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Enable unlimited number of tuners in Windows 7 Media Center (with Big Screen EPG)

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This feature has been often requested by Windows 7 users (who want to configure more than 4 tuners in Media Center) – and although I figured this out a while back (during Beta2) – I wasn’t allowed to reveal/share how this was actually done.

Since the cat’s now finally out of the bag – I’m happy to finally be able to reveal the ability to do this has actually been built into Big Screen EPG for probably 1.5 years now – since v0.2beta (and I previously couldn’t reveal it due to it being a secret – but given this other tool has now been released – it’s no longer the case).

I’ve been personally using 6 x DVB-T tuners on my own system for a while now – and although it was a little flakey in the past (with some tuners having signal strength issues – probably due to my booster/splitter not being good enough) – the June/July Cumulative updates seem to have stabilized it somewhat.

To utilize this feature – you need to have v0.2beta (ie. Feb 2009 release or later) of Big Screen EPG (v1.0b final is latest version) – and do the following –

  1. Install all the tuners you wish to use on Windows 7 (so drivers etc are installed in Device Manager).
  2. Do an initial Live TV Setup in Media Center so the country defaults are loaded in (so go to at least the point where you start scanning for stations – and you can stop the scan straight away if you want).  Don’t setup any epg’s etc at this point – it’s just important that the database is initialized.
  3. Open a command prompt (preferably run as administrator).
  4. change to the Big Screen EPG Install Directory :
    ie. ‘cd %Program Files%Big ScreenEpg’
  5. Run the bsetool.exe using the –pimptuner command line option (as follows ) :

    Syntax : bsetool.exe –pimptuner:<numberoftuners>:<vss-locale>

    ie.    To Enable up to 32 tuners for Australia (locale = ‘vss-au’)

    bsetool.exe –pimptuner:16:vss-au


    Note: For other countries – find out the correct iso country code and insert it there –


    vss-gb : UK
    vss-nz : New Zealand
    vss-no : Norway
    vss-de : Germany
    vss-dk : Denmark
    vss-ca : Canada

    Note that for the USA – it’s a little different and I think you can just use ‘vss’ by itself (although doing same command line with ‘vss-us’ won’t hurt either).

  6. Now go back into Windows 7 Media Center and run the live tv setup again (run the setup tv signal so it wipes your existing configuration) – and presto – all your additional tuners will be available in the list (where normally it would only show you the first 4 tuners at most in the past).

That’s it – enjoy – and now there’s absolutely no reason not to upgrade to Windows 7 Media Center (I know a bunch of you were sticking with MCE2005 and Vista RTM for this reason)…



Written by mobilewares

August 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Posted in Windows 7

One Response

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