TV Tuner

Hey guys. I have installed a tv tuner and when I go in to Windows Media Center and go to live tv, all I get is a black screen. Thanks in advanced for all your help.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
What's the tuner Dave ? and what system are you running, Vista or XP ?
Does the box say that the tuner is certified for your OS ?
I have an Ati AIW card which works in XP but not in Vista, and an Hauppauge Nova T-500 that works on both.
Does the tuner work with the software bundled with it ?
Did the drivers auto-install when you powered up after installing the card ?
If not, have you manually installed them ?
Does the card show in Device Manager without any warning symbols ?
The tuner is a Pinnacle HD tv tuner card. The OS is vista 64 bit. The software bundled with it kind of works, but it does not display channel names or anything and pretty much is not as pretty as WMC. The software is not actually certified for 64 bit vista yet, it s the beta. The drivers did I believe install automatically, I just needed to install the software for it, but that could be wrong. Thanks for the rapid response! Please get back to me with any possible help!


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
I use Vista x64 and the OS installed the drivers for my T500 automatically, and it just worked in WMC without needing the bundled software. I have however given up on WMC and installed the 3rd party TV app since, because I found MC to be very user unfriendly. It detects channel numbers incorrectly (radio 4 is on 804, whereas every other TV app, TV and DVR tunes it correctly on 704) It totally fails to detect or tune the "red button" channels so I couldn't use it to flip to "Final Score" to find out how Pompey's match was going, and it has no interface to edit the order of channels, so I was unable to set it the way I have all TVs etc set up with all the BBC channels together, followed by all the ITV etc etc. It's also very clunky in use (switch from small window to fullscreen in any other app, and the picture just gets bigger instantly, but MC actually stops the transmission and restarts it with about a 1 sec gap between)
It also lags behind the transmitted signal by about a second more than any other app.
But if you really want to use it in MC, I'd start by downloading the latest x64 drivers from the Pinnacle website, and updating them.
What message do you get from MC ? Did it tell you it cannot detect a tuner like mine did with the AIW before I put the T500 in ?
There is no screen, it just gives me a black screen when I turn to a channel... what program are you using? Im not insisting on using WMC just liked it better then software bundled in.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
I'm using the WinTV software that came bundled with the card. It's not perfect but slightly preferable to WMC.
I did download ChrisTV, a freeware app, in an attempt to get TV working on my AIW card in Vista, but it required backdating the ATi drivers from an old version of their Catalyst suite, and I decided against it, having experienced the dreadful support (or lack of) from ATi when my system was borked by their terribly badly written un/reinstall routines for a previous AIW card on an earlier system, which took me about 2 weeks to finally straighten out.
Are you saying that MC detects the tuner, goes through autoscan, but then the channels are all blank ?

Mak 2.0

Staff member


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Interesting link Mak.
I have indexing disabled, but I never "search" for content, I just select the channel number I want to watch, so I've never noticed this problem.
I don't think it's quite the problem Dave described, but we'll wait and see when he replies.


Super Moderator
Staff member
I tried out a pinnacle tuner myself last year and ended up hating it. Not only would it not work with media center, but I had to install the tuner software to get it to work which didn't even work correctly half the time or caused my computer to crash. I ended up turning it in for a hauppauge tuner that works with media center and it is great. Most pinnacle tuners must use the software that comes bundled. If it didn't come with a media center remote (contains windows button), then it is not compatiable on its own with media center.