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.

6 thoughts on “Microsoft Unprepared for Digital TV Switch

  1. What’s really sad is this was a known issue with stations that changed early. Take a look on Microsoft owned The Green Button and you will see quite a few posts, including one of mine.

  2. Microsofts support here is dismal. Media center still doesn’t have at least 2 major channels remapped. More important (for me) is that NONE of the secondary channels (minor channel numbers > 1) are in the M$ atscchannels database, and while it is pretty easy to add those manually, there is no way to find and map the channel listings properly, as those channels don’t show up in the listings editors.

  3. Wow, Microsoft is officially in the same DTV camp as Grandma’s. I am reminded of that DTV conversion commercial of the elderly lady holding the DTV converter box up to her ear next to a jumble of cables.

    All that brain power at Microsoft and they still can’t figure out Media Center. Simply amazing.

  4. Ha what to you mean STIIL? I get no KABC (ABC), no KCAL (Ch 9), no KTTV (Fox home base) and no what used to be UPN (Ch 13).

    Unable to watch/record the IRL race on ABC in HD (OTA) unless this is fixed, I tried the XML trick, I don’t wanna delete the whole file when other channels work.

    Whatever… MS you hacks nevermind the Low Bit Rate error I have never seen before (Vista, XP)

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