Help with a list of good ISDB-T USB TV sticks for Brazil & S. America

Discussion in 'Newcomers Forum' started by Paul9, December 19, 2014.

  1. Paul9

    Paul9 Portal Member

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    I moved to Brazil where the TV broadcast standard is SBTVD (ISDB-T - similar to Japanese TV). Back in 2006 Terratec.de told me their Cinergy Hybrid T USB XS TV stick worked both in UK and on Brazil PAL-M. It didn't. But from it I learn't a smidgen about USB TV-Tuner sticks, and that it was quite important for the USB driver to have a standard software driver - like BDA, to allow choice of different UI frontends than e.g. 'Home Cinema' to drive the stick.

    I have only just stumbled on MP, and see the index mentions many TV standards, but not the Brazilian ISDB-T now adopted by many S. American countries.

    Can anyone help with a list of good quality HD TV sticks (preferably global brand, eg AverMedia) that support Brazilian HD TV and a BDA or other standard interface to allow MP, Kodi, or WMC for example to drive them ?

    Thanks for any advice on this


     
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  3. mm1352000
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    Hello and welcome :)

    Sorry, I can't provide you with the list of tuners you're asking for. We do not collect lists of compatible tuners as there are far too many available from a huge number of vendors. The only information I can offer that might help you is:

    MP doesn't explicitly support ISDB-* tuners, but some ISDB-Tb/SBTVD tuners may work. My understanding is that tuners with BDA drivers that implement SBTVD support often expose a DVB-T tuner interface. MP can use such tuners because the driver makes the tuner look exactly like a DVB-T tuner. Any SBTVD tuner that does not expose a BDA DVB-T interface will not work in MP. There is no "other standard interface" for Windows, and no ISDB-specific code in MP.

    Regards,
    mm
     
  4. Paul9

    Paul9 Portal Member

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    Well thank you for that info which was useful insofar as establishing that the Microsoft BDA drivers are a pre-requisite to allow customers choice of Application Software. Another problem is Brazilian website vendors advertise obscure brands of minimal specification, not to the detail of whether there is a BDA driver supporting alternate viewers. With most of S. America using ISDB - a big market, I am just wondering how to discover if MP, XBMC etc IS being used with TV-Tuners IN S. America ?
     
  5. mm1352000
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    If you were to point out the models that you were looking at then I might be able to tell you if they have BDA drivers (...assuming I can overcome the language barriers and find a downloadable version of their drivers).

    I can't tell you about XBMC (Kodi), except to note that it doesn't have built in TV support. Therefore, its support for SBTVD would entirely depend on the PVR package in use. See the page here:
    http://kodi.wiki/view/PVR_backend

    ...though note that unfortunately the comparison tables don't tell you which PVR solutions support ISDB (SBTVD). In my experience they're not accurate anyway.
    So to be clear: my point is that SBTVD support with XBMC depends entirely on the backend/PVR you choose to use.


    As for MP, I've already given you pretty much all the information that I have.
    There are clues that MP may support SBTVD for certain tuners. For example there are ISDB tuning parameters for Sao Paulo (Brazil) in our lists:
    https://github.com/MediaPortal/Medi...ngParameters/dvbt/Brazil.ISDB - Sao Paulo.xml

    They would not exist unless somebody provided them... and presumably if they provided those details, they had a tuner that enabled them to confirm that the details were correct.

    You can also find threads in the forum if you search for ISDB. Some examples...

    This person says which tuner they use:
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/mp-television-without-audio-video-ok-tips.59927/
    http://www.prolink.com.tw/style/fra...tent_set=color_5&Directory_ID=17007&id=194280

    In the product picture you can see a small WMC-compatible logo, which is a pretty good sign that the tuner has BDA drivers.

    This person is receiving TV in Argentina with a tuner that has a dibcom chipset:
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/dvb-t-channel-frequency-for-argentina.113615/

    This person is using a TBS tuner:
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/black-screen-with-isdb-t-usb-tuner.68906/

    This person is using a "C3 Tech HDTV/SDTV (Generic Chinese brand sold in Brasil)":
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/some-basic-questions.84867/

    In all cases, the tuners have BDA drivers that make MP think they are DVB-T tuners.
     
