Top Fixes For Issues & Glitches

Easy replacement for Microsoft discontinuing Netflix support in WMC

Over 10 years ago Microsoft built an App into Windows Media Center for Netflix, which used a software program called Silverlight for playback & DRM. Microsoft recently announced that they will no longer be supporting this old Netflix app as of 9/2015.

Most freeTVEE users already have an additional Netflix Chrome Web App (the same as 95% of the other streaming apps we built into WMC) on their freeTVEE PC. Some users have been using this Chrome Netflix Web App because they prefer it to the old Microsoft WMC App. The Netflix Chrome Web App will work just like the hundreds of other Chrome Web Apps that we built into your freeTVEE PC. Follow these quick steps to find, test & add the new Netflix App to the top row of WMC for easy access:

  1. Navigate to the very top row in WMC (Extras), then click Extras Library & find the Netflix Logo organized alphabetically. Hit OK/Enter/Click on this Netflix Web App logo in WMC. If it minimizes WMC & opens a Google Chrome browser to netflix.com then you have a new or recently updated system. Login & prompt Google Chrome to remember your password. Skip to step #4!
  2. If the above didn’t work & your PC is newer than 3 years old, you can find the Angrybirds app instead of Netflix. Angrybirds has been programmed to run in Chrome for longer so should pull up a google chrome browser automatically. Skip to step #4!
  3. If steps 1 & 2 didn’t work than you have a very old system that needs a more manual work around. Remember your freeTVEE PC is also a computer with a full web browser! Simply pull up your favorite web browser, type in www.netflix.com in the top navigation area. Next bookmark or make Netflix your homepage so that it shows in the top favorites bar section, so you will always be 1 click away when you open your browser. Remember to login to your Netflix account & click remember login info.
  4. From the inside the WMC Extras Library you can right-click on any app (including Netflix) & Add To Start Menu (or Remove).
  5. Remember Web Apps are different and use more of the mouse with clicking on things, although the volume & arrow buttons will still work for some things. If you are planning on doing a lot of streaming I would suggest you get this inexpensive keyboard-it works perfect for WMC & all Chrome apps!
  6. Find your show on new Netflix Web App, enjoy it & simply hit the Green Button when you are done watching to easily return to WMC.
  7. Please access the freeTVEE Quick Start Guide (Windows & WMC UI Tips Section will be especially helpful) for more details & helpful info on all things freeTVEE, WMC, Windows & Chrome.
  8. Netflix also has a help section in case you would like to learn more about your Netflix features. Some advantages of this new Web App are: frequent updates, more visual tiles, separate profiles, parental controls, taste preferences, ratings, more robust search. Here is some additional info on the new Netflix site.
  9. TIP on My List! If you have a bunch of shows saved on Netflix’s My List, you can access it three ways in netflix itself: 1. From the homepage scroll down to the second row. 2. From the top left hover over “Browse”. 3. Use, bookmark or make your homepage this specific web address http://www.netflix.com/browse/my-list
  10. Another inexpensive alternative for Streaming Netflix, etc. would be to get a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Box they work great for a secondary TV room!

As always, we will continue to update this section with any changes or updates to Netflix or anything WMC & freeTVEE PC related.

WMC TV Guide "No Data Available" Fix & How To Scan/Rescan For Channels

I ONLY suggest you apply the following TV Guide fix if you have no guide data or notice that your guide data is almost gone-so if ain’t broke don’t fix it.  😉 Your WMC TV Guide should normally go out about 10-14 days (less until Microsoft pushes the new Media Center update to your PC). I have spent days investigating & working this issue, so that I could provide you with an easy, organized, step by step guide which will walk you through exactly what you need to do to fix this issue-IF NEEDED.

