In a perfect world you’d just plug in your TV tuner card or stick, install any necessary drivers and quickly start watching television through your PC. In reality, not all tuner cards will play ball – particularly when it comes to Windows Media Center.
DVBLink TVSource works with a wide array of TV tuner cards – basically anything with standard Broadcast Driver Architecture (BDA) drivers – to make them fully compatible with Windows Media Center in Windows Vista and 7. It doesn’t matter whether your card is analogue, digital, satellite or cable, chances are that DVBLink TV Source will enable you to get it working properly in Windows Media Center.
The software also bundles DVBLink Connect! Server, which is an optional component. Leave this selected during the install process, and you'll be able to stream your TV signal to other computers and devices on your network - you'll even be able to control the TV directly from those devices if you wish.
Once installed and set up, not only will your card be visible to Windows Media Center, but you’ll also enjoy better flexibility with channel selection, names and setting up the Electronic Programme Guide to your exact requirements.
It’s not the most straightforward of installations and configurations – thankfully a comprehensive online wiki provides all the information you need. Follow it through and your TV tuner card will soon be singing from the same hymn sheet as Windows Media Center.
Once Windows Media Center has been configured, you can then look into streaming its signal to other devices on your network - considering the number of hoops you have to jump through in order to get it working in the first place, it's gratifying that the extra effort required is minimal, particularly on mobile devices.
The trial version will expire after 20 days, after which the software costs €21 (plus tax) to register for TVSource on its own, or around €38 (plus tax) if you want to use the Connect! Server package too.
Version 4.0 adds support for ATSC cards alongside DVB-S/S2, DVB-C and DVB-T/T2 cards.