What is MediaAgent.exe?

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 13, 2007
Updated • Apr 12, 2014

I spotted a huge process in my task manager today called MediaAgent.exe which used roughly 30 Megabytes of RAM. A quick check revealed that the process belonged to a OpenCASE Media Agent which I was not aware to have installed after all. My first fear that it was some sort of trojan, virus or spyware that managed to sneak onto my system thankfully did not turn out to be true.

The only application that I did install the other day was NBC Direct. A quick check of the NBC Direct FAQ revealed that they were indeed using the OpenCASE Media Agent "that manages your video downloads and monitors for any updates and/or new content to be downloaded".

This means that this thirty Megabyte process MediaAgent.exe is wasting RAM and CPU cycles for doing nothing most of the time. I can understand that this process is started when starting NBC Direct but not if NBC Direct is not running at all.

The OpenCase Media Agent is a service that is installed with NBC Direct on Windows that is automatically started when Windows starts. The option would be to either disable the service which would surely make NBC Direct stop working or uninstall both NBC Direct and the OpenCase Media Agent to get rid of it. You can alternatively try and set the service to manual. To do so use the Windows-R key to bring up the run box of the system, enter services.msc and hit enter to start the Services Manager.


Locate the service in the list of services that is sorted alphabetically, right-click it and select properties from the context menu. This opens the configuration window for that services on the screen. Change the startup type from automatic to manual and change the setting afterwards.

This ensures that the service will only start up if the program that is making use of it is started on the system. Note that this should work fine in most situations.

If you do not want it on your system at all, uninstall it using the program removal feature of the Windows operating system.

Note that OpenCase has been acquired by Cisco recently, and that NBC does not appear to make use of the application anymore to power its video offerings.

You can now watch the videos directly using a web browser of choice and Adobe Flash.


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  1. Dante said on November 13, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    With Netflix around, I don’t find it particularly urgent to install spyware from various media companies like NBC or Sony. I just install DVDFab Decryptor.

  2. Skyler said on November 14, 2007 at 3:56 am

    it’s too bad Netflix doesn’t send you shows that have just been aired.

  3. msa said on November 16, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Seriously!! Just installed NBC DirectDownload and my whole computer started acting like it was from 1988 !!! Not to mention it wouldnt even download the shows.. Just took whole thing off my computer, and voila! Can actually stream video again, and am not CONSTANTLY using 100% CPU!!! Losers.

  4. Victor Anderson said on November 26, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    yeah this thing sucks. The MediaAgent software also breaks some other things too. If you have Microsoft ActiveSync installed on a Windows Media Center XP machine, this stupid thing breaks activesync AND media center. It took me forever to figure out it was MediaAgent that was doing it too.

  5. Rossman said on November 28, 2007 at 1:01 am

    With today’s computers having often more than a gig of RAM, are you really complaining about a download manager (effectively what the Media Agent is) taking a mere 30MB’s?

  6. Manfred said on November 30, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    After days of trying to figure out what happened to Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5 on my machine, I discovered that OpenCase Media (which is installed along with NBC Direct) was the culprit. OpenCase Media will not allow ActiveSync to open and hence, I could not sync my Palm Treo 700W.

    I have since removed NBC Direct and all of its components and all is well (well, as good as Windows gets).

  7. SquirrelSF said on November 30, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    I believe that the Showtime Player also installs OpenCase Media.

  8. John said on December 4, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    I figured this was the culprit, I noticed this process just now too. Thanks for posting this.

    Also re: “it’s too bad Netflix doesn’t send you shows that have just been aired.”

    I noticed Netflix has the ability to play the newest Heros episodes on Wednesdays – higher quality than the NBC direct download tool too. Of course, you need XP SP2, IE7, windows media player 9, and probably some other installed DRM agents like NBC’s player uses.

