Author Topic: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?  (Read 1695 times)

trentend

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How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« on: December 02, 2009, 12:45:33 am »
I have a problem in understanding what it is viable to do with recording from multiple feeds. I'm based in the UK, and have built a house with various elements suitable for home automation, with the intention of using Linuxmce to tie them together.  I need to determine the core hardware.

I will have access to the following feeds:

4 Digital television feeds, intended to directly feed the two main freeview LCD televisions (LG LH3000's) and the two standalone pvr's (topfield 5800's).

4 Fixed satellite feeds, pointing at the freesat satellite - intended for freesat reception.

4 feeds from a motorised satellite dish.

Ideally I would like to integrate as many of these as is possible/reasonable into a Linuxmce setup.  Without having a feel for it, I don't know what processing is required, nor do I know how successful a Linuxmce setup would be at organising programming  for a motorised dish.  

How many tuners can a reasonable powered core handle? Any board recommendations would be appreciated.  How can I get enough tuners given the number of available slots on modern boards.  Would it be possible to move tuners out to media directors, possibly using usb sticks (media directors will be nvidia ion based boards)?

Am I better keeping one source (the fixed freesat feeds) for the Linuxmce setup, and using the others for other things (television aerial feeds for the televisions direct, and the motorised dish for satellite settop boxes that can drive the motor but don't attempt any recoring).

Any advice would be gratefully accepted, including anything regarding developments on DVD-S2 tuners - particularly, if available, twin tuners.

totallymaxed

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 09:34:54 am »
I have a problem in understanding what it is viable to do with recording from multiple feeds. I'm based in the UK, and have built a house with various elements suitable for home automation, with the intention of using Linuxmce to tie them together.  I need to determine the core hardware.

I will have access to the following feeds:

4 Digital television feeds, intended to directly feed the two main freeview LCD televisions (LG LH3000's) and the two standalone pvr's (topfield 5800's).

4 Fixed satellite feeds, pointing at the freesat satellite - intended for freesat reception.

4 feeds from a motorised satellite dish.

Ideally I would like to integrate as many of these as is possible/reasonable into a Linuxmce setup.  Without having a feel for it, I don't know what processing is required, nor do I know how successful a Linuxmce setup would be at organising programming  for a motorised dish.
Either vdr or MythTV can be configured to control a motorised dish.
Quote
 

How many tuners can a reasonable powered core handle? Any board recommendations would be appreciated.  How can I get enough tuners given the number of available slots on modern boards.  Would it be possible to move tuners out to media directors, possibly using usb sticks (media directors will be nvidia ion based boards)?
We configure some of our NerveCentres (Our name for a Core) with 6 x DVB-T tuners. We would then use a second 'slave' MythTV backend for the DVB-S tuners and in some cases a third 'slave' MythTV backend to manage the analog capture cards (for say external Sky or the Topfields you mention). Also watch the power usage from your PCI/PCie slots when using DVB-S cards they can quickly overload the bus's ability to deliver adequate power. Ion based MD's are certainly very good and can be rear mounted on/behind the TV's or can be located centrally in a rack. I would strongly suggest sticking firmly with nVidia graphics for your MD's overall.
Quote

Am I better keeping one source (the fixed freesat feeds) for the Linuxmce setup, and using the others for other things (television aerial feeds for the televisions direct, and the motorised dish for satellite settop boxes that can drive the motor but don't attempt any recoring).
Either approach is possible - but in both cases you are proposing a reasonably complex installation and you should realise that it will not be a trivial exercise to configure/install/commission it .
Quote

Any advice would be gratefully accepted, including anything regarding developments on DVD-S2 tuners - particularly, if available, twin tuners.
There are a pretty good selection of DVB-S2 compatible tuners now - we use DVBworld HD-2104's (these are USB2 and have external power) and their equivalent PCI/PCIe models in a lot of our installations but the Hauppauge range is also very good and well supported. There are also a number of dual tuner PCIe DVB-S2 tuner cards just appearing with Linux support (we are about to test some of these...so I cant say if they are viable yet)

Anyway i hope the above is of help.

