I wrote this plugin to Media Center for Windows 7 because I had a similar plugin that I wrote for MCE 2005, which no longer worked when I upgraded to Windows 7. This application will drive an LED (or LED’s) through the parallel port on your computer when a show is recording. I find this pretty useful when the TV is off and I want to see if my shows are recording.
The plugin is written in C#, since that is the typical interface for MCE7 plugins. It uses the inpout dlls to communicate with the parallel port.
Wiring is pretty straightforward. Connect the LED ground to any of the ground pins on the parallel port, and the positive lead of the LED to pin 2. Depending on the LED, you’ll likely need a resistor between the positive lead of the LED and the parallel port output. The parallel port drives 3.3V, so you’ll need to drop the voltage to whatever the LED needs.