Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Windows 7 Hauppauge HD-PVR Add-on Updates to Beta 2


Last week we told you about third-party addon, DVBSBridge that has bridged the Windows 7 Media Center with the Hauppauge HD-PVR component tuning device.  While that news was exciting and welcomed by the Media Center enthusiast crowd the details on actually getting it to work - especially on North America Media Center setups was sketchy at best.  Today an update to the add-on answers some of those questions.

Why the Hauppauge HD-PVR Matters?  Access to All TV Channels

The Hauppauge HD-PVR allows you to view and record all channels from a cable/satellite box whether encrypted or not since it uses the analog hole.  Great news for Media Center users because it provides an option for the masses to add HD and digital content to their media center PC even if it's not OEM.  Today, the DVBSBridge team released a new version with some significant improvements.

Working on XBox360

According to one Media Center user who has tried this solution, this works on the Xbox360 as well.  Here's the post from digitalman161 on the GreenButton Forums:

"I got it working quite well and streaming to my XBOX 360.  It was a nice treat to be able to watch live HD TV and be able to pause and ffwd.  It actually seems to perform better streaming to the XBOX then it did on the MCE machine itself.  Oh, and it was via wireless!
I was hoping someone tried it on a DMA2100/2200 to see if it works as well.   Once the EPG issue is sorted out this appears to be a totally viable HD PVR solution."

So it looks like this will work on at least some extenders (XBox360 at least) and could be a nice solution for many Media Center users at least until Microsoft brings official support for the Hauppauge HD-PVR.


Caveats with DVBSBridge and HD-PVR

Well you knew there was going to be some caveats with this solution right?  The issues I can see with this solution for Windows7 Media Center thus far are as follows:

  • No Extender Support Limited to XBox 360 (could possibly work on other extenders depending on their ability to play h.264 files)
  • Not an integrated solution - requires a third-party add-on and some extra work to get this to work. 
  • Once this add-on is released from beta it will be a paid-app (confirmed on the DVBS forums)
  • EPG (Guide) support requires the use of XMLTV.
  • Only works with a single HD-PVR and therefore a single channel at a time

Bottom line, this is a hack and you'll be dealing with third-party support that may or may not be sanctioned by Microsoft.  It won't be as easy to set up on your Media Center computers as your other tuners.


DVBSBridge for HD-PVR Beta2 version New Features:

  • EPG (TV Guide) support from an XMLTV file
  • Support for any MCE-Compatible IR Blaster
  • Scheduled launch of an external script or program to update the XMLTV file
  • Unicode channel name support in Config.xml
  • Includes a tool that wisely imports/updates Config.xml's channel list from an XMLTV file
  • Includes a tool that learns IR Code from any MCE-Compatible IR Receiver

For instructions on installing the update head over to the DVBLogic Forums