Windows XP DVB Tuner Setup
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Unfortunately, digital tv tuners (DVB-T) all come with custom drivers so only work with the software they come with, generally. Furthermore, the tv recording and playback software is often rather poor, especially for most twinhan based cards.
Luckily there is a new standard called BDA (broadcast device architecture) and is similar to say DirectX in that it allows software to be designed to work with any BDA tv tuner. Of course for this to work you need to first find and download BDA drivers. It was made primarily for windows XP media centre edition, but luckily works fine with windows XP (except for the need to download the PVR software).
See manufactures websites for BDA drivers. Some of the more popular ones are listed below.
Installation of BDA drivers
First its is critical to UNINSTALL any existing tv tuner software you have on your computer. Then restart and download the BDA drivers. For the spectrum BDA drivers extract them to a folder.. Next go into control panel->system->device manager. There should be a 'capture device' and 'tuner device' with yellow question marks on them. Now for the tuner device, go to its properties and update the driver. Point to the folder where you've got the BDA drivers and install. Do the same for the capture device. Ignore any WHQL warnings. Note that for other BDA drivers (non spectrum), you probably won't need to do this, since they'll have automated driver installation. Restart and now we're ready to start installing HTPC programs.
Installing Mediaportal Software
This one does just about anything the windows media center edition does, you can tune it into tv + record, radio, manage music/video library. Quite a lot. To install first download the .net 2.0 first from: Microsoft Now install that. Next download mediaportal from SourceForge
Now install that. Easy! Then run the setup wizard, it should automatically find your tv tuner and scan channels for you. If found it was a bit buggy with tv playback by default. Goto options->configuration. Then click television. For video decoder, try the dscaler mpeg2 decoder. For the audio decoder, select 'mp3/ac3/dts/lpcm audio decoder'. Then click on the options for 'mp3/ac3/dts/lpcm audio decoder' And change the channels to match your speakers (eg for 2/2.1 speakers put it on stereo, no LFE, for 5.1 speakers set to '3 front + 2 rear' and LFE checked). If the video is messed up or freezing try changing the video decoder to another.
Installing WebScheduler PVR software
A simple, but good BDA based PVR for windows XP is webscheduler. It uses a web interface and allows easy recording of tv shows, and also has an EPG (electronic program guide). the program can be downloaded from http://www.digtv.no-ip.com/webscheduler/
1. download java runtime environment first.
2. download latest webscheduler
4. Run webscheduler, it should come up in your browser of choice (IE, Firefox, Opera etc).
Now before we can start recording we need to setup webscheduler. Go to system setup, then device setup. Now (fingers crossed), your tv tuner will be listed as avaliable to use, so 'select' it. Now back to system setup, then 'channel settings and go to 'scan channels'. Select country and region and go from there. If your town isn't listed, things get slightly trickier as you need to find the frequency, and PID/VID/AID for each channel. Then you'll need to add each channel by 'add custom'. Once your channels are setup, give everything a test by recording first a SD based channel for a minute or two. Try playing it back, and if that works do the same for a HD channel. Now you've got a working PVR. The EPG can be found in 'program guide'. You'll need to click 'reload data' before you view the EPG. With the EPG its just a matter of clicking programs you want to record, then 'add', and the program is added to the schedule, with + extra 5 minutes at star and 10 minutes at end.
Still confused ? / Need help ?
Give the author (David Hocking, snoop-wiggles) an email