Advice on shopping list for change from dvb-t2 to dvb-s2 setup please

Ian North

Standard Member
My media box will be without a terrestrial signal in a month. It has worked very well with a dreaded BGT3650 quad dvb-t2 card since early 2012 not withstanding two failed and returned cards weeks after purchase.
Box is an Asus based intel that is over specified for home theatre use. It regularly records overlaps of four programmes on the HD channels so all is working as it should.
I have never owned any satellite equipment apart from a very old skybox with the free British TV channels in what will become my principal residence so I am in need of pointing in the correct direction.
Blackgold have nothing to offer and I feel I got off lightly in eventually owning a functioning and reliable product from them, once bitten and all.
Candidate seems to be a TBS product, a TBS6904 I can have for £178/€200 as a straight replacement for the quad dvb-t2. There is another product and I would require two as it is a twin tuner. A very cheap £64 but it is scarily no name, Techno Trend TT S2-4200TW. Unless someone says oh yes I have one of those, best thing since sliced bread I will probably spend the extra.
What do I need to connect to a card and how many do I need? I guess some form of quad LNB, a new dish and arm that ain't covered in rust and 4 cables coming into the house going to the 4 sockets on the card?
House is inside the Astra footprint enough not to need a large dish and picture noise only occurs when there are big storms. I've never bothered checking the signal strength.
I currently use (have done for years because I am lazy) WMC 7. I use the totally unreliable (now) EPG that Microsoft punish users with on a daily basis but will likely move to epg123. Is epg123 good for the Freesat offering and is the guide data fairly rich?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Hi Ian,

I can't actually answer your specific question, so annoyingly I am going to give you some other information instead, which might be helpful!

If you move away from WMC and use some different TV recording software, it is possible to record multiple channels using just one tuner. The channels all have to be on the same mux or transponder. I understand that this works better with Freeview than Freesat, as the main HD channels tend to be grouped together more.

There is a variety of software to choose from, some of the big ones are Argus TV, Next PVR, MediaPortal, DVB Viewer (these are all for Windows OS). The recordings are made in a .ts container, so you have lots of options of what player you use to play them back.

I use Argus TV on a separate server PC, along with Plex server. Then I have a range of client machines throughout the house, connected to TV's, running Plex Media Player / Plex Home Theatre, with which to play back the recordings.

Much of the software allows you to access the scheduling options remotely via an app or a web admin page.

So, in your new house, rather than switch everything from DVB-T to DVB-S, can you get a decent Freeview aerial installed instead?
 

Ian North

Standard Member
Hi Punctilio. I should have been more forthcoming but I try to leave a light footprint of who i am and where I live on the internet. My new home, old home really but soon to be my permanent home is just inside the decent signal of the southern Astra satellite beam. So its south of you, about 400 miles south, even if you live in Portsmouth ; ) so no dvb-t for me.
I would love to pack up the box that has been so reliable and carry on as usual but I will have to use freesat for my British TV fix.
I know someone who used a twin dvb-t2 card to record various channels off a single mux but my eyes glazed a little at the explanation. I enjoy gadgetry but I enjoy a beer watching the telly more than tinkering.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Hi Ian

I used to run DVB-T and DVB-S2 on Windows Media Center on W7. I found it a massive pain in the neck to administer both line ups and as the sat line up was more maintenance I dropped that one.

The Microsoft channel line up for satellite is ancient and ignores major channels and new satellites.
I would ignore it and manually scan the correct transponders for FreeSat
Packages: Freesat - KingOfSat

I also discovered that channels would move transponder with no notice. My Freesat TV never missed a beat, my WMC never made a single change by itself. The first I knew was a bunch of failed recordings, then check King of Sat and find the new transponder and rescan WMC :(.

I don't know if using a different listings service will also cover transponder changes but I would recommend you do some research on it. It was a major irritation when this was the only HD source available as I invariably lost the most important recordings. It may have settled down a little.
You might also be better advised to look at a new recording solution.

Your assumptions about LNB, and cables are correct for WMC - you'll need a tuner per channel and a cable per tuner and an LNB output per cable.
I don't know if you could do with fewer tuners using something else to record satellite - it would be worth investigating.

FWIW I have a Hauppague! WinTV Nova HD S2 - Satellite HD Tuner PCi single tuner card for sale. It's been rock solid, it was WMC and the availability of cheaper Freeview HD capable hardware that caused me to retire it.
For Sale - Hauppague & Peak TV Tuners & passive ATi 4550 GFX card
 

next010

Distinguished Member
WMC is a zombie it's really time to move on I would say.

TVheadend is one of the most capable TV/PC systems and it is supported by many front ends from Kodi, Emby to Plex etc but it's not the most user friendly but has a reputation for being rock solid if setup properly.

If your looking for something a lot easier to set up and less techy, DVBlogic sell all the necessary software and it's pretty easy to get up and running. You can use their own player software or use Kodi/Emby as alternative front ends.
 

Ian North

Standard Member
Well I took my own bait and bought one of these, my cheap streak got to me. I have a spare PCI-e slot to put another one in if it passes the Ian and wife test. If it don't it will go in the bin and ill consider my wallet spanked and buy a TBS quad.http://www.technotrend.eu/2993/TT-budget_S2-4200_Twin.html.
WMC is a zombie it's really time to move on I would say.

TVheadend is one of the most capable TV/PC systems and it is supported by many front ends from Kodi, Emby to Plex etc but it's not the most user friendly but has a reputation for being rock solid if setup properly.

