Monday, October 01, 2007

Media Center Extender streaming content workaround if your router is dropping UDP packets

For Vista Media Center, Microsoft introduced some changes to how Extenders communicate with the host computer. One of these changes is the use of UDP data packets for Extender communication with the host computer. Some routers drop these packets, leading to the inability of the Extender to properly communicate with the host machine.

If this was what happened to you, up to now, there really was no real workaround except to hope that an updated router firmware version would fix this. With the new Extender software update, there is now a new workaround which will get around this issue.

  1. Download the appropriate Extender software update (KB938126) for your system (32 bit or 64 bit)
  2. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  3. Click Continue when prompted for permissions to run reg edit
  4. Locate and then click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaCenterPeripheral\
  5. Click on the MediaCenterPeripheral key.
  6. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.
  7. Type MFNETSOURCE_DISABLE_UDP and press Enter.
  8. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  9. Type 0 in the value box, and then click OK.
  10. Quit Registry Editor.

The usual caveats apply with the registry editing. Before you modify the registry, it is recommended that you back it up and understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

Thanks to Todd Bowra, a member of the Microsoft eHome Team, for posting this information in the Media Center newsgroup.

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