Override Digital Cable Advisor in Windows Media Center 7

Feb 23 2011

* * * Disclaimer * * *

I do NOT recommend using the DCA override other than the circumstances listed below.

The following files and instructions are provided to you at your OWN RISK!! Understand that it is circumventing a quality assurance test. That being said, if you do have a problem, we have a fantastic community here to help you

Before we begin, this guide assumes you know what the Digital Cable Advisor (DCA) is and have it installed already. If you do not, please refer to MCE: Digital Cable Advisor Tool Available Now before continuing.

OverrideDigitalCableAdvisor does not remove the need to have DCA installed. What it does is tell DCA to skip the tests and consider it a PASS. I do NOT recommend using OverrideDigitalCableAdvisor to get around under powered hardware. I am providing OverrideDigitalCableAdvisor for two basic scenarios (though there may be more) that I believe the DCA fails to take into account.

  1. Virtual Media Center

    I've had a virtual Windows Media Center running under Hyper-V for several years (since Vista SP1) that has acted as my primary recording HTPC.  I did this for several reasons: 1- To reduce energy consumption.  At the time my primary HTPC was left on 24\7 to ensure it was always available for Media Center Extenders.  Virtualizing it allowed me to change my power policy on the HTPC to be in standby most of the time; 2- I setup two virtual HTPCs. One dedicated to recording and another for my Media Center Extenders (MCX) to allow me to test various MCX work-arounds without potentially lowering the stability of my recordings.

    This worked great for years with my Silicon Dust HDHomeRun (x3)...until Comcast made ClearQAM next to worthless in Houston.

    Welcome Ceton InfiniTV--I have HDTV again but my virtual HTPC is now pointless.  Luckily the InfiniTV beta wasn't too far away and I'm back to a virtual Media Center.  With network bridging and network tuner "sharing" I'm able to use my virtual HTPC for Copy-Freely recording again.  For Copy-Protected content my primary HTPC and bedroom HTPC will both record the shows so it is available everywhere.

    The problem with getting the InfiniTV setup on the virtual HTPC is that the DCA will crash most of the time (prior to SP1 it did not, it just failed) due to the lack of HDCP video card compliance.  Without DCA approval you can not use any CableCARD tuner within Media Center.

    You can get around that with RemoteFX but that is a much higher cost and setup, OverrideDigitalCableAdvisor is much easier.

  2. Media Center "Server" for Extender Only Setups

    I've long given up on the Media Center Extender model but I still know a few people who use Media Center solely through Extenders.  The problem with DCA here is that most people will not have a good video card for a "headless" HTPC that is only used as a host for Extenders.  If their card is not HDCP compliant DCA will fail--OverrideDigitalCableAdvisor gets around that.

    You will still need a video card to launch Live TV setup within Media Center but at least you won't have to buy a more powerful one.

     

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS (READ CAREFULLY)

  1. First, Download the file attached below (you will need to be registered and logged in.)

  2. Once downloaded, extract the files into a temporary folder.

  3. Open Windows Explorer to the above temporary folder

  4. Right Click on OverrideDigitalCableAdvisor.cmd and select "Run as Administrator"

  5. Wait for the script to run entirely. The script will tell you if it executed properly.

    If you receive an error that DCA was not found, please install it from within Media Center | Extra Gallery.  DCA is not installed by default.  You will need to be logged in the console session to install DCA.  If you connected to a virtual, please ensure you connect via Hyper-V or a RemoteFX session.  It will not be visible via Remote Desktop as Windows Media Center considers RDP clients to be Media Center Extenders.  

    Note: DCA will also be installed by the Ceton InfiniTV setup package.

 

Install DCA under Extra Gallery

 

DCA Installed under Extra Library

 

DCA will crash under Hyper-V

 

Make sure to run as an administrator

 

DCA Override

 

Successfully executed DCA override

 

Note: The attachment is only downloadable for logged on users.  Do not copy or host the file elsewhere.

Comments

The machine is an Alienware Aurora R4 with dual AMD Radeon HD 7950 cards in it.  I just notices the note about Hyper-V above as well.  I will also try disableing Hyper-V to see if that corrects the issue.

Thanks!