The first question to answer is do you even have a problem? Quickly check to see how long your guide is updated. Obviously if the TV Guide is showing no data or alternatively you can open Windows Media Center & open/click on the bottom row-Tasks-Settings-TV-Guide-About Guide If your guide date only show today or tomorrow then it is time to do the following steps:

  1. Close WMC & make sure you have an internet connection on your PC by hovering your mouse over the bottom right of the taskbar next to date/time. Also, it will be easier to plug in a keyboard to apply this update.
  2. Download & install NetTime here, which will automatically keep your PCs Date & Time 100% correct. This is important because WMC uses your PCs date & time for scheduling recordings & TV Guide data.
  3. ALL OF THE NEXT 3 UPDATE STEPS ARE IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT INSIDE WMC: Tasks (bottom row)-Settings-TV-TV Signal-(steps 3-5 below here)…  Skip ahead to the next step. If you need more help Microsoft also has an online WMC help guide here Scroll half way down Microsoft’s help page to the first bullet point “To set up a TV signal from a Cable TV wall jack or antenna” OR “To scan for additional channels or check signal strength for a digital TV tuner”.
  4. Set Up TV Signal: Select YES & agree to all prompts-use US, your zip code (or 80228 or a nearby zip code if that doesn’t work). Once WMC has scanned & run “TV Setup”, I have noticed 100% success when you select “NO-SHOW MORE OPTIONS” at the TV Signal Detection Result. Then follow the prompts & select “Let Me Configure My TV Signal Manually“-“Digital Antenna”-“Yes” to select your TV Tuners & “No” need to setup additional TV Tuners or Signals at the end, just click through to accept & finish.
  5. Scan For More Channels: As soon as you have successfully Set Up TV Signal, you want to then “Scan For More Channels” which is on the top of the exact same TV Signal main page.
  6. Mass Deleting Unwanted Channels: In the exact same main “TV Signal” page, go to “Digital TV Antenna Signal Strength” (ignore the title), and un-check any channels you do not want (you do not need to wait for a scan, just use your mouse or arrow buttons/enter), then hit finish/save when done. Most Denver Metro customers edit out the Religious & Spanish channels & are left with these channels (some channels may not have OTA antenna reception based on your location): 2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2 6.1 6.3 7.1 7.3 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 12.1 12.2 12.3 14.2 14.3 14.4 20.1 20.2 25.3 26.1 26.2 31.1 31.2 53.2 59.1 59.2 59.3 59.4 You can also easily edit out a channel individually by right clicking on the Channel # in the TV Guide directly & selecting “Disable Channel”.

WMC DVR Recordings-Setting, Deleting & Editing

Microsoft actually has a really detailed Recorded TV Guide & FAQ here. With Microsoft’s Guide Data switch over some users have found issues with existing series recordings. If you want to do a full refresh to make sure everything is working as it should be please Clear All Recordings & Setup brand New Series Recordings again. As with almost everything in WMC there are several different ways to do things, however, here are a few quick tips on the basics:

  • Setting A Recording Or Series Recording: In the Guide hit the Red record button 1x to record or 2x to record a series.
  • Deleting A Scheduled Recording Or Series Recording: In the Guide hit the Red button a 3rd time. You can also view/edit all of your scheduled recordings by going to TV-Recorded TV-View Scheduled (up top), where you can then select either Series or an individual recording to edit or delete!
  • Quick Cancel ALL Recordings: In WMC, go to the bottom row-Tasks-Settings-TV-Recorder-Clear Recording Schedule

Common Media Center PC Issues & Fixes

The most common time to see glitches is after the initial setup.  Some might occur from you learning the system. Others may be due to the fact that every home has unique electronics equipment that is just starting to interact with the new Media Center PC. The more complex your setup (AVR, HDMI splitter, Multiple TVs or PCs), the more areas you have for potential glitches. Here are a few easy steps that will fix most common issues:

  • Close out (X out in the top right corner) of WMC & reopen WMC. FYI – you should close WMC every night and reopen WMC when ready to watch TV.
  • Restart your Media Center PC (close WMC and then click on the windows orb in the bottom left of your desktop-click Shutdown-Restart)
  • Unplug your Media Center PC for 20 seconds and then plug it back in and power it on.
  • Power off and turn back on or unplug other electronics related to the issue & reboot them (TV, AVR, Network TV Tuner, Router, Modem, etc.).
  • Try turning on your related electronics equipment in different orders and see which order fixes the issue
  • Temporarily simplify your setup and hook your Media Center PC directly to the HDTV via HDMI to help troubleshoot the issue.

