desktop Black Case

    430 Watt Power Supply

    Gigabyte Geforce 6600GT 128MB VIVO PCIX

    Fusion HDTV PLUS Tuner w/RC

    NETGEAR WPN311GE RangeMax Wireless PCI Adapter

    LG 4167 16x DVD Burner

    DVD Rom Drive

    Shintaro Internal 3.5in Reader

    Microsoft OEM Windows XP Media Centre Edition (MCE)

    Microsoft Remote Controller + Receiver Only

    Logitech Cordless Desktop Express

    4-6 Pin Firewire Cable

    AVLABS Audacity 7.1 PCI Digital Audio

    Sound Card

  7. Ben Lambert says:

    Aaron – I’m having the EXACT same problem – I’ve updated the video and tuner drivers, but no luck.

    It is a standard OEM machine from Dell:

    Dell Dimension 8400 2GB RAM

    NVidia GeForce 6800 256MB ver

    Angel MPEG Device @ loc 1 ver

    Angel MPEG Device @ PCI Slot 1 ver

    I assume I’ve updated the drivers correctly – these versions are all reported from Device Manager.

    I’m happy to provide more info, log files, anything – just let me know.

    Dell support is useless – just spend 2 hours trying to navigate their chat help, then automated voice help, then got forwarded to their MCE support line, which was closed, and it hung up on me. grrr…

    At this point, my TV capabilities through MCE are completely DOWN, so any help would be very much appreciated!

  8. Hey all – I’m very sorry for the inconvenience that this issue is causing. At this point, I don’t know of any root causes other than out-of-date drivers, but we are trying to investigate additional causes and solutions. I’ll post additional information as it becomes available.

  9. Dan L. says:


    I am having the same problem. My system is a Dell Dimension XPS_GEN_3 with 2GB of RAM and 400GB of storage. MCE 2005 has Rollup 2 installed. I have also updated the drivers for the Angel TV Tuner and the Radeon X800 XT video card as recommended in the postings. After installing the driver updates, my LIVE TV stopped working and only gave me voice. The drivers did not fix the problem for me; they only broke the LIVE TV. I recovered by going back to a system restore check point prior to the driver updates, but the TV Recording function is still broken.

  10. SteveC says:

    Further to my posting on 5th Nov 7:45.

    This error is now also happening with Live TV. If it occurs while viewing Live TV and I reboot the PC then the problem goes away. As mentioned in my previous comment this machine is new. It has not had anything other than Microsoft products i.e. MS Office installed as I wanted to keep a stable platform for the Media Centre.

  11. PaulD says:

    I have the same problem after installing update roolup 2. Based on the previous post, it appears to me that trying to update my other drivers is a waste of time. It has to be a problem with the update. There are a many different pc configurations having this problem. I have a dell 8400.

    I did notice that when the picture blanks and the DIGITAL AUDIO SIGNAL appears, the fast forward or reverse will not work. Also, I right clicked my mouse and a window pops up, you can see a faint sign of the picture in the background.

  12. Hey all –

    I’m very sorry for the hassles with this Digital Audio Service issue, and I also apologize that we have not been able to find any root causes other than drivers so far.

    For those of you seeing this issue who have already tried updating TV tuner and video drivers and decoders, can you please install the Media Center Diagnostic Kit from and then run it and gather a system snapshot and send it to me at so we can take a closer look?

    Also, can you please use the steps listed at to try to play protected content so we can determine if the machine has any Digital Rights Management (DRM) problems?

    Finally, can you please let me know whether this problem is happening for analog or digital TV signal types (or both) on your system?

    Thanks in advance!

  13. shaggyyqq says:

    I also have had this problem. I have a Radeon X300 video card on a Dimension 8400 Dell computer (3.2 Ghz). I’ve update the latest driver from ATI but still get the blue "Digital Audio Service" on playback. Live TV works fine, it’s jus the playback. Any suggestions?

  14. patrikw says:

    I also got this problem after upgrading my MCE. I first got the problem "Digital Audio Service" when trying to play recorded TV shows using a german version of of MCE. I now got an english version and still have the problem… I thought I did something wrong first! I hope there is a patch coming soon. OK, I can watch the films in media player, but it’s not as easy as doing it directly in MCE!

  15. Hi shaggyyqq and patrikw – please refer to my previous comment ( for instructions about how to gather a system diagnostic snapshot and send it to me so our team can take a further look to try to narrow down this problem.


  16. John Pyle says:

    I was looking for my cards angel and ati radion 850 platinum dirvers and had the thought that I purchased my system from Dell. I believe my ATI card is a Dell OEM not direct from ATI. Also I tried to log into to Dell’s support page and found that it has errors. Not sure if you have any input but thought I’d ask before I broke it further.

  17. Ted Howard says:

    Xbox 360 displays "Digital Audio Service"

    MCE 2005 Rollup 2 machine:

    Athlon 64 3200

    ATI AIW x600

    Hauppauge 250

    I checked the recordings.xml file and I have good files and bad files from *both* tuners, unless I’m badly misinterpretting this file (I compared Tuner Guid’s to the "resource" attribute values.)

    I’m also experiencing glitchy playback on some files, consistent across MCE & 360.


  18. David Ching says:

    After installing Rollup2, I also get the "Digital Audio Service" screen. My PC is a DELL XPS (Gen 4) with the "Angel MPEG device." As per your instructions, I updated the Angel drivers to dated 11/21/2005. They did not help.

    This was confusing because the drivers available from are way old, but they do come with an install program. The drivers I downloaded from Illuminate (the new owners of Angel) did not have an install program, but I did the Update driver routine for the two "Angel MPEG device" (presumably for the 2 tuners) that appeared in Device Manager. I hope that’s how it’s supposed to work.

    I also ran the MCE Diagnostics as per your request. I did the Device Snapshot and the log file is at″>

    Please let me know if you’d like more info from the Diags program. You don’t specify what tests you’d like to have run.

    It was interesting that this problem did not occur until I installed the second Rollup2 update (the small one about 2.5 MB, I think). I had installed the large update (about 20 MB, I think) and it was fine, but then Windows Update flagged another Rollup 2 update after that one, and this is the one that created the issue. Could you please come up with less vague names for your updates? Having 2 updates called "Rollup 2" is confusing.

    I hope you can understand that when problems like this occur after months of Microsoft testing, that your users are going to be reluctant to use Windows Update at all, even if Microsoft says something is "critical." This is simply unacceptable.

    I have wasted a better part of a Saturday trying to get my Media PC in order, and it’s not exactly the way I intended to spend it. :-O

    Thank you,


  19. David Ching says:

    Oops, I forgot to add that I am using analog TV signals.

    — David

  20. Greg Gibbs says:

    I’m getting the "digital audio service" message, too. I have a Dell Dimension 8400 (P4 3Ghz, 256MB Nvidia, Angel dual TV tuner, 1GB RAM. (By the way, Angel is now owned by Lumanate, not Illuminate as David Ching’s post mentioned.)

    After updating (I ran Windows Update several times), I have encountered a few problems with Media Center 2005.

    1. My guide listings stopped updating until they nearly expired (usually has 14 days, I got an error stating that I had 3 days of listings left). I went into settings and selected one of many potential listings for Comcast in my zip code and they started working again.

    2. I tried to play MP3 files with Media Center, but got the error "Interface not registered" (80040155). I quick web search led me to Microsoft’s knowledgebase where it instructed me to reinstall Media Player 10. I did and Media Center can now play MP3’s.

    3. I started getting the "Digital Audio Service" after attempting to watch a football game I recorded. It plays about 3-4 seconds and then changes to the blue screen with this message. The audio still plays and I can play the file with Media Player and other apps that support MS-DVR files.

    After finding only this blog using Google, I updated my video and TV Tuner drivers to the latest available from the manufacturers, which didn’t fix this issue. (Nvidia= for XP (also tried ver for XP with Media Center), Angel=

    I installed the Media Center Diagnostic Kit.

    It said the following two items failed to meet MC’s requirements:

    – Initial MPEG2 Audio Decoder Meets Requirements

    – Initial MPEG2 Video Decoder Supports VRM9

    I installed a trial version of Nvidia’s PureVideo Decoder and these items now pass.

    (I’ve sent the snapshot (before installing PureVideo decoder to you Aaron).

    I tried to play the protect content file. After re-installing Media Player 10 as described above, it works fine.

    I’m using analog cable on my system (Comcast).

    Let me know if you need anything else.

    Greg Gibbs

  21. Greg Gibbs says:

    So here’s an interesting development. Windows Update installed an update for MCE tonight (KB910393). Afterwards, I had a scheduled recording that plays back correctly in Media Center. However, I still can’t play back files recorded recently since I installed the Rollup Update 2. I’m not sure if the Windows update fixed MC, or if other changes I’ve made recently did it. Either way, I still can’t play back some files with MC.

    I’ll keep posting updates as they happen.


  22. David Ching says:

    Greg, the same thing happened to me. The update to Rollup2 (as opposed to Rollup2 itself) is what started this business about "Digital Audio Service" for me. I had used Rollup2 itself for a couple days successfully before Windows Update installed "Update for Rollup2".

    I tried uninstalling the update, but it did not fix the problem. I then tried uninstalling Rollup2 itself, and then the problem was fixed.

    Then I tried installing Rollup2 again, and then got the problem immediately (even without installing the update). So bottom line is, I’ve seen the problem occur after the update, and then before the update. Go figure.

    At any rate, my current situation is that there is no part of Rollup2 installed, and it works again. Except I am on the trial version of the nVidia decoder, which expires in 30 days, and the video has become jerky. I’m not sure why only the nVidia decoder is the only decoder the "PASSES" the MCE Diagnostics; the Nero PowerDVD decoders did not, but MCE worked fine with them before Rollup2.

    Plus, the old bug of the Sonic DVD burner hanging at 3% while recording some shows (supposedly fixed in Rollup2) is back.

    I had high hopes when I read your first post that said all was well after re-installing WMP 10. But I guess we’re still in the same boat.

    The funny thing is, if you click the Power icon so that MCE displays the dialog with the Shutdown, Close MCE, Standby, etc. buttons, then any video you have playing will show up merged in with the "Digital Audio Service" screen in the litle square. So obviously the video is playing fine, it’s just that the "Digital Audio Service" screen blocks it, for whoever knows why.

    I asked Aaron for the MCE team to add a registry key that prevented MCE from ever displaying the "Digital Audio Service" screen, for those of us who are experiencing this problem. Aaron said it could take some time for this problem to be resolved.

    — David

  23. Greg Gibbs says:


    I’ve seen the video overlay with the blue screen, too, just didn’t know how to make it happen.

    I found a couple of threads on that had a couple of interesting comments, but no solutions:

    1. With UR2, a new feature was added to allow DVB-T radio to be used, particularly in the UK. DVB-T radio is broadcast as an audio only stream, and when it is the selected channel, this is the message you get on the screen.

    2. My workaround is to just open up an older recorded tv show, which plays properly, then i can go back to the original show that i wanted to watch (the one that gave me the error) and it will display fine.

    I haven’t tried this to see if it works, but thought it was worth mentioning.


  24. Greg Gibbs says:

    Well, I recorded a few more shows tonight and things appear to be working fine now. I still can’t play back the shows that recorded during the period between installing the updates and when I started troubleshooting the problem. While inconvenient, it isn’t the end of the world.

    So you’re still having trouble David?


