Windows 7 Media Center Missing TV Signal Menu

Windows Media CenterI was customizing a new Windows 7 Media Center PC for a friend and I ran across an interesting problem that was driving me nuts. This brand new PC has an internal tuner card and is connected to a 10/100/1000 network with an HDHomeRun dual-tuner on the LAN as well. So with the one internal and two external tuners it should be able to record 3 shows at the same time. Pretty cool!

After the initial Windows 7 setup with a mouse & keyboard plugged in, I decided to use my fancy multi-monitor setup and Remote Desktop to finish configuring & patching the PC before taking it on-site. I remotely installed the AV software, updated all of the drivers, etc. However, when it came time to configure Windows Media Center I was in for a bit of a surprise.

When I opened Windows Media Center | Tasks | Settings | TV, the menu was missing some options.

The TV Setup menu looks like this…
RDP Windows 7 Media Center
Fig. 1 Windows 7 Media Center via RDP 

When it should really look like this…
 Hyper-V Windows 7 Media Center
Fig. 2 Windows 7 Media Center via Hyper-V

Or even this…
Console Windows 7 Media Center
Fig. 3 Windows 7 Media Center via Console

As you can see in Fig. 1, the TV missing the Set Up TV Signal option. I searched all over the Internet and couldn’t find an answer to this problem. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the Windows Media Center feature:
Uninstall Windows Media Center featue in Windows 7

That didn’t fix it.

I even tried Media Center Recovery

Open a Command Prompt

Type CD \windows\ehome [Enter]

Type mcupdate.exe –MediaCenterRecoveryTask [Enter]

How to reset Media Center to factory defaults

That did reset Media Center, but it didn’t fix the ‘no tuner option’.

So I checked one of my Windows 7 virtual machines running on my Hyper-V test box, and it showed the Set Up TV Signal option as shown in Fig. 2. I decided to try one more thing and RDP into that exact same virtual Windows 7 box and bingo, the Set Up TV Signal option disappeared right before my eyes!

So, I physically logged in locally on the new Win7 PC with a mouse and keyboard, restarted Media Center and the menu choice was there! And the choice for “Configure Your TV or Monitor” was there too. Apparently, the Windows 7 Media Center is aware of how you’re logging into the PC.

Once you’ve properly configured your tuner(s) the Tasks | Settings | TV menu should look like this…
Windows 7 Media Center properly configured

I’m sure this is an ‘edge case scenario’ since most people aren’t configuring Windows Media Center on Windows 7 via RDP, but it’s good to know that there are differences in MCE depending on how you login.

My original plan was to install this server in a media closet as a headless unit with all of the other AV equipment. But now that I know some features will be missing with RDP, I’m going to plug a physical monitor into it (or maybe install LogMeIn instead).

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Download – Free Windows Server 2008 R2 eBook

image Title: Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2
Authors: Charlie Russel, Craig Zacker with the Windows Server Team at Microsoft
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Date Published: © 2010 Microsoft Corporation
Pages: 200
File size: PDF 11 MB / XPS 28 MB
Price: FREE
Download URL: Click here for PDF / Click here for XPS

Description:

Charlie has done it again! Learn about the new features of Windows Server 2008 R2 in the areas of virtualization, management, the Web application platform, scalability and reliability, and interoperability with Windows 7. Download Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2, written by industry experts Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker along with the Windows Server team at Microsoft.

Contents at a glance:

  • Chapter 1 – What’s New in Windows Server R2
  • Chapter 2 – Installation and Configuration: Adding R2 to Your World
  • Chapter 3 – Hyper-V: Scaling and Migrating Virtual Machines
  • Chapter 4 – Remote Desktop Services and VDI: Centralizing Desktop and Application Management
  • Chapter 5 – Active Directory: Improving and Automating Identity and Access
  • Chapter 6 – The File Services Role
  • Chapter 7 – IIS 7.5: Improving the Web Application Platform
  • Chapter 8 – DirectAccess and Network Policy Server
  • Chapter 9 – Other Features and Enhancements
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Webcast – Windows 7: Crystal Meth for Geeks

Join Susan Bradley and I this week as we combine super-forces to to give the following presentation:

Yes, this is my office, and I'm running Windows 7. -Tim Title: “Windows 7: It’s Like Crystal Meth for Geeks
Presenters: Susan Bradley [SBS-MVP] & Tim Barrett
Date: 10/22/2009
Time: 12:00 PM Noon Eastern (GMT –5)
Host: Third Tier
Link to attend: Click here

Description:
This presentation will help you understand the features of Windows 7. This version of Windows has many, many cool new features that end users are going to love and geeks will become addicted to. Susan and I share our favorite parts of Windows 7, and I’ll try not to act like a goober and embarrass her. Join us for all the fun!

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Changing the Companyweb Timeout in SBS 2008

Another one from the mailbag:

Question – How do I change the timeout in SBS 2008? Users are complaining that Companyweb times out when they get involved in a phone call or when someone walks in their office.

Answer:

  1. Click Start | Administrative Tools | Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager (not IIS 6.0 Manager)
  2. Expand the Server name | expand Sites | click on SBS SharePoint

    Click Server name, Sites, SBS SharePoint

  3. On the Actions pane on the right side of that page, under the Configure section click Limits… 
    Click Limits...
  4. On the Edit Web Site Limits dialog box you can configure your Connection time-out (in seconds), limit bandwidth usage and limit the number of connections. Below is a screenshot of the SBS 2008 default settings for Companyweb / “SBS SharePoint”.
     Choose your timeout length in seconds
  5. Adjust your settings as needed, and click OK.

Here’s what each setting does:

Element Name

Description

Limit bandwidth usage (in bytes)

Select this option to limit the amount of traffic allowed to a Web site based on bandwidth usage. In the corresponding box, enter a value (in bytes) at which you want to limit the Web site traffic. The value must be an integer between 1024 and 4294967295 (unlimited).

Connection time-out (in seconds)

Type a number in the box to set the length of time (in seconds) before the Web server disconnects an inactive user. This setting guarantees that all connections are closed if the HTTP protocol cannot close a connection.

Limit number of connections

Select this option to limit the number of connections allowed to a Web site. In the corresponding box, enter the number of connections to which you want to limit the Web site. The value must be an integer between 0 and 4294967295 (unlimited). Setting the number to be unlimited circumvents constant administration if your connections tend to fluctuate. However, system performance can be negatively affected if the number of connections exceeds your system resources. Restricting a Web site to a specified number of connections can keep performance stable.

 

Link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731169.aspx

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Rename a VPN Connection in Windows 7

This question comes up a lot, so it’s worth documenting:

Question: How do I rename a VPN connection in Windows 7? There’s no option to rename it in the Network and Sharing Center or on the taskbar.

It’s true that there’s no way to rename a VPN connection on the Network and Sharing center main screen:

Network and Sharing Center

…and if you click the icon in the System Tray and then try to right-click the VPN connection, there’s no rename option under properties either:

Network Connections in System Tray

But the rename VPN option is nearby, tucked away under “Changer Adapter Settings” on the Network and Sharing Center:

Click Change Adapter Settings

Here you will see the familiar wired and wireless NICs and VPN connections listed, since there are different types of VPN services you can get online using a torguard coupon to get the best deals for this. Just right-click the VPN connection here and then click Rename.

Right-click the VPN connection, then click Rename

It’s just one of those easily overlooked or forgotten things.

Disclaimer: Matt isn’t really a poo-poo-head, he actually rocks.

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