Troubleshoot problems with a Windows Media Center Extender device

Here are solutions to some common problems when using a Windows Media Center Extender.

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What if a Windows Media Center Extender cannot connect to a Windows Media Center computer?

Connection problems might occur during Extender Setup or after the Extender has been successfully setup in the past. Consult the following list of possible solutions if the Extender does not connect to the Windows Media Center computer:

  • If the only firewall running on your computer is Windows Firewall, verify that the Media Center Extenders check box is selected in the Windows Firewall exceptions list. For more information about determining which firewall (or firewalls) are running on your computer, as well as how to verify that the Media Center Extenders exception is selected in the Windows Firewall exceptions list, go to the Firewalls and Media Center Extender article on the Microsoft website.

  • If you are using a non-Microsoft firewall, you might need to manually open the ports that are listed in the table below. However, some firewalls are already configured to allow a Media Center Extender to connect to a Windows Media Center computer. For a list of firewalls that are already configured to allow a Media Center Extender to connect to a Windows Media Center computer, as well as information about manually opening ports for other firewalls to allow a Media Center Extender connection, go to the Firewalls and Media Center Extender article on the Microsoft website.

    ApplicationPort Protocol Scope
    Application

    ehshell.exe

    Port

    554

    Protocol

    Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    ehshell.exe

    Port

    5004 and 5005

    Protocol

    User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    ehshell.exe

    Port

    8554-8558

    Protocol

    TCP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    ehshell.exe

    Port

    50004-50013

    Protocol

    UDP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    ehshell.exe

    Port

    7777-7781

    Protocol

    UDP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    svchost.exe

    Port

    1900

    Protocol

    UDP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    svchost.exe

    Port

    2177

    Protocol

    TCP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    svchost.exe

    Port

    2177

    Protocol

    UDP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    svchost.exe

    Port

    3390

    Protocol

    TCP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    system

    Port

    10244

    Protocol

    TCP

    Scope

    Local subnet only

    Application

    mcx2prov.exe

    Port

    Random

    Protocol

    Random (uses TCP and UDP)

    Scope

    Internet

    Application

    mcrmgr.exe

    Port

    Random

    Protocol

    Random (uses TCP and UDP)

    Scope

    Internet

    Note

    • To establish a Media Center Extender connection, your Windows Media Center computer and Extender must be on the same subnet.

  • Make sure that you know the user name and password for an account that has administrative privileges on your Windows Media Center computer. You must be able to provide this information when prompted on your Windows Media Center computer for Extender Setup to make certain changes to the Windows Media Center computer.

  • If you are using a fingerprint reader or another security program on your computer, you might need to change the program's settings before an Extender can be connected to the computer. If the security program does not include a setting that resolves connection issues, you'll need to uninstall the program to use an Extender.

  • Verify that both the Media Center Extender and Windows Media Center computer are turned on. Also, make sure that the computer is not in Hibernate or Sleep mode.

  • If you are using a wired connection, make sure that the Ethernet cable is plugged into the Ethernet port on the Media Center Extender.

    You can try to determine where the problem is occurring by connecting your Xbox 360 directly to your Windows Media Center computer by using a regular Ethernet cable. If Xbox 360 can connect to your Windows Media Center computer, then the problem might be occurring with the router, hub, or switch and the settings on them. However, if your Xbox 360 and computer still cannot connect, the problem might be associated with a setting on your router, hub, or switch alone or in conjunction with a firewall setting. For more information about connecting your Xbox 360 directly to your computer and for information about troubleshooting connection issues by using this method, go to the Connection Issues article on the Microsoft website.

  • Make sure that your Windows Media Center computer is not joined to a domain. Some network domain policies might be set that prevent Xbox 360 from connecting to a Windows Media Center computer as a Media Center Extender device. If your computer is connected to a domain, remove the computer from the domain, and then go through Extender Setup again.

  • Make sure that both the Windows Media Center computer and Extender are connected to the same router. This ensures that Xbox 360 and the Windows Media Center computer are connected to the same network. If Xbox 360 connects to your home network using a wireless router, plug one end of an Ethernet cable into an Ethernet port on your Windows Media Center computer and plug the other end of the cable into an Ethernet port on the wireless router.

  • If the Media Center Extender is connected to the network using a wireless connection, make sure the Media Center Extender is within range of the wireless access point or router with as few obstructions as possible between the Media Center Extender and the access point. For more information about troubleshooting low wireless signal problems, see Troubleshoot low wireless signal quality problems.

  • If the Media Center Extender is connected to the network using a wireless connection and your wireless network uses a security key, verify that you have the correct network security key for the type of wireless network security method that your network uses. For more information about the different wireless network security methods, see What are the different wireless network security methods?

  • Try restarting the Windows Media Center computer, the Media Center Extender, and your network hub, router, or switch.

What if Windows Media Center cannot detect the Extender during setup?

