Why DVBLink is not just about network tuners

Jason’s post really sums up the excitement over DVBLogic’s DVBLink’s network ability but for me its not just the networking that is significant. Even without the network tuners the DVBLink TVSource enables quite a few scenarios:

1, Tuner that cannot be set up in Media-Center work – for example a friend in Denmark has a Pinnacle Quad tuner that supports DVB-C. (cable), DVB-T (over the air) and DVB-S (Satellite).  In Media Center only the DVB-T ever worked and then poorly only bringing in about 40% of his available channels. Using DVBLink he was not only able to pick up all his channels on DVB-T but also get DVB-S and DVB-C working – the latter was really exciting to him as he has quite a few free-to-air channels.

2, More than Media Center’s limit of 4 DVB-Tuners – because DVBLink maps all its sources to DVB-S you can  use these in addition to inbuilt DVB-T sources. Someone else I know, prior to the advent of the network ability, had an issue. He had 5 TV’s in his house with 1 master PC fitted with 4 tuners and 4 extenders, It was common for 4 screens to be watching different live shows and to run out of tuners avaialble for recordings. Using DVBLink he was able to add another 4 DVB-T tuners and map them as DVB-S tuners thus getting round the 4 tuner limit in Media Center.

3, CAM support. In Europe it is quite normal for TV’s to be sold with CAM (Conditional Access Module) slots and for content providers (satellite or cable) to sell the owners a CAM and a viewing card for them to plug straight  in and begin viewing. Some Tuners for Media Center also have CAM slots and few are actually supported out of the box. DVBLink supports a lot more ot of the box and more are being added with each release. The plugin support in DVBLink makes this very flexible.

4, Support for HD HomeRun DVB-C – the HD-HomeRun sold in europe has tuner’s that can tune DVB-T and DVB-C but the DVB-C support has been limited. The HD-HomeRun software maps the DVB-C source as DVB-T tuners for Media Center. Because the DVB-T scanning is limited to the predefined DVB-T multiplex range, Media Center is not able to pick up the full range of HD-HomeRun DVB-C channels. DVBLink resolves this and fully maps all of the DVB-C channels the HD-HomeRun can find.

5,  DVBLink also supports IPTV sources where available and as this works with RTSP streams can be used to consume the feeds of say network cameras as another channel in Media Center.

6, Although not supported in the network version yet there is a DVBLink for the Hauppauge HD-PVR which allows the analogue hole to be exploited to get virtually any source with component out into Media Center

These are just some of the scenarios I have come across and I am sure there are many more. So whilst the network tuners are truly worth being excited about there is more to DVBLink than just them.

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