How-To Fix MCE 2005 Restricted Content Problem
November 8, 2005
I’ve had a problem since shortly after re-installing my MCE 2005 system (complete with update rollup 2). Although everything was working fine at first, a few days later I wanted to view a DivX clip from Windows, outside of MCE.
I installed a DivX codec (in fact, I installed FFDShow, since it included several codecs I wanted and it has a fairly low processor overhead in the configuration I needed; I was careful to insure that it wasn’t installed for any of the MS formats), and attempted to launch Windows Media Player.
Since this was the first time I’d run it on this system, it led me through all of the initial configuration questions and then came back and said “Media Player 9 is not installed correctly” (I have no idea why it wasn’t v. 10), and asked me if I wanted to download a fresh copy and install it.
I clicked okay, downloaded a fresh copy, went back through setup, and the clip played fine.
Unfortunately, when I went back into Media Center, I could no longer play any HBO content I’d recorded.
Worse, recording new content, or even attempting to watch HBO (or any other protected channel) in “Live TV” received a “Blue Screen of Restricted Content”.
I didn’t mind so much losing the couple of shows I’d recorded, but not being able to view or record premium content moving forward was a serious problem.
I did a lot of digging around online. The MS Knowledgebase and some of the various MCE sites were tracking “Restricted Content” problems both with MCE users post update rollup 2, and with Media Player 10 users after install.
I found a number of suggested fixes for both of these problems (which didn’t seem quite on-point with my problem, but close), however none of them worked for me. A post at TheGreenButton failed to get any on-point suggestions as well.
I was beginning to suspect I’d have to wipe the machine clean and do a ground-up reinstall, which I wasn’t looking forward to.
I’d even considered just filtering the Macrovision content protection signal out of the incoming S-Video going into the tuners, although this is obviously a sub-optimum (and possibly illegal, depending on your location) solution.
Continuing to dig however, last night I hit a solution that actually worked.
Whether this will work for anyone else, I can’t say. There is also a substantial chance that this will permanently break any recorded or purchased Windows DRM’d content you have, so try this at your own risk.
- Make sure you’re out of both Media Center, and Media Player
- Open a command prompt, and type: “net stop ehRecvr” (this stops the Media Center reciever)
- Download “Napster DRM_Reset” from http://www.napster.com/client/drmreset/DRM_reset.exe
- Launch the Napster utility (from Windows)
- Reboot your machine
After doing this, I was once again able to view, pause, rewind and record HBO and other premium channels from within “Live TV”, as well as record and playback premium content.
An HBO recording that my schedule had picked up earlier that evening still would not play (not surprisingly) but it looks like things should now work properly moving forward.
Can we please have another chorus of “DRM Sucks”?