[linux-dvb] suggestions for dual tuner + hardware encoder cards?

Hans Verkuil hverkuil at xs4all.nl
Thu Oct 25 12:08:00 CEST 2007

> Hi everyone,
> I am searching for hardware for a small project: build one or two
> boxes packed with tuner cards to capture, encode and stream analog TV
> channels to an IP network. The initial target is 6 channels, but
> ideally I would like to be able to accomodate more in the future.
> Hence I am looking for supported cards featuring dual tuners and a
> hardware MPEG encoder. The cards must have a PCI or PCIe interface. I
> would better not have to deal with USB devices because, if nothing
> else, the boxes should be self-contained.
> I've read about the saa7162 based devices; I think these would be
> ideal, and I believe I can actually find some on the local market.
> However, as far as I can tell, there are no drivers yet to support
> the hardware on these cards. Is that so?
> Ruling out saa7162, and since I can't find other such dual-tuner
> cards, I am also looking at single tuner devices with a hardware
> encoder. According to what I've read in the v4l2 wiki and elsewhere,
> it seems I should go for some ivtv or cx88-supported device with pvr
> functionality onboard, i.e. devices featuring some blackbird or vixs
> mpeg encoder. However I am somewhat lost at this point, since there
> is a wide range of devices supported by these drivers and not all
> have the same features (more specifically the hardware encoder chip)
> or are supported to the same extent. The extensive commercial re-
> branding of these cards also doesn't help when trying to identify them.
> I therefore decided to ask for suggestions from folks more
> knowledgeable than me. I am rather new to v4l and linux-dvb, but not
> totally new: for the past few months I've successfully used a saa7134
> based card (Lifeview FlyDVB Trio) to experiment with analog, DVB-T
> and DVB-S channels. In any case please bear with me and my ignorance,
> in case I have gotten wrong the few facts stated above.
> Finally I apologize for cross-poting; My questions probably pertain
> to rather generic v4l hardware matters (as opposed to being DVB
> specific), however I would value suggestions by members of both lists.

One option is the Hauppauge PVR-500 that has two tuners. It can encode
into an MPEG-2 Program Stream (NOT Transport Stream, you will have to do
postprocessing if you want a TS). Also note that it is not suitable as a
framegrabber card, it's meant to be used as an MPEG encoder.

It's supported by the ivtv driver since kernel 2.6.22, but it is
recommended to use the driver from 2.6.24-rcX or use the latest driver
sources from the v4l-dvb tree.

Watch out for PVR-500 cards that use a Samsung tuner: avoid them, these
tuners can give you a lot of trouble depending on the quality of your
input signal.



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