OTHER DVB-S2 Tuner card (1 Viewer)

stecle

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Feb 17, 2010
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I have never owned a tuner card before and want to get my feet wet. I have done a lot of research and have settled on the TBS 6902.

I know that the TBS 6903 is the latest card, but I don't know if I can justify the extra $200. The only difference that I can see between the cards, is that the 6903 handles ACM and VCM.

I just want to get some feedback before I place an order.

I appreciate all replies.
 

Magic Static

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Well the hardware is sometimes easy to pick but what have you thought about the software side of the equation? Do you have ideas of deploying this in a particular manner for certain uses?
 
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stecle

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Thanks for your reply Magic Static. I am primary interested in getting a card to receive 4:2:2 and 4K. In terms of the software, I would probably use what came with the card until I become familiar.

Is there a particular software that is good for newbies?
 

Magic Static

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There is nothing about DVB cards that is newbie friendly. You are in for a steep learning curve. ;) I have never found the software that came with a DVB card to be of very much use. Along with DVB software you will need video codecs for rendering the different video formats such as 4:2:2. You can find Codec Paks for download on the net. Some work better than others. I used to prefer the codecs that Cyberlink DVD software used. Some DVB software requires the device to be supported in the BDA format. So you need BDA driver's for some cards. Yep, they are not "Plug and Play".
 

kittyhas1000legs

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I have a 6902 and I've tried a few different programs. All of them kind of come up short in their own ways.

First, install the drivers. That part's easy.

SichboPVR was probably the easiest to deal with. It has a program guide similar to most cable/pay-dish boxes, but of course, no data to fill the program guide. Worked fine with a 4x1 multiswitch, but wouldn't drive the motor (even though it said the motor was moving). Easier to set up, easy to add channels, and works with my ATSC tuners as well.

DVB Dream can control the motor, but is awkward to try to use for regular TV viewing.

For now, I'm sticking with *gasp* Windows Media Center. It's a pain in the arse to set up and doesn't control a motor, but works with a 4x1 multiswitch. I had already been using it for several years for ATSC DVR, so I have a massive pile of shows already in its proprietary file format. If I was starting fresh, I'd probably go with Sichbo since it's easier to change settings and add channels.
 
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Cham

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SmartDVB is free and comes with all the video codecs (I think..). You need a good video card though to render 4K Think the only thing you need from the software provided with the card is the card's driver. Not sure what OS you will be working with, windows is fairly easy but Linux can be a bit more involved.
 
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ancient

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I've been using TBS cards since 2015 and I agree in part and disagree in part with what other posters have said. In my opinion, if you are not afraid of Linux, then your best shot at making it work is to use Tvheadend as your backend. Tvheadend can be difficult if you have never set it up before, but once you get past its quirks the initial learning curve it becomes sort of a piece of cake. The biggest issue with TBS cards is that they are not supported natively by Linux, so you will have to learn how to install the drivers, and then every time you get a kernel update you will need to repeat the process. This is my #1 annoyance with this setup. That said there is an article about how to set up a Tvheadend backend for free-to-air satellite at The never final, always subject to revision article on how to build a Satellite TV PVR distribution system using Tvheadend and even if you don't want to read all of that (though I recommend you do) I do recommend that you at least read their article about interrupts at Do you run one or more TBS PCIe cards under Linux? Check your IRQs…

IMHO the biggest reason for getting the more expensive card would be if you ever want to receive 16APSK signals (of which there are very few) or maybe if you are trying to use an undersized dish, though I am not at all sure it would help in the latter case.

I don't have a receiver capable of playing 4K so I have not tried to receive an 4K signals. I can say that it works well with 4:2:2 signals, although you may experience breakups for the first few seconds. If you are going to PVR a show, start it a minute early and you should be fine, assuming you don't have a signal strength issue or a bad LNB or something.

