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Problem with Media Center Extender Video Artifacting Solved

April 22, 2007
I just returned from vacation and have begun to tune my new Vista Media Center PC. In so doing, I noticed that I was seeing pretty severe artifacting when playing back TV shows on Xbox 360 Extenders. In experimenting, I found that this problem also affected live TV. Looking for the source of the problem, I ran Vista’s reliability and performance monitor on my Media Center box and discovered that ehshell.exe was consuming between 50-60% of CPU resources when playing live TV on only one extender. This dropped to a much more managable level when the extender was disconnected and just the Media Center PC was playing the file itself.
 
After doing some Google searches and some experimentation, I determined that the problem could be solved by enabling flow control on the ethernet port of the Vista Media Center PC. Now ehshell.exe consumes a much more manageable 9-28% of CPU when I am watching HD live TV on an extender.
 
More precise details on the solution can be found at KB929707.
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