PC to Satellite TV

I have a subscriotion service, and the company has installed a dish like the one in the picture attached.

I want to connect my computer with the dish to receive free channels while maintaining the subsription (and hence the receiver in the lounge room, which uses a smart card as shown in the picture too).

I saw an advertisement about the AverMedia DVB-S Satellite Digital TV Tuner PCI card.

Is this card any good?
Will this be able to connect to my dish?
What is the name for the standard connection from the dish (75 ohm?)
Do I need to add another connection from the single satellite dish to both the receiver in the lounge and the PC? and is this possible (can i use one dish for 2 receivers?)

The Sales people at the store was not very helpful so I have no idea where to start and what to do…

Please Help :slight_smile:

PS: I’m from Australia

Going by the specification, the card looks to have some useful features - Infra Red, S-Video out and Composite out. The rest seem to be similar to the Skystar2 DVB card.

While some of the more high end cards support MPEG2 decoding, this is of no real benefit unless you happen to be using a slow PC (<1GHz).

If you plan on picking up free-to-air channels on the same satellite as your subscription channels are on, you will not need a second dish. In this case, there are two methods of connecting the PC DVB card up to the same dish. One method is by using an A-B switch to split your existing satellite receiver cable with your PC. This would be ideal if it is too ackward to add a 2nd cable run to the dish or if you do not plan on using the satellite receiver at the same time as using the PC’s DVB card. :eek:

The other option is to replace the LNB with a dual LNBF LNB and take a 2nd cable run to your PC. This will allow both the PC and satellite receiver to work off the same dish simultaneously. :smiley:

Finally, if you go to the shop and want coaxial cable to connect your dish to your equipment, simply ask for ‘Digital Satellite signal cable’. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck with your setup :cool:

Just realised I didn’t attach the images I waas supposed to…:stuck_out_tongue:
Thanks for replying, just not really sure where to buy all this gear that’s all…

I will ask around and see how it goes

I am having the same trouble trying to receive TV on my computer now that I have switched to satellite - my ATI All in Wonder VE card worked fine with cable reception but I don’t know how to make it work with the new satellite … do I need the card you are talking about? Do I need different software? Did you get your system to work?
I just found this site, by the way, and am delighted to be here … what a great resource!

Welcome to the forum. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, satellite TV works on a totally different frequency band and signalling method to cable TV. At the moment, you can record satellite TV on your PC by hooking up your satellite receiver’s SVHS/Video-out directly to the composite in on your ATI card (same as connecting up a VCR) and using your existing software, however only the satellite receiver can tune and change channels.

To tune satellite TV directly on your PC, you will need a satellite DVB card and different software such as ProgDVB. If your satellite TV is subscription based (uses a viewing card), you will need a satellite DVB card with a CAM (decryption module) to match your service. In this case, you simply pull out your viewing card from the main receiver and pop it into the CAM slot in your PC’s satellite DVB card. Unlike cable TV, only one channel can be watched at a given time unless you have a seperate lead back to the dish and a seperate viewing card for each receiver (see my above post). :confused:

As a matter of interest, what satellite TV provider are you using?

Thank you so much! You have given me answers to the questions I’ve been having for weeks (and getting so frustrated!). So … can you recommend a DVB card with a CAM? It sounds easier to pop the card in the slot than physically moving the receiver every time!
I am using Bell Express Vu - I live in Toronto, ON in Canada and not quite sure how all this satellite stuff works.

I done a lookup on Lyngsat for Bell ExpressVU and come across it on two satellites - 82W and 91W. I have a fair feeling your dish is at 91W as there are a much greater selection of channels on this satellite compared with 82W. :cool:
The encryption system is Nagravision, which means that you will need to get a PCI DVB card with a common interface slot (CI slot), for example the VisionDTV Sat-CI DVB PCI card. The common interface slot closely resembles a PCMCIA (PC Card) slot in a laptop and in fact CAM’s are actually PCMCIA PC Cards. For your package, you will need a Nagravision CAM or a MultiCAM. If your satellite receiver has a removable CAM, that is the slot where the card goes into looks like a PCMCIA card, then you can actually remove this and pop the CAM and card together into your satellite DVB card rather than purchasing another Nagravision CAM. Unfortunately, most dedicated package receivers such as those supplied by the satellite provider have their CAM built in (embedded), which means all you see in front is the actual card slot.