All the best


Andrew
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 10:31:55 am by totallymaxed »
Andy Herron,
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Viking

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 09:45:09 am »
Hi  Andrew,

where do you buy theese DVBworld HD-2104 ?

And BTW thanks for your effort answering quetsuions here :)

Viking

totallymaxed

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 10:35:21 am »
Hi  Andrew,

where do you buy theese DVBworld HD-2104 ?

And BTW thanks for your effort answering quetsuions here :)

Viking

We can supply any of the DVBworld range of cards to forum members (we dont normally sell cards or other items if not part of a system...but we will to bonafide forum members who contact me). Now we have had some supply problems with the 2104's (as some of you will have experienced - big thankyou for you patience on this todate!) but we feel these are now resolved and we should be able to fullfill orders as of next week.

All the best

Andrew
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trentend

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 01:58:28 pm »
Andrew,

Thank you for the detailed response.  Sorry I haven't been able to reply before now, but I've been working round the clock so that I can get into my new house for christmas.

We configure some of our NerveCentres (Our name for a Core) with 6 x DVB-T tuners. We would then use a second 'slave' MythTV backend for the DVB-S tuners and in some cases a third 'slave' MythTV backend to manage the analog capture cards (for say external Sky or the Topfields you mention). Also watch the power usage from your PCI/PCie slots when using DVB-S cards they can quickly overload the bus's ability to deliver adequate power. Ion based MD's are certainly very good and can be rear mounted on/behind the TV's or can be located centrally in a rack. I would strongly suggest sticking firmly with nVidia graphics for your MD's overall.

I like the idea of using usb tuners, because it frees me from a need to balance slots and their availability in the server. I also hear what you are saying about power consumption, and instinctively like the idea of externally powered units.  I still don't really get a feel for how many are viable to run from the media server at once.  For example, suppose i have a dual Atom N330 based core - how many USB dvd-s2 units might I reasonably run from it?

You talk about MythTV backends.  I presume these are further "servers" communicating with the core?  I had previously presumed that I would need to use VBR, but if I could run two atom based servers, one with dvb-s2's for the fixed satellite, and one with dvb-s2's for the motorised dish, that might be a good solution for me. I'm actually intending to build a custom backplane motherboard arrangement in my server cabinet, with both core and two media directors in the same case.  I like the idea of small, low power dedicated units (I don't fancy the idea of a hybrid).  No reason I couldn't accomodate another "backend" - but I don't really understand this.

Either approach is possible - but in both cases you are proposing a reasonably complex installation and you should realise that it will not be a trivial exercise to configure/install/commission it .

I'm not expecting to throw this up overnight.  Initially I'll use tv feeds to toppys and televisions (to replicate what we already have), and expect a long learning curve.  Of course I'll feedback into the wiki.

There are a pretty good selection of DVB-S2 compatible tuners now - we use DVBworld HD-2104's (these are USB2 and have external power) and their equivalent PCI/PCIe models in a lot of our installations but the Hauppauge range is also very good and well supported. There are also a number of dual tuner PCIe DVB-S2 tuner cards just appearing with Linux support (we are about to test some of these...so I cant say if they are viable yet)

I know the DVBworld stuff, and previously had a price from them for shipping direct.  It was my intention to use them, although I needed to understand what had to be done in order to accomodate pay tv solutions - it's possible that I might want to subscribe to future satellite pay channels (either from the UK or abroad) - for example my mother-in-law subscribes to Croatian satellite tv when at home, but spends the winter with us in the UK.  It would be nice for her to be able to bring her card and watch Croatian TV.  I've never had any satellite TV connection before, so this is all new (and bemusing) to me.

