Two New Updates for Aussie Windows Vista Media Centre Owners

The Media Center dev team have been working to address a couple of problems that have particularly affected some Australian Media Centre users, and we now have updates available from Product Support.

While the fixes are available, the KB articles documenting them aren't yet published (at the time of writing), but we're working on getting them out as soon as we can.

In Australia, you can call Support on 13 20 58 (1,4) or use a pre-existing support arrangement (Partner, Premier, etc) to obtain either hotfix directly from Microsoft PSS.

If there's a problem getting them sent to you, you may need to explain that the articles are still in production, but the fixes are ready and available from the hotfix site.

As with all hotfixes, our recommendation is that if you aren't affected by the problem directly, you should wait for a future public update or service pack containing the updates.

Media Center is available in the Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions.

First, there's an update that provides a more reliable way of keeping custom Guide data in the registry, without having to adjust windows services (for example, KeepKey), registry scripts, scheduled tasks or registry permissions.

935685 - MCUpdate Crash when disableUpdateDiscSvc is enabled * - KB article being finalized. When published:

In short: the update allows Guide providers to set the disableUpdateDiscSvc registry value to 1 without crashing the MCUpdate process when it runs, to retain their custom guide data registry key.

I would expect that you'll likely be directed to install the hotfix by your EPG provider, and they will set the registry key with their installation/uninstallation, but check with them!

In case technical details are wanted:

Registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\EPG
Value: disableUpdateDiscSvc : DWORD : 1

Removing the value or setting to zero should return to normal behaviour (the discsvc key will be overwritten when MCUpdate runs, returning the guide to its default setting).

This next problem seemed to crop up fairly recently on my installation: when channels retitled themselves (as often happened with Channel 7 during a special event or similar), MCE (or rather VMC as folk are calling it now) would sometimes assume it had found a new replacement channel, and forget about the old channel on the same frequency. This led to a loss of Guide data on an occasional basis (and scheduled recordings would often not work on the new channel), It affects Terrestrial Digital TV stations only, far as I know.

938927 - Opportunistic Scanning causes loss of EPG/Guide data * - KB article being written. When published:

Once the hotfix is installed, opportunistic scanning can be disabled by setting a specific registry value:

Registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\GLID
Value: DisableActualStreamOpportunisticScanning : DWORD : 1

This one you'll need to install and enable yourself (unless the guide provider does the registry key for you - they're generally very nice people, so expect to see a tickbox in their programs in the future).

We've had good results in testing, but you might want to consider rerunning Media Center setup after installing the hotfix to rescan all your channels from scratch - if the channels are already weird when you install and enable, they might stay that way.

Again - neither KB is done yet, but we're working hard on them. In the meantime, contact Support to get the updates directly from us.

See also Mike Hayton's post in the forums.

This post is provided "AS IS" and confers no warranty.