Resolve recording conflicts in Windows Media Center

When recording TV shows in Windows Media Center, you'll run into a recording conflict whenever you have more scheduled recordings than available TV tuners on your computer for any given time. For example, if you only have one TV tuner, but two shows scheduled to record at the same time, Media Center will notify you of the recording conflict and you can choose which show you want to record.

If Media Center detects a recording conflict, it will notify you as soon as you schedule the recording. You can resolve the conflict then and there. To learn how to schedule recordings, see Record TV in Windows Media Center.

Picture of the Recording conflict screen in Media Center
The Recording conflict screen in Media Center

If you're not using your computer when a recording conflict is about to occur, Media Center will try to resolve the conflict on its own. If possible, Media Center will locate an alternate date and time for one of the shows, and then adjust the recording schedule to record both shows. Otherwise, it will select which show to record based on the following priority (in order):

  1. A one-time recording (not part of a series)

  2. Series priority ranking

  3. The show that was scheduled first

Here are some things you can do to avoid recording conflicts or deal with them when they do occur. For more information, see Why didn't my TV show record in Windows Media Center?

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To check for existing recording conflicts

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Center.
  2. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, and then click Recorded TV.

  3. Click View scheduled. If you see a recording conflict icon (Picture of the one-time recording conflict icon or Picture of the series recording conflict icon) next to a scheduled show, it will not be recorded due to a conflict.

    (To resolve the conflict, click the show in the list, click Resolve conflict, and then follow the instructions under "To resolve recording conflicts" below.)

To change your series priority settings

If there's a recording conflict between two episodes from different series recording requests, Media Center will use the series priority settings to decide which show to record. You can change the series priority settings to help ensure that your favorite series gets recorded if there's a conflict.

  1. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, click Recorded TV, click View scheduled, click Series, and then click Change Priorities.

  2. Click the Up arrow Picture of the Up arrow or Down arrow Picture of the Down arrow to move a scheduled series up or down in the series priority list, and then click Done.

    When you schedule a new series, it's automatically added to the bottom of the list with the lowest priority.

To resolve recording conflicts

When you schedule a recording and Media Center detects a recording conflict, you'll be presented with the Recording conflict screen, which displays all the programs scheduled for a specific timeslot. Only programs with a red dot next to them will record.

  1. On the Recording conflict screen, do one of the following:

    • To change which program or programs will record, click a program that doesn't have a red dot next to it. This program will now record, and the other programs in the list will adjust accordingly.

    • To adjust the priority of the scheduled recordings for this timeslot, click Advanced, and then click the Up arrow Picture of the Up arrow or Down arrow Picture of the Down arrow to move a scheduled program up or down the list.
  2. Click Save.

To extend a recording in case it goes longer than expected

If you're recording a sporting event or another kind of live broadcast in Media Center, consider extending the end time of the recording in case the show doesn't end at its scheduled time.

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Center.
  2. On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to TV, click Recorded TV, and then click View scheduled.

  3. Click the scheduled recording you want to extend, click Actions (above the title), and then click Record Settings.

  4. Under Stop, click the PlusPicture of the Plus button or MinusPicture of the Minus button button to change the end time for the recording. You can add as much as 3 hours to a scheduled recording. (If an option ends with "when possible," it means that the extended recording will only continue as long as there are no conflicts.)
  5. Click Save.

Tips

  • If you extend a recording past its scheduled end time, it's a good idea to check for recording conflicts to make sure it won't conflict with other scheduled recordings during the extended period. If you only have one TV tuner, and a show is scheduled to record directly after an extended recording, you'll need to cancel one of the recordings.

  • If you have frequent recording conflicts, consider adding an additional TV tuner to your computer so you can record two TV programs on different channels at the same time. For more information, see Set up a TV signal in Windows Media Center.