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Setting up DVBLink on WHS

This is an overview of how to setup DVBLink on Windows Home Server allowing one to serve live TV to other devices on your network including UPNP Players, Windows Media Centre and Windows Media Player.

Setting up your hardware

Open device manager and see if your hardware has been detected.  In most cases you should see your hardware present but no drivers may be found for it.  You’ll have to locate the drivers either on CD with the tuner device or download them from the manufacturer’s website.

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I previously downloaded the drivers for my TechnoTrend USB 3600 from their site and pointed the installer to the files on my USB stick.  Simply follow the hardware installation wizard

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Now that we have hardware with working drivers in Device Manager we are ready to start with the Installation of DVBLink.

DVBLink – Installation

First download the two archives we need for the Installation on the Server and Client Computers.

Download DVBLink TVSource v2.0.0003 here:
http://www.dvblogic.com/download/DVBLink2/DVBLink2TVSource.zip

Download DVB Link Network Pack here:
http://www.dvblogic.com/download/DVBLink2/DVBLinkNetPack.zip

More information can be found in the following forum post:
 http://dvblogic.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=8923

Note: that this software is Beta but I didn’t run into any problems on Windows Home Server or Windows 7 Ultimate

From the DVBLink2TVSource.zip run DVBLinkServer.msi

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Follow the usual installation sequence using the defaults throughout:

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The installation requires the use of unsigned drivers that should present a warning and confirmation dialog.  Select Continue Anyway for all the dialog boxes that appear warning about the DVBLink Capture and Tuner drivers:

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Once DVBLink Server has been installed you will have to reboot before you can install TVSource.

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Back on the server install the DVBLinkNeworkPack.msi from the DVBLinkNetPack archive:

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Again go through the installation steps accepting the defaults:

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The final piece of software to install on Windows Home Server is DVBLinkTVSource.msi which is found in the DVBLinkTVSource archive.

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Again accept the defaults and the installation should be finished.

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DVBLink – Configuration

From the All Programs in the Start Menu find the DVBLink programs group and open DVBLink Server Configuration.

Select the source:

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Hit the green arrow button to add it to the list of available sources:

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Give it a name and click OK:

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Click on the ellipses for the TVSource to show the Configuration Window for the Tuner:

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Select the Inactive checkbox and then browse to Headends to select which satellite(s) are on this source:

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Next go to Scan tab and select the Scan button to start the scan:

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Scanning can take a while and it appears to run in reverse order of what is in the Transponder list on the left of the window.  Though it does give you an idea of when it is near completion.

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When the scan has completed click the OK button to save the channels found.  Next go to Server Configuration lower tab and add the channels from the source that you want to be able to view under Channel Selection:

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Here you simply select the channels you want from the left hand list and add them one at a time to the served channels list on the right hand side.  It would have been nice to be able to select multiple channels but as it’s a one time operation it’s bearable.  Note: unless you have a card reader and subscription you won’t be able to tune to encrypted channels (marked with a key).

Once you have added all the channels you wish to have, select the Channel Numbers tab to assign the channels numbers that you want to use for each channel selected previously:

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Select OK and you are done with the setup on the server.

DVBLink Client – Setup

On the client computer install the DVBLinkNetworkClient.msi found in the DVBLinkNetPack archive.  As per usual accept the default settings:

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Again you will be prompted to confirm that you want to install the drivers that are required for the installation:

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When completed you need to restart the client computer.

DVBLink Client – Configuration

In All Programs (Program Files) you should find a new group called DVBLink.  Select the DVBLink Client Configuration item

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The first time you run the tool you will be prompted to enter settings:

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Point the client to your server – leave the port settings as is – just change the address to the name of your Windows Home Server i.e. HPSERVER

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Open network connections and verify you have the DVBLink Server present:

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Checking DVBLink Server with Windows Media Player

Open up Windows Media Player and under Other Libraries you should see an entry for DVBLink TV Server within your Windows Home Server:

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Note: that the channels are listed under Recorded TV.  Double click on the channel of interest and then when the window pops up select the Play button:

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Setting Up Windows Media Centre 7

I must say at this point I’m a stranger to Windows Media Centre so if I’ve missed something or you have additional comments please feel free to add what you think is an improvement on this procedure.  This assumes you’ve never setup Windows Media Centre before on Windows 7.

Click Continue to start the setup:

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I found the Express Setup worked fine in this case:

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The next screenshots are of setting up Windows Media Centre with DVBLink Source/Server.  The dialog boxes are self explanatory:

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Leave Windows Media Centre open on Live TV (not sure if this is required or not – but that’s the way I did it) and if all is well then after a few minutes DVBLink should detect that Windows Media Centre has been setup to use the network tuners and the following screen should be shown:

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Select Yes to start the configuration.  One weakness with the DVBLink is there doesn’t seem a way to manually start this procedure other than restarting Windows Media Centre.

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A list of channels available on the  server should be shown:

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Select sorting by channel number.

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Select matching by channel name.

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and then hit Finish.

