Thursday, June 22, 2006

Media Center Extenders vs Firewalls (MCE2005 and Vista)

Media Center Extenders use network ports to communicate over the network with PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 or Windows Vista. The Media Center Extender applications using these ports may find themselves blocked by a firewall running on your Media Center PC. If this is the case, you need to re-configure your firewall to allow these applications to use the ports that it needs.

Media Center 2005 computers

If you use only the Windows Firewall, the Extender setup program should have set up all the application and port exceptions for you. The four items that should have an exception setup are:

  • Media Center (c:\windows\ehome\ehshell.exe)
  • Media Center Extender Service (UDP 3776)
  • Remote Media Center Experience (TCP 3390)
  • UPnP Framework

To confirm that your settings are correct, see this page. For users of these popular firewalls, see these following pages corresponding to your software.

For those using some other firewall, here is a list of application and the ports they use.

ehshell.exeTCP 5555InboundLocal Subnet
ehshell.exeUDP 7777InboundLocal Subnet
Mcrdsvc.exeUDP 3776InboundLocal Subnet
Svchost.exeUDP 1900InboundLocal Subnet
Svchost.exeTCP 3390InboundLocal Subnet
MCXNetTw.exeRandomOutboundLocal Subnet
MCRMgr.exeTCP 3932OutboundLocal Subnet

Windows Vista (Beta 2) computers

For those of you using Media Center Extenders in Windows Vista, here is a list of applications and ports that are used as of Beta 2. Note that this list may not be finalized yet and that there may be more changes prior to Windows Vista's Release to Manufacturing.

svchost.exeUDP 1900InboundLocal Subnet
svchost.exeTCP 3390InboundLocal Subnet
svchost.exeTCP 2177Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet
svchost.exeUDP 2177Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet
systemTCP 10244Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet
ehshell.exeTCP 554Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet
ehshell.exeUDP 5004, 5005Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet
ehshell.exeTCP 8554-8558Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet
ehshell.exeUDP 50004-50013Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet
ehshell.exeUDP 7777-7781Inbound, OutboundLocal Subnet

If you are using the Windows Firewall in Windows Vista, make sure the following exceptions are enabled (this should take care of the above exceptions).

  • Media Center
  • Media Center Extender
  • Media Center Extender HTTP Streaming
  • Network Discovery
  • UPnP Framework
  • Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service (qWAVE)

I hope this helps those who are having issues configuring their firewalls so that your Media Center Extenders will work for you.

Update - June 25, 2006 - Added list of exceptions for MCE2005 and Vista's built-in Firewall

Update - June 30, 2006 - Those with Extender issues after installing Windows Live OneCare should take a look at this blog entry

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Anonymous said...

Thats an awesome post ! Very helpful !

Slomar said...

Awesome Post. Is this info published elsewhere on the web? I'm having a hard time finding Vista MCE specific info. So far your page is the best! Thanks.

Slomar said...

Ok... done opening the ports... the right way. I finally opened up the manual to my new "Super G" ( 108mbps)router. I guess "Trigger" means outbound. I also turned on the DMZ on my Vista PC just to make sure. On a side note my network performance meter is pegged! One problem though. I can't play anything but pictures. I'm almost sure it has something to do with my network sharing. All my media is shown. Anyway, here are the two errors I get on the Xbox 360 that I don't get on the PC

When playing MP3s

"Audio Error An error occurred while trying to play your selection"

When playing WMV HD movies, Sample WMV movies (IE Bear), TS movies(after HDTV Pump install), and Live TV (Just the Natl Geographic Sample)

"Video Error: Files needed to display video are not installed or not working correctly. Please restart media center and/or restart the computer"

So I'm completely stumped and the response I got from 1800myxbox was "have you made sure the audio cable is plugged into the back of the TV?" Then they hung up magically.

Thanks again for your posts Jason.

Jason said...

Check the newsgroups for my replies to your questions.


Slomar said...

Problem Solved. I re-installed Vista and stuck with the basics. Everything installed just fine. I had done a bit of changing the sharing options when I first got Vista and done some changes to the user name. I think that broke the DRM sharing somehow. I couldn't get the 360 to recognize the Media Connect music streaming. Under network the share was Computer Name: and that was it. Now it's Computer Name:User: Anyway, now that everything is shared in the Library of WMP11, its playable through Media Center. On a side note .ts files still get the same error, but I haven't figured out how to add them to my WMP11 library. I'm pretty sure thats why they aren't playing since the DRM isn't running on top of them.

Jason said...

Slomar: Glad to hear you fixed the problem

Anonymous said...

I have a weird problem. It seems like it is since the xbox 360 dasboard update. I also keep getting the audio error, but weirdly I get it after playing about 4 songs... The number of songs changes and it ahppens whether I let them play through or I use the skip button... Right now it is actually playing fine, but this is the first time since the dash update...

Any ideas at all?

Anonymous said...

dude, i changed the settingz, however it is still sayin an audio error occured on my 360, btw im using windows vista. any suggestionz?

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