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3 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 253228 2-Aug-2019 01:35
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Is it possible to buy a New Zealand Freeview certified dual tuner satellite-only receiver without having to buy a PVR type with its own in-built hard drive etc? I have no need of on-line connection or WiFi or ethernet connectivity. Alternatively, a dual tuner satellite receiver for connection to a Mac computer. I have a couple of Elgato EyeTV UHF terrestrial receivers and was wondering if there is something similar for satellite receivers.  Cheers

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481 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2287909 2-Aug-2019 23:35
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What you seem to need is a dual tuner DVB-S or DVB-S2 device - not a receiver, just the tuners.  Or two separate DVB-S(2) tuners.  Then you use (pay or free) software on a PC or device to record or play from the tuners.  Tuners just need to meet the DVB-S or DVB-S2 standard - there is no need for Freeview certification for tuners.  And for recording and playback software, you do NOT want Freeview certification, because anything that is Freeview certified is certified to not make it easy to avoid the ads.  You can not get Freeview certification on anything that allows "skipping" in a video recording, where you push the arrow key and the playback immediately skips forwards say 30 seconds.  They will only certify "fast forward", where you can speed up the playback to x2, x3, x5... so that you have to see every 2nd, 3rd, 5th... frame.  I am not sure what limit they have on it, but suffice to say you will have to watch some of the frames of the ads you are trying to avoid.  With a properly set up skip system on my MythTV software, I can skip over an ad break extremely rapidly and easily and so I find that when the Fair Go ad awards come around, I have usually never seen any of the ads featured.


There are lots of options for DVB-S2 tuners.  DVB-S is hard to find now as the manufacturers do not make DVB-S only chips any more - but that is not a problem as all DVB-S2 tuners also do DVB-S.  But for some reason DVB-S(2) tuners are few and far between in NZ shops these days.  There can be some on TradeMe from time to time, but you are best to just import them yourself.  The main options are network tuners (independent devices that you connect to your network somewhere and can then be used by any device on the network), or tuners attached to one PC, either in the form of USB devices or PCIe cards.  There are still some PCI cards available too.  Network tuners normally come with either a proprietary network protocol, or use SAT>IP.  You have to decide what to get based on what software you are using.  Or you can use something like TVHeadend running on a box on your network (or in a virtual machine) to translate the protocols.  And TVHeadend can also turn PCI(e) or USB tuners into network tuners for you.  There are heaps of little Linux based boxes out there that run TVHeadend and 2-4 tuners.  Some work well and others are best avoided.  Or you can build your own with a little PC or Android board and something like OpenElec Linux.


Satellite tuners are generally more expensive than the DVB-T(2) ones as they have to provide a 13 or 18 volt signal to your dish's LNB to select the polarity.  So they need either an external power supply or to have extra circuitry on board to create the higher voltages from.  PCI(e) cards may need to be connected to the PC power supply using an extra connector.


I have a TBS 6909 8-tuner DVB-S2 card:


in my MythTV box.  MythTV on that box uses 4 of the tuners to record Sky, and I run minisatip to make the other tuners available on my network via SAT>IP protocol.  The TBS web site is a good place to look to see what sorts of things are available.  If you want to buy a TBS product, make sure to do a web search for the specific device as you can usually find it available at a discounted price.  My TBS 6909 was bought discounted from a site run by TBS themselves out of China.


A more plug and play option is a SiliconDust HDHomeRun device - dual or quad network tuners using their protocol, which is widely supported.  I have not looked at their offerings recently but they used to have DVB-S dual tuners available, so they should now be offering dual DVB-S2.  And there are plenty of other companies with many different products, as there are heaps of TV satellites around the world.


For the Freeview DVB-S service, there are three multiplexes broadcast, two by Freeview and one by Sky (with Prime and some other minor channels).  So you if you want to be able to be guaranteed to avoid all conflicts, you need three DVB-S tuners.

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