OTHER PC-based satellite tuner card (1 Viewer)

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Brct203

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Dec 24, 2016
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I'm tempted to get a PC tuner card. I currently have an Amiko miniHD-RE, and it's great as a STB, it's stable, etc, but it's a bit shy about giving out technical details about what it's receiving

Also, I would really like to have some kind of spectrum analyzer functionality.

It seems to me that some of the PC tuner cards would be a good fit for those needs. Let me know what you think.

Is the spectrum display quite responsive to changes?

Also, I think I read somewhere that some software that is used with those cards is built a Front-end/Back-end architecture, meaning you have a "server" part that does the tuning and manages the card, while a front end piece handles the rendering on the screen. In that case, could they be on different computers, like the back-end on a desktop PC with the tuner card, and then the picture displayed on another computer running the front-end part?
 
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ancient

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May 12, 2014
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I really can only point you to an article that might answer the questions in your last paragraph: The never final, always subject to revision article on how to build a Satellite TV PVR distribution system using Tvheadend - that is the best article I have seen so far that explains how the parts fit together, although it's rather Linux-centric.

As far as having some kind of spectrum analyzer goes, I would guess it's possible but that different cards would give you varying levels of capability, and I personally have no idea how you'd figure that out. There are some guys over on Rick's that would know a lot more about that sort of thing but at times they seem unwilling or incapable of explaining anything in a way that those of us not steeped in the mysteries of Linux can understand. Most of those guys don't do Windows. I stopped reading that forum years ago because I didn't understand 95%+ of what they were talking about, and also I don't agree with the way Rick runs that forum but that's a whole other discussion.

Now in the Windows world I vaguely recall seeing some kind of software that I THINK had a form of spectrum analysis when used with certain compatible cards, but that was a long time ago and I didn't pay much attention because I haven't run Windows in over a decade (I use MacOS, and Ubuntu on my HTPC, but don't consider myself any kind of expert in either). Maybe it is the CrazyScan software that is discussed in that forum (which I believe is a Windows program), but if not, maybe someone else can remember what that software was called, if it even existed.

I sometimes wish there were a specific forum for tuner cards and similar hardware tuners that interface with computers and PVR backends on this board; at the very least it might be more friendly and not so high in the clouds technically as what's happening over there. But then there would have to be people participating who know a whole lot more about that stuff than I do to really make it work.
 
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Magic Static

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Oct 12, 2010
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Windows? Well if you have the patience to muddle your way through some initial setups, you may find it interesting and worth your time and money. I would find a cheap older DVBS2 card and get TSReader software. When you get that going you will start to see what direction you want to take and where to put your time and money.
 

Brct203

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Dec 24, 2016
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Windows? Well if you have the patience to muddle your way through some initial setups, you may find it interesting and worth your time and money. I would find a cheap older DVBS2 card and get TSReader software. When you get that going you will start to see what direction you want to take and where to put your time and money.
yes Windows preferably... I am currently running Ubuntu and while I am appreciative of Linux (and value it very much as a server platform), it's just not as user friendly as Windows. I currently have a Hauppauge HVR-1250 card in my PC, that was working flawlessly under XP, Vista and win 7, and I can't get the darn thing to show up in TVheadend under Ubuntu. Really frustrating.

I'd say that my main goals would be "exploration": 16apsk signals, seeing spectrum, being able to measure C/N, seeing protocol and FEC etc. that the Amiko is not telling me... For casual TV viewing, the Amiko does that part very well.
 
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johnnynobody

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yes Windows preferably... I am currently running Ubuntu and while I am appreciative of Linux (and value it very much as a server platform), it's just not as user friendly as Windows.

It's not a question of user friendly but more of a question of getting help. Besides, Windows apps don't always plug-n-play either. If you're doing something uncommon on either platform you may have a tough time getting the application to work. Anyway, there are more apps available for Windows but it usually costs a few bucks for those apps - especially if you want support and help. People on IRC or forums aren't always helpful especially if they keep seeing the same question asked over and over.
 
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Brct203

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Dec 24, 2016
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The HVR1250 has been supported in lunux for some time but you have to download and compile the driver yourself and analog isn't supported, nor the remote. I have two HVR1600s that are the same way.

