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842 posts

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# 143371 12-Apr-2014 15:20
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I have purchased a Hauppauge PCTV 461e DVB-S2 Satellite USB Stick from Germany which has recently become available and is described in a February Press Release here. I believe there are not many HD USB stick Satellite receivers on the market so fellow Geekzoners may be interested in this product.

It provides a means of watching Satellite TV of Optus D1 and others so should provide access to New Zealand's Freeview channels. It is about 10cm long 3cm wide and 1.5cm thickness. It comed with a approx 30cm USB extension cable in case it does not fit next to other USB devices connected to the PC. It also has an external power supply that unfortunately was supplied with a European plug.

The device comes with a remote and an installation CD containing PCTV Sytems Center software version 6.4.6.942 which supports Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. (PCTV Systems are a subsidiary of Hauppauge.)

Unfortunately it is not possible to configure Satellites and Transponder changes manually using the software supplied. According to their help desk "for a transponder change a new release of TV centre needs to be performed (The scanning tables are built into TV centre)". This is an unfortunate and surprising limitation as the satellites available do not include all those seen over New Zealand and those included are out of date.

The current list of available satellites for viewing are:



Note that Optus B3 is still shown at 156 East from which it moved about 3 years ago. Optus D1 is shown however the Transponders may not be up to date. My Satellite dish points to Optus D2 at 152 East, it is not included in the list neither is Intelsat 19 and others that are viewable here.

I have asked the Help Desk for updates to the tables and am waiting over 1 week now for updated data. The description and write-up looks really promising and am looking forward to seeing it working. I will provide an update when I get it fully working.

It's great to have a satellite receiver in a USB stick but disappointing that the software does not allow the user to configure it as transponders change. PCTV have created a difficult ongoing job for themselves to supply up to date satellite data. Other satellite receivers do allow the user to change satellite information when necessary.

Has anyone else used this or another USB satellite stick and what has your experience been with it?

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  # 1025269 15-Apr-2014 04:27
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If you check the install folder you may find the satellite list configuration is a basic text file that you can edit manually.




 


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  # 1025532 15-Apr-2014 12:54
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Who did you order through and what was their price like. I could do with some additional DVB-S tuners and would love a DVB-S2 unit to play with.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


 
 
 
 




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  # 1026305 16-Apr-2014 16:14
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Apsattv: If you check the install folder you may find the satellite list configuration is a basic text file that you can edit manually.


 PCTV say satellite configuration cannot be configured manually - it is built into their software.



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  # 1026316 16-Apr-2014 16:46
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openmedia: Who did you order through and what was their price like. I could do with some additional DVB-S tuners and would love a DVB-S2 unit to play with.


I ordered direct from Hauppauge Germany. All up the DVB-S2 Stick plus DHL courier came to 92.12 Euros. It took nearly 2 weeks to arrive.

It may pay to wait till the NZ Satellites and Transponders are updated, I will post here when it happens - waiting about 2 weeks now for an update to the software. Till this is done I can't tune in Optus D2 which my dish points to.

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  # 1026335 16-Apr-2014 17:38
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geek4me: It may pay to wait till the NZ Satellites and Transponders are updated, I will post here when it happens - waiting about 2 weeks now for an update to the software. Till this is done I can't tune in Optus D2 which my dish points to.

How about trying other software? There are plenty of free and open source options which don't have silly restrictions like binary/non-user-updateable tuning detail storage.



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  # 1026918 17-Apr-2014 15:10
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Apsattv: I see the software can be downloaded here
http://www.pctvsystems.com/tabid/62/default.aspx/Downloads/Application/TVC6Download/tabid/214/language/en-US/Default.aspx



I already have PCTV Systems Center software version 6.4.6.942 installed which is newer than the one on the above link and came with the 461e stick.

On your suggestion I have searched through the different files that are in the various PCTV (sub)directories looking for "optus" inside the files. Optus is not found anywhere so PCTV must use "binary/non-user-updateable tuning detail storage".

 
 
 
 




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  # 1027222 18-Apr-2014 09:57
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I received updated satellite files today consisting of 27 new xml files which included Optus D2. The satellite scan however found no stations.

I also tried PCTV's Windows Media Center files on their install CD (which also did not include Optus D2) and had old Optus D1 stations like Stratos in the list. Windows Media Center does let you select LNB Type and Frequency and lets you Manually add Transponder Frequencies. I could configure the LNB Type to "Custom Single Oscillator" (rather than "Universal") and add my LNB frequency of 10750 MHz. After then manually adding Optus D2 Transponder frequencies (to Optus D1) a Windows Media Center satellite scan found stations. Not all stations on the same Transponder showed a picture. e.g Press TV plays but Ovation Channel on the same Transponder has no picture or sound - hopefully a Windows Media Center problem.

I suspect this means PCTV's software assumes one is using a specific LNB Type and frequency (perhaps Universal) and this cannot be configured so have asked PCTV how to do this.