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Now you can go to live TV and watch TV shows on your computer:

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After all the hard work you deserve to relax in front of the box!

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One thing to bear in mind is that if you are on a weak wireless network connection it might show in the form of artefacts or stuttering when playing back.  I was using Gigabit Ethernet and didn’t come across such problems.  If you do have problems there are plenty of resources on the net for troubleshooting and increasing wireless network performance in general.

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  • Dean Cairns

    As I understand it, the guide mapping part should be carried out on the server not the client [EPG sources tab in server configuration]

  • Dean Cairns

    Also to run the client configuration program in 7MC, navigate to Extras > Extras Library and run DVBlink. Then select Synchronize channels.

  • http://twitter.com/hoberion hoberion

    I was wondering, if all is set up do you have the same experience as a local tuner in daily usage?

  • http://rbonini.wordpress.com Roberto

    What about a normal Freeview setup?? The above walkthrough concerns satellite sources.

  • http://nerd.me.uk David Cook

    Well this must be upto date as that episode of Silient Witness was only aired on Thursday :-).

    This is something for me to look at.

  • http://www.dvblogic.com DVBLogic

    Roberto,
    For Freeview setup you need to configure your DVB-T tuner in TVSource configuration instead of DVB-S (TT-3600) as shown above.

  • http://www.dvblogic.com DVBLogic

    In general you can greatly simplify you client side installation(s) by mapping channels to Guide services on the server side. You can do it in DVBLink Server Configuration utility on the last tab (EPG Sources). Just select “MC Guide Services” as EPG Source and do “Set EPG Source using channel name”. Once completed every client will pick up this Guide services mapping automatically in its channel sync wizard.
    There is a good manual for setting up DVBLink at thedigitallifestyle.com with comments from Garry [WMA]:
    http://thedigitallifestyle.com/cs/blogs/garry/archive/2010/01/18/dvblink-v2-instructions-posted.aspx

  • Wolf

    How do I register the edition in the link above? It dosn’t generate a hardware fingerprint.

  • http://www.dvblogic.com DVBLogic

    v2 is currently in beta. You will be able to register as soon as it is released. The release is expected within 2-3 weeks time.

  • XXL

    Wow this is something I hadn’t even considered when building my home server but as there is a unused satellite dish outside my house i’m thinking this could be a good way to get freesat hd around the house… Is the HD stream playable on a ps3?

  • http://www.dvblogic.com DVBLogic

    Yes, it is playable on PS3

  • Wilko

    This looks and sounds GREAT!! Does anyone have any experience using dvblogic on a HP MSS (Ex470) type host? Is it CPU/memory hungry on the WHS or is that still the roll of the MCE?

  • http://albal21.wordpress.com Al West

    This review was based on my experience installing and using DVBLink on an EX470. The EX470 handles one HD stream without problems – I didn’t test or make a note of resource use.

  • http://www.windows7news.com everton

    Hi

    Great guide. A few questions.

    (i) Can I use DVBlink to setup multiple TV cards so I can pause and rewind, record one show/watch another etc?
    (ii) what happens if two clients try to use the same TV card? and one then tries to change the channel?

    Thanks

    EB

  • Wilko

    OK testing has started as I managed to borrow a friends Pinnacle 73e Nano Stick. But I’ve hit a stumbling block already… when I launch DVBLink Server Configuration on my WHS I don’t get a TVsource or anyway of adding one. Should that be there? I have the driver for the USB device installed – could it just not be supported? Or is there a way of adding the TVsource template??

    Thanks

  • http://albal21.wordpress.com Al West

    The forum for DVBlink can be found at:
    http://dvblogic.com/phpBB3/index.php

    You should find the answers you need there. Good luck.

  • Dan

    I’ve followed all the steps above successfully with a WHS containing a Nova-T 500 twin DVB-T tuner, linked to a Win7 Media Center client.

    However, when I try to record, it does nothing. It shows ‘this program will be recorded’, but then nothing happens.

    Has anyone encountered this? Any suggestions?

  • http://www.krakli.com Ian Webster

    I will shortly be installing TV souce and the Network link software, but I have a choice of where to install the tuners and the software.
    I already have a Self-Build Windows Home server setup with an AMD 3200 64 chip and 1.5gb of ram or I could install them on a windows 7 box which is running on an AMD 3000 64 Chip with 2gb Ram. The windows 7 box has a slight advantage of having more PCI slots (Currently I have a Hauppauge Nova S2 tuner and a Kworld cheapy DVB-S tuner from maplins. These will shortly be joined by a Pinnacle 7010ix)
    Either way the content will be stored on the WHS box.
    So the question is : is it better to spread the load, as it were, with the Win 7 box used solely for providing the Tuners to the DVBlink setup or in your experience is the WHS server going to be sufficient to cope.

  • http://www.cairnsholidaydeals.com/ Cairns Holiday Deals

    I had the same issue as Dan. Followed all the instructions but no joy when it came to recording. I’ll try again and update if I have more success this time around.

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