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Recommend Hardware

Added by Adam Sutton about 7 years ago

I've created a wiki page DVBCards to make a note about known working cards, and peoples general thoughts etc...

So far it only include TBS6981 as that's what I use, but hopefuly we'll add stuff over time.

If you provide a post here about a card that you like/dislike reasons why etc... Any pointers on getting it working, that sort of thing. I'll try and move stuff over to the wiki.

Regards
Adam


Replies (153)

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Craig Sutherland over 3 years ago

After a long love hate relationship with a TBS-MOI-S2, I have a really stable rig consisting of

Megasat 2 (SAT>IP) box mounted in a weather proof gland box on the roof, connected over TP-LINK Power to Ethernet converters, to TVHeadend (Jessie) running on a dedicated Raspberry Pi 3, running 4.0.95.

Then Kodi clients on Openelec 6.0.3 also on Raspberry Pi.

The trick to making the Megasat 2 happy was ensure "Disable device-/firmware-specific workarounds:" is ticked. If you don't do this you will get no free adapter messages and TVH refuses to tune channels.

I'm tempted to try 4.1 but it seems so stable, I'm reluctant to move.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by cab guy about 3 years ago

wondered if anyone had tried these cheapo little things http://www.gearbest.com/networking-communication/pp_275300.html £20 is cheap

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson about 3 years ago

I guess a plain vanilla USB tuner is cheaper still, unless you absolutely need to plug it into an android phone?

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Maury Markowitz almost 3 years ago

It looks like kWorld is out of the tuner business. Their Japanese and English websites only list some headphones now.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Deli Vereath over 2 years ago

I'm looking for a DVB-S2 -> IPTV setup using 2x quattro LNB + multiswitch. I would like to serve 6 simultaneous users and would need transcoding. And recommendation of a power efficient setup ? I don't want to have a 140W Xeon doing software transcoding.

Any chance to have a dual USB DVB-S2 tuner and Raspberry 3 doing live h264 transcoding on HD channels ?

Otherwise, should I go for a x86 setup with GPU transcoding ?

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Jan Kowalski over 2 years ago

At this time the best USB dongle is Geniatech T230 which you can buy on ebay for couple bucks. Is working with DVB-C/T/S with new LibreELEC 8.0

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Deli Vereath over 2 years ago

I'm looking for a DVB-S2 tuner not DVB-C/T.

Has anyone tested Geniatech X9320 ? Quite cheap for a 4 tuner DVB-S2 pci-e : goo.gl/GLXjxW

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by T C over 2 years ago

Jan Kowalski wrote:

At this time the best USB dongle is Geniatech T230 which you can buy on ebay for couple bucks.

But watch out to not get the new T230 C

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Jan Kowalski over 2 years ago

T C wrote:

But watch out to not get the new T230 C

I have T230C and working very good :) drivers for this T230C are included in new Libreelec 8.0

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by HoRhE HoRhE over 2 years ago

Im interested in hardware but from CPU (PC) point of view:

What PC CPU should I get to receive (operate the receiver DVB-S2 or DVB-T), transcode to H.264 low bitrate and stream
through internet or record to HD different number of channels ?

I going to shop for CPU and memory...can somebody tell me what an Intel i3,i5 etc can do in the above terms ?
What about memory ?

Lets say I want to handle 10 SD and 5 HD DVB-T and as much HD DVB-S2 I can get at the same time with a dual DVB-S2 card
Forget the DVB cards...what (minimum) CPU should I get ?

Another question DVB related I dont know if it can be answered here (all cards will be handled by tvheadend so its related somehow):
From experience with a Dreambox (single tuner) I know that i can watch 1 channel and record another if
they are on same transponder...
Is it the same with DVB-S2 cards on PC ? Is 2 the limit or I can receive more channels on same transponder ?
I want to find out the maximin channels I can receive with a dual or quad DVB-S2 card...

What about DVB-T cards ? Are there "tranponders" there as well ? How many different channels can I receive with
a single tuner ?

Thank you

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson over 2 years ago

For DVB-T and DVB-C, channels are sent in bundles of usually four. That means that you can (in theory) record four diferent programmes, as long as they happen to be on the same bundle (sometimes called MUX).

I have a ASUS Z97-P LGA1150 with an Intel Celeron G1840 - 2.8 GHz with 3x1Tb configured as RAID-5, which leaves 2Tb useable for recording. Two DVB-C tuners, two DVB-T.

