I've made no secret of my love for Windows Media Center, but for months I've been tormented by a glitch that I call the 'Blue Screen of Signal-Death'. At random intervals, while watching live TV, the screen suddenly turns blue and displays a 'Low Bit Rate Error' message.
I could still hear the audio, but the video disappears for anywhere from five to 15 seconds.
Then, just as mysteriously as it appeared, the BSOSD vanishes - until next time. Which might be five minutes later or five hours. The randomness of it made it all the more frustrating.
Curiously, this problem didn't exist in Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows Vista, or even the Windows 7 Release Candidate - only the final version of Windows 7.
As I learned from perusing the forums at The Green Button, countless other users have encountered the same Low Bit Rate nightmare. Numerous troubleshooting ideas were discussed and tested, but nothing worked. The unanimous conclusion: Something was broken in Windows 7, and Microsoft needed to fix it.
It took long enough, but the fix is finally here. And it appears to work. If you've experienced the dread BSOSD, download the Update for Windows 7 (KB981130), install it and reboot your PC.
I installed it yesterday, and so far, so good. But I have to ask: why did it take you six months to fix this problem, Microsoft? Grumble, grumble.