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