How to Fix Leadtek TV Tuner Problems in Windows Media Center

I recently bought a Leadtek WinFast DTV Dongle Gold USB TV Tuner to work with my Windows 7 PC. Although it’s a good piece of hardware, there were some problems, in particular, operation with their Y04G0051 remote control and with using Windows Media Center instead of their supplied WinFast PVR2 application.

The installation was pretty straight forward. Tuning worked OK as I had an external aerial (no chance with the supplied antenna). Picture quality was extremely good as well. Unfortunately, I found that the Winfast PVR2 software that was supplied with the DVB tuner left a lot to be desired in terms of user friendliness. Also, Winfast PVR2 is packed with features you will never want, but at the same time lacking in essential functionality like a driver that will work properly with their remote control.

Fortunately, the tuner works with Windows Media Center, which has a much better User Experience. However, there were three major problems that I had with running the Leadtek tuner on Window Media Center on my Windows 7 64 bit machine:

Firstly, the sound would be lost after pausing or rewinding the TV. Also, the screen would sometimes go blank when using the time shifting functions. This could only be recovered by restarting Windows Media Center.

Secondly, when I started live TV in Windows Media Center, the screen stretched to fill the whole screen. As my monitor aspect ratio isn’t 16:9, I had to change the zoom setting to zoom1. Each time I started Windows Media Center it would lose its zoom setting.

Thirdly, a number of the buttons on the remote control would not work. Although there are no shortage of buttons on the Y04G0051 remote, the only ones that I am really interested in using are the volume, channel changer and the timeshift buttons. Alas, the volume and play pause buttons weren’t working in WMC. The pause button wouldn’t work with PVR2 either.

The sound loss / screen blacking out problem and the issue with the default zoom setting were fixed by deleting two Windows Media Center registry settings (see http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_other-tv/losing-soundpicture-when-rewinding-live-tv-in/6e0f575a-4bed-4248-9cac-a6392b7b6d16). The registry keys are related to the MHEG Engine that controls the interactive features of TV stations for certain countries like the UK, so you would lose these features by deleting these registry keys. Not really a concern for me as I only want to watch TV, not interact with it. Please note, care should be taken when playing around with the registry as you can mess up your machine. I would advise backing up the registry before editing it. If you have not used Regedit before, you should read up on how to use it first.

Here are the steps

Start up Regedit (via the start menu).

  1. Backup the registry by creating a restore point or back up to a file via export.
  2. Delete the following registry keys:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Entry Points\{7e7a8710-9e4a-40a3-824a-7b0baf38abcf}]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Applications\{a0cd8951-e5b6-4662-9c9c-d56c5b38ca59}]

  1. Reboot your machine.
  2. Start Windows Media Center and enjoy problem free timeshifting and zoom settings.

Fixing the buttons on the remote control proved to be more tricky, and I still have not yet managed to get the pause button to work, although all the other buttons on my wish list are there (Start, Exit, Volume, channel changer , fast forward and rewind). I don’t know exactly how I got the remote to work, but here are the steps I took in no particular order.

  1. Update the drivers and PVR2 software.
  2. Switch the remote to use Windows Media Center via the RCConfig application in the latest PVR2 offering.
  3. Switch to Windows Media Center on the remote by pressing the left and right buttons at the same time for five seconds whilst pointing at the TV Tuner stick.
  4. Rebooting after each of the above three steps.

I attempted to remap the pause button via the RCConfig application to Ctrl P (Pause/Play for WMC). This did not work. I contacted support at Leadtek to try to find a solution. They stated that RCConfig does not work with the Dongle Gold and they also admitted that the remote control problem is due to an issue with their drivers and that they will try to fix it and update the driver ASAP. I await their update with eager anticipation.