Hyper-V was indeed the issue.  Once I removed Hyper-V, the Digital Cable Advisor finished with no issues and Media Center is now working as I would expect it to.

 

Anyone know if Media Center will keep working if I put Hyper-V back?

Thanks everyone!

Ian

Hi, trying to run override on Win8 MCE running in Hyper-V, DCA override reports ok, cable advisor reports failure?

A similar Win 7 MCE in Hyper-V worked, but can't get it to work with Win8 MCE?

Any ideas?

Hi, Thank you for DCA override!  I solved one of the problems I was having.  I thought I would describe what I did to solve the other one (display driver error with live tv). 

I have an HP Pavilion H8-1237c computer with Ceton InfiniTV 4 installed.  I recently had to "factory fresh" it and the updates to media center prevented correct installation of digital cable.  I found the DCA override easy and effectively fixed this problem. Thank you!!!

I still had the same error I had in the past installation with Live TV causing "display driver error" message and screen, which was overridden by minimizing and maximizing screen.  I was ready to get rid of this.  Reading others' posts, I learned it was related to audio, not video driver errors.  Others have fixed this by changing from 2.1 to 5.1 audio, or vice-versa, but I found no such options.

I systemmatically tried to isolate the issue.  First, I switched back to one screen from dual display mode, taking the Samsung TV out of the picture.  With only the computer monitor, there was no error.  I the guessed the problem was with the audio driver for the TV The TV is conneced via a DVI-to-HDMI connection.  The audio goes to an old-fashioned stereo receiver, not the TV, and only the video goes through the HDMI cable.  Since I didn't need the audio for TV in this case, I went into control panel/audio and disabled the audio for the Samsung.  And viola!  Going back to cloned dual displays I have no display driver error.  Oh Happy Day! 

 

I guess i am not lucky. I need to run wmc on virtualbox on my qnap but this script doesn't seem to do the job for me. I've been trying to figure this out all day and im am exhausted. I was able to figure out how to make it pass the other two requirements but not graphic. It's actually looking at the windows rating index for info. By altery the data I was able to make it pass the memery and cpu but not video. 

This thread is old but still good. I was having nothing but problems trying to get my intel nuc with hd4000 graphics and windows 7 and hdmi to pass the advisor. I found two comments on the web. Make sure Intel rapid storage was off the other to use the default resolution for the Tv. I can't confirm if these fixed my problem. I also found "on my own" that Intel Graphics Anayzer?? was on in the bios (something for debugging). Turned it off and I now pass the advisor.

The dreaded video error is gone so far all the channels work. Next on to HBO. Cross you fingers.

PS. most of my problems were with "cable card" channels with an hdhomerun prime.

OK... Old(er) thread... Doesn't seem to work anymore. The HDHomeRun Prime did a forced firmware update. SiliconDust suggested I run the override script again. I run the script, it succeeds, I run DCA, it succeeds, but I only get a few of the HD channels and the Display adapter issue for the rest of the channels when I try to view.

Dunno if you're still supporting WMC anymore as MS isn't.

 

This sucks. I've been running WMC on these systems for over a year no problem. The cost difference between a $2.00 a month CableCard and $60.00 a month for 3 STB's if pretty steep.

Thanks for the forum, nonetheless.

blainemiller, it really sounds like your CableCard isn't authorized, not anything with your display drivers or DCA. Try having your cable provider reset/reauthorize it and see if you can view those channels from a "real" WMC install on a physical machine and not in a VM and it should work.

blainemiller, it sounds more like you need to reauthorize your cablecard with your provider rather than a local issue. Have you tried the fullscreen/unfullscreen to get video on the channels that aren't normally working?

Awesome!  Thank you so much for this.  Worked like a charm for Win 7 media center in Hyper-V.  This was the last step for getting my setup to work with a Ceton InfiniTV 6 eth tuner, virtualized windows media center and extenders throughout the house.

This did not seem to work for me. I went through and ran it When I did I saw a "your already set up would you like to try again". Either way It wouldn't play even with it seeing the tuner and would point me back to the test.

 

I ended up dual booting a windows 7 system to watch my tv through.

 

Hope this file helped someone work in a virtualized state

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