My Digital Media Receiver can’t see Windows Media Connect

You’ve got everything hooked up and Windows Media Connect (WMC) can see your Digital Media Receiver (DMR) but your DMR can’t see WMC. This one is very interesting.  Let’s take a look at what could cause this problem.


When the DMR wants to find WMC (or vice versa) it sends out an SSDP MSEARCH request.  When a UPnP device that matches the parameters of the search hears the broadcast it responds with its own announcement.  Alternately, WMC sends out an announcement every five minutes or so to advertise its presence. 


Let’s imagine what could go wrong.  First, the MSEARCH may not be getting to WMC.  This could be caused by bad cables, bad routers, or firewalls.  I’ve already covered how to fix all of those, because they would also block WMC from seeing the DMR.  If you’ve got Internet connectivity for your PC and your DMR you can eliminate cables as the cause.  Next, I’d eliminate the router by connecting directly. If that still didn’t work, I’d start disabling the firewalls. That isn’t really a problem at this point, because you aren’t connected to the internet if you aren’t connected to your router, right?  Don’t ever disable your firewall while connected to the internet.


There is another scenario that should be considered when WMC can see your DMR, but not the other way around.  It is actually the UPnP Content Directory Service (CDS) that the DMR goes looking for. WMC won’t advertise a CDS if there are no files shared.  Basically, WMC won’t advertise an empty library.  So, what could cause an empty library?  Two things come to mind. First, if you never completed the first-run wizard then there are no folders shared. No folders shared, means no files shared. No files shared means no CDS.  Even though WMC can find the DMR, the DMR doesn’t have a CDS to find.  Second, you may not have permission to read the files that you’ve shared.  No access to the files means no files shared.  And no Files Shared means no CDS.  I’ve seen this happen most with domain joined PCs (see my last article).  For one of the reasons discussed in that article WMC can’t validate that the user has access to the files, so it doesn’t share them.  The result is again no CDS for the DMR to find.


So, when you start up WMC for the first time, do it from a local account that has administrator privileges and complete the first run wizard even if you can’t find the DMR.  You need to do that to be sure that there is a CDS to find later.  The rest of the troubleshooting steps are the same as in the case where WMC can’t find the DMR.