Windows Media Center: “An error was encountered while configuring your computer for use with this extender”

I recently had an issue during an install of a Windows Media Center Extender. The install may have failed do to the install being interrupted by a power outage and it seems like some files may have been corrupted on the MC PC.

I was receiving the error:

An error was encountered while configuring your computer for use with this extender

when I entered the 1234-5678 type code in the PC to add the extender. In the Event Viewer there was event 523 with the details “Media Center Extender Setup failed at step 120.” The error was -2147467259.

I found a post that cleared up the problem by following the steps below:

Go to C:\windows\system32\grouppolicy and delete the contents of the folder (including the directories).
You will need to untick Hide Protected Operating System Files and select Show Hidden Files and Folders before you browse.

I have windows 7 pro and an Xbox 360.

Hope this helps, and use the advice at your own risk, but it just worked for me. I copied the files elsewhere just in case before I deleted them, but didn’t need to do anything with them, as they were regenerated when I added the extender.


LG Tone HBS-700 Wireless Stereo Headset

OK, I have piles of headphones, Bluetooth, wired, earbuds, over the ear cans, and the junk ones from Apple. This week I felt it was time to explore the bluetooth realm again and started looking around for a new set. I have had a couple of Motorola units in the past – the S305 which are just OK – sort of bulky and awkward to wear, but with decent sound. The other Moto set I tried was the S10-HD “Rokr”, and this was complete junk. Don’t sweat while you work out or POW! You now own a $70 hunk of plastic. Many people have had the same issue – don’t go here.

So I found the HBS-700 on Amazon, from LG – a company I have been impressed with lately with other products. The review was pretty good, so I pulled the trigger and ordered a set. When the package came, I read through the packaging and was happy to see it even said “water resistant” – guess they did some research and it turns out, people work out with headphones on.

Setup was a breeze, it connected to my Samsung Nexus S Android phone in seconds without a pass, and I was ready to go. The sound is great, no hiss, and really nicely isolated with the ear-buds – which is a odd thing about this headset. The HBS-700 main device hangs around your neck, and wired, normal ear-buds are strung from it to your ears. At first I was leery that this setup would be good, but surprisingly it is the best I’ve had in a headphone solution. The best part of the head set is that there are no wires from your neck to your waist, where wired sets always get in the way. You hardly notice the unit around your neck, and you can easily run without them really being noticed.

The battery charges quickly, and I wore the unit for about 8 hours before I charged it, and the package says 10 hours listen/talk time. Call quality is great, the neck unit vibrates when a call comes in – which is nice if you don’t have the earbuds in. You can store the ear-buds in the end of the neck unit with their built-in magnets, which seems nice but the 6 inches of wire in the area for each bud still seems like it might catch on things, but has been pretty good so far in my week trial.

The controls are great with volume, FF, RW, Pause/Play and a phone button that brings up the voice recognition system for actions like “call Lisa Smith”. The power button is small and in a strange spot on the side, and after a week I still have to take it off and search for it. The device supports Bluetooth version 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP) and comes with a one year warranty.

I really like this headset, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good Bluetooth solution for their mobile device. The Android market even has a app called “BT Reader” that works with LG devices and reads your text messages to you when they arrive – still testing this out to see if it is as decent solution, but not expecting much – it doesn’t turn down the music as it reads them, and crashes now and then. Also, you have to manually press a button on the screen for it to read it – so not terribly impressed with it.


Sharing the Family Media – Subsonic

For some time I have been looking for a way to easily share the family media. I have a networked house (including a domain server – overkill?) and a family full of media users. Recently the problem has moved beyond our 4 walls as the little tykes have grown and moved to their respective colleges. I needed a way to take the media to the internet and recently found nirvana.

Enter Subsonic. Subsonic is a great little software gadget that sets up a web server on your computer that can be accessed from wherever you are. There are Android apps, iOS apps, and a decent browser interface that lets you play music and videos right in the browser. Like what you are hearing? Just click the download button and you can transfer it to your current location (like your phone, or friends house…)

Install and setup is not for the beginner, but not an expert only solution either. Check out the site for downloads: I highly recommend this as a great way to access your media from the web – wherever you may be.

Ceton InfiniTV 4 – at last

I’ve been in the Windows Media Center game from the very beginning, aside from a brief run-around with the MythTV project.  Over the years I have struggled to come up with a solution that got me all of the way to a wife acceptance factor of, well, acceptable.  This has lead me to have a really expensive Media Center setup in about 5 complete hardware/software revisions over the years. With the very best I still, in some measure of defeat, have maintained a set top cable DVR.  Sad, really sad.

Early last year, I made the leap and got on the pre-order list for the Ceton InfiniTV 4 – a rumored, mythical, 4 tuner cable card solution with promise.  I threw my $400 on the table and began the wait.  At the most, I could expect an over promised, under delivered piece of junk that I could sell on eBay for 25% of it’s purchase price like so many other failed tech solutions, right?

When it finally arrived, 7 months later, the hype in the forums were at a real frenzy, with people getting $800 for the card.  People were saying that this thing just worked.  I had such high hopes.  A tear came to my eye imagining my wife looking at me with pride, finally achieving my Media Center dream.  All those grand undelivered promises forgiven.  A restored sense of tech God balance, a platform for future gadget endeavors to spring forth, media related and otherwise.

Ready for defeat, I installed the card, and prepared to battle Comcast, something I had done before having been on the ATI Digital Cable Tuner bandwagon.  After hours and hours of phone support where I begged them pitifully, like a scene from Midnight Express, to understand that they did not need to come to my house (I already had the CableCard) I convinced the right person to touch the right button.  And then I finished the Windows Media Center 7 setup.

From that moment, until now, the experience really has been a wonder – in light of all of my past failures.  The Ceton card works like a champ.  I have never lost a recorded program, seen it stutter, crash, stall, hang, or otherwise make my wife laugh at me.  I have finally found a solution that gives me the power to do what I have promised several times in the past: take the DVR back to Comcast.  It’s been 3 months.  The InfiniTV has never failed.  Never. I still have that damn DVR, but I swear, after a bit more testing I’m really going to take it back.