If your looking for something a lot easier to set up and less techy, DVBlogic sell all the necessary software and it's pretty easy to get up and running. You can use their own player software or use Kodi/Emby as alternative front ends.
I don't mind a complex setup, others like yourself have gone before and there is all the help here and elsewhere. I am going to sort out the Freesat business first having never owned satellite reception gear before.
I set up an old Pinnacle Media DVB-T2 card with the then XBMC, I cant remember what the back end was. It was rather clunky but this was a good few years back and things will have moved on.
Poor showing though WMC 7 is the navigation, thumbnail scrolling and response is lightning fast on a Samsung 840 Pro and silly amount of RAM. I would hope for the same from the alternatives. I will be glad to see the back of what has become Microsofts unwanted child when I sort out my reception
 

jcjefferies

Active Member
DVB-S2 cards had a bad reputation of being a Money Pit! The early ones exceeded the PCIe power spec so needed an external power supply so got hot so were unreliable and many failed after less than two years. The latest ones now run much cooler so hopefully have a longer life.

I have been using NextPVR for over 5 years as my PVR software and started with a single DVB-T USB tuner then soon added a twin tuner as well. About 18 months ago decided to add HD so bought a cheap August DVB-T/T2 tuner but soon decided I needed more HD capable tuners so decided to buy a twin DVB-S2 capable tuner.

Someone on a forum was worried about the S2 tuner reliability decided to buy a DVBSky S952 tuner as it was advertised as using the latest low power chips. He reported that it used little power and nowhere on the board ran hot. So I later decided to buy the same tuner has been working OK for over a year.

I now have four tuners, 2 X DVB-S/S2, 1 X DVB-T/T2 & 1 X DVB-T. So most of the HD channels on the EPG have a choices of 3 tuners and most of the SD channels have a choice of 4 tuners but there are a few HD & SD channels that only appear on the DVB-T2 tuner. The DVB-T tuner is set with the highest priority so an SD channel dont waste capacity using an HD capable tuner.

Even after the recent addition of several previously Freeview only channels to Freesat there are still a few channels only on terrestrial TV.

Chris
 

Ian North

Standard Member
DVB-S2 cards had a bad reputation of being a Money Pit! The early ones exceeded the PCIe power spec so needed an external power supply so got hot so were unreliable and many failed after less than two years. The latest ones now run much cooler so hopefully have a longer life.

I have been using NextPVR for over 5 years as my PVR software and started with a single DVB-T USB tuner then soon added a twin tuner as well. About 18 months ago decided to add HD so bought a cheap August DVB-T/T2 tuner but soon decided I needed more HD capable tuners so decided to buy a twin DVB-S2 capable tuner.

Someone on a forum was worried about the S2 tuner reliability decided to buy a DVBSky S952 tuner as it was advertised as using the latest low power chips. He reported that it used little power and nowhere on the board ran hot. So I later decided to buy the same tuner has been working OK for over a year.

I now have four tuners, 2 X DVB-S/S2, 1 X DVB-T/T2 & 1 X DVB-T. So most of the HD channels on the EPG have a choices of 3 tuners and most of the SD channels have a choice of 4 tuners but there are a few HD & SD channels that only appear on the DVB-T2 tuner. The DVB-T tuner is set with the highest priority so an SD channel dont waste capacity using an HD capable tuner.

Even after the recent addition of several previously Freeview only channels to Freesat there are still a few channels only on terrestrial TV.

Chris
Yes! This one DVBSky S952, i have as AKA "Techno Trend S2-4200TW". I assume its clone/same parent company, it looks exactly the same as an S952 v3.
£50 from a German shop on the usual fleapit auction site, no remote control but all bagged and sealed.
It works a treat, I have one spare PCI-e x1 slot and another one can live in that. Before the media box leaves the UK i would have eight tuners, 4x DVB-S2 and 4x DVB-T2. The T2 card is zero use in the other home where the box will be.
The quad TBS card I considered is probably the business but I just want to watch telly and the cheapo Techno Trend card functions for me. I don't use the Linux platform but might try later. There is no official support from Techno Trend, Windows BDA drivers yes. There is a community driver for the DVBSky S952 card which might work with my card.
I'll post here if the card hiccups or doesn't play nice with the various media solutions I am going to try out after many years unfaithful WMC service.
 

Ian North

Standard Member
Zombie thread by now but after 15 months of receiving British SAT TV just on the edge of Astra 28.2 I thought to say how things went. I bought another Technotrend card last December to give me 4 tuners in total. Reading the replies to my original post I have to agree with several points, one of which WMC inability to sort out channel/transponder changes. That only happened on the low rent channels so far, Movies for Men +1 is one of several victims, it is now a Pakistan based religious channel.
The tuner cards have been very reliable indeed and for >£50 each provided this budget concious (tight fisted) viewer with an alternative to TBS prices.
Yes I still use WMC with epg123 but for all of its innate crapness WMC still does the business for me. One reason for not bothering with integrated solutions with a lot of net based function is simple to explain. On a good day with no contention from my neighbours on the same long line I might be blessed with a 2Mb/s connection. On a bad day i might be lucky to see 702kb/s downstream.
Such are the joys of living 20km from the nearest exchange, country (absolutely remote) living has many upsides, telecommunications reception is not one of them. Friends visit and ask if they can get a mobile signal if they drive down the road, yes of course, 7km away.
Thought I had broke my el cheapo RC118 remote control vintage 2012 last night, attacked by beer. Stripped it and chucked it in an ultrasonic bath with demin water, dried and tested this morning, no joy, LED lit up but no function from button presses. I took a look on the net and saw a suggestion to short the battery terminals to drain the caps. Worked a treat after that.
I use an Inverto 80cm dish with an Inverto quad HGLN LNB, my English neighbour a few km away gets instant picture break up or total loss if it so much as showers with a cheapo triax dish and no name LNB, mine works in all but washing machine rain.
 
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