    Rossman – You don’t get it. It’s not even being run. You can’t just allow phantom processes sit there and eat memory. What if you had 10 processes eating up 30MB each? That becomes more significant, and it just needs to be accounted for. If it’s not something you need, get rid of it. Security holes need to be plugged, who knows what this thing does really? Why let it run?

    Edit: I see now Rossman, you worked for NBC on this product. No wonder you are all about it – I didn’t think “meomory hog” fanboys existed, but now it’s coming together. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s good to know people’s motivations.

    “As most of you probably don’t know, I was the front-end/UI developer behind the flash player that NBC ended up using for their beta NBC Direct service.”

  9. Rossman said on December 5, 2007 at 2:10 am


    Actually dude, I totally get it.

    Say it’s 2am, you’re in bed, but NBC releases a new episode of Heroes. In this case by the time you get up the download manager would have the episode ready and waiting for you.

    They just made a choice of how they wanted their content delivered:

    Option 1:
    You would choose not to have that service running (to save what is a small amount of memory in todays PCs), and to have to run their player application every time you want to get something, wait for it to download, then watch it

    Option 2: Whereas they chose to have a small service running which will automatically download the content that you subscribe to, the moment that it’s available. When you start the player, the shows you wanted to see are already downloaded and watchable. Sounds kinda convenient…

    Frankly, I don’t know which option is better, but both of them have their merits for sure. It doesn’t have anything to do with being a “memory hog fanboy” (wtf? did you seriously say that?) either, my PC is godly enough that 30megs of RAM isn’t a big deal. I can’t even run the software up here in Canada anyways, so the point is moot from that perspective.

    And for the record: I don’t work for that company anymore, and am not speaking in any official capacity for them; these opinions are strictly my own.

  10. John said on December 5, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    I’m with you Rossman. I’m mainly pointing out that we don’t know really what it does. I’d wager it does more than just grab shows for me automagically. I would surely rather know that the NBC direct downloader was in my system tray telling me “Hey, I’ll grab new videos when you’re away”. I’m fine with that, just give me the option to turn it off if I don’t want it either.

    I know the memory hog fanboy sounded ridiculous, I had a hard time coining that too, but that’s why I was initially confused by your post. I can’t imagine anyone is okay with processes showing up with little announcement and doing unknown things – regardless of utilization of memory. The memory just adds insult. Also I never would have noticed it if it weren’t so big. My PC is finally Godly enough to run all the requisite software for this direct downloader application, but historically I haven’t had much RAM so it hurts even more.

    Let’s say you had $2,000 in the bank, and they charged you a $30 service fee. You ask the bank why, and they tell you it’s so you can get your money faster. Surely you’d complain. If you had a few million in the bank, maybe that would be legitimate since large transfers take time and some sort of overhead is involved (not that putting millions in the bank is smart, but it does put it in perspective).

    I know you aren’t really responding as a contractor of NBC’s website – I was just gaining insight into your views. For me, not being an application developer, I am biased toward less memory utilization. For someone like you, you probably focus more on the advantages those applications give you. Again, use the memory, if I know what it is. If it’s some unknown process name, stay small so you are off the radar.

    For the record: I just uninstalled the downloader as killing the service did not get rid of it, it keeps spawning.

    p.s. – I watched Heroes on Netflix and the quality rocks, it only takes a few seconds to buffer, no commercials, and it didn’t need to download overnight with a vampire process. (This week rocked too!). I’m not a serious enough TV-watcher to need to get a fix on the road or anything away from my network connection, so that may be a restriction others can’t deal with. I do it because I don’t use a TV for anything besides playing DVDs (no cable) and I understand that probably isn’t the reason people want to watch episodes online.

  11. Mark said on December 8, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Hey – I don’t care what friggin shows I can watch when a program causes my computer to go crazy. I hope that people stay away from the NBC Direct Product until this problem with Open Case Media Agent is cleared up.

    It caused my computer to become incredibly slow and took forever for me to find the one little process that was screwing everything up – in this case OpenCase Media Agent. Uninstall this little nightmare as soon as you can!