If you are not sure what the difference between an embedded CAM and removable CAM looks like, have a look at the image from my receiver below. The viewing card slot to the left is an embedded CAM (cannot be removed). The slot to the right is in a CAM. Like a laptop’s PCM CIA slot, these slots have an eject button beside them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Bell ExpressVU satellite frequencies at 91W:

The VisionDTV CAM (just to show what a DVB PCI card with a CI slot looks like):
http://www.pulsat.com/satellite/site/details.php?product_id=293 :wink:

Wow - I’m impressed and extremely thankful for your expertise and help!! In my receiver, there is a card (called a “smart card”) which I can slide in and out but it is not encased in anything (it should be in a thing called the CAM, right?). CAM seems to be embedded. So … do you suggest I buy the VISIONDTV SAT-CI - do I need to buy a separate CAM for my card if I do this? I hope I’m not sounding too stupid, but it’s really all so new to me.
If I do buy the VISIONDTV SAT-CI, can you recommend the best way to do it? Online? Locally from an electronics store? I don’t want to get into paying duty and customs because the fees can be enormous. Again - thanks so much, and I hope I’m not taking up too much time in this forum. - Diana

As your receiver has an embedded CAM, you will need to get a separate CAM for the PC DVB card.

Unfortunately, I am only familiar with pricing, online stores and where to get products in Ireland and the UK, so I am not sure what shop or online store to try in your area. Probably the best thing to do is browse through a shop that deals with satellite TV and have a look at any DVB cards they may have for sale. If the product mentions that it has a CI, CAM or common interface slot, then it will take a CAM. The CAM must be purchased separately. I am not sure if there are multi decryption CAM’s in your area (very common here in Europe), but if not, ask for a Nagravision CAM.

There are only a few features that vary when choosing a DVB PCI card. These are whether it has a CI slot (as I have mentioned), version of DiSEqC support, hardware MPEG2 decoding, LNB power and LNB loopthrough. All other features they may mention are standard such as EPG, software MPEG2 decoding, MPEG2 recording (or PVR) support, Time-shifting, Free-to-air, HDTV capable (in Europe at least) and so on since these are software based and come as standard. :wink:

Anyway, the main feature would to to look for would be a DVB card with a CI slot. The VisionDTV was just an example I came across as there are many others that can take CAM’s. If in doubt in a shop, ask an assistant at the shop to have a look at the product in the box to see if it really has a CI slot. If you come across one online, but are not fully sure, post the detail here and I will try to find out more info. :slight_smile:

Hardware MPEG2 decoding is not necessary unless you have a rather slow PC such as under 1GHz. LNB power is only important if you plan on hooking up multiple dishes and DiSEQC switch or a DiSEQC motor. LNB loopthrough can be handy to connect both your PC and satellite receiver to the same dish, however you can still only use one receiver at a given time (not an issue with only one viewing card). Finally DiSEQC 1.2 support is only important if you plan on using a motorised dish. :cool:

In my opinion, shopping for a satellite DVB card is much simpler than for a TV tuner since the two main types of cards going are Free-to-air and ones with a CI slot.

where can i buy a card for my PC are these cards pretty common ?

I too am new to the forum and have an interest in building a media server for my home. Not that I don’t have enough things to do. From what I see from reading this, it all sounds pretty straight forward.

VisionDTV -Sat-CI VP1030A Card
Install a Nagravision CAM
Slip my Smart CArd from my unused Bell Expressvu Receiver
Reinstate the subscription for the smart card.
Run a new cable from the dish down to the PC. Bob’s your uncle.

Unfortunately it just doesn’t feel that easy.
Are there different versions of Nagravision Cams?
Does the DVB card care if your NTSC or PAL.
What’s missing? Sorry don’t mean to sound skeptical, but things that sound to easy generally are.
Any additional insight would be greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately, from what I have read both The Dish Network and Bell ExpressVu ‘marry’ their viewing cards to their receiver. What this means is that the card will only allow decoding if it recognises the serial number of the receiver / CAM as what it was activated for. A simply way to verify or test this is to get a lend of someone else’s ExpressVU viewing card (with an active subscription) and see if it works in your receiver.

