Catalyst Media Center doesn't detect TV channels


New member
Setup - X1950Pro PCIe, ATI Theater 650 PCI, Vista Business x32, Catalyst Media Center (late 07 version). I'd been using my theater card to watch TV (extended cable) for about 6 months, and recently upgraded my cable service to offer HDTV as well. I decided to try if it would detect any HD channels on my cable service (charter), and couldn't get it to select the ATSC input (had a split from the cable input, to both cable and antenna connectors) but TV still worked on the cable input. So I updated drivers to the 8.6 (both video and theater). After the update I couldn't get any TV channels, free scan or autoconfig. I've uninstalled the drivers, used driver sweeper, the ati clean uninstall method, plus run CCleaner to clean up registry, and tried the original CMC driver CD, and am still unable to get any channels. Installing BeyondTV trial shows TV fine. MediaPortal didn't work.

Any suggestions? I'm thinking about a reinstall, and going with Vista Ultimate for the Media Center; if I do that, will I get HD channels? Should I just get a Kworld tuner?
It appears to be a driver problem. The only way I could get it working again was by doing a systemm restore to go back to the May drivers. It appears the June update corrupts the registry so an uninstall of the June drivers and a reinstall ot the may drivers do not work.

I do not have any problem with Vista 64 home premium and 4 GB of memory using the May 2008 (and previous) drivers. I do have a problem with the June 2008 drivers. When I install this driver my ATI 650 TV tuner card is not detected. These drivers seem to corrupt the registry because if I uninstall them and reinstall the May drivers I still get the same error message. The only solution is to do a system recover to go back to the May drivers. I have put in a trouble ticket with ATI and sent them the information they requested on June 25th but I am still waiting for a reply.

This is the reply I got form ATI:
Last edited:
Thanks for the repsonse. I did try the 8.5 drivers, to no avail.

Catalyst Media Center is the problem, super ATI driver will not do you any help. Uninsatll CMC and clean the CMC registry/delete user custom setting files then reinstall CMC, or stick with Vista media Center if you want proper HDTV support.
Last edited:
I removed all ATI software, ran the ATI uninstaller, ran driver sweeper, manually searched through the registry for ATI entries, ran CCleaner... got it as clean as could be - obviously there is still somethere there I missed. I'm considering nuke'n'pave today and going to Vista Ultimate for MCE.
FWIW I'd try unplugging one of the ant cables and see if you get analog back - from time to time I've had some strange interactions/interference on a separate TV on my desk for example, plus problems with known good cables connected to the 650 pci on one end, and on the other end the same splitter, where only one will work at a time. Odds are probably against it being that simple, but it's so easy to try I thought I'd throw that in.

As far as QAM goes (recieving the digital signal via cable) it requires a stronger signal than analog reception - I had to stick in a bigger amp. And it requires QAM capable software, which Vista Media Center isn't, least not yet. In fact most of the QAM software works in XP, not Vista.

When it comes to getting rid of ATI software, in the ATI Knowlegebase I came across a doc or two that suggests some of it has to do with .NET settings -- my understanding is .NET stores info on different files and apps, including how it interacts with them. If I remember correctly ATI advised to remove & reinstall .NET.

I had a lot of problems with what I figured was dueling Avivo between the 650 & my ati graphics card after I installed 8.3 (I think it was 8.3 anyways). It altered something that I never could get rid of, though I never went as far as removing .NET. Couldn't find anything in the registry, removed all the extra files that wound up in the Windows folders, & everything else I could think of and still no luck in getting things working. Thankfully the next CCC driver version fixed things.

Otherwise if you're after QAM I'd suggest trying GB-PVR... Relatively simple to set up and use (a breeze compared to myth IMHO), & it works with the theater cards & QAM. With my cable carrier I found that the only channels that weren't blocked were the local broadcast channels, & then fewer actually than you could get with ATSC OTA! IF heaven forbid you wind up with something similar, you'll at least know that way before you spend a lot of time and money on it.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried removing the different inputs, only have my cable connected to one input currently. I'll look into .NET applications storing information, I wonder then if I delete and recreate the user profile I could fix it. I'll also check out GB-PVR, see what thats about.

Thanks again!
nuked'n'paved last night, running Vista Ultimate now. Media Center works great. Installed the Theater 8.5 drivers.

Is it possible to get Media Center to use both inputs (one at a time)? I'd like to be able to hook up my digital cable to the ATSC input and receive QAM if that's possible. If not I'd like to get an amplified antenna and watch ATSC.
Although there have been updates to allegedly fix that sort of thing, I had to follow the procedure of installing the analog tuner, backing up sections of the registry, install the ATSC tuner, then restore the saved/exported registry entries from the earlier install.

Notes: Signal strength shown in Vista MC was often 0 after initial installs (done it a few times), but that didn't effect tuning & signal strength display later started working. :confused: For channel surfing I just went to analog channel 2 & went down, accessing the ATSC line-up.

Check the Antenna Web site for a good guesstimate of what channels you can expect to receive, and in which direction to point the rabbit ears. Expect reception to vary with time of day & environmental conditions. I've found this site very useful for programming info, though of course you can use Vista MC's guides...

