The best supported DVB-C USB-Stick for Linux / tvheadend in 2018

Hey guys,

my journey of finding the right TV Stick for my tvheadend setup finally came to an end.

And to watch and record 2 channels simultaneously I bought 3 of them which are working great.

My DVB-C USB-Stick of choice is now:

I use this 3 channel splitter to connect three of those pctv-sticks
- https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00H6G2Z86

Somehow it was a long journey and I wasted some money on other sticks which didn't work with dvb-c or with linux in general.

Usage

Install

I read in two places about those sticks, so I got two recommendations about which firmware file I needed. I just installed both and it works great.

So start off by downloading those two firmware files

I installed both, but you might only install one

Copy both firmware files to /lib/firmware

Update: After figuring out with a reader of this blog why his stick didn't work as expected we found the following:

  • it seems that dvb-demod-si2168-b40-01.fw is the right and only firmware
  • this file has to have 8507536630d75a316d0719d6b95c04b90c36baa5b457ad457c9bacadafcef134 as sha256sum - check it!

Install dvb-fe-tool

apt-get install dvb-tools

Run dvb-fe-tool to see supported modi

Switch to DVB-C

dvb-fe-tool -d dvbc/annex_a

Multiple Adapters

you can use a different adapter by it's number (default: 0)

dvb-fe-tool -a 1 # shows adapter 1
dvb-fe-tool -a 2 # shows adapter 2

to use a frontend other than 0, you can specify it with -f

More

https://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Dvb-fe-tool

Good Alternatives

I can also recommend the Suntek MediaTV Pro DVB-C USB Sticks.

I used it for serveral years - but unfortunatley after I moved I wasn't able to recieve all channels my TV was able to recieve.

So this journey began and I was searching for an alternative solution.

Sunteks drivers work very well with linux, and they have great support for several processor architechtures and the driver runs in the userland!

So it might also be a great choice!

The best supported DVB-C USB-Stick for Linux / tvheadend in 2018
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