Spectator

Recommended PC Hardware for Windows Media Center

My Current system is the following:

 

Dell 755 SFF

Core 2 Duo 3.0MHZ

2GB (more ram on order)

XFX HD5450 1GB Low Profile Graphics Card

Sony TV (NSX-40GT1, Google TV)

HDHomeRun Prime

 

I had a lot of trouble getting WMC to actually display anything through the HDMI to the TV.  So currently I have it setup via VGA to a DVI monitor.  After reseting DRM, bypassing DCA I was able to finally get a signal.  But only for local channels.  For any DRM channels I get an error mesage.  I will continue troubleshooting trying different things.  But was hoping to get some feedback from people who actually have Windows Media Center working as there day to day DVR with Time Warner and a cable card.  What hardware is the most compatible??  What are the minimum and optimal requirements? 8GB ? 2GB graphics card?

6 REPLIES
Expert

Re: Recommended PC Hardware for Windows Media Center

[ Edited ]

You have the WMC HDCP  support issue, probably not a hardware problem 

 Do all channels work on the vga port?

 

This is a Microsoft/ Sony?Apple  issue, read thru the A/V forums for possible solutions, It's not a TWC issue

 

 

Contributor

Re: Recommended PC Hardware for Windows Media Center

Actually,  the VGA port of your video is not capable of supporting DRM, period. You must use ithe HD540's HDMI port connected to your Sony's HDMI port to resolve this issue.

 

Presuming you are running Windows 7, or 8.1, the PC hardware is anemic, but sufficient, to a point. With that little memory and only 2 CPU cores, you may have problems with watching one recording while recording another at the same time. Adding RAM will certainly improve the overall PC performance. To take full advantage of the HDHR Prime's 3-channels, you would need four CPU cores and at least 4GB RAM.

 

This all assumes that WMC is all the PC is being tasked to do at any one time.

Expert

Re: Recommended PC Hardware for Windows Media Center

[ Edited ]

Doesn't help if the issue is HDCP blocking on HDMI/DVI output for some channels.

 And yes, VGA/ component outs block any HDCP bidirectional comms looking for "what are you doing with the video"... Then that without an approved display monitor on DVI or HDMI, they won't allow the video to be played. 

If you do the update to Win 10, do you lose WMC alltogether?

 This is to thwart the hdmi HDCP universal play/ recording black boxes that have sort of been banned from sale in the US...

 

 Here are some search results for clearing up/ resetting DRM restrictions...

https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=DRM+DCA+issues+in+WMC&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

 

Contributor

Re: Recommended PC Hardware for Windows Media Center

Windows Media Player is neither included nor available for Windows 10. There are some work-around hacks out there, but they have real issues with CableCard systems. For OTA or ClearQAM signals, Kodi seems to work with Windows 10.

Browser

Re: Recommended PC Hardware for Windows Media Center

Suggestions:

Get a refurb quad core PC.  I got a dell T3100 workstation for $180.  4 GB RAM, 256GB Disk.

Your video card is OK.   You need a video card with HDMI.  I had lots of troble with Nvidia. You have AMD so should be OK.

 

HDMI cable.   Invest in a good HDMI cable.  $20-$30.  A bad cable can affect the DRM

 

If you ave connecting though an AV reciver, try direct connecting.  It could be your AV reciver interfering.  Make sure your AV reciver is configured correctly

 

Make sure you have latest HDHOMERUN firmware and software installed.

 

Here is what I have:

Dell t3100 quad core with 4 GB RAM, Windows 7, WMC, Plex media Server, OpenPHT

Home Build server w/10TB storage - has all my movie, music, video, and photos - content for Plex

HDHomerun Prime with cablecard

TWC cable internet - Arris cable modem (my own)

Tp-Link router

Sony STR-DH550 AV reciever

5.0 speakers

Insignia 55" flat screen LCD TV

Roku 4 (withTWC app)

 

We use WMC for DVR and watching most of or live TV shows (we can pause and rewind).  Works fine for all channels

We use Plex for watching Movies (we rip our movies to digital MKV format), liensintg to our CD librabry (ripeed to MP3) and wanticng home movies and lookig at our photos)

We use the roku for watching TWC live TV (no pause feature), and for On Demand content (TWC On Demand).  ALso use it for other stramed content.

 

Browser

Re: Recommended PC Hardware for Windows Media Center

Also.... If you are only getting QAM channels and not DRM protected, it sounds like your cablecard is not configured correctly. You need to get TWC tech help. that in itself may be a challenge... not all of their field folks are familiar with cable cards.