TEST REPORT                   DVB-S2 PC CardTenow TBS 6981                                                                ...
1to get up from your lounge room sofa.           Polish, Portuguese, Russian, FinnishThe manual is available on the mini C...
1                                                     there you can save all those channels        and no more twiddling y...
1  It is even possible to process feeds            works with the Windows Media Centerthat are transmitted in the MPEG 4:2...
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  1. 1. TEST REPORT DVB-S2 PC CardTenow TBS 6981 12-01/201 1 TENOW TBS 6981 DVB -S/S2 DuAl TuNER PC card with PVR and all the features you’ll ever need. IdeaDVB-S/S2 Dual Tuner l also for feedhunters.PC Card With Twin Tuner Function DVB-S/S2 cards are gaining in popularity all the time, but at the same people are crazy about the PVR function of many conventional satellite receivers as well. After all, nothing beats the possibility of recording one event while at the same time watching another one. Is there a way to achieve this benefit with a PC card? If you have a PVR receiver and are able to record one channel and watch a different one simultaneously then you need a box with two tuners and two IF inputs. When it comes to PC cards, this is very rare and that‘s why Tenow happily fills that gap with its new TBS 6981. The Tenow PCI-E is DVB-S and DVB-S2 compatible and hence features two DVB-S/S2 satellite inputs for both SDTV and HDTV. Apart from the TBS 6981 PC card (suitable for PCI-E slots version 1.0a and 1.1) you get an infrared receiver, a remote control, a software CD and a power cable to connect the card to the corresponding IDE power supply of the PC‘s power supply unit. In most cases the power supplied by the PCI-E slot will be sufficient, but if a DiSEqC motor is connected or other cards draw power as well, this auxiliary power connector will come in quite handy. Installing the card does not require an engineering degree TELE-satellite World www.TELE-satellite.com/... Download this report in other languages from the Internet: Arabic ‫العربية‬ www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/ara/tenow.pdf Indonesian Indonesia www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/bid/tenow.pdf Czech Česky www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/ces/tenow.pdf German English Deutsch English www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/deu/tenow.pdf www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/eng/tenow.pdf and thanks to its Spanish Español www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/esp/tenow.pdf compact size it will even Farsi ‫فارس ي‬ www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/far/tenow.pdf French Français www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/fra/tenow.pdf fit into devices with restricted Hebrew ‫עברית‬ www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/heb/tenow.pdf Mandarin 中文 www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/man/tenow.pdf space. Once the two tuner inputs are connected to Dutch Nederlands www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/ned/tenow.pdf the signal input cables all you need to do is connect the IR Polish Polski www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/pol/tenow.pdf Portuguese Português www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/por/tenow.pdf receiver to the socket next to the IF inputs to get started. Romanian Română www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/rom/tenow.pdf Russian Русский www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/rus/tenow.pdf Turkish Türkçe www.TELE-satellite.com/TELE-satellite-1101/tur/tenow.pdf The remote control that comes with the card sits nicely in Available online starting from 3 December 2010 your hand and allows controlling the TBS 6981 without having50 TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine — 12-01/201 — www.TELE-satellite.com 1
  2. 2. 1to get up from your lounge room sofa. Polish, Portuguese, Russian, FinnishThe manual is available on the mini CD and Ukrainian. A list of 176 European,in PDF format. Asian and American satellite positions complete with their transponder data is Tenow lists the following specifica- available, even though this informationtions for DVB-S reception: Intel Pen- is not completely up-to-date.tium III 1 GHz with 256MB RAM and agraphics cards with 16MB RAM. If you‘re All LOF parameters can be set manu-after DVB-S2 signals you need to make ally, so that the PC card will work with all 2sure to provide at least an Intel Pentium available LNBs. If your reception systemIV 3 GHz processor with 1GB RAM and includes a DiSEqC 1.0 switch for recep-a graphics card with a minimum of 64 tion of up to four satellite you will beMB RAM. Tenow made the card compat- happy