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vgallo1
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Can no longer get Windows Media Center to play live TV

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HP Pavilion Elite 500 series
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

Hey all,

When I first got my Pavilion Elite 500-series I use to be able to watch (and record) live TV in a window on my desktop  via a coax cable plugged into the back of the PC, using Windows Media Center. This was very handy for having news or a sports game playing in the backgroud when working on the computer. Then for some reason, it stopped working.  I was getting a message "Windows Media Center has stoppped working".  After trying everying I could think of, to no avail,  I finally, recently, reinstalled the operating system (Windows 7, 64 bit). Now, every time I go through the setup process in Windows Media Center, it sees my cable provder and is able to download the program guide, but when it scans for channels it either doesn't see any, or it plays black and white "snow" on every channel.. My cable provider says the signal coming in via the coax is analog, although they recently sent me an analog-to-digital converter, which I tried using, but either way I get the same result. Does anyone know if the tuner card in the PC accepts analog or digital signals, or both? Is there a way to diagnose whether the problem is the tuner card itself? Would appreciate any feedback or suggestions on this..

Thanks.

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TheOldMan
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I think you have probably either been misled or confused by whatever the cable representative said.  If they "sent me an analog-to-digital converter"  - more than likely it is a digital to analog converter  because most all cable companies have converted their systems to all digital.  Being the PC is using Windows 7 media center, then the most likely scenario is the TV tuner is an old style analog .  Without the info from the tuner card, that is my assumption.  It should be able to connect to that converter box VIA one channel at a time and you would have to use the remote for the converter box to change channels and there would not be a program guide.

Even if the tuner is a digital capable tuner, it may not work with the cable signal because most/all cable companies now will not give the signal to the customer without some sort of cable box.

 

Also it might be of value if you gave your location - either in the USA or not to help pinpoint the cable system type

If you would give the cable company name and the PC  tuner info from Device Manager, perhaps I can help verify what is happening.


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vgallo1
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Thanks for the quick reply to my post. To answer your questions,  my cable provider is Blue Ridge Communications (NE Pennsylvania). I confirmed with them again today that the "DTA Minibox" they sent me is Analog to Digital. ( I also assumed that "DTA stood for "digital to analog", but they said no.)  My computer is several years old, and since it was working when I first got it, I agree that the tuner is most likely analog. But like I said, I've tried connecting with and without the converter box with the same result.. I tried to find the tuner card in Device Manager, and the closest thing I could find was under Sound/Video/Game Controllers,  something called "Hauppauge Win TV 723x (ATSC/NTSC)", which to me sounds like something to with TV. But according to Device Manager, this "Device is working properly". I don't know if it is a hardware or software issue. I'm going to call Microsoft.

 

 

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TheOldMan
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The device you found is the TV tuner: Hauppauge Win TV 723x (ATSC/NTSC)

It can be used with other software besides the Media Center portion of Windows 7, if you want to see if the hardware is working.  If it proves to be the hardware is good then try Microsoft for help, but I doubt they are going to help much.  Hauppauge has a software called WinTV that is made for the tuner to get TV signals without using Media Center.  However, there are alternatives.

NextPVR will do the same/similar to Windows Media Center and will tell you if the hardware is working or not.  If you want to verify the the Hauppauge Win TV 723x (ATSC/NTSC is working or needs a different driver, then try NextPVR, found here

https://www.videohelp.com/software/NextPVR

If you have a TV station within range, possibly try getting the OTA signal, but most likely it will be a digital broadcast by now.  If the Hauppauge is analog only then that will not help.  I think using this old hardware in today's environment is more trouble than its worth and possibly a lost cause. 

The most probable solution is a CableCard tuner, similar to this

https://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-WinTV-DCR-2650-Tuner-CableCARD-Receiver/dp/B005FPT38A

This device uses the cable signal for TV but you still need to sign up for cable TV service (which you already have), and you will still need to rent a digital cable card from your local cable operator.  By renting the digital cable card from the cable company, they provide a signal that the tuner can use and the PC still does what it is supposed to do with Windows 7 Media Center.  Whatever signal the cable company provides, their cable card has to receive it and make it usable for the device it is installed in.

Remove the Hauppauge Win TV 723x (ATSC/NTSC) from the PC and connect the Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner CableCARD Receiver per instructions.  Then reconfigure the Windows Media Center to use this new device.


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vgallo1
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TY for all the great info. Your first reply turned out to be spot on. I confirmed that the incoming signal from cable co. was digital. , as you thought, and not analogue as the Cable co. rep told me. Hence I needed to go thru the converter so the computers tuner, which is analogue as you thought, would be able to read the signal. In scanning for channels, it only saw one, but I realized there was a remote that came with the converter, like you said, and I was able to change channels with the remote. Thanks again for all your input.

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srikanth_78
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I think you can try a stand-alone platform like BBC Iplayer, Pluto TV Live,  TVplayer, SlingTV, and Hulu. Else there are many live TV options. These all support on Windows and few of these are completely free,

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