  12. Brian said on December 8, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    I wouldn’t mind a 30MB process that did only what it was supposed to, stayed in the background, and never took more than 30MB. But since installing the NBC Direct/OpenCASE junkware, I have had daily spikes to 100% CPU–and it was always MediaAgent.exe hogging resources. Since I wasn’t doing anything media related, I killed the process and went on with what I was doing. Finally, today when things locked and MediaAgent.exe was again the culprit, I went searching and found this post near the top of the results. NBC and Open Case are being uninstalled as I type.

  13. M.Keezay said on December 11, 2007 at 3:15 am

    There is a program called veohtv-http://www.veoh.com/veohTV/getStarted.html
    which gives you access to all the nbc direct content, content from abc and 154 other tv and internet channels. Plus it streams them all so theres no need for downloading and best of all no
    media-agent. You will need to register but its free. Video quality is ok, I have a p3 733 mhz
    512 mb ram and it works fine on my system. And unlike nbcdirect you can use it from Canada.
    Hope this helps anyone who wants to watch nbc’s shows without using direct.

  14. Ducky said on December 18, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Why would they need to install a passive process on your system for this? I don’t want anything running in the background, without my knowledge. This is disappointing for NBC.

  15. Brian said on January 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Just to let people know – after I installed NBC Direct, my Microsoft ActiveSync stopped working. That is the only service that I disabled and ActiveSync works now.

  16. Brian said on January 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Service Disabled – OpenCASE Media Agent – Sorry.

  17. Erik said on February 7, 2008 at 4:11 am

    Bu-bye NBC Direct
    Hello Veoh!

    ty greatly M.Keezay

  18. taixi said on February 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    hello all, I unfortunately was foolish enough to install NBC Direct and as soon as I tried to watch one show I realized it was not worth it; so I’ve been uninstalling all the crap that comes with NBC Direct. BUT, sadly for me, OpenCASE Media Agent won’t uninstall — every time I try to remove the program I get the following error msg:

    InstallUtilLib.dll: Unknown error.

    And the uninstall fails.
    Has anyone else had this problem? Advice?


  19. Martin said on February 9, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Taixi that sounds like trouble. I would make NBC responsible and ask them for an solution. Try this hotfix, maybe it helps. Let me know.


  20. christina said on February 10, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Hi! I too downloaded NBC direct last night and have encountered problems. So I have deleted all programs downloaded.

    However, I am unable to delete OpenCASE because it states “Cannot delete AdvertisingComponent.ddl Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and the file is currently not in use”. So the files deletion was cancelled.

    At the time, I didnt have any other program running. Any advice? Thank you!

  21. Martin said on February 10, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Christina use this tool http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

  22. SavNout said on February 25, 2008 at 9:05 am

    God you guys really get off track when talking problem solutions! I too got this damn OpenCase from downloading Fantastic4 from Wal-Mart! (They offered a free download of the movie when you bought the DVD) Wal-Mart shut the service down..I uninstalled the Wal-Mart Video Download Manager but it left this service stilled installed! I disabled it, then I went into my c:program files and erased the OpenCASE folder…then did a registry Search for OpenCASE and deleted all registry enrtries with OpenCASE and now the service is gone!

    Damn poor uninstallers Wal-Mart downloader used, left this damn OpenCASE folder still there!

  23. D Bradley said on March 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Tried using it under Vista and no go, so uninstalled the NBC downloader. I figured I was done. I wouldn’t have noticed anything except I kept getting asked if I wanted to let OpenCase Media Agent talk to the Internet. I’m sure it was a typical program goof of not incorporating some third party uninstaller as part of theirs, but it gives the appearance of maybe leaving some spyware behind since it’s still phoning home. A search through installed programs showed OpenCase, so I uninstalled it. Look like it removed it. The program files directory, at least, is not there.

