PVR+ Alex 2002


Use at your own risk, I make no guarantees whatsoever!

What Is it?

PVR+ is a program designed to be used with a Dazzle DVCII MPEG capture card. It is a simulated PVR and will record (and in due course) playback.

It allows the recording of timed captures similar to TWNH but much more!!!

If you live in the uk and use Digiguide tv listing service, then you can download the digiguide addin which allows PVR+ to interface with Digiguide.

Should be easliy adaptable to interface to other electronic TV listing guides, if you require.

NOTE: The current beta version is time-limited.  Keep checking back to the webpage for updates.




What Do I Need?

Dazzle DVCII card (of course!)

Installed Moviestar software (recommend 4.24 or later) [this MIGHT change in future]

Mediamatics DVD player installed (others will do) for playback on PC

OPTIONAL - Digiguide Software free limited version at

How Do I Install?

Unzip the archive to a temporary directory. Copy the 2 OCX files supplied to your "Windows/System32" directory. Place your PVR+.exe file wherever you want. Id suggest making a directory in "Program Files" and having a shortcut in your Startup and maybe on your Desktop. Copy the Digiguide addin file to your Digiguide directory and re-start Digiguide. Now you will have extra options when you right click on a program.

Alternatively, and much easier, run the setup file which does all the work for you and will also provide you with a convenient uninstall option.  Disadvantage of this method is that you must have the Microsoft Installer application on your PC (this is the installer that Office 2k and all the recent MS apps use).

How Do I Configure

When you first load the program it will complain about needing to configure it, so go to menus, File | Options.


Default Recording Template

This is the template that the program will use if you don't explicitly state a template.  Primarily used for the Digiguide addin, but also useful in the 'Add Schedule' option to save you always selecting the same template over and over, as the program selects the 'Default Template' automatically.

Default Start Buffer

This is the number of minutes BEFORE a schedule program start time that PVR+ will begin its recording.  e.g. If your TV program has a start time of 21:00, and you have a Default Start Buffer of 3, then PVR+ will actually start recording at 20:57.

Default End Buffer

This is the number of minutes AFTER a schedule program end time that PVR+ will stop its recording.  e.g. If your TV program has an end time of 22:00, and you have a Default End Buffer of 2, then PVR+ will actually stop its recording at 22:02.


Provides a live preview of the current program during the recording progress.  This can be viewed from the 'Preview' tab within the main application window.


Provides a live audio feed during recording events.

Minimize to SystemTray

This setting places an icon for PVR+ into the Windows systemtray area instead of the usual taskbar area.  Can be very useful if you leave PVR+ running on your system for unattended recordings.

Start in System Tray

This options starts the PVR+ application in the minimized to system tray mode.  Very useful if you have PVR+ autoomatically load at system start-up time.

Expert Mode

No confirmations will be required when deleting items from the program schedule, useful is you want to delete many items as it will save always having to hit the 'OK' button.

Auto Load Schedule

This option automatically checks for changes to the schedule file, and if found, it will reload the schedules and check for the next program to be recorded.  The alternative to this is to use the 'reload schedule file' option from the file menu, or to close and re-load the application.  The automatic check occurs every 30 seconds.

Split by NONE

This option captures the recording into one large file.

Split by Size

This option allows you to enter a size in Mb at which point the PVR+ program will automatically create a new file.  PVR+ also will automatically number your recording files so that you always have unique filenames.

Split by Time

This option allows you to enter a time in Minutes at which point the PVR+ program will automatically create a new file.  PVR+ also will automatically number your recording files so that you always have unique filenames.

Templates to display in Digiguide addin (OPTIONAL)

This is only relevant if you are using the digiguide program addin.  Select the templates you want to be directly available from within Digiguide by clicking the right mouse button.  No need to go mad here, the absolute maximum is 8, but experience will show that no more than 4 or so will ever be needed. E.g. VCD, SVCD, DVD(Mpeg-2), DEFAULT Template.

Schedule File

This is the file that the digiguide addin will write to, and is also the file that PVR+ will try and load as the schedule file (more on the file format later).  You can use the Browse button to start browsing for a particular file that already exists, or merely to find a relevant directory path if you are then going to type in the filename manually.

