About fifteen months ago I received word that Hauppauge was “working” with Microsoft to enable their Hauppauge HD-PVR device to work natively with Windows 7 Media Center. I had mostly given up hope for this given the very long wait and the fact that CableCard had shown signs of life, but today I received a tip and then two separate, reliable confirmations that Hauppauge will soon be releasing a driver for their HD-PVR to work with Windows 7 Media Center – without requiring third-party software!
Why the Hauppauge HD-PVR Matters? Access to All TV Channels
The Hauppauge HD-PVR isn’t a tuner, but it uses a Cable Box, Satellite Box or other component video source to capture that stream and encode it to h.264. So you can capture one source per HD-PVR connected to a STB. The 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 one more option for the masses to add HD and digital content to their Media Center PC beyond the exciting new CableCard options coming soon from both Ceton and Hauppauge. It also opens up a new way for Windows 7 MediaCenter users to access content from Satellite TV since Dish Network and DirecTV haven’t come through for us.
Native Driver Support – No More Need for Third-Party Software
Many enthusiasts will note that one can make Windows 7 Media Center work with the Hauppauge HD-PVR already with the third-party add-on DVBSBridge, but this solution will be much, much easier and won’t require the purchase of any additional software.
Public Release Coming Soon
Hauppauge has been working on a Windows 7 Media Center which supports the HD PVR. This driver project is something Hauppauge has been working on for nearly a year and thanks to some help from Microsoft, they have it working now and are ironing out the details. No official ETA yet, but it appears to be close . They also confirmed that the driver does not currently work on Windows XP MCE. UPDATE 5/5/2010 : Apparently this will be for Windows 7 only and will not be ported back to Vista or XP
Unanswered questions we still have about the HD-PVR/Windows 7MC driver include:
- What is the ETA for the driver release to public? UPDATE 5/4/2010: I’m being told the plans are to release this driver to the public this month – May 2010 – possibly as soon as a week or two!
- Will channel changing via the IR blaster work? (I use firewire channel changing with my HD-PVR and SageTV which is a better option) UPDATE 5/5 officially, the Hauppauge IR blaster will be supported at release although that doesn’t mean other external channel-changers won’t follow
- How many HD-PVRs will we be able to use with MediaCenter at the same time?
Stay tuned to GeekTonic for more information