Tuner card stopping Facebook group video calls?

Darren Blake

Active Member
Like several others on lockdown I am experimenting with video calls for the first time. My main PC is also my HTPC and as such it has a TBS 6891 dual DVB-S tuner card installed. Any application which asks me to select a video capture source lists this as one of the options, but (for information) if I select it, it just displays garbage.

However it seems to be confusing the hell out of Facebook's group video chat.

I have used a few other video conferencing clients: Teams, Zoom, Yahoo Messenger back in the day, and even Facebook one-to-one video chat. They all allow you to change the camera source while in a call. HOWEVER, Facebook group video chat seems to work completely differently and appears to select a "default" webcam by itself. How it chooses this, I have no idea. In my case, it seems to be selecting my tuner card instead of my actual webcam.

I am 99% certain this is what is happening. Here is my logic:
1) One-to-one video calling works fine, whether I initiate the call or somebody else.
2) When in a one-to-one call, if I then add another person (to make it a group call), everything still works fine.
3) If I then drop out and attempt to rejoin, my camera is no longer selected (despite being listed as the camera source in Google Chrome's site settings).
4) One-to-one video calls and group video calls are handled differently by Facebook (one-to-one calls are peer-to-peer but group chats aren't). Hence why one-to-one calls work in Firefox, but group calls don't. Also in one-to-one chats there is an option to change the video source on the fly, whereas group chats there is not.
5) I also have to temporarily disable my video capture card in Device Manager before any attempt to do a group video chat, otherwise my Logitech webcam is not recognised.
6) When I plug the same webcam into a different computer with no alternative video sources installed, group video chats work fine.

A good solution would be to temporarily disable the tuner card in Device Manager, but unfortunately there is no option to do this. I can only fully uninstall the drivers. I have written to TBS to see if there is a way to do this, but in the current situation I am not expecting a reply quickly.

So to re-iterate, I think that a Facebook group video chat somehow decides for itself which video source is the "default" camera, and then either by design or because of a bug. cannot be redirected to the correct one while in-call.

Just wondering if anyone else has noticed anything similar if they have been trying to video chat using their HTPC?
 
Last edited:

Darren Blake

Active Member
Ok obviously no one else suffering this issue but I found the solution so I will leave it here for future browsers :)

Yes, the issue is down to my TBS tuner card. It is only possible to temporarily disable the card from Device Manager if you first uninstall the corresponding TBS HID device under "Human Interface Devices". When you do this you must also tick the box to delete the driver files otherwise when you re-enable the tuner card it will automatically re-install the HID device.

Once you have uninstalled the TBS HID device, if you find the TBS tuner device and right click you will now have an option to "disable" it. If you have not successfully uninstalled the HID, then this option will be missing.

Unlike most other devices, disabling the TBS tuner card requires a restart.

After that, FB group video chat is able to detect my Logitech USB webcam as my "default" cam without any issues. The TBS tuner can then be re-enabled via Device Manager.

Obviously, if you use the TBS remote, which uses the HID device, then this solution is no good for you.
 

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