Why does Windows Media Center only accept every other command?

Windows Media Center first started life with a system that was intended to improve upon infrared code handling called Toggle Codes. Over the various versions of Windows, and over time in the industry, Toggle Codes never caught on and were abandoned by virtually all vendors. Even Windows Media Center eventually abandoned the idea and now ships by default with it turned off.

Simple Control is capable of sending Toggle Codes, but in the case of Windows Media Center does not as Windows 7 has disabled it and it can be disabled in the older versions as well. The following Windows Registry keys can be found using RegEdit on Windows (accessible via the Start menu Run command, and then typing ‘regedit’).

  1. Media Center 2004
  2. Media Center 2005
  3. Media Center Vista

Under the key for your version of Windows Media Center, find the key named EnableDebounce and set it to 0 to disable it. Restart Windows to make the change take effect.

Note that Simple Control also supports IP control of Windows Media Center without any infrared. A third-party application called MCE Controller must be installed on the Media Center PC to enable this option. The MCE Controller application does not offer automatic discovery. It can be added via the Manual IP option under Media Players using port 5150.