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Customer Review

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cross-platform DVB-S2 card, 13 July 2010
This review is from: TBS DVB-S2 High Definition Digital Satellite Tuner PCI Express Card HD (DVB-S2/DVB-S) Receiver - PCIE
This was the second card purchased for a media centre PVR system designed to tune to broadcasts from Astra 2, Eurobird 1 and Thor 5 satellites, and after some problems with other cards it's refreshing to see how well this card works.

The card itself is well built, clearly having gone through a decent production process. As an electronics engineer, I'd be happy to have produced a board like this. It's good to see that the well-documented Conexant demodulator is supported by high quality passives and auxiliary components. The card originally ran quite hot, but by diverting even a small amount of air over the surface it was back down to just over room temperature.

The card is supported by recent Linux kernels as standard, and I had no problems talking to it with 2.6.34 - only the microcode had to be downloaded and was then detected and automatically loaded. The card showed up as a DVB device, and MythTV happily identified it as a DVB-S2 card with DiSEqC support - it realyl couldn't have been easier.

Tuning was no problem - pointing the satellite then giving the details for one channel, over 900 channels were quickly locked to. There's no CI (not a problem for me as I'm not going to pay for anything over my TV license anyway), so encrypted content is not available.

Even though the card has a single tuner, it will supply the whole transport stream (or indeed anything else the transponder is transmitting) to you, so with good software it will let you record multiple channels on the same tuner - MythTV is quite happy to record five channels at once with this card. HD transmissions work just as well as SD, and no problems have been noted with data streams or the EPG.

All in all, this is an excellent card. I've not tried the remote control (I use a Bluetooth PS3 remote to avoid line of sight issues since the PC is hidden in the corner of the room) or the supplied software, so can't comment on those other than to say that the problems described in other unfavourable reviews all seem to be caused by the software being used with this card. I'd highly recommend it, especially for those wanting to build a DVB-S2 capable PVR.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Oct 2011 09:38:45 BDT
D. McGuigan says:
Hi there, i am thinking about getting this card for an ubuntu based HTPC. Can you clarify what you mean by 'only the microcode had to be downloaded and was then detected and automatically loaded'?
Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jan 2014 14:09:39 GMT
Darkhorse says:
My apologies for the delay, and I suspect this now too late for you. It seems amazon don't notify you of comments to your reviews. However, I'll answer the question anyway, just in case it helps someone else.

To operate, the card like many nowadays, requires a small piece of code that runs on an embedded processor on the PCB. This is called microcode (often incorrectly referred to as firmware as well). The drivers are written from scratch as the documentation is good, and released as free code into the Linux kernel for anyone to see and modify. The microcode, though, is produced by the manufacturer under a license that prohibits it from being included with the Linux kernel. It's just a matter of downloading it, putting it in the right place and the kernel autoloader will pick it up and use it.

I can't work out from the guidelines if linking to instructions is allowed or not, so to be safe, I won't. However, if you search for the Linux drivers on the TBS web site (or Google or similar), you'll find the file and what to do with it quite easily.
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