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  # 1027625 19-Apr-2014 01:07
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Ovation is in Mpeg 4. Perhaps a codec issue?




 




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  # 1027657 19-Apr-2014 09:45
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Apsattv: Ovation is in Mpeg 4. Perhaps a codec issue?


The 461e DVB-S2 Stick supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 so it should work okay. I'll see what the PCTV software can find when I get it working. Hopefully it will show pictures and sound for stations that Windows Media Center finds but do not work.

BTW you were right about the stations being in text files - in this case *.xml files I hadn't checked where they were "hidden" in directory C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\PCTV Systems\PVR\TuningTables\DVBSTuner

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  # 1027694 19-Apr-2014 12:01
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geek4me: I suspect this means PCTV's software assumes one is using a specific LNB Type and frequency (perhaps Universal) and this cannot be configured so have asked PCTV how to do this.

Don't know why you prefer to use the PCTV software... but in any case you can adjust the transponder frequencies in the XML file to compensate for the difference in LNB frequency.
10600 - 10750 = -150 MHz
So, subtract 150 MHz (or 150000 kHz or 0.15 GHz) from each of the transponder frequencies and bob's your uncle.



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  # 1027717 19-Apr-2014 14:21
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mm1352000: Don't know why you prefer to use the PCTV software... but in any case you can adjust the transponder frequencies in the XML file to compensate for the difference in LNB frequency.
10600 - 10750 = -150 MHz
So, subtract 150 MHz (or 150000 kHz or 0.15 GHz) from each of the transponder frequencies and bob's your uncle.


PCTV software supports the PCTV remote control provided whereas Windows Media Center does not. It is also best if PCTV help to get their software working in New Zealand if they want to sell more 461e Sticks here. I have not found any other DVB-S2 USB HD Sticks on the internet.

I changed one Frequency 12581 to 12431 (CarrierFrequency="12581000" to CarrierFrequency="12431000") a PCTV scan did not find any channels at all. No Ovation and no Press TV on that frequency.

However, if I could get Windows Media Center to show all channels on all frequencies I'd probably use that instead. Ovation is MPEG 4 which I presume Windows Media Center supports. Is there better software I should use?


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  # 1027957 19-Apr-2014 22:09
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Can you upload one of the .xml files?




 




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  # 1028057 20-Apr-2014 09:18
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Here is the xml file for Optus D2. Have reset frequency 12581

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!--
$Revision: 1.2 $
Updated 17.04.2014 05:20:22 UTC
-->
<Bands>
<Band Name="#1a" CarrierFrequency="12274000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="6670" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="1" CarrierFrequency="12296000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="1644" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="NOT_DEFINED"/>
<Band Name="2" CarrierFrequency="12328000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="15000" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="5_6"/>
<Band Name="12" CarrierFrequency="12469000" Polarisation="LINEAR_H" SymbolRate="6670" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="NOT_DEFINED"/>
<Band Name="5L" CarrierFrequency="12519000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="22500" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="13" CarrierFrequency="12536000" Polarisation="LINEAR_H" SymbolRate="6980" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="13a" CarrierFrequency="12545000" Polarisation="LINEAR_H" SymbolRate="6980" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="5U" CarrierFrequency="12546000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="22500" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="13b" CarrierFrequency="12554000" Polarisation="LINEAR_H" SymbolRate="6980" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="14L" CarrierFrequency="12581000" Polarisation="LINEAR_H" SymbolRate="22500" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="14U" CarrierFrequency="12608000" Polarisation="LINEAR_H" SymbolRate="22500" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="7" CarrierFrequency="12639000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="15000" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="5_6"/>
<Band Name="7a" CarrierFrequency="12657000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="15000" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="5_6"/>
<Band Name="7U" CarrierFrequency="12675000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="15000" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="5_6"/>
<Band Name="8L" CarrierFrequency="12706000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="22500" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
<Band Name="8U" CarrierFrequency="12734000" Polarisation="LINEAR_V" SymbolRate="22500" OuterFEC="VITERBI" OuterFECRate="3_4"/>
</Bands>

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  # 1028111 20-Apr-2014 12:14
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geek4me: PCTV software supports the PCTV remote control provided whereas Windows Media Center does not.

You'll probably find this is true for many manufacturer remotes (ie. they'll work in the OEM software but not outside) that are not WMC compatible.

geek4me: It is also best if PCTV help to get their software working in New Zealand if they want to sell more 461e Sticks here. I have not found any other DVB-S2 USB HD Sticks on the internet.

Any DVB-S2 tuner would do. The HD aspect is entirely down to the encoder used by the broadcaster and the software that you use the tuner with.
You're possibly right about the stick form factor - not very common due to the power requirements for satellite tuners => heat dissipation required => form factor required.
So for example this would work:
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=47173

geek4me: I changed one Frequency 12581 to 12431 (CarrierFrequency="12581000" to CarrierFrequency="12431000") a PCTV scan did not find any channels at all. No Ovation and no Press TV on that frequency.

Does your satellite system respond to 22 kHz?


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