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  6. Paul9

    Paul9 Portal Member

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    Thanks again for your help. Regarding models I was looking at.... last July I could find very few Brazilian websites with info on USB TV-Tuner sticks, and that info was very dated. The most useful forum was htforum.com (inPortuguese - so use GoogleTranslate) I saw some models also using Dibcom chipset (PixelView PlayTV USB SBTVD (Full-Seg)) (maybe a rebadged Geniatech) chipset name 'DIB8076'. It did not get good reviews, weak reception, much criticism of the packaged software, proprietary file format - not in same class as the Elgato based software supplied with a Terratec DVB-T I bought in the UK in 2006. As the reviews dated 2009, this model is at least 5years old. I came across a reference to a newer chipset, the DIB8090, used in a 'VISUS TV Duo' with ArcSoftTotalMedia3.5 review dated 2010, (twin-tuners) not much newer than the previous stick, and still not getting good reviews, awfull Remote Control.

    I looked on the DibCom.fr site then, and say both the above replaced by an 'Octopus' family, claiming to work universally. I emailed them for a list of OEM's using their latest ISDB-T chipset, but no reply. I have since seen they are taken over by Parrot, now focussing on car technology, no mention of TV-Tuners, so maybe they have ceased making ISDB-T chipsets.

    I had great hopes of AverMedia as they have multinational offices & amke TV-Tuners for UK & USA so thought a chance they may have a high-quality ISDB-T USB Tuner. From the 3 models on their site, I thought the H868 or H869 may be a good choice. http://avertv.avermedia.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=537 It uses their own viewing software 'AverTV', no mention of BDA driver. I guess it is at least 4 years old from refs in htforum going back to Jan. 2011. They go on about 3D a lot, (no interest to me) but the datasheet is missing important data, like does it support FHD as well as SD or HD. Can find no User Manual to download. Cannot see if it records in formats readable by other players eg MKV, MP4 etc. htforum mini-review of H868 in 2010 is quite -ve: obscure .POS record format preventing editing or converson to popular formats, and won't work with other programs like WMC - but some commenters say it works with DVBViewer, some say WMC, so much confusion. Problem with a 2010 'review' is most commenters are refering to Analog mode as Digital was uncommon in Brazil then. The thread continues to 2013, but I see many complain about the naff .POS recording still a problem. So maybe AverMedia not a good choice.

    I am surprised not to see any recent (last 2 years) reviews of new ISDB-T Tuners in htforum or elsewhere.

    Since my initial post to you, seen 4 further references:

    1) the Digibest ISDB-T2037 (http://www.digibest-tech.com/products/detail.php?pid=220&cid=74&f=1) which states BDA architecture, is low-power (<270mW) subtitle support, but again, no mention if it supports 'FHD' also a curious statement Video Frame Rate 15 fps by broadcaster - dont understand that. Also don't quite understand 'Mini Pal input connector'. An external antenna socket is essential. Cannot find independant reviews.

    2) Hauppauge PCTV 910E - looks a bit dated, and unlinked from their mainproduct page. (http://www.hauppauge.com/latam/data_pctv910e.html) which at least says supports 1080i & SD, Records in MPEG-4, but no mention of BDA driver

    3) Silicon Labs Si218x2 Dual ISDB-T demodulators - new chipset, prob too new to see in products (digitaltvnews.com January 2015)

    4) http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/08/16/review-of-wetek-play-android-dvb-s2-satellite-receiver/ It is an Android TV box with a choice of integral TV-Tuner module including ISDB-T, and as such, is a standalone, not employing a host PC. The above link is an early review. Shame its using an older AMLogic 8726 Cortex A9 - I am sure I have seen review of other Cortex A9 based Android boxes struggling to display FHD video without judder, so this a bit worrying. Datasheet: https://wetek.com/wetek_basic.pdf it says works with Android, Linux, Kodi. Does that mean it uses BDA driver ? Having only just seen it, have not yet tried contacting them. I read Chinese sites have poor/non-existant support

    Although costing more than the previous 3 refs, if I can find it in Brazil, and there are favourable independant reviews showing it does not stutter on FHD, then perhaps best choice as an all-in-one.

    Looking at rest of your post, I am not sure what PVR-backend (s) are available that support ISDB-T, your link shows none. The Prolink & your link above it refer to the PixelView that got bad reviews in 2009.

    Your link to the Argentina post is interesting; I see 1 person asking why talk DVB-T when S. America is ISDB-T. I was confused why does one need to tediously manually enter TV station frequencies into a list, when my 9 year old Terratec, all I needed to do was click 'Tune' and it autoscanned the whole spectrum, automatically saving all stations (over 100) in its memory as it went. Think I am now guessing that to 'fool' MP into working with a ISDB Tuner, one aspect is, the channel autoscan/save is not compatible, hence need to skip autotune, and either copy from a source, or manually write the TV Frequency file - is that correct ?