Three of the tuners are cheap ones from ebay. The last id an really expensive one and it has been the most problematic :)

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Kev S over 2 years ago

Re the number of services on a DVB-T/T2 multiplex, it depends on the country - in the UK some multiplexes have more than 12 TV channels on air at once. I can receive 160 channels across 9 multiplexes, of which around 100 are TV stations with around 80 on air at any one time (the rest being radio stations, pointers to online channels, and interactive services). I've been able to record 12 TV channels simultaneously on the one tuner.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson over 2 years ago

True, it would depend entirely on the bandwidth used for each service. The lower the bandwidth, the more channels you can squeeze into one frequency.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Mark Clarkstone over 2 years ago

Anders Gustafsson wrote:

True, it would depend entirely on the bandwidth used for each service. The lower the bandwidth, the more channels you hac squeeze into one t´frequency.

That also means the picture quality looks worse than 240p on Youtube :p

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson over 2 years ago

True. Four channels on a 150MHz carrier seems to be a reasonable compromise. Dunno about SAT as I have never had the need.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by HoRhE HoRhE over 2 years ago

Ok...u say u have better results with cheap ebay usb tuners than expensive ones...i was going to go for a $200 twin usb tuner to have a piece of mind...which is the cheap ebay one that does the same for little money ?

Also can u suggest a cheap working quad dvbs2 and dvbt/t2 pcie for pc based solution ?

U say u use 2 dvbs and 2 dvbt with a celeron...ok but HOW MANY channels are you transcoding ? Simultaneously...

Thank you

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson over 2 years ago

For my initial tries, I bought a PCTV tripleStick (292e) that cost me 100€, so far, that has been the by far most problematic one :)
http://blog.palosaari.fi/2014/04/naked-hardware-15-pctv-triplestick-292e.html

I later bought one of these for DVB C:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Dongle-DVB-T2-DVB-T-DVB-C-FM-DAB-Digital-HDTV-Stick-Tuner-Receive-SN-/161786021963?hash=item25ab32c84b:g:BD4AAOSwd0BVwxa9

And I also have two of this for DVB-T:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DVB-T-DAB-FM-Radio-Realtek-RTL2832U-R820T-software-defined-SDR-HDTVwbGT15-/321652321738?hash=item4ae3f8edca:g:yEMAAOSwWKtUxoHg

What is important is the chipset and that you make sure you have the latest firmware for that chipset.

Not sure what you mean by "transcoding", I know what it means, but I do not deliberately change the format of anything. I just record and watch on my Raspberry. We never watch more than one recording at the same time, but we might record several programmes simultaneously. I have never checked how many in reality. IIRC have i forced two or three at the same time, just to make sure that it does indeed select the next free tuner.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by HoRhE HoRhE over 2 years ago

Ok lets forget transcoding...my platform is odroid xu4 sbc which should be able to transcode at least one channel im happy with that...its OS is ubuntu 16.04 LTS will it support the cheap (10 euro) you suggest ?
What advantages do you think this one will have (if any)
http://shop.tbsdtv.com/tbs5220-usb-dvbt2-t-c-tuner-tv-stick-p-87.html

...i dont need DVB-C and im not sure if my tv provider (www.digea.gr) is dvb-t or dvb-t2...is
there any way to know how many of the 10 channels the provider is broadcasting will i receive on a single tuner (lets say the 10 euro one u proposed)
The provider has 5 HD channels...is this what dvb-t2 is about ? If yes i dont care because they are broadcasting in SD too at a seperate channel...

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson over 2 years ago

I cannot say anything about that stick. It does not say what chipset it uses and that is all that matters. Also, if you do not need DVB-C (ie cable) and only DVB-T, (Terrestrial) then there is no need whatsoever to buy a DVB-C capable stick.

I checked the webpage, but I am afraid it is all Greek to me :) and the English pages mostly had "Content in this section will soon be available."

When I googled, I got the impression that they have four (4) channels per frequency, ie same as here. That means that you can record or view a maximum of four channels simultaneously, provided they are all on the same frequency/bundle/mux (can be called various things) I suggest you contact them and ask what frequencies they tranmit on in your area and what channels are on each frequency.

https://sites.google.com/site/zliangas/digea

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by HoRhE HoRhE over 2 years ago

Its ok i dont care about the chipset either but as long as it works under linux (i will be running ubuntu 16.04 lts) i will go out and buy it...does it ?
I will buy one first and see how many channels will record simultaneously then buy more to get all 7 channels because digea isnt revealing the info...i contacted
them...

Could you also recoment a single tuner cheap dvbs2 usb tuner ? Working in linux...TBS again makes a twin tuner expensive one l...i dont need the second tuner...

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson over 2 years ago

But that is the general problem. It does not matter what it says on the outside of the case. The only thing that matters here is the chipset. The drivers in Linux are written for chipsets, not for adapters.

I strongly suspect digea will have four TV channels per frequency, but you will certainly see that once you get an adapter up and running. I guess you simply talked to the wrong person as most cable and OTA providers will have lists of frequencies and programmes. You will at least have to know the frequency to tune in to...

Sorry, never played with satellite. Perhaps someone else can chime in?

