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Microsoft KB Archive/172670

From BetaArchive Wiki

PSS ID Number: 172670

Article Last Modified on 11/21/2003

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft ActiMates Arthur 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates Barney 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates D.W. 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates TV Pack 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates TV Pack 2.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates TV Pack 3.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates Dipsy 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates Laa Laa 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates Po 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates Teletubbies 1.0
  • Microsoft ActiMates Tinky Winky 1.0

This article was previously published under Q172670


This article describes how to troubleshoot the interaction of Microsoft ActiMates characters with the PBS television series Barney & Friends, Arthur, and the Teletubbies.

NOTE: ActiMates Barney works only with the Barney & Friends TV show, ActiMates Arthur and D.W. work only with the Arthur TV show, and the Teletubbies work only with the Teletubbies TV show.

Our tests have indicated that consumer decoders for DirecTV and other satellite services are not compatible with ActiMates technology.


Make Sure the Show is ActiMates-Compatible in your Area

Microsoft and PBS are working together to make PBS broadcasts of Barney & Friends, Arthur, and the Teletubbies ActiMates-compatible. You can find out if this service is available in your area by checking the Microsoft ActiMates Web site at:

The Show is ActiMates-Compatible in my Area

If the PBS broadcast is ActiMates-compatible in your viewing area, but the Microsoft ActiMates character isn't interacting with the show, try the following:

  • Make sure the light on the TV Pack Transmitter is blinking at a steady rate. If the light on the Transmitter isn't on, the Transmitter isn't getting power. Make sure the AC adapter is plugged into a wall outlet and connected securely to the Transmitter.

If the light on the Transmitter is lit but not blinking, the Transmitter isn't sending a signal to the ActiMates character for some reason. Make sure that the Transmitter is connected properly to your TV and VCR, and then verify that the ActiMates character works with the ActiMates- compatible videotape included in the box with the ActiMates TV Pack, or with another ActiMates-compatible video tape.

For instructions, see the ActiMates TV Pack Getting Started manual included in the box with the ActiMates TV Pack.

  • Make sure your VCR is hooked up to record television programs. Your VCR acts as a tuner during the broadcast. There are a variety of ways to hook up your VCR to record programs; any of these ways will work as long as you have properly connected the ActiMates TV Pack Transmitter.

  • Turn on your VCR while watching the broadcast with the ActiMates character. Make sure your TV/VCR switch is set to "VCR" and make sure your VCR is tuned into your local PBS channel.

  • Squeeze the character's hand to make sure it's awake. If character was asleep, it will say "Let's watch TV together" when it wakes up. If it was already awake and interacting with the video, it'll say a friendship phrase. If the character offers to play a game when you squeeze its hand, then there is an interference problem with another radio-operated device. If you suspect an interference problem, try moving the character closer to the Transmitter or try turning off the other radio-operated device while you are watching TV with the ActiMates character.

  • Connect the ActiMates TV Pack Transmitter to a TV and VCR in a different room or house, and then test the character's interaction with the TV show in the new location.

  • Make sure that fresh batteries are installed in the character. If the character has trouble communicating with the TV or its movements stop completely, then you may need to replace the batteries.

  • Adjust your television tuner and/or antenna for the best picture. If your picture is snowy, ghosted, or smeared, then the ActiMates character probably won't work with the show.

  • Try recording the television show. For best results, use the "SP" or "2-hour" recording mode on your VCR. If you cannot record the show, then your VCR may not be set up correctly. Refer to your VCR manual for instructions on how to set up your VCR to record programs.

If you can record the show, does your ActiMates character work when you play the show back? If it does, then your VCR is set up correctly and your ActiMates character should work during an actual broadcast -- just be sure to turn on your VCR, set your TV/VCR switch to "VCR", and make sure your VCR is tuned in to your local PBS channel while watching the show with the ActiMates character.


For more information about how to solve problems related to Microsoft ActiMates characters, use the ActiMates Troubleshooter located at the following Microsoft Web site:

Additional query words: actamates acti-mates acta mates barnie dw teletubby dish network primestar c-band

Keywords: kbHardware kbprb KB172670
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