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Windows 7: Media Center Live TV suddenly black

03 Apr 2018   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Media Center Live TV suddenly black

I'm puzzled by what has happened to my long running Windows 7 Ultimate media center HTPC which i've had running for several years now. On March 23rd 2018 my Live TV picture went black, but i could still hear the sound. No problem, i'll just roll back to a known good backup from March 1st. This made no difference.
My thoughts:
1. Hardware failure of some sort
2. Time/Date has had an affect on the machine causing some software to misbehave
3. BIOS has somehow been modified causing the issue which means a restore won't help.

Most movie formats didn't play but audio was ok. Some formats did play ok. Live TV was just black screen but audio ok. Plex is installed on the media centre too - this gives a green screen with audio when playing movies. So it looks like a codec issue, but my restore didn't help. Why not?

So i rolled back the BIOS to an early version in case Microsoft had somehow pushed some Spectre/Meltdown update to the machine using the 2 files in the Windows directory which allows them to patch the microcode. No joy.
So i rolled back, disconnected the network cable so no updates or anything could happen - same.
So i modified the BIOS clock and rolled back and still the same.
I updated graphics card drivers, TV tuner card drivers, still nothing

After a day of poking around i went into Shark 007 x64 bit settings, swap tab and checked the box to 'Disable Microsoft's video Decoder'. This fixed it! How? Why?

I was going to leave it like this but noticed a change in behaviour. When running LiveTV i now see an icon for the LAV Video Decoder which has taken over to make things work. The problem i now have is that rewinding and forwarding liveTV causes Media Center to have a problem and the only way to get TV working again is to restart Media Center.

Does anyone have any ideas how or what has happened here? Am tearing my hair out to figure this one out. Again - a restore to a known good backup didn't help so updating drivers for anything should be irrelevant.

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Media Center Live TV suddenly black

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