[linux-dvb] Re: MSI MegaSky 580 or Twinhan DTV Alpha?

Jari-Pekka Heini jajuhein at cc.jyu.fi
Mon Oct 9 17:45:52 CEST 2006

Hi all, I just subscribed to the list.

I happen to own both of the devices you mentioned, and even if it might be
very early to say, as the Mega Sky driver still appears to be in
development, I would recommend MSI Mega Sky 580.

For me the newly written (consult this mailing list) Mega Sky driver works
actually much better than the Twinhan DTV Alpha driver which was included
in Ubuntu (forgot the actual kernel module name for this card).

The module driving DTV Alpha lockups my laptop every time I remove and
reinsert the adapter. I have no option but to press the power button > 5
seconds as the ATX-standard requires :) Also, if I boot the machine with
the card in the USB, it doesn't work. Perhaps I should file a bug. No
experience on that, though.

The m920x (Mega Sky driver) on the other hand works very well indeed. I
have experienced no problems and everything just works fine. Kaffeine is
not working, but it's possibly not related to the module.

The both drivers and cards, to my experiences, are very usable. I just
have had far less problems with m920x and Mega Sky. If you want
consultation for Windows, I could say both work ok, but both come with
equally crap software, which I wouldn't consider using any more than maybe
20 seconds.

My setup is Ubuntu Dapper, custom-compiled kernel, and v4l
modules from
(it should be safe to take the latest tree). Note that you also need the
firmware to be able to use these devices in Linux.

And what I think of the devices themselves, well:

- Mega Sky is much smaller and prettier, looks like a moderate-sized USB
Stick, and you can carry it on your neck if you wish; DTV Alpha on the
other hand looks clumsy and is somewhat bigger.

- Mega Sky has, to my experience, better and more sensitive antenna
(although the antenna is still a toy, you should really use a real

- The Alpha comes with a USB extension cable supplied, which makes it
easier to fit it in to, say, behind a laptop. USB extension cable is not
expensive to buy separately, though.

- Alpha has a very big remote control (about the size and looks of a
normal DVD player remote); Mega Sky has very minimalistic controller,
which can look a bit childish (but I like it anyway :)

- Not all the buttons in the Alpha's remote control work for me (not even
in Windows). I took it back to the store and received a new one, but it
seems to have the very same problem.

- And Mega Sky is (was?) even cheaper. I bought it for 59 euros here in
Finland. I paid 79 euro for the Alpha.

And if you end up buying the Mega Sky, be aware that there appears to be 2
different versions in the market. Take a look at the postings in this
mailing list, I assume that the other version is not yet fully supported.

Here, just my 2 cents,


> Hi
> I'm about to buy either a MSI MegaSky 580 or a Twinhan DTV Alpha (VP-7045A)
> How well does these "cards" work?
> Has anyone some advice on which "card" I should buy, or should I look at
> something else?
> Thanks
> /Jonas

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