Setting up windows media center without IR hardware on windows vista

Last week I decided to upgrade my home computer to Windows vista. One of the reasons I wanted to get vista on my home desktop was because I use a TV tuner to watch TV and Windows vista media center seemed to be irresistible for me, so I went for it. Read more about the upgrade here.

The problem is that Windows media player is very tricky to setup, because it asks for many things that you have no clue about it. One of those settings I got stuck with was “IR hardware not found“ after doing a quick research about it on Google I learned that IR is a device windows media center needs to control the channels with its remote control instead of the top cable box remote control.

You will assume this would be optional but after clicking on cancel the process finish without saving anything. After playing for awhile with the settings I made it bypass the IR hardware not found error by doing the following:

Open Windows Media Center and go to Task>Settings>TV>Setup TV Signal click yes to whatever question come up. Click the default settings on the wizard until you get to the option where it asks if you want to setup your signal automatically or manually choose I Will Manually Configure My TV Signal select Antenna-it does not matter where you have your TV tuner plugged in. choose Analog Only Antenna after you go trough this return to TV Settings and click Finish.

Now you should have your media center setup without using a IR hardware. You will need to use the cable box to change the channels

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Comments [20]

  1. Mateus says:

    Well, how do I do it if my cable set top box only has audio and video connection to the PC !!?!? And how to make it go into widescreen mode !?!?!

  2. Philip says:

    Just plug in a headset (earphone) into the slot on the USB receiver. The computer does not know that it's a headset – it just knows something is plugged in and thinks it's an IR blaster. Go through with configuration selecting "not listed" for the cable set top box. It worked for me!

  3. Nelson says:

    thanks for the tip Philip. that sounds easy enough to do.

  4. Ellen says:

    OK I'm working on the very same thing right now! Initially, my set up would only allow me to view analog cable channels on my pc. But I subscribe to primium so that was unacceptable. I ran the coaxial line from the wall into the back of the set top box,and then another coaxial from the out on the set top box to the cable in on the back of the pc. I then connected my hdtv to the cable set top box (STB) using a component connection. Then connected the computer to the TV using an HDMI connection. After playing around for awhile Media Center recognized my digital channels and all seemed fine. On my TV I could press the input for HDMI and have my pc with media center's program guide. On the TV if i chose YPbPr I would then have my regular cable capabilities. All seemed well. Alas, no so. When I tried to set up the remote control from media center to change the channels so that I could use the DVR capabilities, no matter what I did, I failed. The best I could achieve was to have the pc remote change numerically but not the actual picture :(. I am using the IR cables and at this point am considering whether my component connection from the STB to the TV may be setting up some sort of conflict. If anyone has successfully been able to employ the pc remote please please share with me. My brain is totally addeled at this point, patience is severely tested, and frustration sky high. However, I will persevere and do this!!!!!!!!!!

  5. John says:

    I have been using Windows Media Centre for about a year and it works brilliantly..until suddenly it doesn't…Last week the PC remote would not change channels. You could see the IR blaster flashing infront of the set-top-box, but try as I might it didn't change the channels as it should. Somehow it's infra-red code was not being recognised.

    So I did what everyone would do, -firstly I changed all the batteries to all the remotes. Seconly I checked that each remote would on its own work the respective device (ie the PC remote, on its own would work the pc and the set-top box remote would work the set top box. So I then set about re-installing the 'set-up' by going through Media Centre set-up. However when I got to the bit about getting the PC to 'learn' the set-top-box remote I immediately ran into to trouble.

    Firstly it did not recognise the remote |(the first time I set up the system it recognised the remote immediately and the set-up progressed easily), -so I set about getting the PC to 'learn' the set-top box remote. This is where I really got stuck, because You start off with each digit. I tried to load '1' into the PC and it just got stuck, it kept asking for the remote to be turned on and off, and each time I did that it responded, (so I knew that it was 'reading' the signal), however it never offered me another digit, it just kept repeating the request for '1' again and again.

    How do I get the PC to learn the remote if it gets stuck like this ? -Please help

    John

  6. chelsea says:

    Thank you very much that was very helpful. It was driving me nuts.

