Both Air2PC models are well supported under Linux. These are older cards (circa 2001 ? and 2004 ?) that are no longer manufactured, and have been superseded by the presently offered AirStar-HD5000-PCI model.
Origin of the Device's Name
The original "Air2PC ATSC PCI" reference card was designed by B2C2 and adopted by TechniSat for manufacturing. TechniSat never listed the ATSC variety of Air2PC cards on their own website's product pages (they only list the models' DVB-T counterpart, the AirStar 2 PCI). Rather, one finds information about these ATSC cards on the BBTI website (TechniSat's source for North American sales and distribution). Evidently, instead of marketing the cards using TechinSat's "*Stars" product lineup nomenclature, BBTI elected to use the original B2C2 naming scheme.
Why are they listed as a "network controller" and not a "multimedia controller" in the output of dmesg or lspci?
In reality, DTV devices are little more then network interfaces. Many happen to also support some form of analog input (TV-in or A/V in), and so use an A/V decoder to digitize the analog input signals. The A/V decoder also serves a second purpose as being a bridge to the PCI bus for both the digital signals and the digitized content (from the analog inputs) that the card receives. This is why these such devices will show up as a "multimedia controller".
In the case of the Air2PC cards, instead of an A/V decoder, they utilize the B2C2 FlexCop IC for a bridge to the PCI bus. As the FlexCop PCI interface chipset completely lacks any analog input functionality, this explains why these cards are barren of analog inputs, and also why they appear in dmesg or lspci output only as a "network controller".
Air2PC-ATSC-PCI (1st rev)
The original Air2PC model used the B2C2 FlexCop2 or FlexCop2b PCI interface chipset with a Panasonic ENA46916P4 tuner can and a Broadcom 3510 demodulator (which is visible on the face of the card's PCB). Support for this card was added to kernel 2.6.13.
You will often find this revision for sale on eBay, and in many cases being sold by BBTI themselves (see the notice on their webpage for further details).
This card requires a firmware file (dvb-fe-bcm3510-01.fw) for the demodulator, which can be obtained from the LinuxTV downloads section. Once the download is complete, place a copy of the firmware file in your /lib/firmware directory. (This directory may differ with some distros; consult your distro's documentation for the appropriate location).
Air2PC-ATSC-PCI (2nd rev)
The later revision/variant of the Air2PC card also used the B2C2 FlexCop2 or FlexCop2b PCI interface chipset, but was updated with a Samsung TBMV30111IN NIM that featured a Nxt2002 demodulator. Support for the rev.2 card (added to kernel 2.6.11) actually preceded that for the original Air2PC card.
This card requires a firmware file (dvb-fe-nxt2002.fw) for the demodulator, which can be obtained using the get_dvb_firmware perl script included in the kernel sources:
# cd /[kernel source directory]/scripts/ # perl get_dvb_firmware nxt2002
Once the download is complete, place a copy of the firmware file in your /lib/firmware directory. (This directory may differ with some distros; consult your distro's documentation for the appropriate location).