Recommended Tuner Cards for MythTV



DVB-S2 (Freesat HD)

TBS Dual/Quad DVB-S2

This is an excellent, low profile card which comes in single/dual/quad tuner, PCI and PCI-E variants. It is well supported in Linux. You do have to jump through some hoops and compile the driver to get it to work, though. See the following guides:

Quad tuner, PCI-ExpressDual tuner, PCI-ExpressSingle tuner, PCI-ExpressSingle tuner, PCI

DVBSky S952

While this may be decribed as a "twin dual" tuner card on some sites, it actually only has 2 tuners. What they mean is twin/dual! In any case, it's still a decent, good value card which has worked well since Ubuntu 12.04. You do need to install their Linux driver and firmware, see the Linux TV WIKI page linked below for details.

Dual tuner, PCI-E

Hauppauge WinTV Nova-HD-S2 Single Tuner PCI

This is a DVB-S2 card, but will work with DVB-S. For Freesat in the UK, the SD channels are transmitted using DVB-S and the HD channels using DVB-S2. So this card is good for both.

The Nova-HD-S2 uses the same firmware as the WinTV-HVR-4000 quad-mode card, so any information on the HVR-4000 is applicable. It has worked out-of-the-box since Ubuntu Jaunty and the 2.6.28 kernel. For older releases such as Intrepid, you need to compile the latest v4l-dvb driver. In any case, you'll need to download the dvb-fe-cx24116.fw firmware file. This is pretty straightforward and is explained in detail on the Linux TV WIKI:

Single tuner, PCI

Mystique Satix S2 Dual Tuner PCI-E

This is a dual tuner DVB-S2 card. See thew following link for detail on how to get it working:

Dual tuner, PCI-Express

DVB-T2 (Freeview HD)

TBS TBS6280 Dual Tuner DVB-T/DVB-T2 PCI-E

The TBS6280 is a Dual Tuner DVB-T/DVB-T2 card. The manufacturer officially supports Linux, although the driver is binary rather than open source. A highly recommended card.

The TBS6284 is a Quad Tuner DVB-T/DVB-T2 card. Also well supported.

Quad tuner, PCI-EDual tuner, PCI-E

BlackGold BGT3620 Dual Tuner DVB-T2 PCI-E

The BlackGold BGT3620 is a Dual Tuner DVB-T/DVB-T2 card. The manufacturer officially supports Linux and binary drivers are available from its website:

Dual tuner, PCI-E

Pinnacle PCTV nanoStick T2 290e USB

An excellent choice. Freeview HD has been working out-of-the-box with this card since Ubuntu 12.04.

Single tuner, USB

DVB-T (FreeView SD)

Hauppauge Nova-T Single Tuner USB Stick

The Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T-Stick is now very cheap and well supported, but a freely available firmware file is required. See here for more information. A good choice for standard definition Freeview.

Single tuner, USB

Hauppauge Nova-TD Diversity Dual Tuner USB Stick

Similar to the Nova-T but with the addition of a second tuner. Note that you will need 2 aerial leads into the stick.

Dual tuner, USB

Pinnacle PCTV nano Stick 73e USB

A very small USB stick for DVB-T. Standard definition only.

Hauppauge Nova-T 500 Dual Tuner PCI

This dual tuner, low-pofile card works out-of-the box on Intrepid and Jaunty. The firmware is provided by the "restricted drivers" packages. See the MythTV WIKI for instructions on how to configure the remote control:


Dual tuner, PCI

Hauppauge Nova-T Single Tuner (cx88) PCI

These Conexant-based cards work extremely well on Ubuntu, but are standard definition only. No special firmware required. I've been using these for years and you can still buy them:

Single tuner, PCI

Older Hauppauge Nova-T Single Tuner (tda1004x) PCI

The older Nova-T cards were based on the tda1004x chipset and require some firmware to be loaded. If you get the something like the following in /var/log/messages when scanning for channels, then you're missing some firmware:

Feb  7 18:25:29 ripley kernel: [4294696.111000] DVB: registering frontend 0 (Philips TDA10045H DVB-T)...
.
Feb  7 18:25:47 ripley kernel: [4294728.644000] tda1004x: waiting for firmware upload (dvb-fe-tda10045.fw)...
Feb  7 18:25:47 ripley kernel: [4294728.838000] tda1004x: no firmware upload (timeout or file not found?)
Feb  7 18:25:47 ripley kernel: [4294728.838000] tda1004x: firmware upload failed

Getting the Firmware

You no longer need to get the firmware off a Windows box; you can use the get_dvb_firmware script, which is distributed as part of the Linux source code, to fetch it off the internet. Run the script, telling it which firmware to fetch (the clue is in the error message above, in this case tda10045).

get_dvb_firmware tda10045

This downloads a file such as tt_budget_217g.zip, which contains a dvb-fe-tda10045.fw firmware file. Copy it into the firmware directory:

cp dvb-fe-tda10045.fw /lib/firmware

Note that if you're still on on Breezy, the firmware directory is: /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware

Reboot your machine and the card should be recognised:

Feb  7 23:49:13 ripley kernel: [4294723.099000] tda1004x: waiting for firmware upload (dvb-fe-tda10045.fw)...
Feb  7 23:49:14 ripley kernel: [4294724.473000] tda1004x: firmware upload complete

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