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For those looking to use the HD-PVR with Windows Media Center it is possible and quite easy to do with the new DVBLink package that has been released as a beta.
http://dvblogic.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1202&sid=1f6cbf178593fda9d5d67762103715dc

It allows you to use your HD-PVR as a tuner in Media Center for Windows 7 but it is configured as a satellite tuner. Regardless of the implementation, I have been successfully recording HD movies with 5.1 sound for over a week without any problems.

I then transfer these recordings to the Recorded TV folder on my Windows Home Server and they are available to all other PC's on my network. Once the Xbox 360 receives an update to play .WTV files (or I choose to convert all recordings to .DVR-MS) then I will be able to play these recordings on my extenders as well.
 

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xraycat:
How is it setting up the guide data? I've seen the instructions for doing the import, but I'm wondering what happens with the guide data if you have a digital cable STB (SD), which is configured normally, as well as a HD STB, which has to go through the HD-PVR and the improvised guide data. Have you tried this?
 

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I don't know if I fully understand what you are asking but the guide data on Media Center does need to be configured outside of Media Center and then imported using the Configuration application that comes bundled with the DVBLink drivers.

DVBLink uses xmltv to grab the required guide data and then you sync that with the Media Center guide. It's actually better than just the Media Center guide on it's own because you can exclude the channels that you don't subscribe to from your provider. xmltv grabs the data the same way that Media Center does because you select what provider you have the same way you would in Media Center and xmltv grabs it.

If I were you I'd read through the instructions on how to install and configure the DVBLink software. However, I will still try to help out as much as I can.

Oh, and recording commercial-free HDTV movies to my WHS is amazing. I have over 20 recently-released movies recorded in the last week with excellent video and audio quality that play on all my Windows 7 computers and Xbox 360 Extenders.
 

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Let me see if I can phrase this properly. That last post wasn't very clear.
I have an Adaptec dual tuner that is connected to two Rogers SD STB's. No problems, Media Center recognizes them, guide data is downloaded, all is well.
If I add the HD-PVR (connected to a Rogers HD STB), and go through the required hardware setup and external guide setup, will I still be able to setup the guide for the two SD STB's? It sounds like I might get the SD guide OR the HD STB guide, but not both.
Thanks for your help, btw. I've been struggling with this for a while.
 

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Ahh, I see what you're asking now. I actually have the same Adaptec USB dual tuner conencted to the same PC that I use with the HD-PVR.

You won't be able to use the Adaptec tuner for anything more than a remote receiver as you will be configuring media center to use the DVB tuner (HD-PVR). I haven't researched being able to get Media Center to recognize both the HD-PVR as a tuner AND the Adaptec USB tuners so I can use them both at the same time. When I installed and set up the HD-PVR there was nothing there to set up the analog tuners.
 

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Damn. I was afraid of that. I would think that, once Hauppauge has released their Windows 7 driver, that it should be possible at that point.
I'm still going to go through the process, just to get the hands-on experience, but whether I keep it running that way is debatable.
Thanks, xraycat!
 

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For me, using analog tuners in my HTPC for the last 5 or 6 years and now switching the HD-PVR I am in love with my HTPC all over again.

I rarely ever watch SD shows on cable and I never even use the guide below the 200-numbered channels (200 and up is HD) on my cable box. Being able to schedule recordings for commercial-free HD movies and play them anywhere in my house AND sync them to my Zune is amazing.

The only benefit I see to having the Adaptec dual tuner is for the composite video input if I ever need to capture video from an external source like a VCR which I have only ever done once before.

I too am hoping for a "real" driver for the HD-PVR so that it is natively recognized in Media Center and I will never be completely happy having to use an IR blaster to change channels (there is no Firewire port on my cable box). The only way around this is with CableCard or some other authentication to allow my HTPC to decode encrypted premium channels which doesn't exist yet.

To be honest, in my living room I use my dual-tuner cable co HD PVR because of the WAF (GAF); she would hate the delay in changing channels with the IR blaster and the bugs aren't completely worked out with the DVBLink drivers. I sometimes have to restart the service on my PC to get a TV signal once it is lost. Right now I use the HD-PVR with a dedicated cable box connected to my office PC and use it almost exclusively for recording and rarely use the Live TV in Media Center on my HTPC and extenders.
 

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Same with me xraycat. It was great to be able to get all my channels into my HTPC and be able to really use my system to the full extent. The only downside is how much hard drive you gobble. My SageTV server/WHS has 5.2TB of hard drive space and I have less than 1TB free.
 

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Wayne, I read your article on switching to SageTV from Media Center; I have wanted to get away from Media Center for a little while now. I've tried out MediaPortal because it was free and offered the similar server/client setup that SageTV has but I just couldn't get comfortable with the user interface and its instability. What keeps me with Media Center really is the interface and the ease of configuration. I find that more important than the lack of features and open-ness compared to SageTV.

I realize that the SageTV extenders work better for "extending" than the Xbox 360 but I would have a 360 (or 2) regardless because I love the gaming experience and all the other features it provides especially knowing whats coming down the pipe in the next year.

