Microsoft Unprepared for Digital TV Switch
Reports suggest that the Digital TV switch in the US went by
with little confusion or problems. Of
course, if you rely on Windows Media Center your experience likely wasn’t in line
with those reports. Ben
said the transition is causing grief for Media Center users, but for most
that might be an understatement.
Microsoft seemed to think they were prepared; after all they
deployed a nice Service
Alert tile in Media Center on the 9th that explained the issue. What they didn’t do is update their servers
and other online components to reflect the frequency changes that came with the
switch. Unlike most setups, Media Center
replies on online data instead of communication with the ATSC
broadcasters. Microsoft is aware of the
issue and seems
to be making progress in various places, however this is one of those key
updates that Microsoft had loads of time to prepare for and when the switch
came it caused mass confusion among users.
The interim fix for the issue in Windows Media Center is to
edit the atscchannels.xml file in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\EPG\prefs with
the updated frequencies. You can find
those frequencies at various websites including TV Fool
(just input your zip code) and the FCCs own database. You can also delete the atscchannels.xml and
manually create the channels within Media Center. To do this navigate to Settings > TV >
Guide > Add Missing Channels. The
frequency is the same as the “real” number shown in the TV Fool website. Doing this manually requires you to assign
the EPG listings to the channel through Settings > TV > Guide > Add
Listings to Channel.
Update: This should now be fixed, re-run your Guide setup.