This means that even if you get a Nagravision CAM and DVB CI card for the PC, there is a good chance that this will not work since the viewing card see that CAM’s serial number (boxkey) does not match the number it was activated for.

Unfortunately going by what I read on news groups, ExpressVu will not activate their cards for standard Nagravision CAMs.

It may be worth calling ExpressVu to see if you can activate your viewing card for a Nagravision CAM. Just note that if they do, your card will no longer work in your receiver. From what I can see, they probably marry their viewing cards to their receivers as an anti-piracy measure which means that if someone does manage to clone their card, it would only work in the receiver the original card came from.

I suppose I could ask my neighbour for his card and see what happens. Or setup the second reciver I have and then swap cards. Is there a way of getting the box key number off the reciver and then punching it into the CAM. I keep seeing things in various forums about programming CAM’s keys and such.

Well I posted the question to Expressvu. We shallsee what they say. Thanks

Question for you.
I would assume that when the satellite reciver is first verified and authorized by Expressvu. That the technician had to know the box key for the device and the smart card ID. Both these things would then have been passed to some operator at expressvu for input into the system. If this is the case, then in theory. Knowing th eboxkey for the CAM and the smart Card id should allow someone to call in and register. This is all an assumption on my part since I have no idea what I am talking about. If if its the case, then there must be a way of reading the boxkey for the CAM through some software package. hmmm

Going by various news groups, it looks like the box key can only be read through smartcard reader (something I can’t discuss about on this forum). From what I recall, to activate a box such as if you get one 2nd hand you need to provide Expressvu with the serial # of the box. They likely keep a database of the box serials and which boxkey is for which box.

Interestingly I thought Nagravision CAMs had their boxkey written on them, but it looks like these are also identified by a serial # to boxkey database at the manufacturer behind Nagravision. I would assume that if the provider does allow a regular Nagravision CAM to be used with their service, they would ask the consumer for the CAM’s serial # and then pass it on to the Nagravision manufacturer to obtain the box key.

I do know that some multicams that handle multiple encryptions such as Dragon and Matrix will show the boxkey in their menu, however I’m not sure if Expressvu will allow their service to be activated for a given boxkey. It may be worth seeing what they come back with on your Nagravision CAM query.:wink:

It’s a pity that most providers use Videoguard and Nagravision as these are the only two main conditional access systems I know of that support ‘marrying’ the card to the receiver/CAM.

Repsonse from Expressvu

The only legal way to use a non-proprietary PVR with our receivers and
Smart Cards is by using video capture software. This can be a VCR, DVR,
or software on your computer. Using an unauthorized CAM is not allowed,
even if you tie it to the receiver’s Smart Card. For more details
please contact the Technical Support department at the number below.

That unfortunately means that they only allow their service to work with their own proprietary satellite receivers. :confused: It now looks like the whole reason they lock their cards to their receivers is to stop customers from using their own satellite receivers/PVRs since these would likely ignore copyright protection signals such as Macrovision.

If your neighbour has an active subscription on Expressvu, it may still be worth borrowing their card to see what you get if you place it on your receiver just in case only certain channels or packages are locked to the receiver. There may still be a chance that premium channels are locked to the receiver such as pay-per-view and sports where as the basic package may come in fine. I heard of a few providers that do this method such as Sky Digital in the UK.

yes what a pain.
personally I think it has little to do with Macrovision as they allow you to use capture software and capture cards. This in most cases circumvents the anti copy software. However locking them together does insure that I purchase or rent a box from them. Bottom line don’t ya know.
Still if a CAM could be programmed to the boxkey of my old model 1000 reciever and I used its existing smart card it should in theory work.
Oh well what do I know.
Perhaps I should go paint the bedroom as the wife asks instead of spending time chasing this. Then again this is more fun.

thanks for your help.
If I get anywhere I will let you know.

If I ever make it back to Ireland I owe you a Murphy’s Stout.

One last question for you. I need to sort out some confusion.
I assume the CAM is a device that a smart card goes in. The Smart card being the credit card like device. Is this correct. Becuase on some websites they refer to the smart card as a cam.???