  7. kara says:

    did not work for me….

    when i tired to view tv i got an error "no tuner to satisfy the current request"

  8. ffdraws says:

    Guess I should have checked this helpdesk before I got the Vista64. My ATI All in Wonder TV worked just fine on my XP32 pro but now I get that same message that the WMC cannot detect IR receiver. I tried the manual settings and chose antenna but didn't see analog only and get nothing. I do get reception on the packaged MSNBC news channel but not all the channels I should get on my U-Verse bundle. Has anyone found a solution.

  9. Wonder Y says:

    This doesn't work for my setup. I have two sources – broadcast and a DirecTV satellite box. The broadcast works fine through the coaxial jack.

    I tried three options:

    1. connect the DirecTV through the video / RCA jacks. This failed because I couldn't get past the IR screen

    2. follow the directions on this page. This failed because I could not change the channel to video in

    3. route the broadcast TV antenna through the DirecTV box and connect to both through the coaxial jack. This failed because the DirecTV box was incapable of passing through the digital TV signal. I could only receive analog channels.

    Microsoft totally screwed this up. The people who designed this thing are idiots.

  10. Cray says:

    Wonder Y, I feel your pain, and agree with your conclusion. I've got an identical setup. I should have known going in that Microsoft would somehow make this fail. They're so good at that.

    At least this thread is showing some semblance of logic. Some threads I've come across have shown such arrogance towards people who don't want to use an IR blaster. Ex: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.w

    MS MVP's…

    So, now I have to weigh my options on Media Center alternatives… because of one stupid design decision.

  11. SFCHenry says:

    I just got finished trying it and it works. I think I am going to still need the IR to use Windows Media as a DVR to record shows. If not, please tell me another way.

  12. EK says:

    Hi – i need help setting up my skydigibox on WMC

    i am running Vista Ultimate, using a Grundig Skydigibox, I have an IR receiver and Dell remote which came with my Dell XPS 420 -my sky box is connecting via scart to s-video – the issue is i cant seem to get my Dell remote to copy my sky remote settings – i can see the sky video in the preview box but when i go to set up the remote control i cant change the channels in the setup testing – any ideas? thanks in advance….

  13. tbonura says:

    hi – I have direct tv and am trying to connect the box to the computer. I have an s-video cord and through the media center i am able to go through the set up using the satellite option but it stops me when it comes to IR control cables – i tried the analog thing but no luck! anyone else have this problem and any solutions!!?

  14. papadon says:

    Just wanted to thank you. After spending at least a couple of hours trying to get my TV dongle tuner and cable box to work with Media Center Win 7/64, I found your site and the answers I needed. I, too, kept coming to a dead-end with "IR hardware not found." Thanks.

  15. jfmals says:

    I too just got Direct TV, I think its awesome. However I too am trying to watch TV thorough Media Center and even record. What I have found out was there was device called the HDPC 20 that Direct TV was working on with Microsoft that was cancelled back in 2008 that was supposed to intergrate WMC with Direct TV. IT's frustrating because I like WMC and would like the added ability to record other than the Direct TV DVR.

  16. Nick says:

    This was most helpful. Thank you!!!!

  17. joy Park says:

    You are the best. Just set up my tv and works great. Thanks

  18. bonobo says:

    Phillip is dead on. Plugging headphones into the empty IR slots works like a charm.

    realityisstupid.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-bypass-windows-media-center-ir.html

  19. database1 says:

    I had the ATI Wonder 650 on Vista and it was a real pleasure. It appears that it is not supported on Windows 7 64-bit, so I went out and purchased the Diamond ATI TV Wonder HD750. Th ATI 650 installed in 10 minutes. After hours of attempting to install the 750 it still does not work. Find some other solution beside the Microsoft Media Center if you are on Windows 7 64-bit.

  20. AbsurdBS says:

    Okay so, for all those not wanting to use the ir cable… The persons instructions were correct, just choose antenna and pick the channel that displays a picture (3 worked for me) then click ok etc to get out of setting it up.. Now heres the key that nobody mentions.. You cant change channels in media player.. just set the channel to channel 3 and use your cable remote to change the channels… F microsoft and their stupid bs, I was never provided with a friggin ir cable and their on screen instructions are just S…

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