0DVB LogicFixed: DVBLink MCE Client first tune fail

One of my many HTPC cli­ents has had a strange prob­lem — the first time it is tuned into a chan­nel it fails with the com­mon (and mean­ing­less) Play Ready error. Chan­ging chan­nel once always seems to bring it back to life how­ever. After much dig­ging around I finally found the very straight­for­ward solu­tion
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0Enable access to the c$ share on Windows 7 and newer

I have a range of HTPCs run­ning win­dows around the house, which I largely admin­is­ter via remote desktop. Occa­sion­ally it is use­ful to access the root of the C drive remotely. Win­dows has always catered for this by cre­at­ing some default admin­is­trat­ive shares, which are hid­den. The C drive is accessed via \\remote-pc\c$ for example. In win­dows 7 I found I wasn’t able to access these shares by default as they have been restric­ted (under­stand­ably). I needed a way to make them access­ible again.
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1Fixed: Media Center PC wakes in wrong resolution

Since I upgraded my HTPC to an AMD A5400 series (from the old E350) I have had a prob­lem where on wake from sleep the res­ol­u­tion would be set wrong (1024×768 I think) instead of the full 1920×1080 that the TV sup­ports. Exit­ing media cen­ter would trig­ger a res­ol­u­tion cor­rec­tion and then media cen­ter could be reloaded without issue. This was not sat­is­fact­ory as a solu­tion.
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0Inside HDD LogoCloning a system disk

The next job on my fest­ive tech­nic­al sup­port rounds was to upgrade my old man’s laptop HDD to a new SSD. In the past such upgrades have usu­ally involved oth­er com­pon­ents and neces­sit­ated a fresh install of win­dows, but with this upgrade being just one com­pon­ent, to a Win­dows 7 PC, I decided time was ripe for a fresh invest­ig­a­tion of the pos­sib­il­ity of clon­ing the old drive onto the new
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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.
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0Karoo ADSL settings

Hav­ing com­pleted the migra­tion of the site to the new serv­er, and with the fest­ive sea­son upon us, I’m back being the fam­ily tech­nic­al sup­port. First chal­lenge of this year was to restore ser­vice to my grand­fath­ers broad­band which hasn’t been work­ing since he mis­takenly pressed the reset but­ton on his wire­less router.
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0Media Player Classic - Home Cinema LogoPlay BluRays and DVD’s in MediaCenter with MPC-HC

I’ve long run Win­dows Media Cen­ter on my HTPCs in com­bin­a­tion with DVBLink and Medi­aB­rowser. How­ever, recently we have been watch­ing more phys­ic­al disks than in the past, and I have found vari­ous issues with Media Cen­ter. Usu­ally I have MPC-HC con­figured as an extern­al play­er, but doing this for phys­ic­al disks proved less than simple. Even­tu­ally how­ever, I have man­aged to get it work­ing flaw­lessly.

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0Fix grey letterbox bars on LG Plasma TV

I have an LG Plasma TV as part of my main HTPC setup.  Although I cal­ib­rated it (and turned off things like dynam­ic con­trast) when I first got it, I have always had an issue with the let­ter­box bars (e.g. on 2.4:1 ratio films) look­ing grey — i.e. being light­er than the darkest parts of the film.  I googled to try to find a solu­tion but was even­tu­ally con­vinced by repeated for­ums that it was just my per­cep­tion and even­tu­ally gave up.

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0Ultrabook logo laptop vaio sonyBluetooth drivers for Sony Vaio unknown device

I was recently asked to look at a Sony Vaio VPCSB which was detect­ing new hard­ware on every Win­dows boot.  The machine was oth­er­wise work­ing well.  Upon inspec­tion I dis­covered that there were sev­er­al unknown devices which seemed to be related to Bluetooth.  I rein­stalled the latest drivers from the Sony web­site but this failed to clear the unknown devices.  The search was on.….. Read Full Art­icle