Windows Media Center: Black screen for several minutes when changing channels in Live TV


Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:

You are using Windows Media Center in Windows 7 to watch Live TV.

You change to certain TV channels, and you see blank video and audio. If you stay tuned to the channel for several minutes, the video and audio eventually starts playing.

Alternately, if you close and restart Windows Media Center, and restart Live TV, the video starts playing.


Cause


This behavior may occur when the TV broadcast has a larger-than-expected timing difference between the audio and video signal.

Resolution


To work around this problem, set the following registry entry to a larger value:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Video\Tuners\DVR
REG_DWORD: TimeholeThresholdMs

This value configures the largest allowable time difference between the audio and video streams, in milliseconds.

The default value is 2500. In some regions, certain broadcasts have been observed which contain a larger time difference. Changing this value to 3000 may resolve the problem.