Try one or more of the following possible solutions:

  • If you are using a wired connection, make sure that the Ethernet cable is plugged into the Ethernet port on the Extender, and then verify that the Ethernet connector on the other end is plugged into the Ethernet port on your router, hub, or switch.

  • Verify that the Media Center Extender is plugged in and turned on.

  • If the Media Center Extender is connected to the network using a wireless connection, make sure the Media Center Extender is within range of the wireless access point or router with as few obstructions as possible between the Media Center Extender and the access point. For more information about troubleshooting low wireless signal problems, see Troubleshoot low wireless signal quality problems.

  • If the Media Center Extender is connected to the network using a wireless connection and your wireless network uses a security key, verify that you have the correct network security key for the type of wireless network security method that your network uses. For more information about the different wireless network security methods, see What are the different wireless network security methods?

I can't play some audio and video files when using Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender. What types of audio and video files can I play when I am using Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender?

The following tables list the different types of video and audio files that can be played on Xbox 360 when using it as Media Center Extender.

You might be able to play video or audio files that are in different formats on your computer that you might not be able to play when you use your Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender. This is because codecs that are required to play back a particular audio or video file might be installed on your computer but are not available or installed on Xbox 360.

Video file format
Maximum video frame size (in pixels)
Audio format

Windows Media Video (WMV) 7, 8, and 9 video files

(Video files can be protected using media usage rights)

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Windows Media Audio (WMA) Standard, WMA Pro, or WMA Lossless audio

WMV Image 1 or 2 video files

(Created by using any version of Microsoft Photo Story)

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Windows Media Audio (WMA) Standard, WMA Pro, or WMA Lossless audio

VC-1 video files

(Video files can be protected using media usage rights)

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Windows Media Audio (WMA) Standard, WMA Pro, or WMA Lossless audio

MPEG-1 video files

N/A

MPEG-1 Layer 1 or 2 audio

MPEG-2 video files

1920 x 1080 (1080i)

AC-3 or MPEG-1 Layer 1 or 2 audio

Audio file format

Windows Media Audio (WMA) Standard audio files (includes Windows Media Audio 7, 8, and 9)

(Audio files can be protected using media usage rights)

Windows Media Audio (WMA) Pro audio files

(Audio files can be protected using media usage rights)

Windows Media Audio (WMA) Lossless audio files

(Audio files can be protected using media usage rights)

MPEG-1 Layer 3 (MP3) audio files

WAV-PCM audio files

Why does the Network Issue notification often appear when I use a Media Center Extender device?

If you are using a wireless network, verify that there is enough network bandwidth. You can test your network bandwidth, whether you are using a wireless or wired network connection, by using the Network Performance Tuner in Windows Media Center. For more information about improving your network connection when using an Extender, see the Microsoft website.

To use the Network Performance Tuner in Windows Media Center

  1. Start the Media Center Extender device.

  2. On the Start screen on the Media Center Extender, scroll to Tasks, and then select Tune network.

  3. Follow the steps in the Network Performance Tuner to determine if there is enough available bandwidth on your home network.

If the available bandwidth on your wireless network is too low, try one of more of the following (if possible):

  • Use a wired network connection to connect your Media Center Extender device and Windows Media Center computer. Using a wired connection results in a faster connection speed compared to using a wireless network connection. For more information about what you need to set up a wired network connection, see What you need to set up a home network.

  • If the Media Center Extender is connected to the network using a wireless connection, make sure the Media Center Extender is within range of the wireless access point or router with as few obstructions as possible between the Media Center Extender and the access point. For more information about troubleshooting low wireless signal problems, see Troubleshoot low wireless signal quality problems.

  • If you are using a wireless network and using a wired network connection is not a viable option for you, consider upgrading your wireless network to use a faster wireless network connection. For a list of different wireless networks, as well as pros and cons of the different types of wireless networks, see What you need to set up a home network.

Media Center Extender responds slowly when I am using it.

This can be due to a low amount of available network bandwidth, or the Windows Media Center computer might be running low on available system resources.

To test your connection, use the Network Performance Tuner.

To use the Network Performance Tuner in Windows Media Center

  1. Start the Media Center Extender device.

  2. On the start screen on the Media Center Extender, scroll to Tasks, and then select tune network.

  3. Follow the steps in the Network Performance Tuner to determine if there is enough available bandwidth on your home network.

To determine if your computer has enough available system resources, go to See details about your computer's performance using Task Manager.

When using an Extender, try to avoid performing tasks on the computer that use a lot of computer system resources. For example, avoid running a backup on your computer or editing and watching video when using an Extender.

What happens if the connection to the Windows Media Center computer is lost?

A Media Center Extender can lose its connection to the Windows Media Center computer for a variety of reasons. Here are some reasons why this happens and some possible solutions for the problem:

  • The Media Center Extender device might not be able to connect because the Windows Media Center computer is either turned off or in Sleep or Hibernate mode.

  • The Media Center Extender may not be able to properly connect to the network. Make sure your network and Windows Media Center computer are running properly.

  • Try restarting the Windows Media Center computer, the Media Center Extender, and your network hub, router, or switch.

