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How to resolve Digital Audio Service error while playing recorded TV in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005

How to resolve Digital Audio Service error while playing recorded TV in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005

  • Comments 34

I have heard from a couple of customers who have run into a problem playing back recorded TV shows after installing Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005.  In the cases I've heard of so far, the show will display for a couple of seconds and then displays a blue screen with an overlay that says Digital Audio Service.  They were able to play the same shows correctly via a Media Center Extender and via Windows Media Player, but not within Media Center. 

The customers I have heard from so far were able to resolve this issue by downloading and installing updated drivers for the video card and TV tuner cards on their Media Center PCs.  When working on Update Rollup 2, we tried our best to not require any driver updates above and beyond what is required for Media Center 2005.  However, there are a few cases such as this where it has proved to not be possible.

If anyone else sees this Digital Audio Service overlay, please try to visit the websites for the manufacturers of your video card and TV tuner(s) and see if that resolves the issue.  Please also take a look at this blog post for more information about the root cause of this error and this blog post for more information about another known cause of this error.

If none of the above steps work for you, please install the Media Center Diagnostic Kit from and then run it and gather a system snapshot and send it to me at aaronste@microsoft.com so we can take a closer look.

<update date="12/4/2005"> Updating steps to include using the Media Center Diagnostic Kit to gather a system snapshot </update>


  • The weird thing about this problem - and something other users may face which is why I also wanted to mention this - is that shows recorded before the update seemed to work fine. It was only shows after the update that failed so it still seems like the DRM update was somehow involved, though updating my video and capture drivers fixed this problem.
  • This was my exact problem. Even the follow up from Heath. It was a standard Dell 8400 MCE PC so I would think there are many others who will have that problem.
  • Still got the same problem here. I tried updating the video & tv card drivers, but no luck till now. I even disabled the tv-card, but still no improvement.

    I would be glad to get some suppor. If there´s anythting missing, please let me know.

    My System-Configuration (Hardware)
    - Athlon X2 3800Mhz on Nforce4 Mainboard (Asus A8N-FM)
    - Geforce 6600
    - SAA7134 Philips based TV-Tuner card (DVB an Cable Dual-Tuner, but only cable is available in my region)


    - Latest Geforce Drivers MCE certified (
    - For the TV-Tuner card I tried several vendors
    currently driver version for the Philips chipset.

    MCE is running with everly available update & Rollup.

    One thing I almost forgot, but I think it does not really matter for the effect. MCE and all drivers are installed in German language / German editions.


  • Exact same problem - latest ATI drivers, and get the same "Digital Audio Service" message after a few seconds.

    Only MCE recorded content is affected (my other videos are fine), and the recorded shows are fine in Windows Media Player.

    Personally I doubt anyone really resolved this by updating drivers - that's just MS propaganda. I concur strongly with the above posters, clearly MS broke something in their efforts to impose DRM. The funny part is, it only affected their own content in their own software... Once again making MCE look like a waste of money!
  • I see this very occasionally (although less since the UR2 hotfix came out). I put it down to poor video reception - we sometimes get jumps in video e.g. when the weather is bad (DVB-T in UK) but the audio stays ok. I was assuming that this message was coming up as the SBE was picking up an audio stream correctly, but a duff video stream.

  • I have just purchased a Media Centre PC. 1 week old and I have this problem. Not very impressed to say the least. Following are the PC details. MCE Rollup 2 has been installed.
    I have found that when the blue screen is displayed that if you use the skip key on the remote or pause and then play that the picture is usually then displayed correctly. This is very annoying. All drivers for the Fusion Tuner and Video card are up to date because the machine is only a week old. Have also checked the vendor web sites and have confirmed that they are up to date.
    I'd have to say that at this stage recording in Media Centre is not a viable option. Most disapointed and I expect that I will now have to wait 3 months or more for a Microsoft Patch to be released.

