OK, so using an ATSC tuner card with OTA HD broadcasting I should not see the channel information, got it.
Now in regards to the media center status messages not being displayed, as per your suggestion, I tried playing with the session priorities, but that didn't seem to make any difference.
The behavior I think we're trying to figure out is this; when you boot up and into WMC, instead of the LCD showing "Media Center" it continues to show "MM/DD HH:MM:SS". The "MM/DD HH:MM:SS" display persists no matter what section of the interface is brought up (Guide, Movies, Music for example) unless a recording is begun and stops. Once that happens then each area of MC then reports to the LCD correctly.
Apologies if this is restating, but I just wanted to make sure that the behavior is clearly described and make sure this is the same problem the other posters to this thread are experiencing. I still have the additional logging going due to the "Object reference not set" error I've been intermittently getting so if you would like me to post a log from a successful LCDWriter initialization please let me know. Thanks again for your help!