As for "the software that comes with the card", if there is such a thing I don't recall seeing it. You pretty much need to download everything. And unless you plan on getting into the really geeky side of things, you don't need most of that software. If your goal is more to get additional channels to watch, rather than to chase wildfeeds or identify strange signals or do things that only really excite the true geeks, then all you need is the driver software for your card, and the backend software. If I need to peak one of my dishes or find a new satellite, I use a receiver for that, it's easier to work with. You really only want one piece of software trying to access the tuner cards at the same time, and Tvheadend will try to keep running no matter what (kill its process and it comes right back, presumably so as not to lose upcoming recordings in case something caused it to crash), so again you'd have to be pretty much of a Linux geek to want to use any of that other software. Just my opinion - some people enjoy the challenge of trying to make difficult things work; I prefer that things (especially computers) work with as little fuss as possible.

I hope I have not said anything to discourage you because really, Tvheadend and Kodi can make your viewing experience so much better, particularly if you have more than one dish and can have a dish dedicated to each satellite you wish to receive. But there is a learning curve. You will not figure it all out in hours or even days; figure it will be more like weeks or months before you really fully understand everything. That doesn't mean it will take you that long to have a working setup, but to get everything tweaked out the way you want it could take a while.
 
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iccoldbeer

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Jul 24, 2012
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Got first card in 2015 put in htpc never looked back only use stb in bedroom. IIf the pc is older use newer gpu support dxva for 4K. Decodes h265 without load on cpu.
 
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Titanium

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Have used TBS cards for many years and currently a TBS6983 in a Win 10 PC with EBSpro software on a daily basis. Perfect motor and switch control. Use for viewing and testing DVBS/S2, MPEG2/4/h.265, SD/HD/UHD, CCM/VCM, 4:2:0/4:2:2, etc. Buy the best video card that your budget allows. You will need the throughput and processing to handle UHD and it certainly helped the dropped frames with complex services.

As others point out, the factory software is basically worthless and you will need to select the software package(s) that are best for your needs.
 
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stecle

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Feb 17, 2010
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Between the North and South Pole
I have had my TBS 6902 installed for about a year now and for the most part have been using DVB Dream. I would estimate that I have over 100 hours of learning and experimenting, but still have a few unresolved questions.

What are you guys doing in terms of C and Ku on the same satellite? The DVB Dream menu only has one satellite listing even if it is a hybrid satellite. My 6902 is a dual tuner, so I am thinking of connecting the C to one tuner and the Ku to the other. My understanding is you install 2 DVB Dream exe's, each to different folders, which will allow you to run separate sessions.

I appreciate all help.
 

Magic Static

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Oct 12, 2010
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I have had my TBS 6902 installed for about a year now and for the most part have been using DVB Dream. I would estimate that I have over 100 hours of learning and experimenting, but still have a few unresolved questions.

What are you guys doing in terms of C and Ku on the same satellite? The DVB Dream menu only has one satellite listing even if it is a hybrid satellite. My 6902 is a dual tuner, so I am thinking of connecting the C to one tuner and the Ku to the other. My understanding is you install 2 DVB Dream exe's, each to different folders, which will allow you to run separate sessions.

I appreciate all help.
I have it set up both ways on different PCs. One has two installs of DVB Dream and the Ku dish on one tuner and the CBand dish on the other. But on my main PC I use just one install of DVB Dream. You just need to arrange your transponder ini files correctly.

Transponders.jpg SatList.jpg The Ku sats are 1/10th degree off the CBand sats by ini file. This is how DVBDream keeps track of the Satellites. You can name them anything you want in the INI file line info.
 

stecle

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2010
221
59
Between the North and South Pole
I have it set up both ways on different PCs. One has two installs of DVB Dream and the Ku dish on one tuner and the CBand dish on the other. But on my main PC I use just one install of DVB Dream. You just need to arrange your transponder ini files correctly.

View attachment 150579 View attachment 150581 The Ku sats are 1/10th degree off the CBand sats by ini file. This is how DVBDream keeps track of the Satellites. You can name them anything you want in the INI file line info.
Thank you for your reply. I have a couple more questions if you don't mind. Which codecs are the best to install? When I play some 4:2:2 I get micro blocking. Next, is there a way to get the signal level and quality indicator on DVB Dream to match an STB. My Mio shows much higher levels.
 

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