    There’s really no reason to have such a program stay in memory. In reality Windows will eventually swap it out anyway if it needs. But if the polling interval is not very small, I’d rather see them use the scheduling service. Launch a small application that phones home. This can be quite small and then launches something more if there’s more to be done.

    The problem with applications like OpenCase is that they often use huge frameworks like MFC, .Net, Java that needlessly take up large amounts of RAM when a small light app would have been much better. Everyone has the mentality that hey, users’ computers have tons of RAM lets not worry about memory consumption. But hey, I don’t run just one application I’m often running several. If they all take that attitude my system performance WILL suffer.

  24. rehdwolfe said on March 15, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I use my computer to do my job. I watch tv to not do my job. Any process that puts my computer and job at risk shall go. Period.

    Even though computers have lots of memory these days the Windows operating system doesn’t use it all very effectively so yeah, that 30mb is significant especially if its doing nothing for me.

  25. Nick said on May 1, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I installed NBC Direct and it caused havoc with Microsoft ActiveSync so I unistalled it back in January. Does anyone know if the newer versions of NBC Direct has fixed this (it is now May 1?)

  26. kmonti said on June 17, 2008 at 3:54 am

    Nick …

    NBC still has not fixed this, as I have just discovered. I have read several threads with several solutions … not sure what I need to do. Uninstalled NBC Direct crap and the OpenCase, reinstalled ActiveSync, but still no dice. Which hotfix, free program, etc., should I try now?

  27. Kelt said on October 7, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    I wanted to watch Scrubs and Heroes since I missed them on live TV. So I went to view it online but for some reason the fullscreen is really half-screen. I tried 3 different browsers, Chrome, IE7 and Firefox 2.

    I installed NBC Direct, realized it sucked balls and uninstalled it. Then I noticed later that same week that webpages failed to load, connections would drop off and that I have a nice load on my system and there is this interesting process running called MediaAgent.exe.

    I should have known better to install NBC Direct on anything but a throw away test virtual machine. I don’t know what kind of crappy software developers they employ at NBC but I’ve written prototypes better than NBC Direct. Don’t install it, period.

  28. Ryan Hollis said on October 8, 2008 at 1:34 am

    i recently got a different firewall and everytime i turn on my pc it asks do i want to allow OpenCASE Media Agent to access the internet
    i installed that NBC thing along time ago and unstalled it, but i guess this thing was separate
    btw go to hulu.com, they have all the shows on NBC and from most channels on there the same day that they air, and has a lot less commercials than TV

  29. Godzirra said on October 10, 2008 at 5:15 am

    RE: NBC Direct

    I’ll tell you one thing, if I designed this shitty of an application (wastes memory and, oh, by the way also doesn’t work worth a damn), I sure as hell wouldn’t brag about it, eh?

  30. Driveby Commenter said on October 17, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    I recently installed NBCDirect and thanks to the install also discovered that NBCPandoREST.exe is running, sucking up 23Mb of RAM, in addition to MediaAgent.exe’s 30Mb. I’m not sure if it is because I run Firefox exclusively, but automagic downloads never worked for me unless I launched NBCDirect.

    FWIW, because the auto-download didn’t work as expected, I used msconfig > services and turned off both services. Neither has spawned on me at restart or in use of my PC. However, note that I’ve not run NBCDirect since. Maybe that resets msconfig somehow?

    @Ryan Hollis: I see Hulu has vastly improved since launch and must give it another chance.

  31. Vince said on October 21, 2008 at 8:06 am

    If you have uninstalled NBC Direct, you still need to uninstall the Media Agent. Just scroll through the program list until you find the OpenCase Media Agent. GET RID OF IT. Anyone wonder why it’s eating CPU cycles? It’s port scanning. I fired up wireshark and it’s scanning incremented ports looking for an open port. Here’s the kicker, I already had the NBCDirect software uninstalled. Make sure you get both. This is just terrible software and NBC should be ashamed of themselves.