If MS would implement Media Center into WHS to allow for a server/client structure I would jump all over it. Or, if SageTV were to somehow compete with Media Center on its interface and ease of use then I may consider switching. Also, having to install a 3rd party application isn't as appealing as the built-in Media Center experience. Right now I just move all recordings to my WHS once they are done and with the new power pack with WHS it makes these recordings easily available to all other PCs and extenders.
 

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You make very good points - I was loath to switch from Media Center but I got sick and tired of MS doing nothing to support Canada, and taking over a year to fix the CGMS-A bug that affected Canadians. The last straw was when TV Pack came out last year and did not support H.264 and it broke Canadian OTA. I didn't think it likely that MS would support the HD-PVR so that is why I switched to Sage.

I don't mind the UI - I use SageMC, and with Fanart you can get it looking very good. I find Sage (the company) to be very supportive as they add new features on a very ruglar basis. They do significant upgrades about once a quarter - they recently added the ability to play back ripped BluRay DVDs. Plus the UI change was minimal for the family as I was switching from XP MCE and SageMC is (essentially) a clone of XP MCE.

My HD-PVRs have been very stable and my Sage setup is also extremely stable - I go weeks without rebooting my WHS/Sage server. The one thing I haven't yet tried is switching to digital audio with the HD-PVR, apparently that can cause problems.

It would take something pretty extreme to switch back to MC, especially since extenders for MC seem to be dying. The Xbox360 is ok for one or two rooms but I don't think it is all that suitable where you have four extenders, like I do, as it is overkill in most of the rooms, not to mention big, noisy and slower to start up.
 

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So if I understand correctly your HD-PVRs are only able to record analong stereo audio? I would hope that is something that would be fixed soon, I wouldn't be happy with that at all. I am able to switch back and forth between 5.1 SPDIF and stereo analog for my recordings.

I suggest you give Windows 7 a try; it is quite a big step up from Vista even though I never tried the TV pack. Win7 has native support for MPEG4 as the HD-PVR records in that format but is then wrapped in the MS .WTV wrapper. Win7 is also able to natively playback H.264 .MKV files as long as an appropriate splitter is installed.

I like Win7 so much I have it installed on my office PC, my Acer Aspire One netbook and my HTPC. The Homegroup and Libraries features as well as the substantial upgrade with WMP12 make it quite a lot more enjoyable to use compared to Vista. I can see a lot of plugins making use of the DLNA certified WMP12 and Media Center once Win7 is released. Already the PlayTo media streaming and control are great for whole-home audio and it requires no extra programs to install. WMP12 even allows for streaming over the internet as a standard feature as long as you have a Windows Live ID.
 

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I have installed Win7 on one PC in my house but this PC doesn't have any TV tuners. My old HTPC, currently running XP MCE, is not used all that much so I may install Win7 and dual boot. But it would be hard for me to move away from Sage having just spent about C$1000 on four extenders. But I am also not sure if I want to move away one of my HD-PVRs right now as that would mean that I couldn't record as many HD shows at once.
 

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Ya I'm not suggesting moving away from Sage especially with the investment in the extenders but I think you might enjoy trying out the new features in Win7 along with Sage.
 

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Regarding digital audio on the HD-PVR - when I first set up the HD-PVRs the Hauppauge drivers did not support digital audio. Now they do but some of the folks using Sage think that using digital audio causes stability problems with the HD-PVR. I will try switching one of mine to digital to see how it goes. But this isn't a huge issue for me as the HD-PVRs are used primarily to record sports and movies. The digital audio doesn't matter that much in sports.
 

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Wayne, I'm using digital optical audio link between Motorola 6200 cablebox and Hauppauge HD-PVR and so far no problems at all. I don't use intelligent recording, though; I only record specific shows and so it isn't working overtime. The only problem I have had in months is the USB-UIRT setting in SageTV mysteriously reverting to a Hauppauge IR blaster but it's been stable for quite a while now.
 

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Good to know asd. Not everyone has problems with digital audio but some folks said they never had the HD-PVR crash until they switched to digital. I use firewire for channel changing on my HD-PVR boxes and haven't had issues with that - it seems the Hauppauge IR blasters can cause problems. But I do also use a USB-UIRT to change channels on my SD box/analog tuner card as this box does not have a firewire port.
 

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anyone have any experience using the hd pvr with shaw direct (starchoice), just wondering as i'm looking to switch and thinking of using the hauppauge instead of their 530 model pvr.
thanks
 

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It doesn't matter at all who your TV provider is; if you are using the IR blasters (as opposed to Firewire to change channels) then the setup and behavior of the HD-PVR is exactly the same regardless of the cable/satellite box.

Oh, and right now for me I wouldn't even think of getting rid of my Shaw dual tuner PVR and replace it with the HD-PVR and a regular HD cable box. I do get a few instances where the DVBLink software needs to be reset or the computer restarted becasuse something goes wrong. Two of my recordings got messed up yesterday because the IR blaster service stopped running and the HD-PVR wasn't able to change the channels on the cable box before it started to record.
 

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ok, thanks

i figured that was the case. i just heard there were lots of problems with the 530 pvr from shaw direct and thought the hauppauge could be a better solution in the meantime plus giving the added features of transferring to my htpc. (although it would probably be annoying to the wife)
 
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