Windows Media Center – Windows 8
Warning: do not install the Windows 8.1 Preview if you watch TV using an extender. It will cause playback to fail on the extender.
Ensure that you have the latest drivers for your video card installed. Video card drivers can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website:
Windows Media Center Installation
Please install Windows Media Center before installing the HDHomeRun software.
Windows Media Center is currently available as $9.99 upgrade from Microsoft for Windows 8 Pro users.
Users of the standard (non-Pro) edition of Windows 8 will need to upgrade to the Windows 8 Pro Pack, $99.99 from Microsoft. Follow the instructions below to upgrade.
- If you are not already at the Start screen, press the Windows key to access it
- At the Start screen, type “add fe” (without the quotes), click Settings, then Add features to Windows 8
- If you do not already have a product key, click I want to buy a product key online
- If you already have a key, click I already have a product key, enter it on the following screen, and proceed with the wizard
- Click Choose
- Enter your credit card or Paypal information, then click Next
- Confirm that your information is entered correctly, check the I agree to the terms and conditions box, and click Buy
- You will be thanked for your order and shown the product key. You can write this down if you want; it will also be emailed to you. Click Next.
- Check the I accept the license terms box, and then click Add features. Note that your PC will restart after this, so save all your work beforehand.
- You will get a progress bar as WMC installs, then the PC will restart
- The WMC tile will now be visible on the Start screen
- Download and install the latest HDHomeRun software from downloads.
- Open HDHomeRun Setup
- On the Location tab, set the Country and Zip/Postal Code
- On the Applications tab, set the Main Application to Windows Media Center
- On the Tuners tab, set the Signal Source to Digital Antenna or Digital Cable for each tuner as appropriate for the source. Set any unused tuners to Disabled.
- On the Cable Channels or Antenna Channels tab, click Scan to run a channel scan
- If you are using an Antenna, skip the following and proceed to Windows Media Center – Configuration
- Digital cable providers may not include the channel names in the broadcast; incorrect or missing names will result in “no guide data” being shown for TV listings in Windows Media Center. HDHomeRun Setup will attempt to use Silicondust’s lineup server to identify channel names. These names are submitted by HDHomeRun users in your area, so while they are generally a good starting point, some adjustments may be needed. Click the Zap2it Website button to launch a web browser and go to the zap2it website, then select your cable provider.
- Click the View button to view the channel. Identify the channel based on the programming currently being show, logos on screen, etc..
- In HDHomeRun Setup, change the Guide Number and Guide Name fields to exactly match the channel number and callsign of the channel from the Zap2it website. Zap2it may have two versions for some channels – one analog/standard definition (e.g. “2 KTVU”) and one digital/high definition (“702 KTVUDT”); make sure you use the correct one.
- Check the Enabled box to enable the channel
- Repeat steps 9-11 for each channels detected
- Click Apply to store your changes
Windows Media Center – Configuration
- Open Windows Media Center
- Click Tasks, then Settings, then TV, then TV Signal, then Set Up TV Signal
- Confirm your region and click Next
- Enter your ZIP/postal code and click Next
- Read and agree to the Program Guide Terms of Service, and click Next
- Agreeing to the PlayReady EULA is optional. Make your selection and click Next.
- Choose Yes to download new data and click Next
- Windows Media Center should find all tuners you have enabled. Select Yes, configure TV with these results and click Next.
- If prompted, select your cable provider or Digital Terrestrial Lineup as appropriate, and click Next
- Click Next
- Select Download when connected and click Next
- Windows Media Center will now scan for channels. If you are using digital cable, it may find very few or no channels because it will only show channels that have program information; this is normal, see the Digital Cable: Enabling Missing Channels section. Click Next. If it prompts you to scan again or continue, click Continue.
- Click Finish
Digital Cable: Enabling Missing Channels with HDHomeRun WMC Sync
HDHomeRun WMC Sync is not currently compatible with Windows 8. You will need to enable missing clear QAM channels manually.
Digital Cable: Enabling Missing Channels Manually
- From the main screen, click Tasks, then Settings, then TV, then Guide, then Edit Channels
- Scroll through the list looking for channels that do not have a padlock icon. You may wish to use the channel list in HDHomeRun Setup to find the channels.
- Click on the channel name (e.g. C114.1)
- Click Edit Listings
- Type the first few letters of the channel name (e.g. ktvu)
- Locate the channel in the list and click on it. Note that local broadcast HD channels (and their associated subchannels) should use the callsign with DT in the name (e.g. KTVUDT, KTVUDT2), while the separate standard-definition versions should use the callsigns without DT in the same.(e.g. KTVU).
- You may optionally change the channel number here to make the channel easier to remember. In Windows 7, you can have a cable-style channel number without the separator by entering 0 for the second portion of the channel number.
- Click Save
- Repeat steps 2-8 for each missing channel
- Click Save
Using Windows Media Center
- To watch live TV: from the main screen, click TV, then Live TV
- To see the guide: from the main screen, click TV, then Guide
- To see a mini guide when watching TV: click the Guide button at the bottom
- To record a single program: Locate it in the guide, click on it, and click Record
- To record a series: Locate one airing in the series, click on it, and click Record Series
- To change where recordings are stored: from the main screen, click Tasks, then Settings, then TV, then Recorder, then Recorder storage. Other drives can be selected using the +/- icons.
Viewing or Listening Conflict
This error message may appear on Live TV immediately after performing the steps above; simply restart Media Center. (This can also occur if the HDHomeRun used by Media Center has been disabled in HDHomeRun setup.)
Video Error: Files needed to display video are not installed
This error is often caused by an incompatibility between the MS audio decoder and HDMI audio drivers on the PC. Update the drivers for the sound card, and if separate, HDMI audio, from the manufacturer. Do not rely on automatic software installs through Device Manager or Windows Update as these can be out of date. If the error persists, disable HDMI audio output. If the error no longer appears, this confirms that the issue is with HDMI audio, and you should contact the hardware manufacturer for assistance.
No channels found during scan (cable) or no audio/video in WMC
This usually indicates that a firewall is blocking the stream from the HDHomeRun. Please check your firewall configuration and make sure that the HDHomeRun programs and the Windows Media Center Receiver Service have full access under all profiles. If issues persist, try completely disabling the firewall.
If you are are using your HDHomeRun with WMC in a Domain environment, you may need to go into the Advanced Firewall Configuration and change the Inbound connections behavior to Block rather than Block all connections.
WMC will not find tuners with ffdshow/codec packs installed
The ffdshow program, which is available both as a standalone program and as part of almost every codec pack, is known to crash the Windows Media Center Receiver Service in Windows 8. The Windows Media Center Receiver Service is the component of Windows Media Center that actually communicates with tuners. If it crashes, you may see symptoms such as WMC being unable to find tuners during the setup process, or showing a Viewing or Listening Conflict during live TV. These events will typically be accompanied by an event in the event log listing the module as ff_acm.acm. To resolve this issue, uninstall the ffdshow program, as well as any codec packs on the PC, including but not limited to Shark007, K-Lite, CCCP, and Media Player Codec Pack, and then reboot the PC.