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1250 - LinuxTVWiki
yes, I've been to that page, and the card does appear to have drivers loaded and recognized by Linux, it just won't show in tvheadend. Now, I did have mythtv installed in the past (never got it working), and I uninstalled it, but maybe something is left from that and is still "using" the card, making it unavailable to other applications?
 

. Raine

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yes, I've been to that page, and the card does appear to have drivers loaded and recognized by Linux, it just won't show in tvheadend. Now, I did have mythtv installed in the past (never got it working), and I uninstalled it, but maybe something is left from that and is still "using" the card, making it unavailable to other applications?

What distro of Linux and what kernel are you using?

I tried MythTv a long time ago and it worked with my hvr1600s, but if I remember right, I could never get a guide to work right in it and I think it used a mysql database that gave me a lot of issues, iirc, was a long time ago. I've never used Tvheadend.
 
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Brct203

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i'm running Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS
kernel 4.15.0-33-generic x86_64

I installed tvheadend from the software app in Ubuntu, and i'm under the impression that things got installed in different locations as what i'm reading online
 

johnnynobody

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i'm running Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS
kernel 4.15.0-33-generic x86_64

18.04.1 LTS is available now but it has a new desktop and has some bugs (like most distros do). The login lets you select Unity desktop though - there are 3 selections. There are newer kernels available through Ubuntu's mainline kernel page (i.e. 4.18.6) - Index of /~kernel-ppa/mainline - and firmware updates at github (kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git - Repository of firmware blobs for use with the Linux kernel) that might help also.
 
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Brct203

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Dec 24, 2016
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18.04.1 LTS is available now but it has a new desktop and has some bugs (like most distros do). The login lets you select Unity desktop though - there are 3 selections. There are newer kernels available through Ubuntu's mainline kernel page (i.e. 4.18.6) - Index of /~kernel-ppa/mainline - and firmware updates at github (kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git - Repository of firmware blobs for use with the Linux kernel) that might help also.
I read somewhere that the Unity desktop is a bit resource-hungry. The PC i'm running that stuff on is a dinosaur (Pentium 4, 2 GB RAM, about 12 years old).

I was wondering if I should try with a fresh install of Ubuntu, one that has not had MythTV installed, and install TVheadend , maybe I would have better luck?

Thanks all for the guidance and suggestions!
 

. Raine

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i'm running Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS
kernel 4.15.0-33-generic x86_64

I installed tvheadend from the software app in Ubuntu, and i'm under the impression that things got installed in different locations as what i'm reading online

Sorry for the late reply, things around here got incredibly busy. I know some kernels had issues with Hauppauge cards, but 4.15.0-33 doesn't seem to: Bugs : linux package : Ubuntu Since around Ubuntu 12.04 it seems those problems have been resolved. I used Debian for years myself and just recently switched to Mint because I didn't like Debian's latest release, so I cant say 100% how things actually are with Ubuntu.

Things installed in the wrong location could cause problems, especially if permissions aren't right. What seems like it might be in the wrong place? When you installed it, was it from a user account or as root? Maybe in your package manager, check to make sure no dependencies are missing. you should be able to check where everything installed in there too. Are you comfortable with using terminal? You could try apt-get update and apt-get upgrade, if you haven't already. These two commands will only update/upgrade software already on your computer but not install or remove anything, pretty safe. Note any errors it gives, if any. You'll have to use the sudo command before, example, sudo apt-get update, and give your account password unless you're at root, which you shouldn't be. Don't do apt-get dist-upgrade as that will remove and install packages and can cause issues. Usually doesn't, but it can.
 
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harshness

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May 5, 2007
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In Linux if you can find a package that is part of the distribution (i.e. Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware), it may work better than one that you install from a tarball or zip archive simply because the distro release knows where to find the configuration files for your distribution (some distros use /etc while others may reside elsewhere). This is especially important where Apache or Nginx are involved but may also impact databases like MySQL or Postgresql.

Most distros are getting to the point where using a GUI is just too much for an old machine (this now includes some of the early 64-bit machines) with little RAM. Last I checked, most of the GUIs wouldn't install with less than 1GB of RAM.
 
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