One if the new features of Windows Media Center in Windows 7 is native support of DVB-S (digital satellite), with a DVB-S enabled tuner card and a satellite dish you can pickup hundreds of free channels using FreeSat (in the UK). In fact a nice feature is that you can have a hybrid tuner card that can pickup DVB-T services like Freeview and DVB-S channels at the same time.

As I don’t have a dish setup at home I haven’t been able to test it so Ashleigh (the ape on Twitter) sent me a video of FreeSat in action on his Media Center system. In the video you can see all the channels available, BBC HD and the multi-tuner setup. One thing I forgot to mention in the voiceover is that the little padlock symbols on the TV channels in the guide indicates an encrypted channel

The tuners used where two Pinnacle 7010ix tuners

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Clubhouse tags: clubhouse, media center, windows media center, how-to

12 thoughts on “Video: Freesat Running on Windows Media Center with Windows 7”
  1. I noticed alot of those channels where not ticked in the list and I think I read some as being sky channels, does it pick up every channel available over satelite even if you need a subscription to view it? just a curiousity really, would be nice to see a way of getting full integration of something like sky into media centre rather than having to use an external box.

  2. It does, but as Ian said, the ones with the padlocks next to them in the guide editor are the ones that need a CAM to decode. Which can also be done using the FloppyDTV stuff. Bit of a hassle to setup though as you need to ‘certify’ your Sky card every couple of months by putting it back into a Sky box overnight else it get’s disabled.

    That said it works perfectly for me, and there are more encrypted channels coming to Freeview all the time, most move as soon as their Guide contracts run out with Sky (was Channel 5’s issue at Freeview launch, but all sorted now).

    Quite a few of the channels that are seen on the Sky guide are actually broadcast in the clear.

    Biggest problem at the moment is the guide data, you will see in the video some channels have no data, or very little, that’s because if you can’t download it, then MCE has to pull it out of the broadcast MHEG stream, and some channels don’t broadcast more that a couple of hours worth.

  3. yes red button is supported.

    Looks like the support is already there really for sky, they could create there own tuner and add-on software quite easily but since sky is almost a monopoly they aren’t going to bother.

    are the colour codings in there by default?
    and itv hd is via red button so is that there by default?

  4. Great video. A lot of my questions have already been answered.

    Is it possible to record itv hd by default as it is a accessed via the red button?

  5. Just had a play with the Red Button under DVB-T seems OK. Couldn’t cope with the BBC multiscreen channel though. Anyone else had any luck with this one?

  6. I’ve just used BBC multiscreen fine on Vista with TV-Pack – will have to test on 7MC to see if its broke there.

  7. I have a 7010ix (W7b7000) as well, I have searched around but I can’t see how to make the HD channels visible.

    All the stuff I’ve found is on VMC and how to get it decoding h264, which W7b does well.

    Can someone point me in the right direction ?


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