Windows Media Center Without IR Extender

I tried to configure my MAXtv to work with Windows Media Center. Since that set-top box has S-Video, I though this would be really easy. Oh, how wrong I was.

Someone at Microsoft decided that you MUST have small piece of hardware attached if you wish to receive signal from any external port. Message said it all: "IR Hardware Not Detected". That small piece is usually called IR blaster and its sole purpose is emulating remote toward your set-top box. While that is useful in normal circumstances, you may not need it all time (e.g. you want to control set-top box with universal remote - like Logitech's Harmony 555).

However, there is a solution. Installing virtual Vista MCE IR blaster driver takes care of missing hardware and lying to Media Center takes care of configuring it.

Once configured, everything works fine, but I wonder why I needed to jump through hoops to get my S-Video input working.

9 thoughts to “Windows Media Center Without IR Extender”

  1. Thanks for this. I was trying to set up my Media Center PC with my set top box and couldn’t find one of the IR cables. The only problem is the driver does not seem to work on x64 based Windows 7 systems.

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