I do not understand how any of the integrated tv modules (MythTV, VBR) handle mulltiple tuners and motorised dishes.  Is there not a danger that the system thinks a tuner is available (to view or record) but it's not because the dish is pointing at another satellite? Is this situation improved or worsened by mixing motorised and fixed feeds (improved because there is another feed to the fixed satellite available, worsened because the system tries to record on the fixed feed something that requires the motorised dish to point elsewhere)?  I haven't used a satellite recever before, never mind mythtv or linuxmce.  I really have no concept of how this is handled, or what the best setup would be.

I apologise for asking this of you here, but this is the sort of information that I have consistently been unable to find answers to.

Anyway i hope the above is of help.

Enormous help, thank you very much. I would be looking initially at one of the HD-2104's with the possibility of an eventual total of eight (depending on how possible it is to do the sort of things I've been asking about).  If you could either give me an idea of pricing, or tell me how to approach you appropriately it would be appreciated.

Thank you.

totallymaxed

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 03:06:56 pm »
I do not understand how any of the integrated tv modules (MythTV, VBR) handle mulltiple tuners and motorised dishes.  Is there not a danger that the system thinks a tuner is available (to view or record) but it's not because the dish is pointing at another satellite? Is this situation improved or worsened by mixing motorised and fixed feeds (improved because there is another feed to the fixed satellite available, worsened because the system tries to record on the fixed feed something that requires the motorised dish to point elsewhere)?  I haven't used a satellite recever before, never mind mythtv or linuxmce.  I really have no concept of how this is handled, or what the best setup would be.

I apologise for asking this of you here, but this is the sort of information that I have consistently been unable to find answers to.

Both MythTV and VDR would use DiSEqC to control the LNB's/Dish positioning. In Myth's case the sheduler logic would manage the tuning & postioning of the LNB/Dish and would therefore 'know' that the dish was being used to pickup specific Sats/channels and would not attempt to move the dish while it woas being used for recording even live TV.

I have to say however that we have never had a customer here in the UK yet that required us to use the Dish positioning features from Myth... but I do know they are in use by US based users (and many VDR users outside the UK use them too). So i hope the above is of help to you.

All the best

Andrew

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trentend

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 12:42:04 pm »
Thank you for that Andrew.

Does anyone have any guidance to offer on these points?

1. How does one arrange to receive (legitimately) subscription satellite television using Linuxmce?  How does one go about having a CAM, having a card read, etc.?

2. How many externally powered USB DVB-S2 receivers could a (lets say) atom 330 core handle?

totallymaxed

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 10:41:57 am »
Thank you for that Andrew.

Does anyone have any guidance to offer on these points?

1. How does one arrange to receive (legitimately) subscription satellite television using Linuxmce?  How does one go about having a CAM, having a card read, etc.?

2. How many externally powered USB DVB-S2 receivers could a (lets say) atom 330 core handle?

I'll have a pop at answering the above;

1. There is no direct support for CAM's etc in LinuxMCE and even in MythTV they should effectively be transparent as all the CAM has to do is enable the chosen channel/service to be accessed. So if your provider allows CAM's and you have a supported one installed then it should just work.... in theory ;-)

2. We have had 4 USB DVB-S2 tuners hung of a Eee Box 202 with a single Core Atom.

All the best


Andrew
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trentend

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 03:27:15 pm »

I'll have a pop at answering the above;

1. There is no direct support for CAM's etc in LinuxMCE and even in MythTV they should effectively be transparent as all the CAM has to do is enable the chosen channel/service to be accessed. So if your provider allows CAM's and you have a supported one installed then it should just work.... in theory ;-)

2. We have had 4 USB DVB-S2 tuners hung of a Eee Box 202 with a single Core Atom.

All the best

Andrew

Thank you again for that Andrew.

The only thing I don't understand is where to plug the CAM and how to enable it (presumably in a CI slot, presumably part of one of the tuners I need.....DVBWorld have a USB tuner that seems to support a CI module, but I can't find the module, nor do I know how to use it.....).  I know this is all a bit black arts, but it's rather a shame nobody is interested in de-mystifying legitimate use of satellite tuners for the mass market (I have absolutely no knowledge or experience of them in any context - I'm approaching them as new right here...).  With a settop box it's pretty easy to work out, they have a slot in them (if they support a card).  You plug it in there.  Voila!  How you get this legitimate access to subscription channels using the likes of MythTV seems almost impossible to find out.

