I 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…
Fig. 1 Windows 7 Media Center via RDP
When it should really look like this…
Fig. 2 Windows 7 Media Center via Hyper-V
Or even this…
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:
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]
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…
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).