Windows Media Center not Quite Dead Yet

Windows Media Center not Quite Dead Yet

Even though Windows Media Center will not make the jump to Windows 10, that doesn't mean that it's a completely dead product. We don't yet know what Microsoft is planning as a replacement for Windows 10, but a recent alignment with the Xbox One might be the first clue.

In a thread on Microsoft Connect, some noted they were having issues getting an updated TV guide through Window Media Center. After a bit of research, it appears Microsoft recently altered the source for the programming guide.

Windows Media Center originally used the Zap2It service, but recently changed sources. An update, made available on July 7, switches from Zap2It to Rovi. This brings Windows Media Center in line with what the Xbox One now utilizes for programming data.

According to Microsoft, the effort was intended to be as smooth as possible, however as shown in the Microsoft Connect thread, there have been some issues.

According to the update announcement page, some may experience the following:

  • Your channel lineup may change with the new package, requiring you to go through TV setup to download the new lineup.

  • Some lineups may no longer be available in the new package.

  • Depending on your location, some channels will not have metadata in your guide. This presents as "no information available" in the guide, however you will be able to tune and watch that channel.

  • Depending on your location, you may have more channels in the guide than you had before the transition.

Additionally, the company has provided some guidance on how to manage scheduled recordings:

  • You should reset your currently scheduled one-off recordings. They will function as expected going forward.

  • Certain series will stop recording the show even though that series will continue to show in the recordings list. You will have to "stop" recording the series and set the recording again. This may result in two instances of the series record showing side by side; the series instance of existing episodes already recorded and the series instance for the new recordings going forward. Both will function as expected.

Still having issues, even with the update? Cameron Fuller has put together a workable solution: Workaround for no television guide available in Windows Media Center after July 20th 2015

With the focus now on Xbox One as a live TV provider, and the ability to stream Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs, is it possible that the Xbox One media app will become the one Media Center to rule them all?

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