Not a criticism of anyone here, just an observation of the status of one of the aspects of core functionality used in the project.


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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 04:25:50 pm »
I might be wrong (usually am) but I'm sure I read somewhere that it says in Sky's T&C's, you can't use cards to recieve their encrypted content. You have to use a STB. The same seems to be true of Cable with Virgin.   :-[

I'd love to be proved wrong and for you to write a wiki page on this once you get it working ;) At the moment, I'm setting up using my STP and a PVR-150 which is not perfect :( I plan to add some cards for freeview.

Unless of course, you are using a service from a different provider?
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trentend

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 10:33:16 pm »
I might be wrong (usually am) but I'm sure I read somewhere that it says in Sky's T&C's, you can't use cards to recieve their encrypted content. You have to use a STB. The same seems to be true of Cable with Virgin.   :-[

I'd love to be proved wrong and for you to write a wiki page on this once you get it working ;) At the moment, I'm setting up using my STP and a PVR-150 which is not perfect :( I plan to add some cards for freeview.

Unless of course, you are using a service from a different provider?

Yes, using other providers. I'm only interested in FreeSat from Astra.  I have absolutely no interest in Sky.  The immediate concern is getting my mother-in-laws Croatian satellite subscription working in the UK.  I have a motorised dish to line up with the satellite, but need to be able to read her subscription card.  She spends the winter with us, and the summer over there, and speaks limited English. Then I may be interested in some foreign subscription channles, or maybe not.  I certainly want the option, though, given that I have a motorised dish.

The Croatian channels are the primary concern.

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 09:05:57 am »
Hi,

I am not 100% sure that i name the things like CAM and so right. But it is the same at using a STB with a paytv-card and CAM.  Insert the Paytv-card (credit card like card) into the CAM (decrypter card). Insert the CAM into the CI-slot of the DVB-s tuner.

Offen they won't sell you a paytv-decrypter card if yoyu have not got a certified STB. But some sell CAM's if you ask them for it. You could tell them taht you have the new sony triple tuner TV (DVB-S/T/C) and need a CAM for that ;)

BUT.
1. it is not allways is possible  (or it is difficult)to activate the paytv-card in the PC DVB-s solution. The problem is that it has to tune a channel where it does not decrypt anything and then stay there for a long time. It might be that it works, but I gave up and activated it in my TV. See below.

2. not all CI slots are supported by the driver !!! Search http://www.linuxtv.org (http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/DVB-S2_Devices) for info if the CI is supported.

-----

I am using DVB-C and a CAM from Stofa in denmark. They sell CI for TV's with builtin DVB-C and CI-slot - here my card :
http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Satelco_EasyWatch_PCI_%28DVB-C%29

As you can see here my card/driver supports a CI :
http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/DVB-C_PCI_Cards#Software_Decoding_Cards


I had to activate it in my TV - where i inserted the CAM + paytv-card selected a crypted channel and waited a couple of hours. After that it also worked in Linuxmce.

Greetings
Viking

trentend

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 03:53:55 pm »
Viking, thanks for that.

I'm planning on using the dvbworld usb DVB-S2 tuner, with CI slot attachment.  I don't know if it will work, but I guess I just have to suck it and see.

I have a cheap HD satellite settop box (single tuner) with CI card slot (ie a certified settop box), for setting it up (and for use prior to getting LinuxMCE running).  There shouldn't be a problem getting the card activated (in the case of the Croatian one, which is used in Croatia for half the year), but at least I can problem solve any problems in comparison to the settop box.

Thank you for your efforts, much appreciated and it helps me understand more, when I know so little.

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Re: How to setup for DVB-S2 reception in the UK?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 04:55:21 pm »
No problem, glad I could help :)