    That post is 2012, and Digital rollout in the Northeast of Brazil has been very slow, only 4 channels in 2012. Also note the Argentinian user wasn't having much success and didnt revisit site after last post.

    Your next link dated 2009 mentions a TBS isdb-t (USB) tuner. I visited tbsdtv.com and they no longer show a USB ISDBT-T tuner, only a card tuner, and being mobile, I do not use a desktop. However the thread was interesting in that in 2011 when another asks him a question, he replies don't use MP anymore, no support for ISDB-T. Your next link refers to a Brazil user with a card type tuner where 'DucaSP' solved problem in 2010

    So looks like the first line of your reply may be the most fruitful if you can comment on the list of models I mentioned. The only negative to my 9 year old Terratec, apart from Terratec advising it was compatible with Brazil analog TV before I bought, except it wasn't, is it ran quite hot (spec 2.5W) and I needed to select the bulky .TS record format to avoid stutter. I would have thought the newest ISDB-T chipsets should run cooler and support the more useful MKV or MP4 recording. The 2 AverMedia models do state a low 270mA consumption, and the DigiBest an extremely (incredibly?) low 80mA ! The Silicon Labs chipset sounds very good, but could be many months before retail product available.

    Would it be safe to assume that if a USB ISDB-T tuner uses a BDA driver, then it will work with ANY 'TV Tuner Player' software that also uses the BDA interface ? I was thinking I could at least rely on my existing 'Home Cinema' (Elgato) App that came with my BDA Driver Terratec, to get started.

    Is there a way to list MP forum members IN Brazil who made recent posts ? I clicked on 'Notable Members'; they are mostly in Europe, which is DVB of course, non in S. America.

    Is there any development of MP to support the ISDB-T standard ?
     
  7. mm1352000
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    mm1352000 Development Group

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    Your post is very long (!!!) I don't have time to respond in full to everything now, and I will be away for 6 days after today.
    In general I feel like you're being very picky. While I understand that you want a good tuner, there are no guarantees in this life. Sometimes you just have to take a risk. Nobody can give you all the answers you are looking for. ;)
    Some short comments...

    It makes sense to check reviews if possible. I too would want to avoid tuners with poor sensitivity, though really it is a bit difficult to know the problem is not weak signal at the tester's location. So, be very careful reading too much into such comments.

    If you're going to use MP I would ignore comments about the bundled software.

    About remote controls: my recommendation would be to buy a separate MCE-compatible remote. Most tuner remote controls are not that great and/or won't work out of the box with anything other than the vendor's TV software. It is just a fact of life.

    About AVerMedia: I installed the driver for the H869. It is definitely a BDA driver, and it looks like it would expose a DVB-T tuner interface. In other words, I suspect it would be compatible with MP. Note: I can't make any guarantee.

    Age of a tuner would not make any difference for me. As long as the driver is good, it seems irrelevant.

    Tuners do not know the difference between SD, HD, 3D etc. That is a feature/limitation of the viewer software (eg. AVerTV, MP). In other words, if you see a tuner that claims "supports full HD" it is a marketing gimic.

    Ummm, look at the user manual tab on the product page? ;)
    http://avertv.avermedia.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=537&tab=UserManual

    Same as HD vs. SD: this is a viewer/recorder software feature/limitation. It has nothing to do with the tuner. For the record, MP records TS files only. You can transcode or change container with other freely available software. Most DVB/ATSC software records only TS.

    As above for full HD - forget about that. It is not a tuner feature. Same for FPS. The video and audio format depend on the broadcaster, and the tuner does not know about them. If it is compatible with ISDB-T then it is enough.
    About the "mini PAL input": it means the aerial connection is a small one.

    As above, ignore all the marketing gimicry with 1080i etc.
    I can't imagine Hauppauge creating a non-BDA driver. They have been a Microsoft partner for years.

    I agree. Way too new.

    This looks like a set top box. As such, it would be an alternative to MP rather than something you would use with MP.
    For the record: Android means not BDA. BDA is Windows only. No comment about XBMC, Linux etc. - you can ask on the Kodi forum if you want to know about Kodi.

    I can't tell you about Kodi. If you want to know about Kodi, ask on their forum. Also, I already said the tables in that link are incomplete or incorrect.