to find out that the Tenow cardible to the Windows XP, Windows Vista, will nicely deal with this setup.Windows 7 and even Linux operatingsystems - the latter even for the latest Surprisingly, the Tenow TBS 6981Linux kernel. even works smoothly with the SCR single cable solution, which is supported. The Now that we had installed the card in 22 kHz signal to switch between theour test PC and connected all required upper and lower frequency band andcables we proceeded with driver instal- the supply voltage for the LNB (13V forlation. Shortly after the CD is inserted vertical/left circular signals and 18V for 3an autostart wizard opens up on screen horizontal/right circular signals) work aswith all available options. A single mouse expected and required.click is all it takes to start driver instal-lation and a short while later Windows Tenow offers three search modes:displays a message stating that new Automatic search looks for all tran-hardware was detected and is ready for sponders on the pre-stored list, manualuse. search can be used to scan a single transponder which will then be locked. For all the Linux enthusiasts out there:Tenow even provided Linux drivers and We were impressed with the searchmade the card fully compatible to the speed of the TBS 6981, which onlylatest Linux kernel. took three and a half minutes to scan 1.734 TV and radio channels on HOT- On the software front Tenow supplies BIRD at 13° East. Every search can be 4its own TBSViewer presentation appli- restricted to free-to-air channels only,cation, but also offers the DVB Dream which is particularly helpful as the PCsoftware on the CD as an alternative. We card does not come with a CI slot forshould not fail to mention at this stage pay TV reception.that the card worked flawlessly withthe hugely popular ProgDVB application You might wonder now what the thirdas well and the manufacturer provides search mode is, since we have onlyall necessary configuration files on the mentioned automatic and manual soincluded CD. Windows Media Center (as far. It‘s a kind of blind scan mode andincluded with Windows 7, for example) is requires a start and end frequency plussupported, too. the preferred scanning step parameter as well as all symbol rates that should It‘s basically up to the end user which be used. For our test we tried out this ■ 1. Right after inserting the CD its content issoftware is paired to the Tenow card, feature for the complete frequency presented in a pleasing design 2. Clearly arranged channel list of the TBSViewerand this is one of the major benefits of range of the HOTBIRD satellites at 13° 3. Favourites list for finding your preferred chan-PC card solutions as opposed to set-top East with steps of 5 MHz and for symbol nels with a single mouse click 4. All functions can be called up by right-clickingboxes, which – in most cases – can only rates of 27.5 and 22 Ms/s. your mousebe used with a single manufacturer-supplied firmware. For the purpose of It turned out that this search modethis test report, however, we decided to really detected all active transponders (in order to look for feeds, for example),stick to the software shipped by Tenow. in the pre-defined frequency range, but as it is a great way of keeping your chan-In our case the TBSViewer came with a it also seemed to be an endless proce- nel list completely up-to-date.pre-stored channel list of ASTRA 19.2° dure and after one hour we were onlyEast, HOTBIRD 13° East, ASTRA3 23.5° halfway through our frequency range so When we checked out EBU feeds onEast and ASTRA2 28.2° East which that we decided to cancel the search. By EUTELSAT W3A a 7° East we were able tomeant we were ready to party right that time close to 2,000 TV and radio detect all active feeds in about a minute‘saway. channels had been detected and stored time. We should also give special praise in the memory. to the software‘s update feature which The OSD can be displayed in the fol- keeps the channel list up-to-date andlowing languages: English, German, We recommend using this feature for adds newly found channels withoutFrench, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, checking smaller frequency ranges only messing up the existing list. You may www.TELE-satellite.com — 12-01/201 — 1 TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine 51
  3. 3. 1 there you can save all those channels and no more twiddling your thumbs you watch on a regular basis. when you wait for the break to finally be over. Teletext is available as well and it We hugely appreciated the way Tenow is implemented flawlessly with all fea- has implemented audio selection. As tures you‘d expect. soon as you select a channel from the list 2 all available audio tracks are shown right Still, all those nice and useful fea- beneath the channel entry. You don‘t tures would be plainly worthless without have to go to a dedicated menu to switch capable tuners in the first place, which between audio tracks but have all the are at the heart of any receiver or PC information right in front of your eyes. card. No need to worry about the TBS 6981, though, whose tuners effortlessly It seems the Tenow software develop- pulled in any DVB-S and DVB-S2 signal ers had user-friendliness in mind when we threw at them. Weak signals close implementing this feature, and if you to the tuners‘ threshold – like the ones want to watch a movie in its original from BADR at 26° East at our location 3 language every once in a while you‘ll be – posed no problems and did not cause very thankful for that. any software freezes, even when the integrated Viterbi error correction had Channel editing and sorting can also to work overtime for a prolonged period be done right in the selection window of time. which means all options are available right when and where you need them. The SCPC test was passed with flying You may filter channels according to colours as well and the tuners managed certain characteristics (AC3 audio, for to flawlessly lock and process signals example) or according to provider, sat- from our test transponder on TURKSAT ellite or category. If you want to add 42° East with a symbol rate of only 2.2 4 even more clarity to your overall chan- Ms/s. nel list you may hide all encrypted chan- nels with a singe mouse click. In our test center we intentionally used a somewhat outdated Pentium IV Every time you switch to a new chan- processor for this report. After all, not nels the software automatically inserts all our readers will be equipped with the a cleverly-designed OSD bar with infor- latest state-of-the-art computer. Even mation on the current and next event, though our machine was on the lower if provided by the channel. Switching end of the manufacturer‘s specifications times are fast, considering we‘re talking we were still able to watch HDTV from about a PC card solution here. A little a DVB-S2 signal while at the same time■ 1. Windows Media Center detects and supportthe PC card over a second is all it takes for a new performing other office tasks on the PC.2. DiSEqC 1.0 is available channel to be available on screen with Obviously both the processor and the3. Automatic satellite search in Windows Media synced video and audio. graphics card had to give their best, butCenter4. Manual search Windows Media Center they still had extra capacity for reason- The extended EPG is one more fea- ably working with the machine. All videoeven create a dedicated section which ture deserving special mention. Timer was always presented interference-free,saves all new channels according to the entries can be selected right in the EPG no matter whether it was HD or SD.date on which they were detected. This mode so that users have at their dis-helps tremendously when you look for posal an electronic TV guide in which If you prefer to use the remote controla channel that was added to your over- events can be selected for recording that comes with the package for soft-all list only recently. Once the channel without any detour. ware control rather than your keyboardlist is filled to the brim with all offerings and mouse you‘ll be pleased to learnfrom the sky you can leave the settings What differentiates the TBS 6981 that it works perfectly with the PC card.menu with another single mouse click to from most PC card competitors is its What‘s more, when we connected achange to the TBSViewer which shows second tuner, and once you are aware 40-inch flat screen TV to the PC via DVIthe first available channel. of all its benefits you would not want to the presentation mode of the TBSViewer do without any more. It allows recording delivered excellent video quality on a The software can be activated auto- a channel while at the same watching par with conventional set-top boxes.matically by moving the cursor to the another channel live. It is even possi-upper right corner of the window. A tree ble to perform a search on tuner 2 while If required, the TBSViewer featuresstructure lists all channels according to watching live TV on tuner 1. a complex range of detailed settingsatellites and providers, so that your options. To give just one example, dif-desired channels can be found in next With the integrated picture-in-picture ferent codecs can be selected for videoto no time at all. Alternatively, you can feature it is easy to watch a second playback, depending on the file format.always use the search field to look for channel in a smaller window during a This makes sure the TBSViewer is ableyour favourite station. A favourites list commercial break on your main chan- to handle various video formats such ascan be opened by clicking on a small nel, for example. No risk of missing a MPEG-2, H.264, DivX or XviD, amongbutton next to the search window and second of your favourite show anymore, others.52 TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine — 12-01/201 — www.TELE-satellite.com 1
