Managing DVBLink IPTV channels

I’ve been using DVBLink 3.1 for IPTV and Server Network Pack for a week or two now. It is a software that makes IPTV stream available to various clients, Windows Media Center among of them. It works very well with my IPTV provider SIOL (note the SIOL’s IPTV service quality is crap nevertheless) and thus I am quite happy.

While it streams fine DVBLink for IPTV’s UI is a very ascetic one. Very. Imagine having 165 channels and you have to sort them by entering a number for any of them. Horrible, just horrible. Furthermore adding or modifying channels is not easy either if not impossible (luckily channel import works).

And hence here is the first step to the UI solution: Righthand’s DVBLink Editor v1.0.0. It is an application that will let you sort all those channels easily.

editor in action

First you have to load the channels configuration file (application will try to locate it and load automatically upon the start) if it isn’t loaded yet – no channels are listed and no file name is present in the config file editor. Click on […] or enter its full path manually and then hit Load button to load the content. Configuration file is named DVBLinkChannelStorage.xml and is usually found in [Program Files]\DVBLogic\DVBLink2 folder.

Once channels configuration is loaded you can order them. But before sorting the channels make sure grid sorts them by number (default) and they have unique numbers. Reorder button will assign them unique numbers while preserving the original sort order if any (it sorts by exisiting number and then by name). Basically Reorder button is a big friend of yours. Once you have them sorted you can change their order.

You can change channels order in various ways:

  • by rotating mouse wheel while holding Shift key
  • by pressing up or down key while holding Shift key
  • by entering the number directly – the two channels will swap position

Once you’ve done with ordering you have to save the changes by clicking on Save button. By default Stop service checkbox is checked which means that editor will try to stop DVBLink Server service before saving and it will restart it (only if it was running before) afterwards. When unchecked no service will be touched. If you wonder why a service restart is necessary, there is a simple explanation: DVBLink Server won’t pick changes otherwise.

System requirements

.net 4.0 (you will be prompted to downloaded and install it if it is not installed yet on your OS).

Possible problem

DVBLogic stores configuration file under Program Files folder which is a very problematic practice. Due to the security concerns no writable configuration file should be placed in there. Period. Furthermore you’ll need administrator privileges to change the file in question.

Happy sorting and keep an eye on this blog for further improvements to the Righthand’s DVBLink Editor! Feedback is appreciated.

Find the application here.

Surfing the Croatia

If you are an Internet addict and can’t live without it even on vacation in Croatia then here is a cheap solution. Forget about roaming because it is insanely expensive (the stupid discussions in EU were all about SMS prices, not a word on data connection prices, though it wouldn’t matter in Croatia anyway). Luckily there is VIP mobile provider which offers prepaid data plans which are not expensive at all – compared to roaming that is. Here is what you need:

1. Check VIP coverage of the are you are going – coverage map. I was on the “edge” of HSDPA – thus I had to use Edge.

2. Next, find a VIP points of sale for VIP broadband SIM card. It should list Vipme under offers I think. Note: not all points of sales have those, specially smaller ones.

3. When in Croatia, find selected point of sale and buy a Vipme broadband box (SIM card only – 20 HRK*) or Vipme Broadband USB stick (149 HRK) if you have a laptop. Since I have a WiFi tethering enabled Android Samsung Galaxy S phone I went with former. 20 HRK were automatically added to my account as well.

4. The default data price is 1 MB/1 HRK which is still expensive. That’s why you should go with options:

  • 50 MB/25 HRK
  • 300 MB/91 HRK
  • 1 GB/191 HRK

5. Once you’ve picked an option that suits you (I went with 300MB/91 HRK which I’ve planned to consume in 10 days) you have to buy enough coupons. In my case I had to buy a coupon for 100 HRK. Perhaps I could buy 20 less but I wanted to be on the safe side. Note that an option is valid for 30 days or something like that, not sure about coupons.

6. Put the SIM into the phone and create an APN**: data.vip.hr. Here I had some problems with my phone, finally I’ve found a working combination – add APN, save it, restart the phone. Not sure what went wrong though, I just played with restarts and APNs until it started working.

7. Open internet browser and go to http://vipmevmc.vipnet.hr (remember that you are using 1 MB/1 HRK at this point). Enter you coupon code, so 100 HRKs are added to the account. Activate the 300MB option (or whicever you want) through the website as well. After I’ve confirmed my option I was notified that the option is going to be enabled within a working day, but in reallity it was activated in an hour or less.

8. That’s it. I was fully internet connected at this point. Then I enabled Mobile AP feature of my Samsung Galaxy S which does tethering over WiFi - Saša’s iPhone and laptops were connected without any problem through WiFi.

Happy surfing in Croatia

* HRK to EUR converter (other currencies supported)

** Full APN specs:

Name: Internet
APN: data.vip.hr
Proxy: 212.91.99.91
Port: 8080
Username: not set
Password: not set
Server: not set
MMSC: not set
MMSC proxy: not set
MMS port: not set
MMC: 219
MNC: 10
APN type: Internet
Authentification Type: None