    A8N-SLI PREMIUM - S939
    1024Mb DDR400 PC3200 Ram (2048Mb Total)
    Seagate 400GB 7200rpm 8Mb Cache SATA NCQ
    Thermaltake Tenor Desktop Black Case
    430 Watt Power Supply
    Gigabyte Geforce 6600GT 128MB VIVO PCIX
    Fusion HDTV PLUS Tuner w/RC
    NETGEAR WPN311GE RangeMax Wireless PCI Adapter
    LG 4167 16x DVD Burner
    DVD Rom Drive
    Shintaro Internal 3.5in Reader
    Microsoft OEM Windows XP Media Centre Edition (MCE)
    Microsoft Remote Controller + Receiver Only
    Logitech Cordless Desktop Express
    4-6 Pin Firewire Cable
    AVLABS Audacity 7.1 PCI Digital Audio
    Sound Card
  • Aaron - I'm having the EXACT same problem - I've updated the video and tuner drivers, but no luck.

    It is a standard OEM machine from Dell:
    Dell Dimension 8400 2GB RAM
    NVidia GeForce 6800 256MB ver
    Angel MPEG Device @ loc 1 ver
    Angel MPEG Device @ PCI Slot 1 ver

    I assume I've updated the drivers correctly - these versions are all reported from Device Manager.

    I'm happy to provide more info, log files, anything - just let me know.

    Dell support is useless - just spend 2 hours trying to navigate their chat help, then automated voice help, then got forwarded to their MCE support line, which was closed, and it hung up on me. grrr...

    At this point, my TV capabilities through MCE are completely DOWN, so any help would be very much appreciated!
  • Hey all - I'm very sorry for the inconvenience that this issue is causing. At this point, I don't know of any root causes other than out-of-date drivers, but we are trying to investigate additional causes and solutions. I'll post additional information as it becomes available.

  • Ben,

    I am having the same problem. My system is a Dell Dimension XPS_GEN_3 with 2GB of RAM and 400GB of storage. MCE 2005 has Rollup 2 installed. I have also updated the drivers for the Angel TV Tuner and the Radeon X800 XT video card as recommended in the postings. After installing the driver updates, my LIVE TV stopped working and only gave me voice. The drivers did not fix the problem for me; they only broke the LIVE TV. I recovered by going back to a system restore check point prior to the driver updates, but the TV Recording function is still broken.
  • Further to my posting on 5th Nov 7:45.

    This error is now also happening with Live TV. If it occurs while viewing Live TV and I reboot the PC then the problem goes away. As mentioned in my previous comment this machine is new. It has not had anything other than Microsoft products i.e. MS Office installed as I wanted to keep a stable platform for the Media Centre.
  • I have the same problem after installing update roolup 2. Based on the previous post, it appears to me that trying to update my other drivers is a waste of time. It has to be a problem with the update. There are a many different pc configurations having this problem. I have a dell 8400.
    I did notice that when the picture blanks and the DIGITAL AUDIO SIGNAL appears, the fast forward or reverse will not work. Also, I right clicked my mouse and a window pops up, you can see a faint sign of the picture in the background.
  • Hey all -

    I'm very sorry for the hassles with this Digital Audio Service issue, and I also apologize that we have not been able to find any root causes other than drivers so far.

    For those of you seeing this issue who have already tried updating TV tuner and video drivers and decoders, can you please install the Media Center Diagnostic Kit from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ce06d6a7-de56-4d82-bf5f-6f6e1296a934&DisplayLang=en and then run it and gather a system snapshot and send it to me at aaronste@microsoft.com so we can take a closer look?

    Also, can you please use the steps listed at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/10/30/487136.aspx to try to play protected content so we can determine if the machine has any Digital Rights Management (DRM) problems?

    Finally, can you please let me know whether this problem is happening for analog or digital TV signal types (or both) on your system?

    Thanks in advance!
  • I also have had this problem. I have a Radeon X300 video card on a Dimension 8400 Dell computer (3.2 Ghz). I've update the latest driver from ATI but still get the blue "Digital Audio Service" on playback. Live TV works fine, it's jus the playback. Any suggestions?
  • I also got this problem after upgrading my MCE. I first got the problem "Digital Audio Service" when trying to play recorded TV shows using a german version of of MCE. I now got an english version and still have the problem... I thought I did something wrong first! I hope there is a patch coming soon. OK, I can watch the films in media player, but it's not as easy as doing it directly in MCE!
  • Hi shaggyyqq and patrikw - please refer to my previous comment (http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/10/30/487031.aspx#492289) for instructions about how to gather a system diagnostic snapshot and send it to me so our team can take a further look to try to narrow down this problem.

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