  25. Al says:

    I am also having this error. I have a fresh install of MCE2K5 with Rollup 2, latest NVIDIA graphic drivers, latest ATI drivers for Theater PRO 550, latest NVIDIA PureVideo decoder (1.02-185). It is driving me and my wife crazy…I have tried to use the workaround in Greg’s post, above, to no avail.

    Any updates, Aaron?

  26. SteveC says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I have now installed the Nvidia PureVideo decoder as you suggested and used Media Centre for a while.

    Since the install I have not seen the Digital Audio Service error while watching "Live" TV. It is however present in TV recordings done ‘after’ and ‘prior’ to the install.

    As mentioned before ALL TV recordings play without this error in Media Player 10.

    I will keep monitoring Live TV also to see if it occurs again.



  27. David Ching says:

    Greg, I’m glad your recently recorded shows are playing fine. I didn’t differentiate when the shows were recorded during my experiments, so perhaps if I reinstalled everything, I could enjoy the same success. But for now, I’m leaving Rollup2 uninstalled. If Aaron’s team comes up with a workaround or fix, I’ll try again. Or I’ll try if I absolutely need to burn a DVD where the Sonic software hangs.

    I’m not encouraged that Steve is having the same issues as me.



  28. Hey all – I have posted an update about what we’ve found so far regarding the root cause of this Digital Audio Service overlay issue. It is at I will post more as we learn more…

  29. stancz says:

    I am having these sme issues with a Dell Dememinsion 8400

    It is a standard OEM machine from Dell:

    Dell Dimension 8400 2GB RAM

    NVidia GeForce 6800 256MB ver

    Angel MPEG Device @ loc 1 ver

    Angel MPEG Device @ PCI Slot 1 ver

    But is this only a Dell and a few other vendor problem? I do not see any HP or Sony configs listed here and I know they both sell a lot of MCE machines.

  30. SteveC says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I thought I should let you know that I am now experiencing the error much more frequently with Live TV. I don’t know if the Windows Hotfix KB910393 for Windows Media Center 2005 last Friday had anything to do with this. Nothing else, apart from Windows Hotfixes, have been installed or changed on the computer over the last couple of weeks. Also all recent TV recordings are now affected making them unwatchable. I have told everyone to not even bother trying to record TV using the Media Centre now.

    Also I have noted that if I reboot the computer and then go back to Live TV then the digital audio service error is corrected for a period of time.

    This error is very disappointing and I encourage Microsoft to put more resources into resolving this quickly. In my opinion this should have been fixed by now.

  31. Hi SteveC – I’m very sorry that you are running into this issue. We are actively investigating this issue. I posted one possible workaround and a more detailed description of the root cause in blog posts at and, so I’d encourage you to take a look at those for some additional info about this problem.

    The issues we have seen so far have been driver/hardware specific or have been caused by signal strength issues for the cable signal going into the Media Center system. I would definitely not recommend that people stop using recorded TV because this issue does not affect all systems running Update Rollup 2.

    Also, I would encourage you to take a look at my blog comment at and gather and send me a system diagnostics snapshot from your computer so we can take a closer look and see if we can determine if you have one of the issues we’ve seen already or if you have a different problem that we can try to investigate further to find a fix/workaround.

  32. Ernest Sorensen says:

    It is late April and ever since I installed a Avermedia Dual tuner card I and ran the MCE rollup I have not been able to watch most recorded programs in media center. I have to watch them in media player. I need answers and Microsoft tells me I need a Driver update. I havew the latest driver for the 3D card and it didn’t fix it. How can I disable "Digital audio service" I don’t need it?

  33. Hi Ernest – I have a separate blog post that discusses Digital Audio Service errors with AVerMedia cards.  An AVerMedia representative posted a comment last week with an email address you can contact them at for an updated TV tuner driver that should solve this issue.  Please take a look at the post at for further information.

  34. giibs says:

    uninstall the rollup 2 update and update it and the recorded tv would play without any error.

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