Netflix Issues in WMC or Internet Explorer-(Microsoft retired the WMC Netflix app as of 9/2015)

Netflix is a native software program that Microsoft originally built into Windows Media Center. It’s important to understand that Microsoft has programmed the Netflix WMC software to work like Internet Explorer does on your PC in Windows 7. So if you fix the underlying Silverlight or Playready issue there, it should fix itself in WMC too. While the Netflix WMC User Interface is awesome, it does seem to experience issues sometimes when you do Windows Updates on your PC. Windows updates can generally be skipped, however if you opt to do these updates regularly only select Windows updates that are older (to make sure other users have gotten out the bugs first). ;-) We have built in a backup Netflix app that runs directly in Google Chrome if you would rather use it and it can be found in WMC-Extras (at very top of WMC)-Extras Library-Netflix Logo-right click & add to start menu. If you would rather fix the existing Microsoft WMC Netflix Program, here are the most common issues and their fixes (only use if needed):

  •  ALL ISSUES: The first fix that should always be tired for any issue is to close out of WMC and reopen it to see if it’s working. Next, log out of Netflix, then restart your Media Center PC, open WMC Netflix and login to Netflix again, see if it works now.
  • WMC NETFLIX SEARCH: Click here for all the details & a link to the solution!  Once you download the file in Chrome, it can be found in you Windows Explorer “Downloads” folder.  Right click on the new file and “extract all”, next right click on the top Batch file and “Run as Admin”.
  • WMC NETFLIX DRM, LOGIN & OTHER ERRORS: Click here for all the details & a link to the solution! On the linked page click on “Delete the MSPR File Windows 7″, this is usually the fix for login issues. For the most recent DRM error, I would skip to the section labeled “Uninstall & Reinstall Silverlight Windows 7″. It’s important to note that after you have uninstalled Silverlight, you need to go to www.netflix.com via Internet Explorer Web Browser (in the start menu) to stream something and it will prompt you to then download Silverlight. When it’s done updating Silverlight you will need to refresh the browser and then play something in Internet Explorer’s Netflix first, once working there WMC Netflix should be good to go too!

No sound from TV, HTPC or Audio Receiver

Try the following steps in this order and test if it works after each step:

  • Make sure the TV or AVR isn’t on mute, and the volume is turned up.
  • Make sure the AVR is turned on, possible try a different source to make sure it is working (like FM radio).
  • Make sure the AVR is on the right input for TV (where ever it usually is to watch TV and get audio).
  • Close out of WMC-the homepage User Interface and reopen.
  • Restart the PC.
  • Restart the audio receiver.
  • Unplug the PC, TV and the Audio receiver and restart all of them.
  • Switch our the audio cable(s) going from the HTPC to the TV/AVR, and from the AVR to the TV.

I have no picture/blank screen

Try the following steps in order:

  1. Make sure all your equipment is plugged in and turned on, including HTPC, TV and A/V Receiver.
  2. Make sure the TV/AVR is on the correct input (whatever input you normally watch TV on).
  3. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL on the keyboard to pull up the task manager.  Then locate the program that is not responding, highlight it and “end task”.
  4. Restart the PC, TV, and/or AVR.
  5. Unplug the PC, TV, and/or AVR for 20 seconds and then restart.

The picture isn’t filling out the TV screen

Please remember that digital TV shows will not always fill out the entire screen, only HD TV shows.  The first step is to try viewing a different program and see if it has the same issue (web browser, desktop, etc.)  Try the following steps in order:

  1. Close out of the WMC homepage UI and reopen it.
  2. Find the TV remote and make sure the picture mode/aspect ratio/wide mode didn’t get hit on accident.  Cycle it through until it gets back to normal screen size and your picture is filling out the screen again.
  3. Restart the HTPC, TV, and/or AVR.
  4. Turn off and unplug the HTPC, TV, and/or AVR for 20 seconds and restart it.
  5. Try plugging your HTPC directly into your TV via HDMI and see if it works ok.  Remove all AVR’s, HDMI splitters, etc. so that you can narrow down the problem.

Not specific to fixes or troubleshooting, but hundreds of hours have gone into the freeTVEE Quick Start Guide. It provides great background for the info on this page & has lots of detailed info on everything Windows & WMC-Key Terms, Tips & Detailed Helps Guides-check it out!