  32. Justin said on October 24, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Since this showed up on the first page Google search for NBCPandoRest.exe, I wanted to throw a quick note in here about the (related) NBCPandoRest.exe process. If left to itself, it will max out your internet connection trying to upload video content to peers (kind of like NBC’s demented version of p2p), and I couldn’t find a way to slow it down. Kill in task manager, and uninstall NBC direct while you’re at it.

  33. gr8grfx said on November 8, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    That’s the key! It eats up Bandwidth while I’m trying to download other stuff, and I end up with corrupted downloads. I’ve uninstalled the NBC player, but both NBCPandoREST.exe and MediaAgent.exe auto run again, even after I kill the processes in TaskManager. There is no offer for the software to be disabled, and it cannot be accessed via msconfig.exe. Technically, this makes these two programs trojans. Much like the “bonjour” service. You know, big companies are hiding behind a EULA claiming that a click of a mouse button counts as a legal document. It doesn’t, but most lawyers aren’t interested in tearing them up in court. This system isn’t necessary for Fox, ABC, or Fancast to stream HD video. Their stuff plays just fine on my system. I guess I’ll just quit watching NBC as much as I used to. Earl isn’t even in HD most of the time, and that’s the main show I watch.
    I own my computer. I built it. I paid for it and I put the O.S. and all the programs on it. NBC does not. The fact that I even allowed them the privilege to put their crappy ASP script run LOGOesque proggie on my system should make them feel honored. They should show some respect, especially since I could spend my time doing something other than watching T.V. and fighting bad programming. I think I’ll write letters to the advertisers that pay them. After all, that’s what T.V. is really about, not entertainment.

  34. Antony said on November 9, 2008 at 6:08 am

    To gr8grfx and everyone, you CAN control this software if u like.
    MediaAgent.exe is an auto start service: go to admin tools/services and select “OpenCASE Media Agent”. Right click, change properties to manual start and also in the recovery tab change to “take no action” in case of service failure.
    Having done the above you can safely kill both mediaagent.exe and NBCPandoRest.exe in Task Mgr and they will not restart.
    Separately, “OpenCASE Media Agent” CAN also be deselected in msconfig on the services tab.

  35. rjejr said on December 4, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Wow, what BS, the program “extras”, not the comments. I installed NBC direct Beta just to watch Chuck and I can’t believe it needs 2 extra programs to run, and without a leash. i thought I was having problems b/c I “subscribed” to chuck and it was doing stuff in the background on Monday mornings, but yeah my internet connection as been constantly wonky. going to try Anotny’s advice. thanks everyone
    PS – today is 12/3/08

  36. Lulu said on December 9, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Anthony, did what you said, but mediaagent.exe still opens and NBCpandorest.exe – shortly after I did what you said the first time, NBC direct stated I had to download an update before continuing. And now I tried again what you said (the settings are still what you suggested) BUT it is still starting by itself even after I end the process. Any suggestions?

  37. For everyones info said on December 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Wow. I have a brand new pc and did not know the source of it being slow. I went through software that could be the possible cause and I think that there is something else going on besides the 30 Mb of memory that it is taking up since I have plenty of RAM (3 GB). After I removed mediaagent.exe aka OpenCASE, which I got from trying to watch something on NBC.com, no more lag! Thanks for everyone’s input.

  38. Robert Perkins said on January 5, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I got the NBC junk to watch – of all things – Knight Rider. How I rue the day.

    If you have problems Uninstalling OpenCASE Media agent, choose the “Repair” option, then try uninstalling it again. That worked for me.

    I’m still trying to determine what caused my system to stop recognizing my optical drives, but currently, OpenCASE is my #1 suspect…

  39. ag said on January 22, 2009 at 3:22 am

    for those who dont wanna uninstall it just disable the exe from runnin on Startup via msconfig.

    I think other tv network sites use this service as well but could be wrong..

  40. CJ said on February 13, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Media Agent actually takes up 150mb, and that is the 2nd or 3rd biggest hog on my machine.

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