  • The Windows Media Center computer might be too busy where there are not enough available system resources at that time. Close any unused programs.

If the Media Center Extender is connected to the Windows Media Center computer using a wireless network connection, make sure the wireless network connection is working properly. Also check and correct the following:

  • Clear obstructions between the Media Center Extender and the access point.

  • If you are not using an 802.11a network, make sure there are no appliances interfering with the connection.

  • Try moving the Media Center Extender or access point to improve the connection between the two devices.

What happens if the Extender did not acquire a valid IP address?

The message Valid IP Address Not Found means that the Media Center Extender did not acquire a valid Internet Protocol (IP) address and that the Media Center Extender and the Windows Media Center computer are not communicating properly. While the Media Center Extender might be connected to the Windows Media Center computer, communication between the two will fail if the Media Center Extender cannot acquire a valid IP address. To correct this problem, check your network settings and your network router, hub, or switch. Also, you might need to restart the Media Center Extender or the Windows Media Center computer.

How do I control the media experience when using Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender?

You can choose to use the Xbox 360 controller, an Xbox 360 remote control or a Windows Media Center remote control. Go to the Media Center Quick Reference Guide on the Xbox website for a detailed diagram that shows how to use different features in Windows Media Center by using the Xbox 360 controller.

If you want to control Windows Media Center with a remote control, an optional Windows Media Center remote control is required.

To use the Windows Media Center remote control for Xbox 360

  1. Using the Xbox 360 controller, scroll to My Xbox, and then select System Settings.

  2. On the System Settings screen, select Console Settings.

  3. Select Remote Control.

  4. To be able to use the Windows Media Center remote control when using the Xbox 360, with the Xbox 360 controller, select Both Remotes.

Note

  • If you have the old Xbox 360 dashboard, you can change the remote control settings on the system blade.

You can now use the Windows Media Center remote control or Xbox 360 remote control to control Xbox 360.

I added new content to my libraries in Windows Media Center, but now I don’t see the new content on my Extender. What can I do?

If you add new folders to monitor in Windows Media Center after you initially set up your Extender, you will need to add the new folders on the Extender as well to have the content in the new folders appear on your Extender. This is because there are two different libraries—one library for your Windows Media Center computer and another library for your Media Center Extender.

For more information about how to configure folders to share media when using Xbox 360 as an Extender, go to the Configure Folders article on the Microsoft website.

What features aren't available in Windows Media Center when using a Media Center Extender?

The following table highlights some of the media experiences that are not available when using a Media Center Extender device.

Windows Media Center UI area Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
Windows Media Center UI area

Pictures

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
  • Printing

Windows Media Center UI area

Music

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
  • Visualizations

  • Fast forward or Rewind

Windows Media Center UI area

TV

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
  • Set Up TV Signal

  • Adjust Display Settings

  • Slow motion

Windows Media Center UI area

CDs or DVDs

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
  • Burn to CD

  • Burn to DVD

  • Watch DVDs that are inserted in a DVD drive on the Windows Media Center computer

  • Listen to audio CDs that are in the CD-ROM drive on the Windows Media Center computer

Windows Media Center UI area

Online Media

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
  • Some games (for example, Hearts, Chess Titans, and Freecell)

Windows Media Center UI area

Tasks

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
  • Sync to device

  • Media-only mode

  • Add Extender

Windows Media Center UI area

Settings

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender
  • Music

  • DVD

  • Color Scheme

  • Automatic Download Options

  • Set Up TV Signal

  • Set Up Your Speakers

  • Test Digital TV antenna strength

  • Configure Your TV or Monitor

  • Run Setup Again

  • Remote Control Set Up

  • Teletext

  • Marquee Scrolling

  • Popups

Windows Media Center UI area

General and Privacy Settings/Privacy Statement

Feature not available on a Media Center Extender

Retrieve media information for CDs and DVDs from the Internet

Where else can I find help for troubleshooting problems when using a Media Center Extender?

Here are some links to other resources that might help you find solutions to problems you might encounter when using a Media Center Extender.

  • Go to the Microsoft Support Site. On the Microsoft Support site, type Xbox 360 in the Search Support (KB) search box, and then click the Run the search button. You can then filter your search results for Windows Vista.

  • Go to Windows Media Center Overview on the Microsoft website. This article provides additional information about Windows Media Center and Media Center Extenders.

  • If you encounter errors when using a Media Center Extender, you can go into the Event Viewer and look for errors associated with Windows Media Center and Media Center Extender. After locating the error in Event Viewer, you can select the error and get more information about the specific error code (called an EventID) by clicking the Event Log Online Help link.

    For more information about opening and using Event Viewer in Windows Vista, see Open Event Viewer.

  • Go to The Green Button to get help from the Media Center community.

Note

  • An analog or digital TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Center. If your computer did not come with a TV tuner card, you might be able to add one. For information about obtaining a TV tuner card, see Get help for your TV tuner card or contact your computer manufacturer.