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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Windows 7 Media Center Missing TV Signal Menu, 9.7 out of 10 based on 9 ratings

3 Replies to “Windows 7 Media Center Missing TV Signal Menu”

  1. I got round this problem by using RealVNC, and making sure WMC wasn't running full screen. I can see WMC dying a death too, its so hidden away in the xbox dashboard that it doesn't seem like a priority to Microsoft. I think we're heading down a road of pay per view streaming.

  2. I upgraded most of my PCs to Win 10 when it was free, and dedicated a older win 7 PC as my WMC based PVR, using onlt remote desktop to monitor and set up new recordings, this was working great until I lost one channel on the guide, could not find the "TV Signal" setup until I read this page (THANKS!) Microsoft seems hell bent on forcing us to stop using WMC.
    I will have to hook up a monitor and keyboard to fix, then remove to back to old method of management.

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