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Windows 7: ESXi Based Windows 7 Extenders TV Issue

15 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 64
Windows 7 Extender No video on live or recorded TV


This might be a bit long so I apologize in advance but could really use some help. I have been running my main Windows 7 Media Center mahcine on ESXi for a while now and have gone through 3 hardware configuraiton changes(an old AMD athlon board, then to an Intel i5, and now on new server). I have never run into any issues in the past using this setup but on my new hardware I am having an issue.

Current Setup:
Dell Poweredge 2950 2x Quad Core Xeon 5320
ESXi 5
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
HD HomeRun for TV tuners

I setup the HD Homerun drivers/software without an issue and can verify that the TV functionality does work on the Windows 7 Virtual Machine by opening the HD Homerun live preview. I then run through the setup for WMC live tv and it does not give me any errors. The issue is when I try to use an extender (Xbox 360, fully updated) to watch live or recorded TV. The extender will open up the TV guide, go to the live tv menu, the popup for the channel, dolby digital logo, etc. will come up but the entire screen is black. It acts like the tv is playing but the screen remains black. I can switch channels and it is the same for every channel. The really odd part is that I can turn closed captioning on and it will show up but still not actual image of the show. I have tried everything I can think of and nothing makes any sense, please help!

I know that the TV does work as I can console into the VM and the TV is viewable there.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 64

SOLVED! (workaround found, not actually fixed) The issue was with ESXI 5. I installed ESXi 4.1 and rebuilt a new Windows 7 VM and all of the functionality on the extenders returned to normal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Working for me with patched ESXi 5

I experienced the exact same issue running on my ESXi 5.0 host (PE 1900, Dual Quad Core 5335) - blank screen on the Xbox 360 extender. I was using the ESX host for a number of other reasons and thought it might be cool to eliminate a media center PC as well. After reading this post I decided it wasn't worth it and moved on to other things.

This weekend, however, I tried installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the system and discovered that it wouldn't work without patching ESXi to patch2. I installed all of the latest patches. I also noticed that there was no audio device, and found a method of manually adding an HD Audio driver to the vmx file. I also updated the VMware tools.

After this, I decided to try hooking up the vm to an XBox again -- and it worked! I got video and audio. Because I made all of these changes at once, I can't say which is needed, but they're all easy, free, and probably a good idea anyway.

That said, I'm left with one problem that I've actually seen before with one of my physical systems: when I skip, rew, or ffwd through recorded TV, it always takes a very long time --maybe 5-10 seconds before responding to the 30-second jump. The CPU and network graphs on the VM aren't spiking and I don't have a clue what it's using to do the seek of the file (remote over UNC path to WHS server).

Anyone have any idea why HD live tv (HD Homerun) and recorded wtv files would play smoothly, but jumps/rew/ffwd would experience delays?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 64

Thanks for the reply. Do you have the extenders connected to Windows 7 or the Windows 8 CP VM? If it is the Windows 7 box can you let me know what the steps were in getting it to work exactly?

I want to upgrade to ESXi 5 for Windows 8 and Server 8 but this issue was the only thing stopping me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

The extenders connect to Win 7...haven't tried Win8 CP, not even sure it's possible and after playing with Win8 for 15 mins or so decided it truly lived "down" to the negative press and powered down the vm.

As for getting Win8 to install and Windows 7 to work with extenders, as I said I can't say for certain which specific step/steps are absolutely required, but here's everything I did:

First, I upgraded my ESXi 5 build with "patch 2" here and the subsequent update from 3/15 on the vmware support site. See this link for details/instructions:
VMware Communities: Windows 8 Consumer Preview runs fine on...

Next, I installed the "HD Audio" device, which requires manually editing the vmx file as outlined here: Virtual HD Audio Hardware in vSphere 5 Virtualization.BlogNotions - Thoughts from Industry Experts

Finally, I updated the VMWare Tools. The updater in Windows 7 system tray wouldn't work right away -- said I needed to edit the vmx file and provided the line to add, which I did. Just click on the VMWare tools in the tray, choose update, and follow the instructions if it complains like mine did.

At this point I was able to watch HD & SD recorded and live tv (HD Homerun Prime CC) without a problem...EXCEPT for the aforementioned issue with skip/ffwd/rew which I'm still looking for answers on.

Good luck and hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 64

Thanks, I'll try getting it setup this week. I'll probably try and do the steps one at a time to check out which one is the solution. After I get it up and running I'll look into the FFwd issue with the recorded tv.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #7

Windows 7 64

Well I just installed ESXi 5. Updated it to Update 1 (build 623860). Edited the VMX file to input the HD audio device. And finally updated the VMWare tools. I checked the TV on the extenders each step and am still having the same issue of no video during live TV or recorded TV. Trying a few other things since you were able to get it working I know it should be able to work now...just no clue why not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Hmmm... I'm 99.9% certain I didn't do anything else with my rig, but I'll keep thinking about it and post back if I think of anything. The only other difference I can think of is the XBox was hooked up to a physical system for a while before I switched back to the VM, but I it doesn't seem like that could affect anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2012   #9

Windows 7 64

ONe thing that is common among the systems i have this issue with is an event log error

Product:Windows Operating SystemID:602Source:MCX2FilterVersion:6.0Symbolic Name:MCX2FILTER_EVENT_DRM_FAILEDMessage:Windows Media Center Extender encountered a DRM failure. Error code: %1

Event ID 602
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #10

Windows 7 prof 64bit on ESXi 5.0

Hi I have a similar issue - I followed the instructions above (thanks :-) and once I had configured VMware to switch on 3D for the virtual video card I can confirm it works... I can watch live TV while logged into it via my vSphere console! - but neither a linksys or xBox extender display video or any audio.

What I am seeing in event log is "Windows Media Center Extender encountered a DRM failure" error code is 0x8004b822

Both exhibit the same issue - the extender appears to work fine (links up/shows menus etc) - but it always displays a black image for both recorded and live TV- I can fast forward rewind the TV (and it appears from the network traffic) that its getting the stream but no video/audio appears.
Strangely under the video's section of media centre there is a demo HD video.. this works fine!
Everything is a fresh install and fully licenced.

I'm running ESXi 5 (fully patched) running win 7 prof 64bit with USB pass-through for a DVB SAT (Q box s2)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 ESXi Based Windows 7 Extenders TV Issue

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