    Products improve over time. New drivers can change a lot. Don't assume that reviews from 2009 are still true now.

    No, not correct.
    The TerraTec software probably has frequency tables just like TV Server. When you clicked "tune", it just scanned the frequencies in the table. TV Server is missing the frequency table. Once you add the table (which takes 2 minutes - hardly tedious) you can click "scan" and it should find all the stations just like the Terratec software.

    TS is just a container. It is no bulker than MP4 or MKV. The reason you got stutter is probably that the other options re-encoded the video and/or audio.

    As above, the tuner/chipset does not control TS vs. MKV vs. MP4. TS is the native broadcast format, so most PVR software will create TS recordings. There is plenty of software out there to convert to other formats if you want to do that.

    I will not make any guarantees about things that are outside my control. BDA, TerraTec, ISDB-T, tuners, drivers, Kodi, Elgato... all outside my control.

    Not that I know of.

    This question makes no sense to me.
    I already explained to you that MP only supports BDA tuners.
    Here you can see that BDA fundamentally has little or no support for ISDB; only DVB, ATSC and analog are supported:
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd695324(v=vs.85).aspx

    I told you that some ISDB tuners exist and are supported because they pretend to be DVB-T tuners.
    We cannot change or improve Microsoft's BDA; only work with it. So, there is little or nothing that we can develop in MP to support ISDB-T.
     
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  8. Paul9

    Paul9 Portal Member

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    Sorry about it being so long, but felt I ought to check out each of the links you sent me, so I fed back the result,and you asked me to mention models I had researched. Last June I spent a lot of time researching models without much success. As you are about to go away for 6 days, I will just briefly reply to your "Ummm, look at the user manual tab on the product page? [​IMG]". That was not an oversight on my part; I did indeed dl the document, which unzipped into 'Home free TV.CHM'. It is a 3 line description of an ancillary app to extend [by wifi I assume, the 3 lines don't say] a TV stream to a smartphone or tablet, NOT what I would a User Manual to the H868. In fact, I seem to recall the same document is linked from their H869.

    When I said newer chipsets will support newer formats like MKV/MP4, sorry, it was badly worded in bit of a hurry: what I should have said, are newer products, as having experienced over the last 8 years the more efficient formats had gradually become more popular - as in web-hosted films, my thinking was that will be reflected in the newer tuners; but as I have not thrown money at another tuner since almost immediatley writing off the purchase of the Terratec - bought just a month before departing UK based on Terratec's assurance it is compatible with the then Brazilian PAL TV standard, I was only guessing Tuner software now supported those recording formats. As you are familiar with the market, whereas I am not, thank you for enlightening me on that.

    Likewise, my last comment was made after reading through to the ultimate response to your last link re. the Argentinian user.

    Re. your comment "Sometimes you just have to take a risk."; after being bitten once by Terratec incorrect sales advice in Germany, I am trying to avoid a repeat write-off. Sadly, as pointed out, I cannot find any recent reviews of newish ISDB-T tuners.

    Thank you for your quick very helpful response and confirmation the AverMedia uses a BDA driver; that is enough for me to take it further and inquire directly to Avermedia & Hauppage
     
    Last edited: January 23, 2015
  9. Paul9

    Paul9 Portal Member

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    Following my reply to you, just read the Microsoft link you sent, which sure enough makes no mention of ISDB-T dated 2012. however delving into nearby pages shows in 'Default Tuning Spaces' https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd693045(v=vs.85).aspx now lists ISDB-S & ISDB-T along with the ones you mentioned. I realise I am out of my depth here as I have never investigated how the TV-Tuner software actually works, only knowledge was that the Microsoft BDA architecture appears important to any hope of interchangeable TV Viewer Apps. But the fact that the above link now has ISDB in the list, makes me wonder if makers of ISDB Tuners with BDA Drivers, can as easily support ISDB as with their DVB or ATSC products. Briefly, as I have only just returned to my house and got visitors, no time to dig further this moment, are you saying that the MP input from the BDA interface is agnostic to whether the 'Default tuning Space' is set to any of the World TV standards recognised by the BDA, or that, as I think you mentioned earlier, they need to pretend to be DVB ? (a commenter in one of the links you gave, mentioned a Bandwidth parameter needing to be set to 6MHz, and a Frequency Offset for ISDB-T, implying this differed from DVB)
    Once again. I apologise for my next to no understanding of the input requirements of MP from the BDA.
     