FileName Format

This feature provides great power in naming the output files that PVR+ creates.  The various variable names that are accessible are displayed below the entry box.  A variable name must be enclosed with % characters.  Each variable name may be utilised more than once within the filename string.  An example would be :


In the above example, you can see that the output filestring uses %startdate% twice.  Once to specify a subdirectory, and once as part of the filename itself.

Illegal filecharacters are removed automatically from this string, so you will be unable to use characters such as " or ' or / within your filename.

VideoSource (Only available during LivePreview, or recording)

This allows you to select from either the composite input or the s-video input.

VideoSuperStandard (Only available during LivePreview, or recording)

This allows you to select between the Dazzle DVC's settings for NTSC files, or PAL files.

Brightness etc (Only available during LivePreview, or recording)

These settings allow you to alter the picture settings for the relevant NTSC or PAL settings.


How Do I Add Recordings

Two ways:

Firstly and most simply, right click on a TV program in Digiguide and select the template you want to record the program in. Then either pop back to PVR+ and click Re-load schedule in the File menu, or if you have the 'AutoLoadSchedule' item selected in options, just sit back and wait a few seconds for your new additions to appear in the schedule window.


Secondly you can click on the green '+' icon just underneath the schedule list window.  This brings up a new window into which you have to enter several items.  The date(this defaults to the current date), the starttime in 24hr clock format(this defaults to the current time), the duration or length of the recording in minutes(this defaults to 60 minutes), the channel name(this can be freeform text, or selected from one of the existing channelnames from the program schedules by using the drop down option), the channelnumber (if a pre-existing channelname has already been selected, then this field should be automatically completed with the relevant channel number, otherwise you can type in a particular channel number if you need to), the programmename (this must be at least 2 characters), and finally the template to use for recording (this defaults to the DEFAULT template).



On the main schedule tab, as you would expect, is the program schedule that PVR+ has been programmed with.  The program highlighted in RED on the schedule is the next program in the queue.  It is also listed in the status bar at the bottom of the application, together with a coundown timer of how long is remaining before PVR+ will start recording.

Any items in BLUE on the schedule listing have time clashes.  Currently PVR+ will just start recording the first program to occur, and when finished, if there is any time remaining on the overlapping programme, it will start recording that next.  This feature is currently more for your information than any automatic processing.  Also, if you click on one of the blue items and hover the mouse pointer over it, PVR+ will pop up a text box telling you which program/channel it is clashing with.  This is useful if there is a big block of adjacent items all next to each otehr which are all coloured blue.  NB: The clash check only occurs with programs which have not yet been recorded, i.e. they occur in the future.

Program details

At the bottom of the schedule window is a small details pane, which shows program specific data for the currently select program.  If the program selected occurs in the future, then you have the ability to change several of the programs attributes, Template, Start Buffer, End Buffer, FileName.  If you change one of these and want to revert back to the system default for this item then just delete all the text in the field, and press enter.

Preview Window

The preview window is where you will view any recordings that take place (if you have the 'preview while recording' option turned on in the Option screen).  It can also be used to view a live version of the current video stream by selecting the relevant item from the menus, View | Live Preview.  A 'Live Preview' can only be viewed if PVR+ is currently idle and not recording or playing back any item.

The PreviewWindow is normally 'docked' to the main PVR+ application in the bottom right hand corner, but it may be 'undocked' and detached from the PVR+ application using the relevant menu item, View | Preview Locked to Main Form.  When this option is deselected, the preview window then acts like any normal Window, i.e. it can be moved and resized independently.  To redock it to the PVR+ application, either reselect the menu item from the PVR+ menu, or click on the 'X' button on the preview window.


What Is In the "To Do" List

In no specific order:

IMPORTANT!!!!!!! If you have any suggestions please visit the webpage or email



For Developers

No, the code will not be published but we are keen to involve developers. There is no reason why interfaces could not be written to use other TV listings services and for that reason we publish the format we use for the schedule file.  Click on the link below to see an example schedule file, the first program has the basic mandatory fields, and the second program has more custom fields being used.

Sample Schedule File