Microsoft has made available for download a number of updates targeting the Windows Media Center component of some editions of Windows 7, including Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. The new refreshes offered to customers are designed to resolve reliability issues reported by them, such as Windows Media Center displaying Low Bit Rate overlay messages, but also problems related to TV tuner functionality. A total of four updates are currently up for grabs via the Microsoft Download Center, for both the 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows 7.

The Low Bit Rate issue can impact Windows 7 machines used by customers to watch live analog TV in Windows Media Center via an analog TV tuner. Microsoft informed that some users had experienced intermittent Low Bit Rate overlay messages in Windows Media Center, and offered an update to deal with the glitch.

“Windows Media Center monitors the incoming bit rate of live TV. Without this monitoring, the bit rate drops very low when the analog TV input is weak or does not have a signal.

This causes a black screen or a static screen to be displayed. With this monitoring, Windows Media Center displays an overlay message to indicate a possible issue with the incoming bit rate when the analog TV input is weak or does not have a signal.

However, the method that is used to monitor the incoming bit rate on analog signals is too sensitive. This may cause a false detection of a low bit rate,” the company explained.

The second update is designed to resolve a deadlock issue impacting Windows 7 in scenarios in which users run Windows Media Center in tandem with a TV tuner. In such situations, Windows could produce different error messages, informing users of the existence of a “Tuner Conflict” or that there is “No tuner available to satisfy the current request.” In addition, the Windows Media Center Receiver Service (Ehrecvr.exe) can also freeze and remain unresponsive until a restart.

“This issue may occur if you change channels fast and frequently (also known as ‘channel surfing’), in Windows Media Center,” Microsoft added. “These symptoms may be caused by other issues that are not related to this update. For example, you may receive similar symptoms when you try to query [the] current state of a TV tuner or of a malfunctioning hardware device.”

Fixes for the Low Bit Rate overlay messages:

For 32-bit (x86) Windows 7
For 64-bit (x64) Windows 7

TV tuner functionality fixes:

For 32-bit (x86) Windows 7
For 64-bit (x64) Windows 7

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