  4. 4. 1 It is even possible to process feeds works with the Windows Media Centerthat are transmitted in the MPEG 4:2:2 as well, a software suite that comes withstudio format after you have down- Windows 7, for example. User preferringloaded the Elecard codec which is avail- this well designed and fully integratedable free of charge from www.elecard. software are free to go for it, since ourcom. This feature will probably put the test proved this combination to be abso-Tenow card right in the top spot of any lutely worry-free. That‘s how plug&playDXer’s and feedhunter’s pick list. is supposed to work! In the end, it‘s up to the user to choose their preferred 2 In the settings sections you can of software. The main point is that thecourse customise all the basic func- manufacturer presents us with varioustions of the card to meet you individual options, which is always welcome.requirement, like defining a lead and lagtime for timer recordings, split record- There‘s one more plus of the TBSings into files with identical size, and 6981 dual tuner card which should notdefining one of the two tuners as stand- go unnoticed: One tuner can be setard tuner. When using the TBSViewer apart for Internet-via-satellite, while theyou will find out it is capable of process- second tuner takes care of TV and radioing a whole range of different formats, reception from satellites.including MPEG, DivX, Video CD, AFS,WMV, WMA, OGG and OGM. This allows Readers using Internet-via-satelliteyou to watch almost all video content, will be aware of the constant struggle ofnot just transport streams from satel- deciding between Internet and TV, andlites. finally the TBS 6981 makes this a thing 3 of the past. The manufacturer provides A time bar which is located on the specific software for Internet accessbottom section of the video screen which acts as a virtual network adapterallows jumping to any sequence during in Windows and accesses the worldplayback of a recorded event, or indi- wide web via satellite once all requiredcates the progress of a live event. All parameters (frequency, polarisation,satellite recordings are saved in the uni- symbol rate, account data, etc.) areversally and generally used transport entered correctly. Naturally, we triedstream format so that they can easily be that out as well and can state that weedited and saved on DVD, for instance. found nothing to complain about. Apart from its in-house presentation Even when recording in the back-software Tenow also supplies the DVB ground the system was totally unim-Dream software on CD, which is similar pressed, just as it was possible to watchin features to the TBSViewer. In addi- a HDTV channel while surfing on thetion, the CD comes with configuration Internet via satellite at the same time.files for the popular ProgDVB applica-tion, making the TBS 6981 PC card a ■ 1. Extended EPG with events for several daysperfect match for that software as well. 2. Various codecs to choose from 3. Internet via satellite We truly loved that the new TBS card Expert Opinion TECHNICAl + Manufacturer DATA Tenow International Ltd, Unit C-8A, Shennan Garden Building, The Tenow TBS 6981 DVB-S/S2 Dual is an High-Tech Park, Shenzhen, CHINA extremely versatile PC card thanks to its second Tel +86-755-26501345 or 26501201 tuner. It allows simultaneous recording and watch- ing of two different channels, or TV reception Email sales@tbsdtv.com and Internet-via satellite at the same time. The Website www.tbsdtv.com provided software, which is not only usable with Thomas Haring Online Shop www.buydvb.net TELE-satellite Windows but also with linux, comes with a wide Test Center Model 6981 / Dual Tuner Austria range of features and left us with a very stable and Function PCI-E card for SDTV and HDTV with two separate tuners and sophisticated impression. Thanks to its BDA compatibility the PVR, compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems card can be used in combination with alternative viewing applica- Channel memory unlimited tions such as DVB Dream, Prog DVB or Windows Media Center. Satellites 176 The Tenow TBS 6981 comes with a remote control for accessing Symbol rates 1-45 Ms/sec. (QPSK), 10-31 Ms/sec 8PSK all functions of the card from your living room sofa and delivers a top-quality signal for your LCD or plasma panel. You will not SCPC compatible yes (tested > 2.2 MS/s) notice a difference to conventional set-top boxes. DiSEqC 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 SCR yes - EPG yes No audio output, no CI slot for pay TV reception. C/Ku-Band compatible yes Audio output no www.TELE-satellite.com — 12-01/201 — 1 TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine 53