Monday, December 14, 2009

Windows 7 MCE + DVBLink for HDPVR = HD Happiness

Readers of GeekTonic know I’m a fan of the Hauppauge HD-PVR and it’s ability to take component video in and allow you to record all of your Cable or Satellite channels on your HTPC.  You probably also know that’s supported with HTPC software like SageTV and BeyondTV, but not with Windows 7.  Well David has written up the process for getting HD-PVR support in Windows 7 Media Center – read on for all of the details.

 NOTE:  This is a guest post by DavidBasic guidelines for writing and submitting your own guest post at GeekTonic can be found here.

Install Windows 7

I did a clean install of Windows 7 Business.  I ran Windows Update and installed all the Important updates.

Install the latest drivers for your graphics card

Windows Update didn’t give me the latest drivers for my ATI HD 2600 XT.  Having a card that has a hardware h.264 decoder is recommended if you plan on using your HTPC to connect to your TV to cut down on CPU usage.  If you plan on using the Xbox 360 as your extender then the h.264 decoder is not needed.

I use my HTPC in my theater and 2 Xbox 360s in the rest of the house.

Attach Hauppauge HDPVR and install the latest drivers

I downloaded the latest drivers and installed them.  The version I used is

You will also need to install the IR blaster configuration program, I use USB to change my channels, but that will be covered in another post later.

Download DVBLink for HDPVR 2.0 Beta 3

You can try it for 15 days before you buy it.

Install DVBLink

  1. Run HDPVRBridgeSetup.exe
    install1 install2 install3
  2. Click Always trust software from “Tabekc”
  3. Reboot and finish install.

Read on for the full how-to on Setting up Hauppauge HD-PVR support for Windows 7 Media Center:


Configure MCE

  1. Go to settings and begin the Setup Tv Signal process
  2. Deep into the setup, it begins Examining TV Signals, which is a very long operation, just cancel the scanning
  3. Choose Let me configure my Digital Satellite (DVB-S) without signal detection
  4. If you have other tuners, select Add Satellite tuners and select no if it asks you if you’re using a Set-top box
  5. Select only DVBLink Tuner #1 (*** that’s right, only ONE tuner should be checked ***)
  6. Pick any satellite from the next list (your choice does not matter) and choose the Universal LNB option
  7. Select Universal LNB�
  8. Complete the TV Signals setup

Configure DVBLink

  1. Start the DVBLink Source Configuration tool (Start Menu/All Programs/DVBLink/Source Configuration)  Stop the server.
    dvblink1 dvblink1a
  2. Create a source by selecting the HDPVR Source template and using the green arrow (you can pick any name for your source)
  3. Open the HDPVR Properties by selecting your HDPVR source and by clicking the Properties button
  4. Follow the Wizard and choose your line-up
  5. From the Channels tab, use the integrated line-up editor to choose which channels you want to appear in the Media Center guide. You can also rename them as you wish
  6. From the HDPVR Setup tab, configure the settings according to your current HDPVR configuration
  7. From the Blaster Configuration tab, select the mode DVBLink for HDPVR will be using to change channels on your set-top-box. Configure the parameters for the selected method.  I use a Custom script to change channels with USB, but I will save that for another post.
  8. Optionally, you can directly configure DVBLink for HDPVRthrough the XML configuration file located in: C:\Program Files\DVBLogic\DVBLink\Sources\Config.xml
  9. Optionally, there are some Advancedsettings that you have to edit manually in the Config.xml file
  10. Note: Any changes of the configuration file require a restart of DVBLink server to take into effect
  11. Close HDPVR Properties window
  12. Close DVBLink Server Configuration tool and allow it to restart the service
  13. Optionally, go to Settings/Guide/Get Latest Guide Listings to force Media Center to download the latest guide information (allow a good 10 minutes), otherwise Media Center will do it accordingly to its own update schedule

Channel Changing

There are 3 ways to change channels with the software.  IR Blasting (either internal or MCE-compatible), Fire-wire, and USB.  Fire-wire and USB are the most reliable in my experience because they use a direct connection to the STB, but not all STB support Fire-wire or USB.  The IR blasters are the easiest to setup, but I use USB so I have no instructions on how to get it working with IR blasting.  Instructions on how to get the USB channel changing working is a post in its self


About the author:  David is an HTPC and Home Theater enthusiast.  He has a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science and is currently working at a Private College in Virginia as a Web Technical Analyst.  He has built a theater in his basement from scratch.  He did 80% of the work himself.  After starting with XBMC on the original Xbox, he moved to an HTPC running SageTV, then now to Windows 7 Media Center.

Read more of David’s HTPC writings on his website