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HP Media Center Desktop PCs - Frequently Asked Questions About Windows XP Media Center Edition

This document pertains to HP Media Center PCs that came with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center edition.
The items in this document are frequently asked support questions and answers for the HP Media Center computer.
My television recordings skip, stop or fail. How can I prevent this from happening?
The Media Center software will not record a TV program unless it can detect a usable TV signal. To make sure that your TV programs get recorded properly perform the items on the following list:
  • Recording TV requires the processor to work harder. If other software is using the system while Media Center is trying to record, the result can be dropped frames (skipping). If you are noticing that other software programs seem to be running slower, this is probably the issue. Viruses, Spyware, not enough usable disk space, and the buildup of too many temporary files can all cause recording problems. For more information about cleaning up your system, please refer to Increasing System Resources and Performance Without Adding Memory in Windows 95, 98, Me, and XP.
  • Do not go into standby during a recording and adjust power setting times to greater than the length of the program's recording time. To adjust power settings, click Start, Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance, and then Power Settings.
  • Double-click the Media Center icon on the Windows desktop and click My TV. You should see the TV picture in the display for each channel.
  • Change the channels and make sure that each channel that you want to record from has a good picture.
  • Make sure that you are using the proper programming guide information. Go to Zap2it's Web site (in English) and enter your zip or Postal code to find out the correct TV listings for your location. If the guide information is incorrect, then connect to the Internet and perform the guide setup again.
Media Center displays a Tuner Not Found error and I cannot watch TV, Why?
Usually, this error indicates that other software is using the tuner or that the tuner driver is properly set up in Windows. In either case, Media Center will be unable to display TV. Use the following steps to try and correct the problem:
  1. Restart the computer and do not open any other software before watching TV. Simply closing software may not be enough in some circumstances.
  2. After opening Media Center, wait about 10 seconds before attempting to view TV.
  3. If you recently installed new TV tuner hardware, make sure it is properly connected/seated and make sure it is compatible with the version of Media Center you are using.
  4. Reinstall the TV tuner drivers. If your PC came a TV tuner, use HP application recovery to reinstall the tuner drivers. If you installed a tuner separately, reinstall the drivers from the discs that came with the tuner.
  5. Use Windows System Restore to revert the system back to a time when the error was not occurring.
My HP computer came with Media Center but it does not have TV connections on the back. How can I watch TV?
HP manufactured several models of computers with Windows XP Media Center (MCE) as the operating system but without a TV tuner card. To view TV on your computer, install a TV tuner card that is compatible with the edition of Media Center that is on your computer. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Find and purchase a TV tuner that is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Media Center Edition. Look for the designed for Media Center logo on the tuner. The media center version on your PC needs to match a media center version that is supported by the TV tuner.
      note:
    For best performance, a PCI tuner is recommended. When purchasing a tuner, make sure that the tuner is compatible with the specific Edition of Media Center on your PC. Compatible tuners typically contain MC or MCE in the product name or description. If the tuner specifications state that it is compatible with MCE 2005 and your PC has MCE 2002, it will probably not be compatible and should be avoided.
  2. Install the new TV tuner card per the manufacturer's instructions. If the card is USB or Firewire, follow the manufacturers instructions for installing and connecting the tuner. If the card is an internal card, a local computer repair shop can probably perform the upgrade for a reasonable fee. If you want to install the TV tuner card yourself, refer to the instructions that came with the card and Installing or Replacing a TV Tuner Card.
  3. Perform the Media Center setup again and setup your TV channels. For more information, refer to Rerunning or Resetting the Media Center Software Setup.
How can I transfer my home videos onto the Media Center computer?
Moving home videos to your computer depends on how your home movie is currently stored. Use the following HP support document to copy your home videos from a digital camera, camcorder, or videocassette: Working with Home Video.
How can I update software on my Media Center?
Updates to Media Center drivers and software are available on Microsoft's Windows Update site. Use the following steps to update drivers and software:
  1. Turn on the Media Center computer and connect to the Internet.
  2. Click Start, All Programs, and then Windows Update.
  3. Agree to download any plug-ins from Microsoft if prompted.
  4. Read and respond to the information on the Web page. Read the page carefully as information might change from time to time.
For more detailed information on how to use the Windows Update feature, refer to the HP support document: Updating Drivers and Software with Windows Update.
Why am I not getting a TV signal when using the Media Center software?
Check the following items if you cannot view television in the Media Center software:
  • The television signal needs to come into the computer through the coaxial or s-video input. Make sure that you are not trying to connect a standard video cable (RCA style) to the audio inputs or the video out on the graphics card. Use the standard video to S-Video adapter if a standard video cable is used.
  • Connect the end of the s-video cable or coaxial cable into a TV to see if the cable is working properly.
  • Make sure that the TV signal settings are correct for the Media Center software. This is very important, especially if a cable TV or satellite dish set-top box is used. To correct the TV signal settings, use Setting the TV Signal in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Software.
How do I get television information to show up in the program guide?
The following items have to be done before the television guide can provide updated TV listings:
  1. An Internet connection has to be set up before the guide can be used.
  2. The television guide has to be configured to where you live by zip or postal code in guide setup.
  3. The latest guide information needs to be downloaded from the Internet.
For more detailed information on setting up and using the TV program guide, refer to the HP support document: Using the Television Program Guide in Windows Media Center Edition 2005.
How do I save TV programs to a CD-RW or DVD+RW?
Perform the following steps to save TV recordings to a disc:
  note:
Most TV recordings will not fit on CD-R or CD-RW media. To record ½ hour TV programs to CD-R or CD-RW discs, use 700 MB/80 minute recordable discs or better and set the recording quality to Fair.
  1. Record a TV program using Media Center.
  2. After recording the TV program, click Start, All Programs, RecordNow, and then RecordNow.
  3. Click Make a Data Disc and insert a blank recordable disc into the drive. Click Next.
  4. Click the Add Files and Folders button.
  5. Select Shared Documents from the Look in: drop-down menu.
  6. Double-click Recorded TV.
  7. Select a TV Recording (the files with a small green Media Center logo floating over a blank page).
  8. Click the Add button and click Next to create the CD.
My remote control does not work properly. How do I fix it?
Perform the following items if the remote control does not behave as expected:
  • Unplug the IR receiver from its USB connection, wait one minute, and then plug it back in.
  • Move the IR receiver to a darker location.
  • If a set-top box is used, make sure that you connect the remote sensor control cable (the smallest cable that came in the box).
For more help troubleshooting the remote control, refer to the HP support document: Troubleshooting the Remote Control and the IR Receiver.
How can I prevent mature content from appearing? How do I use parental controls?
Use the following steps to prevent viewing of unwanted Television and DVD programs on the Media Center computer:
  1. Double-click the Media Center icon on the Windows desktop or press the green Start button on the remote control.
  2. Click Settings, TV/DVD, and then click Parental control.
  3. Type in four numbers for a personal identification number. Confirm this number by typing it in again when prompted. Write this number down and store it in a safe place.
  4. Click TV Ratings to block levels of rated TV programming or click Movie/DVD Ratings to block levels of rated TV programming.
For more detailed information, refer to the HP support document Blocking Unwanted TV Programs and Movies.

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