Building the fully intergrated SKY HD media center PC

bod

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It is now possible to get your complete satellite lineup, along with the complete guide data and paid channels within media center, without usind DVBViewer - saving the overhead of running DVBviewer in the background.

Im writing this from the perspective of sky HD, as that is what my setup is built on, but you can easilly adapt this to another provider, as long as you have the relivent transponder details etc. Im not going to go through every stage either, you will need to read the setup guides of any programs i reference.

Its taken me several months to get this system working so smooth, so i hope this helps someone!

firstly, its based on a clean install of windows 7 ultimate, which has the latest drivers for all the hardware, and very importantly User Account Control MUST be OFF.

next item i installed is DVBlink TVsource. this relatively new program is what provides your satellite signals into media center. by passing through this software layer, decryption can be done, among other things.

Once DVBlink is installed, you can go into the DVBlink Server tool, and set up a new "source" for each of your installed tuner cards. scan for channels on these, and delete the ones you dont want (this makes life easier later, if the tuner's channel list only has the ones you actually want) before running a channel scan you will need to set the provider/satellite details - for sky you want the Astra 2A, B, D Eurobird 28.2E

if you have more than one card that can recieve identical channels, simply set up one card, then in the settings of the next ones, click "import" and choose your already configured card to import all the settings from. done.

for me, this ment setting up my DVB-S2 card with the full skyHD lineup (minus shopping channels etc) then mirroring this to my first DVB-S card, deleting the HD channels after (for the DVB-S card only) and then mirroring the DVB-S card to the second DVB-S card - i have 3 tuners for satellite.

once your happy with the tuners, i suggest you install EPG Collector too, which will allow you to scrape guide listings from the satellite and produce an XML file which can then be automatically processed using DVBlink. you can scrape the satellite as often as you like, but remember that it will always download the full 14 day guide for all the channels, which can take a minute or two, and while its running, whatever tuner you tell it to use wont be available for viewing or recording TV. once set up, you simply set up an XMLTV source in DVBlink, pointing at the folder were EPG Collector dumps its output.



you then need to go into the server settings tab, where you firstly choose which channels on which tuners are actually available for use. if you did as i reccomended eariler and deleted unwanted channels from the tuners directly, then you can simply select each tuner and click the green arrow, to select everything.

the next tab is only necessary if you have more than one tuner - it allows you to merge the channels, so you get one entry in the guide, but multiple possible tuners where the channel can be pulled from... if all your tuners are the same type, automatically merging by name should work, otherwise you might have to tweak it by hand (if you have freeview and satellite for instance).

the next tab along is where you can configure your channel numbering, i spent quite a bit of time here using the wiki article List of channels on Sky - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to give each channel its real sky channel number... i guess thats just perfectionism, and you dont actually have to number them at all if you dont want, but then they will appear pretty randomly. you can also enable childlock here, which allows you to protect selected channels by PIN.

finally, the last tab lets you match guide data to the channels. If you have chosen to use the XMLTV taken from the satellite (which i highly reccomend - it gives data for EVERY channel on sky) then all you need to do is choose your XMLTV source on the right, and choose match by name (because they are garaunteed to be named right). if you have chosen to use microsoft sourced data, it will take some matching up, and you wont find data for everything!

once your done here, click OK - thats the back end of the system set up (minus paid tv, i'll do that in a minute)

next, you need to open media center, and run through the TV set up. it doesnt really matter what guide settings you choose as long as you agree to the terms, as DVBlink injects its stuff anyway. media center cant automatically find your tuners, so you will need to manually set it up when prompted, and choose all 4 DVBlink tuners. You will then be guided through to finish the TV set up.

Do not go into the TV guide, go into the extras menu, into the DVBlink option, and choose to SYNC CHANNELS. once this has completed, you'll get a pop up telling you which tuners have been added, and how many channels each has got.

thats media center done, it will take a few minutes for the guide to populate, but then you should be able to see data on every channel, and all the free channels will now work.

quick tip on the guide - the XMLTV source from the satellite actually catagorises everything, so if you turn on catagory colours (under guide settings) you will have a rather colourful guide which highlights different types of show with unique colours.

finally, we need to browse to the programs directory on the hard disk, and find DVBlogic, then TVsource2. inside there, you will find a Sources folder - each source will have a Plugins directory. in here we need to place the settings and dll file for a softcam - i currently use AcamD but in the past used hadu. either way, you simply paste the files in, open the config and add the C-Line details from your provider, reboot the machine and you should be able to view all your paid channels! (remember, each tv tuner has its own plugins, and MUST have a seperate C-Line)

so thats basically it, my current HTPC system running on windows media center. im happy to answer questions, and help anyone else trying to achieve something similar.

i'm also happy to give out copies of EPG Collector, as afaik its free software. DVBlink TVsource is paid, but has a 30 day trial available.

pls. sticky
 

CrazyFool

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nice one mate
i was going to try and make myself one a few months ago before my time became extremely occupied.

would have cost me 250 including hard drive and everything for an intel atom PC.
 

andys328781

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I'm supprised this is quite quiet as windows 7 media centre's have moved on alot.

I have a media centre server which supplies 5 media centre clients and 1 xbox as an extender running both Satellite and freeview on FTA and a local supplier subscription TV.

Just wondering if their is anybody else out there happily running media centre's
 

DazzaS

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This may be a perfect thread for me. All I want to do is get my Sky HD subscription into W7 MCE. I was told I needed a Dreambox and DVBLogic software. Do I just need an S2 tuner card? Any help appreciated.
 

andys328781

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Yes... Good value card is the technotrend TT Budget (PCI) depending on what slots you have available to what cards you need lot of the new boards are PCIE, Black Gold do a very nice dual sat/terrestial card which means you would get 4 channels which means you could watch one and record 3 other channels at the same time (Including HD)
 
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