Tuesday 7 October 2008

Channels (SBS, Nine) Disappear in Windows Media Center

I've been having a problem for years on Vista MCE with SBS dropping out (being unwatchable) every few days. A restart wouldn't correct the issue and I'd have to a full re-scan. The problem was quite strange because it was unpredictable: sometimes SBS would disappear every day, sometimes I'd go a full week before having to re-scan. Summer always seemed better, oddly enough. Since we moved into the new house with a brand new antenna the problem's only worsened. Luckily my wife's comfortable doing a re-scan as required and she doesn't much care about SBS anyway ;-)

The other day I finally decided to install Vista SP1 and update the drivers for the ancient Hauppauge Nova-T PCI tuner card I'm running. I was previously running the Vista RTM drivers instaleld by the OS but Hauppauge has released an updated set since then. SP1 went smoothly but the driver update was disastrous with SBS and Channel 9 disappearing completely. Re-scans weren't helping. Reboots weren't helping. The wife does watch Channel 9 so my manhood was at stake. Luckily a quick driver rollback fixed that one in a hurry but the growing lost channel problem led me to see if I could find anything new on Google since the last time I looked. 

A few others seem to have this sort of problem but there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer out there. This title of this hotfix led me to breathe a sigh of relief until I noted it was included in SP1. Reading through and pretty much on a whim I thought I might try disabling actual stream opportunistic scanning, whatever that means, and lo, it did the trick. SBS and 9 came back and a few weeks on and I haven't lost SBS once! 

As per the hotfix instructions (down the bottom), I created a new DWORD called DisableActualStreamOpportunisticScanning with a value of 1 under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\GLID

Apparently this key tells WMC to stop reading the latest channel info coming down from the station so in theory your channels might get stuffed up if the station changes some of this info. I'm not using a program guide at the moment but I don't think this has anything to do with program guides--it's more about the channel's meta data. Something like that. I don't really care but it worked!


  1. Hi there

    Thanks for this post, I have the same problem with SBS disappearing. But when I click go to regedit and New, then DWORD (32-Bit) Value nothing happens. Therefore I can't add DisableActualStreamOpportunisticScanning. Because theres nothing to type that into. Do you have any idea whats going on. Would appreciate any advice.


  2. Might be worthwhile checking your security rights on the containing registry branch. Can you see other keys at the same level where you're trying to create the new DWORD?

  3. I’d sweetie to tattle-tale that too!


Spam comments will be deleted

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.