Update: HD PVR for Windows Media Center
We were lucky enough to get early access to a forthcoming updated beta driver, 1.0.28188, from Hauppauge for their HD PVR support for Windows Media Center. Normally we would update our original Preview: HD PVR for Windows Media Center and leave a comment or two about what was new—that would not do it justice.
So what is new? Honestly not much. Before you question my sanity let me explain. The currently available beta driver, 1.0.28171, is fairly stable and works as intended. For those that are already using the beta, there simply isn't much to add.
What they did add is huge for those hesitant to try the beta, in particular they have 1- added support for external blaster applications; 2- added the ability to toggle whether channel changing stops the encoder and flushes the internal queues or not to.
I am a 64-bit fanboy, but for those using 32-bit versions of Windows 7 this means you can continue using firewire channel changing via Tim M. Moore's FireSTB or any command line based channel changing method you currently use with DVBLink.
For those sticking with the internal HD PVR blaster, you can optionally choose to continuing using it in addition to an external blaster application. This can help troubleshoot any channel changing issues that may occur by logging channel change requests.
For existing beta users there are a couple of fixes and new options. The most prominent being the ability to toggle whether channel changing stops the encoder and flushes the internal queues or not to. What does this mean? By default the drivers will stop encoding when changing channels, this can cause a delay in Windows Media Center and consequently the dreaded low signal error. You now have the option to turn that off.
On a negative note, the external blaster application is currently only available via manually editing the various registry settings. If that isn't improved by the public release I will provide an easy tool to configure the various settings.
There are a few other settings available so I urge you to read the upcoming release notes in detail. If you have any questions please let me know.
A big kudos to the Hauppauge team working on the HD PVR for Windows Media Center support. It is clear that they are listening to feedback and making progress towards an official Windows Media Center driver.
I've gotten the OK from Hauppauge to share the change log. Please note that it is subject to change.