Media Center Technical Discussion Series

One of the more popular subjects for users who email me is how to get Media Center to do something that cannot be done (or is hard to do) from the UI.  Since I have not been able to talk about my current work much (Windows Vista and unannounced other stuff) I am kicking off a roughly weekly technical discussion on tweaking Media Center.

Planned discussions:

  • Tuners and Tuning Spaces
  • PVR and Recording
  • Unattended/Scripted Configuration
  • Video Playback
  • Writing Your Own Media Center Application

Want to know how to tweak something in Media Center that's not listed above?  Let me know and I'll see if I can work it in.

Comments (9)

  1. Richard Sparrow says:

    I’m very much looking forward to these articles. Thanks for taking the time.

    I’d really like to hear some more details about how the extender functionality works. On the level that you just defined for the tuners.

    Also, we are currently working with the Vista betas and targeting our MCE based product for release with Vista. I know you can’t publicly discuss certain Vista related issues but as you go through these articles can you indicate which details might remain architectural the same for the Vista release?


    R. Sparrow

    rsparrow "at" integrated-space "dot" com

  2. Avi Elkayam says:

    Hi Peter,

    One issue that comes alot for non-US users of MCE is the following:

    1. Many video capture cards/tuners are multi-system compatible.  i.e., the hardware can process both PAL and NTSC. In some cases, the tuner is not multi-system compatible, but the S-Video input is multi-system.  Example of such a device is Adaptec’s dual tuner, which is a USB-2 dual-tuner that can support both PAL and NTSC.

    For some annoying reason, MCE recognize this device as a NTSC-only device, and will refuse to use it in non-US countries.

    Any idea how can one force MCE to register the deivce as PAL compatible?  I guess this has to do with the spaceID, but am not sure how to proceed from here.

    Many thanks, Avi

  3. Scuffs says:

    I’m looking forward to this weeks post.

  4. Dave Keel says:

    Can’t wait for this – hope you do something about interlacing on video playback. I’m a beginner to  windows/media centre (usually interfere with Macs) and have had to learn from scratch as I build a Media Centre… and have been able to solve most of my problems as I go along but I CANNOT get good recorded digital televison playback (DVD and AVI is fine) – interlacing is terrible and distracting even though my video card is AVIVO and has deinterlacing. Really loooking forward to learning something about this.

  5. Rich says:

    Thanks for the tuners information.  I now have 2 PCs with 4 NTSC and 1 HDTV tuner each.  Wow!

    I’m anxiously awaiting your discussion of PVR and Recording.  I would love to know if there is a way to quickly edit schedules/lists with a text editor or something, because I find that it takes a very long time to update recording options/lists/etc with the MCE interface show by show.  Would also be neat to be able to access lists and update recording schedules from a web interface.  Since we can schedule things remotely with a web interface, it would seem that this could be done.  Thanks for your help!

  6. Scuffs says:

    Its been a month since the last one.  I hope number 2 is comming soon.  Im really interested in finding out what your going to talk about with PVR and Recordings.  

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