Currently there is no Vista MC QAM, though very hopefully it'll be here soon with the big Vista MC update (SP). There's an older thread here somewhere, but very briefly Vista handles the digital tuner differently than the XP vintages (XP, 2003 etc)... The only ways I'm aware of to get QAM from a 650 card in Vista are either with the newer version of CMC [apparently only supplied with new hardware], or GB-PVR using the 2, T200 driver files for XP. At the time the Myth TV Beta was aiming for QAM support in Vista, but I couldn't get it working with the 650 - maybe it works by now?

Otherwise, if you do any recording, Vista MC uses DVR-MS & other apps like GB-PVR give you your choice of DVR-MS or straight mpg2 [DVR-MS is just mpg2 in a different wrapper]. The neatest conversion I've come across for DVR-MS to std. mpg2 is Videowave - I use the version packaged with Roxio Easy Media Creator. Don't like VIdeowave itself for what I normally do, but importing DVR-MS gives you a really painless conversion without re-encoding -- everything else took (takes) forever & involved a re-encode.

Otherwise you'll probably want to turn off a lot of the Avivo features for your 1950... If you've got a decent analog signal from something like cable, the added Avivo filtering can be really excessive, & Vista MC gives a softer picture as it is.
I too ran into the problem of the Theater 650 no longer finding its input devices when using Catalyst 8.6 and Theater driver 8.6.

Here is what I did to correct it.

Ran the Install Utility.
Chose Uninstall Custom.
I chose to remove Avivo and Theater Driver.
Before rebooting I installed Theater driver 8.5 via Custom.
I made sure it selected Avivo and Theater driver and let it install.
Upon reboot I was then able to scan for channels with Catalyst Media Center.

Pinnacle Studio also was fixed with this driver reversion.

For what it is worth, Catalyst Theater driver 8.6 not only breaks CMC it also breaks other capture software such as Pinnacle Studio. In Pinnacle Studio, when you go to the capture tab there are NO Capture Devices. Normally you would see Video, SVideo, and Tuner. So some software such as Snapstream and Vista Media center still work with the Theater driver 8.6, other applications fail. I am assuming there are multiple ways for Applications to detect the input devices and the way Studio and CMC detect them, the information is not made available in Theater driver or Avivo which is included in the 8.6 package. Following the simple steps above you will be able to regain your Theater cards functionality without registry tweaking, cleaning nor formatting your computer.

I did not have to remove Catalyst Video driver 8.6 nor did I have to mess with the registry.
Last edited:
Thanks for the replies, guys. Vista MCE is working well, although the bright scene corrution/noise issue is still ocurring. Running Cat 8.5 theater drivers.
I tried Catalyst 8.7 today. It also is a disaster (same problems as 8.6) so again I had to do a system restore to go back to 8.5.:mad:


I installed the Theater driver 8.7's.

Yep, Catalyst Media Center is broken with it.
Great going MrDave. Although had to take a slightly different road, your instructions solved my problem.

Like the rest of you, Cat 8.6 & 8.7 drivers borked my Visiontek 650 PCI. After uninstalling and manually deleting all Cyberlink related files, I installed the factory CD driver and CMC 1.0.3202. Then I coud only uninstall Avivo, as Catalyst Install Center would not give separate uninstall boxes for CMC and the Theater driver. I ran the Cat 8.5 driver and installed the new Avivo codecs, and installed the driver on top of the old one.

Yowsa! Worked like a charm. Got a much better picture and better remote response to boot. No regedits, no video driver uninstall, (I've got a 2600XT AGP running the Cat 8.7 driver) Sweet!

Thanks again.
Totally FWIW... ATI last changed the 550/650 drivers May 14, 2008 - the 8.7 theater drivers made no changes at all. CCC 8.7 does add some conflicts from the graphics card hardware acceleration. That said, the CMC that came with my ATI 650 pci 1.5 years ago still works, and hasn’t quit with any of the CCC versions, including 8.7.

Conflicts from DXVA with CCC 8.7 are worse than prior versions, and that does have an effect on how the 650 works, or doesn’t. :( Using the EVR renderer helps. When I tried Roxio EMC9 capture app (for the first time in months) I had a graphics card driver crash in XP Pro SP3. Nero 6, again never used, seems to work. VirtualDub works, while CaptureFlux hasn’t found the 650 for several driver versions. GB-PVR has some definite conflicts with 8.7 DXVA, though I managed to get things working - I think ;) ... Since CCC 8.6, DXVA has also broken DivX playback - fixed by turning off hardware accel in Wmplayer & the DivX reg keys.
Update - Theater driver 8.6/8.7 Does seem to work... However...

Update - Theater driver 8.6/8.7 Does seem to work... However...

OK - My PC Blew up and I am now the proud owner of a Quadcore 9450 and running 64 bit version of Vista Ultimate.

Here is what I have found out.

Theater Driver 8.7 under Vista 64 Bit is not Broken!!

It's still Broken under 32 Bit and 64!

Again, its actually not totally broken, just certain ways of identifying the input devices on the cards are not registering properly. Catalyst Media Center will not detect any input devices, While Snapstream's Beyond TV and Vista Media Center will.
Last edited:
:eek: Niiice! Thanks for the feedback Mr.Dave :up:

I retract my Niiice due to the following update by MrDave :lol:
Last edited: