0DVB LogicFixed: DVBLink media center playready message

I’ve been using DVBLink to share TV around my home for sev­er­al years. Of all the issues with it, the most dreaded is the “Play Ready” error on Win­dows Media Cen­ter cli­ents. The prob­lem is this error mes­sage is mean­ing­less — it is gen­er­ated by Media Cen­ter, and just means it can­’t get a sig­nal from the tuner. The fail­ure could be any­where behind the scenes. Recently my 2 main cli­ents star­ted throw­ing this error com­pletely out of the blue.

Oth­er cli­ents worked fine and the prob­lem cli­ents could access TV through the web inter­face. Fol­low­ing these res­ults I felt con­fid­ent that there was noth­ing wrong on the serv­er end and turned to the cli­ents for the source of the problem.
I inspec­ted error logs on the serv­er, which did­n’t show any con­nec­tion even being attemp­ted, and hence showed no errors. After con­sid­er­able dig­ging I loc­ated the cli­ent error logs, but these were also unhelp­ful. I tried all the obvi­ous things — wip­ing and re-set­ting up the TV tuners in Media Cen­ter, rein­stalling the DVBLink cli­ent, check­ing net­work con­nec­tions, fire­walls, etc, but noth­ing worked.
Even­tu­ally, resort­ing to “let’s just try stu­pid stuff that should­n’t make any sense” I tried copy­ing over the entire DVBLink folder from “Pro­gram Files” on a work­ing PC to one of the 2 failed cli­ents. To my sur­prise this solved the problem!
Not being sat­is­fied with this inex­plic­able solu­tion I checked the sizes and mod­i­fied dates for all the files on the fixed cli­ent, and the one still not work­ing cli­ent. They were all the same! Determ­ined to nar­row the prob­lem down I copied files, 1 at a time, from the non-work­ing cli­ent, onto the work­ing cli­ent. Even­tu­ally, one file “re-broke” the fixed cli­ent. The file was the con­fig­ur­a­tion file — dvblink_configuration.xml
I checked the 2 files against one anoth­er. Both had the same mod­i­fied date, and both were exactly 906 bytes. I opened the work­ing file in tex­t­pad and found a bunch or sens­ible set­tings, and figured that some­how one of them had got changed without the file size or date chan­ging. I opened the non-work­ing set­tings file to com­pare set­tings in an attempt to identi­fy the fault. The non-work­ing file was blank! It seems that des­pite being the right size and date, some­how the file had become cor­rupt and wiped. Rein­stalling the DVBLink cli­ent had failed to fix it (it had­n’t been removed and rein­stalled, nor had it been over-writ­ten. Using the DVBLink set­tings start menu entry also had failed to fix the file.
I scanned the disk but found no oth­er cor­rup­tion. My best guess is that the PC rebooted, crashed, or lost power for some reas­on whilst some­thing was read­ing the file. Unfor­tu­nately noth­ing (win­dows, or DVBLink) noti­fied me about any file cor­rup­tion, which made dia­gnos­is very tricky.
In future, when rein­stalling DVBLink I will always wipe the install­a­tion folder manu­ally after unin­stall­a­tion — I can recom­mend oth­ers do the same!

Think we've missed something? Let us know by commenting below. If you would like to subscribe please use the subscribe link on the menu at the top right. You can also share this with your friends by using the social links below. Cheers.

Leave a Reply