Finding the perfect USB DVB-S2 TV Card for my MediaPortal HTPC


In the past I’ve been experimenting a lot with different PCI TV Cards and went through different TV Cards like 878 Haupauge, Knc One DVB-T, Skystar 2 DVB-S and Tevii s464 DVB-S2. Some were running good and at least one of them made me jump out of the window.

For my new HTPC I needed an external DVB-S2 usb card as the zotac has no room for any internal cards. So I found the TeVii s660 through the MePo forums and some good comments about it. But with all good intentions  I could not make it work stable in combination with MediaPortal and the Zotac. I decided to get a few other DVB-S2 USB TV cards in the same price range and make a test.

Test Candidates

Test Setup

imageimage

Result table

Channel switching
TV Card
(driver version)
SD same
transponder (LiveTv)
SD different
transponder (LiveTv)
Turn TV on
(First initialization) all following
HD Channel (LiveTv) AVG  (TV Server test)
TeVii S660 (5.1.4.0) < 1 sec 2-2.5 sec (10) 4 sec 2 – 5 sec 1689 ms (Bluescreen @ tune #393)
TeVii S660 (5.1.6.6) < 1 sec 3 – 4 sec (10) 5 sec 3 – 5 sec 2523 ms
TBS QBox 2 (2.0.2.0) ~1 sec ~2 sec (13) 3 sec 3 – 4 sec (sound earlier) 1416 ms
Technotrend 3600 (1.0.3.8) ~2 sec 3 – 3,5 sec (13) 3 sec 3 – 6 sec 2350 ms
Mystique Satix-S2 Sky USB
(1.32.1007.0)
~1 sec ~2 sec (13)  3 sec 2 – 4 sec view the log
Power consumption whole system
TV Card idle SDTV HD Standby (S3) (3W @ no tv card )
TeVii S660 (5.1.4.0) 27,5 W (standby mode), 33 W 39,5 W 39,0 W 4,5W (standby mode)
TeVii S660 (5.1.6.6) 27,5 W (standby mode),  33 W 39,5 W 39,0 W 4,5W (standby mode)
TBS QBox 2 33,3 W 39,3 W 40,0 W 9W
Technotrend 3600 32,0 W 40,0 W 40,0 W 8 W
Mystique Satix S2 USB 34,3 W 39,3 W 38,5 W 10 W
TV Card Stability notes Other notes Standby / Resume Compatibility
TeVii S660 (5.1.4.0) Sometimes Bluescreen “Worker Thread returned at bad IRQ” not working Nachdenkliches Smiley
TeVii S660 (5.1.6.6) Some “Timeshift errors” Fixable by switching channel. See AVG Channel Test log Stop TVService before standby, start on resume, restart MePo (should work, never tried) Nachdenkliches Smiley
TBS QBox 2 stable channel tuning,
USB driver issues possible
When having problem “unknown device” in device manager, pull power out of Qbox, change usb port, restart PC, plug in power  cable again Mepo Client Config –> Restart MePo on resume,
TvServer Config General –> wait 10 sec on resume (maybe less)
-> plugins –> Power Scheduler, reinitialize service on resume (worked for me)
Smiley
Technotrend 3600 stable channel tuning Channel switching could be faster Turn Live TV off, before going to standby (worked for me) Smiley
Mystique Satix S2 USB Channel tuning problems, see AVG log above not tested Nachdenkliches Smiley

Notes

  • These test results are just valid for the described zotac system using MediaPortal 1.2.1 final. All cards could work fine with the OEM Software or other systems but I have not checked this.
  • All cards have problems with standby mode when TV is turned on. I’ve listed some workarounds for you to try.
  • I have done my best to get the TeVii and the Mystique Card to work without any success yet
  • The Mystique card has definitly high potential for the best price/benefit ratio. Maybe it works for you?

Conclusion

By looking at my test results I come to the conclusion that it is quite a lottery game to find the perfect external usb tv card. My personal favorite is the TBS Qbox as it’s fast enough for my zapping needs and really working stable. The TeVii and the Mystique card could definitly work for you and the problems may be caused by a bad system driver. If this is the case please leave a comment. At least the TeVii card is known to be working for many people in the MePo forum.

I hope this post helps you finding the perfect card for your system.

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  1. #1 von Tim am Dezember 22, 2011 - 4:44 am

    Hi, thanks for a balanced review of the USB2 options.
    I was in the same boat as you are, searching for a DVB-T tuner.
    I ended up buying an HDHomeRun Network-based dual-HDTV Tuner.
    It works perfectly from anywhere in the house 🙂
    Hope this helps.
    Tim

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