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Advice needed on picking a TV tuner card for server in Ireland/UK/Europe

So we are going to be getting a free to air ariel and satellite which I am looking to connect both to my Plex server. I’ve never done this before so I am hoping if anyone has any advice.

Any recommendations on if I should be looking at a PCI card or an external box?

Are there any issues with connecting 2 Coaxial cables into one card/box?

Any recommendations for brands that work well in Ireland/UK?

Anything else I should be aware of?

Any advice on any or all of the above would be greatly appreciated. I know Ireland is a small market so not expecting any specifics, but I can hope! :rofl: Although even any general advice would be greatly appreciated

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This should do it has two coax for you also.

These things are pretty self explanatory. Make sure you pay your tv licence mind :stuck_out_tongue:

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:rofl: :rofl: It will be the first time in almost 20 years but the wife wants to watch a bit or normal TV as we are locked down for god knows how long more so seeing as I’ll actually be using it I’ll pay for it :laughing:

Brace yourself for ad-apocolipto4000 my work colleauge had free view on the other day and I started stabbing at my own neck with the business end of a biro :slight_smile: .

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Yea, I hate ads on TV but I watch the NFL so I’ve been exposed to US ads on TV :face_vomiting:
Apparently Plex can remove most ads :crossed_fingers:

From using a few TV tuner solutions over the years, in the post-Win10 era of no media center you’ll have to either use an OEMs clunky tuner/time-shift application or use a 3rd party media playback with tuner support such as Plex.

Networked based tuners with optional USB storage support such as SiliconDust is good if you want to be anywhere at home. I have no idea about Amazon’s EU models but there was a FireTV model which has a built-in HDD for TV DVR and from what I read it performed good–downside 500GB isn’t much storage space.

If you go the PCIe route you can get up to 4 tuners which is good for recording and perfect for a dedicated HTPC/Plex box but tuner cards do get toasty so make sure your PC case has enough airflow.

As far as my own usage, I could of consolidated to a dual-tuner USB solution but I still have two WinTV USB sticks. My old Silicon Dust DVR died from a hot summer heat.


Think I’m going to go for PCI, thanks for the temp warning, I’ve a pretty large case for my server and it’s got 5 intake and 2 out so should be good, in fact it’s currently too loud :rofl: so I need to sort the fan curve out.

UHI recommended a TBS card (unless you have another recommendation?) and they look decent, although I know they take satellite signals (a it’s in the specs) but nothing about free to air signals from a digital aerial but I think that they are essentially the same think but will confirm that they are before I pull the trigger.
And I’ll be using Plex for now, my wife knows how to use it and the TV is mainly for her, plus it apparently can remove adverts so that might be nice

Additionally, you need to pay attention and decide whether you want it to have a CI+ card slot. This is for Pay TV, if you wish to receive any using that technology.
I looked online, yeah, prices do skyrocket for these :confused:

Then I noticed on my TV (I don’t own any of these cards), TV stations started embedding “muh copyright” signal in their broadcasts, making DVR useless. There’s probably nothing a chinese man can’t “fix” :wink: yet another peculiarity to be aware of.

I forgot, you can go the other route: buy one of those ARM boxes made for Kodi. They have built-in tuners too, I have a setup such that all channels are reachable via RTMP. AFAIK on that thing the tuner allows up to 4 simultaneous decodes (streams) running.
The experience is sub-par though. I suspect it’s due to errors in the stream which regular video players aren’t too good at handling: VLC 2 seems to starve the buffer over time and ends up freezing on supposedly every error. Didn’t try VLC 3, due to unrelated problems. New ffplay plays them fine however.

I ended up going with this card, the TBS 6902

It has 2 inputs, more than enough for my use case (I will never need more) and I checked it works for Free to air and Free SAT. We wont be using paid TV at all, to be honest I have absolutely no interest and this is just for my wife for the odd show here and there, I’d be surprised if it is used once a week after lockdown is lifted.
I have not owned a TV subscription or ariel for the last 15+ years and I don’t intent on changing that now. This will just be the Free to Air TV channels available in Ireland and the Free to Air SAT channels available in Ireland (one high gain Ariel and one satellite, 2 coax cables coming in) connected to Plex so she can record ahead of time and watch later and also to reduce the overhead and work for me :laughing:

Although I do appreciate the heads up about the Encoding on the Paid services but I wont be using any of that. Sorry if it does not sound like that, it just does not apply to my particular use case but might to others reading this later

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Give a review when you’ve given it a decent test?

I’ve only got an old Haupage USB DVB tuner, and it used to work fine, before the age of Freesat.

Had been considering dusting it off for the occasional film4 or something, but might just go for a decent card if it is worth it?

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Yea, definitely. Probably good from me as I’ve never done TV tuner cards either so if a boomer like me can manage it on an unraid server anyone can :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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I have only ever had TV tuner equipment in the back of my mind as a “maybe someday” sort of priority but if I were more serious about it I would probably check the LinuxTV hardware pages to get a sense of what hardware supports what and if it works under Linux, or MythTV’s own wiki pages, though some pages, like for Hauppauge, direct you to LinuxTV for more information.

There is an interesting CCC talk that discusses how Satellite/Cable encoding works; that researcher used Genpix SkyWalker-1, Hauppauge HVR 950Q, and HD Homerun Prime — if it worked well enough for that kind of research, I would imagine the drivers for those are in fairly good shape for normal use — though that was mainly US TV, so those tuners might not work on Irish TV signals anyway.

(The “crack” is not a practical easy piracy thing, it is mainly a reverse engineering talk about how TV, and especially encrypted TV signals work)

I used to use a Hauppage USB stick.
Worked fine for for DVB signals.
Not sure how freesat / satellite works.

If drone footage can be easily grabbed with normal equipment, I hardly imagine intentionally unencrypted satellite video would be difficult to use normally.