Windows 7 MCE + DVBLink for HDPVR = HD Happiness

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Here are the steps I used to obtain DirecTV HD using Windows 7 MCE, but you should be able to use any Set Top Box.  The Hauppauge HDPVR will record from your set top box to an h.264 wtv file.  At the moment the Xbox 360 is the only MCE extender that can play video produced by the HDPVR.  Most of the instructions taken from the 1geek1tool wiki.

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 1.5.6.1

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.

Configure MCE

  1. Go to settings and begin the Setup Tv Signal process
    mce1
  2. Deep into the setup, it begins Examining TV Signals, which is a very long operation, just cancel the scanning
    mce3
  3. Choose Let me configure my Digital Satellite (DVB-S) without signal detection
    mce4
  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 ***)
    mce5
  6. Pick any satellite from the next list (your choice does not matter) and choose the Universal LNB option
    mce6
  7. Select Universal LNB�
    mce7
  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)
    dvblink2
  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
    dvblink3
  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
    dvblink5
  6. From the HDPVR Setup tab, configure the settings according to your current HDPVR configuration
    dvblink6
  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

dvblink7
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

Enjoy Cable/Satellite in HD on Media Center

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3 comments on “Windows 7 MCE + DVBLink for HDPVR = HD Happiness
  1. Anna Begum says:

    I’m pretty much impressed with the stability of Windows 7. It is better than windows Vista which hogs my memory and cpu.:*`

  2. Maya Bailey says:

    I’m pretty much impressed with the stability of Windows 7. It is better than windows Vista which hogs my memory and cpu.~,:

  3. if you are going to use third party USB cables, makes sure that they have the RU or UL mark for best performance.;’”

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