  10. mm1352000
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    Hello again :)

    Okay. What information are you actually hoping to find? Most tuners don't come with much in the way of manuals. Usually the only available information is a list of technical specifications and instructions for installing the hardware and driver.

    Just to extend my previous answer a little...
    Those "formats" are only marginally more efficient than TS. If you put exactly the same video, audio and subtitles in TS, MKV and MP4 files, the size would be approximately the same. Significant reductions in file size really only come from re-encoding the video (or audio):
    • translate to a more efficient encoding format (eg. MPEG 2 video => h.264/AVC video)
    • resolution and/or bitrate reduction
    Tuners don't generally do any re-encoding, as it would require relatively expensive hardware components and could introduce significant problems (glitchy video/audio, loss of video/audio synchronisation etc.). In fact, the only exception to that rule which I can think of off the top of my head is the SiliconDust HDHomeRun TC model(s).

    As "container formats", the significant point of difference between TS and MKV, MP4 etc. is much more subtle (eg. time codes, CRCs, sync/start codes etc.). MKV and MP4 are designed for reliable file storage; TS is designed for unreliable broadcast
    Here in NZ most local stores have "money back return if not satisfied" policies. Are there no stores like that which you could buy from?

    This was the "little" part of the "little or no support" that I was referring to. ;)
    Yes, the default tuning spaces have been defined. However, if you look more closely you'll see that the CLSID (class ID) value for the ISDB-T and DVB-T tuning spaces is the same. Basically that means that ISDB-T support would be implemented the same as DVB-T.

    A default tuning space is just a set of values - pretty much meaningless. So, I guess you could say that the MP input is agnostic, but I'd probably say it more like this:
    DVB-T and ISDB-T are a little similar. In order to tune a DVB-T channel, you need to know the frequency and bandwidth. Same for ISDB-T: frequency and bandwidth are required.
    We know that Microsoft BDA fully supports DVB-T but does not really support ISDB-T.
    Since the tuning parameters (frequency, bandwidth) for DVB-T and ISDB-T are the same, tuner vendors realised it is possible to reuse the technical BDA DVB-T stuff (tuning space, network provider, tune request etc.) to create ISDB-T tuner products. In other words, these "BDA-compliant"/WMC-compatible ISDB-T tuners are products with ISDB-T hardware that appear as DVB-T tuners to Windows.

    Does this make sense?

    Yes, the value of the ISDB-T bandwidth is usually 6 MHz, and the frequency offset is different to DVB-T. These facts would be used when constructing a tuning detail file for MP. A good example is the ISDB-T tuning details for Sao Paulo Brazil:
    https://github.com/MediaPortal/Medi...ngParameters/dvbt/Brazil.ISDB - Sao Paulo.xml

    Once you get a tuner, you can simply copy the tuning details for Sao Paulo and enter the frequencies for your region.
     
  11. finrudd341

    finrudd341 Portal Pro

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    Paul9 - I was using MP between 2008 and I suppose about 2011 (I don't remember) and I was able to get the ISDB-T tuner I had working properly, and then pretty well moved on to another setup (Plex Media Server, with the Plex Client running on a Samsung Smart TV without TV).

    Along the way, I tried Mythbuntu and various other TV Servers, but was never able to get ISDB-T working like others have been able to with DVB-T etc. Firstly, there are still very few people doing this in Brazil it would seem - it's just not common. Secondly, I moved to using Linux, and ISDB-T is not well supported on that either.

    All that said, I *did* get it working at one point, the biggest challenge being that Brazilian Digital TV used a modified version of an audio codec - however, once this was done it sort of worked in MediaPortal. I suppose I stopped using it because there is only so much Brazilian Soap Opera I can stomach (around 30 seconds) and the channel options were just dull. Canal Rural was about the most exciting thing I found! I still have the ISDB-T card, which I have never found on sale since - If you want it, let me know and I can Sedex it to you, as I won't use it anymore. I am actually back in the UK until second week of August, but once I am back, I can dig it out, take some photos and post them.

    One day when I have time, I am going to revisit this, as I want a solution to share digital TV via an IP network to around 10 TV's, probably with a generic IPTV set-top box - I haven't decided yet. For this, I am going to use a Chinese import that will have to come in with me in a suitcase one day - like this: http://www.dveo.com/broadcast-systems/ISDB-T-demodulator-receiver-IP-out.html

    Get in touch if you are interested - it would be good if someone can get this going on MP here in Brazil.
     
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