Recently I have been reviewing Windows Media Center remote apps, so far I have reviewed Media Buddy for Windows Phone and Smart Potato for Windows Phone which are Windows Media Center remote control and streaming app. In this post I thought I would take a look at DVBLink from DVBlogic. DVBLink is a lot more than a streaming app, its a whole TV platform so in this review I am just going to focus on the Windows Phone app.
Before you can use any of the DVBLink client you need DVBLink setting up and configuring on the Media Center PC which you can read more about that here. The Windows Phone app has two main features, streaming and EPG management.
With the EPG features you can browse all the channels you have previously setup in DVBLink. You can browse whats on and upcoming shows, I found I could view 7 days worth of EPG Data. You can view the show metadata and set the show to record or enable a series record. You can then go to the scheduled recordings section and see upcoming recordings and from there you can cancel a recording or cancel an entire series. You can also add manual recordings.
The best features of DVBLink is its live TV streaming, this is where if differs from other remote apps. You can browse the list of channels and then stream live TV to the phone, the Bitrate can be adjusted rom 400kb/s up to 2000kb/s. I found at 1000kb/s the quality was excellent making great use of the HTC HD7’s large screen, this makes the Windows Phone a great extender for watching live TV on and the video quality is really good. Once feature that is missing is watching recorded TV which is a shame (maybe I missed how this could be done)
If you setup port forwarding on your router you can use DVBLink to stream live TV over the internet, great for watching live events like the F1 and with the adjustable bitrate you can set it to suite your connection speed. One issue I did find and this problem happened on the other Windows Phone apps is that if phone goes in to standby then you turn it back on the phone will display a connection error and you have to reconnect to the server, I guess this is a problem with the way Windows Phone apps resume as I didn’t have the same problem with the iPhone app. The other issue with the Windows Phone app is you can only have it paired with one DVBlink server at any one time, so if you have more than one server in the home you have to manually change the IP address, where as iOS app has the option for multiple servers.
I love that DVBLogic have gone with the metro style UI and not just tried to replicate the iOS version, it looks really good and as I said earlier it makes great use of Windows Phone screen.
The quality of the live TV is excellent and getting it setup on the phone is easy, if you have a Windows Phone and Windows Media Center this is a great way of watching TV over the network or the internet. You need DVBLink Connect! Server installed for it to work and there is a free trial version available if you want to give it a try.
Browsing the EPG
Streaming live TV to the phone
Quickly navigating the list of channels
Cancelling a recording
Browsing 7 days of EPG data.