OTHER TBS-6983

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Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jul 19, 2020
19
4
California
Is the TBS-6983 any good? Anyone have experience with this PCI-e tuner card I've been looking at getting for a while. They're pretty pricey at around $100 and I have no idea what kind of application support there is for it or how you would use DiSeQC or USALs with it, can anyone shed some light on this tuner? Is there a better or cheaper option like it?
 

ancient

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 12, 2014
329
139
USA
Well since no one else has answered so far, I'll just note that this is a discontinued model not currently listed on the TBS products page and I have never had one of those, but I do have one of similar vintage (the TBS-6985 which is the quad tuner model) and it works okay with Tvheadend under Ubuntu Linux. The only thing I really hate about TBS cards is that every time there is a Linux kernel update (which happens about every two weeks on average) I have to rebuild the drivers, which takes about 15 minutes and also because of recent changes in the Linux kernel produces a shipload of warning messages during the build process, but at the end the build has always worked so far. I don't think that this would be as much of an issue under Windows but I don't run Windows so have no way of knowing.

I don't think you will find any cheaper cards. There are probably better cards but they are mostly sold in Europe. For example there is a company in Germany called Digital Devices that has a line of DVB-S/S2/S2X (SAT TV Cards) that may be better than TBS cards (especially their consumer grade cards, as opposed to their pro models) but the price is not exactly inexpensive and you have to contend with shipment from overseas which probably means that US Customs will ding you for duty unless you are lucky. Their cards are meant to be used with European-style free-to-air satellite systems which are different from what we have in North America. My suspicion is that they would still work, and you may not even have to rebuild drivers in Linux, but initial configuration could be a bit of a challenge. And of course if a card has a DVB-T tuner for terrestrial OTA television it won't work with the ATSC signals we use. I've actually wondered if their cards would work better and/or be more reliable than TBS cards when used in the USA but I'm not wealthy enough to be buying stuff like that just to test out.

I will say that with the recent tariff increases on Chinese products (courtesy of you-know-who) the German cards might actually be competitive in price if you don't get charged duty, but on an item with that high of a price I suspect Customs would want their cut.
 
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