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Mark Clarkstone over 2 years ago

HoRhE HoRhE wrote:

Its ok i dont care about the chipset either but as long as it works under linux (i will be running ubuntu 16.04 lts) i will go out and buy it...does it ?
I will buy one first and see how many channels will record simultaneously then buy more to get all 7 channels because digea isnt revealing the info...i contacted
them...

Could you also recoment a single tuner cheap dvbs2 usb tuner ? Working in linux...TBS again makes a twin tuner expensive one l...i dont need the second tuner...

Cheap DVB-S usb tuners are getting rare-ish. The cheapest I've found is this one. However, even though it's cheap, support for Linux is there it'll just require you to build the drivers yourself, pretty much like what you'd have to do with TBS' tuners. For a bit more there's this one, from what I understand, it already has drivers built in to recent kernels, so no need to build your own.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by HoRhE HoRhE over 2 years ago

Ok...i feel were getting somewhere as to what hardware i should buy...so the cheap tuner that im required to build the drivers myself does it have a site where i find what i need to do it ? Or should i go for the more expensive one thats ready to go ?
Also about the dvbt stick i overlooked the second link and dealt only with the first that is of unknown chipset...so will this work with ubuntu ?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DVB-T-DAB-FM-Radio-Realtek-RTL2832U-R820T-software-defined-SDR-HDTVwbGT15-/321652321738?hash=item4ae3f8edca:g:yEMAAOSwWKtUxoHg

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by Anders Gustafsson over 2 years ago

Let me elaborate a bit. It might be long-winded, but bear with me...

Hardware support in Linux is generally very good, but not from vendors, especially from those selling cheap TV-sticks :) Instead suport if provided by all those enthusiasts that write drivers and reverse-engineer hardware as a hobby.

Support for most TV sticks consist of two things: 1. The driver that is in the Linux kernel or loaded from a file. 2. The actual tuner firmware code. Most of the time, that firmware is not loaded permanently into the stick, but rather loaded by the (windows) software that accompanies the stick.

That FW is copyrighted and thus cannot be shipped with linux.

So, if we take that PCTV tripleStick (292e) that I have. That stick is based on a Silicon Labs Si2168 chip. The linux driver is si2168.c (http://lxr.free-electrons.com/source/drivers/media/dvb-frontends/si2168.c). No need to compile, shipped with Linux. That driver downloads a firmware image when loaded. That firmware image is something you need to download, say from Antti's blog, ie dvb-demod-si2168-02.fw. You put that file in /lib/firmware.

To make things more complicated, there are several versions of that file, ie:

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  2728 Oct 28 20:27 /lib/firmware/dvb-demod-si2168-02.fw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 28656 Apr 13 22:50 /lib/firmware/dvb-demod-si2168-a20-01.fw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 17576 Apr 13 22:50 /lib/firmware/dvb-demod-si2168-a30-01.fw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  6919 Apr 10 08:31 /lib/firmware/dvb-demod-si2168-b40-01.fw

For various revisions of the chipset. The actual driver will pick and download the right one:

tvburk:~ # dmesg|grep 2168
[    8.550497] si2168 13-0064: Silicon Labs Si2168 successfully attached
[    8.559942] usb 3-4: DVB: registering adapter 2 frontend 0 (Silicon Labs Si2168)...
[   16.739810] si2168 13-0064: found a 'Silicon Labs Si2168-B40'
[   16.748646] si2168 13-0064: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-demod-si2168-b40-01.fw'
[   16.950927] si2168 13-0064: firmware version: 4.0.11

.
https://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/DVB-T_PCI_Cards

So, basically. You need to know the chipset. If it is suported, then it is usually just a case of putting the firmware file in /lib/firmware.

This is just an example, to describe how it works. A good resource is the LinuxTV Wiki

The sticks i have, have si2168, mn88473 and RTL2832.

w_scan is a good tool to see the details:

w_scan -fc -cFI
w_scan version 20141122 (compiled for DVB API 5.10)
using settings for FINLAND
DVB cable
DVB-C FI
scan type CABLE, channellist 8
output format vdr-2.0
WARNING: could not guess your codepage. Falling back to 'UTF-8'
output charset 'UTF-8', use -C <charset> to override
Info: using DVB adapter auto detection.
        /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0 -> "Realtek RTL2832 (DVB-T)" doesnt support CABLE -> SEARCH NEXT ONE.
        /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend1 -> CABLE "Panasonic MN88473": very good :-))

Hope this helps.

RE: Recommend Hardware - Added by HoRhE HoRhE over 2 years ago

ok all these things i would learn along the way as i start to play with the stick or ask you then
all im seeking now is an ebay link to a stick that works well with linux and is affordable (10 euros sounded more than ok) so i can buy it and start playing
which one you recommend ? which one is the one that has worked best for you ?
all the other stuff well discuss it after i get it in my hands (along with the odroid xu4 board thats on the way) and start playing...

thanks

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