The Media Center bug fix I’ve been waiting for

Windows Update delivered the October 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista yesterday, along with the regular Patch Tuesday updates. I was delighted to see this fix on the list:

Fixes an issue in which you cannot seek through recorded TV shows on Windows Media Center systems that have digital cable tuners. Additionally, the recorded TV shows display the incorrect length.

I wrote about this bug last February:

When I play back the recording, it appears to have been truncated. A half-hour show might appear as if it’s only 5 or 6 minutes long. In actuality, it’s the full recorded length, 30 minutes, which you can confirm by looking at the file size or the file properties.

The navigation buttons on the remote control work until you approach the "phantom" length marker. In the case of a 30-minute program that appears to be only 6 minutes long, the elapsed time counter stops at 5:35 or so. But the program itself keeps playing, and as long as you don’t touch the remote it will continue to play till the end. If you do touch the remote, you’ll find yourself whizzing through the program to the end and you’ll need to start over.

As I noted in that post, Microsoft acknowledged this bug exactly one year ago, in October 2007.  Nice to see a fix delivered, finally.

The other intriguing change in this cumulative update is this one:

Implements support for Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free copy for digital cable tuners that have the latest digital cable tuner BIOS versions that support DRM-free copy.

I have three ATI cable tuners here, all of them containing the April 2007 BIOS update. I checked yesterday and couldn’t find a newer firmware update. Anyone out there have any clues on when new code might get pushed out to these boxes?

2 thoughts on “The Media Center bug fix I’ve been waiting for

  1. This is why I have gotten tired of Windows Media Center. I used to love it but little issues like this take what seems like forever to get fixed. The bug that finally got fixed for me was the inability to pause TV (seriously why would minimizing the window or the screensaver coming on ever resume paused media?)

    The next fix I’m waiting for is the ability to support Clear QAM tuners without having to buy a whole new machine with another Vista license.

  2. I haven’t used the Media Center much except to tinker with it. However I do have plans on implementing it as an HTPC when I get the funds.

    I know that Microsoft will be extracting a bunch of consumer apps from Windows and placing them in the Windows Live ecosystem. One of the stated reasons for doing this was to post updates more frequently. This blog post makes me wonder if they’ll decide to release Media Center under the Windows Live collection…

Comments are closed.