Nebula DigiTV PCI

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A DVB-T PCI card produced and sold by Nebula.

It is supported under Linux.

Overview/Features

Several versions of this card exist. The main difference is the demodulator chip:

Old board: ATI NXT6000

New board: Zarlink MT352

Components Used

Identification

Output of lspci -vnn:

05:06.0 Multimedia video controller [0400]: Brooktree Corporation Bt878 Video Capture [109e:036e] (rev 11)
        Subsystem: Nebula Electronics Ltd. DigiTV PCI [0071:0101]
        Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
        Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
        Latency: 64 (4000ns min, 10000ns max)
        Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 22
        Region 0: Memory at f8fff000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=4K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>
        Kernel driver in use: bttv
        Kernel modules: bttv
05:06.1 Multimedia controller [0480]: Brooktree Corporation Bt878 Audio Capture[109e:0878] (rev 11)
        Subsystem: Nebula Electronics Ltd. DigiTV PCI [0071:0101]
        Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
        Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
        Latency: 64 (1000ns min, 63750ns max)
        Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 22
        Region 0: Memory at f8ffe000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=4K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>
        Kernel driver in use: bt878
        Kernel modules: bt878

Making it Work

Firmware

Drivers

(old version) just works with linux kernel 2.6.16. Direct comparison with AirStar 2 PCI / Air2PC DVB PCI showed sigificant errors with drivers for DigiTv.

Successfully used with MythTV v0.19 to watch standard and high definition dvb free to air.

kernel config

( I use menuconfig for kernel configuration) Select DVB:

 │ Symbol: DVB [=y]                                                                                                      
 │ Prompt: DVB For Linux                                                                                                 
 │   Defined at drivers/media/dvb/Kconfig:7                                                                              
 │   Depends on: NET && INET                                                                                             
 │   Location:                                                                                                           
 │     -> Device Drivers                                                                                                 
 │       -> Multimedia devices                                                                                           
 │         -> Digital Video Broadcasting Devices                                                                         

Then select DVB_CORE:

 | Symbol: DVB_CORE [=m]                                                                                                 
 │ Prompt: DVB Core Support                                                                                              
 │   Defined at drivers/media/dvb/dvb-core/Kconfig:1                                                                     
 │   Depends on: DVB                                                                                                     
 │   Location:                                                                                                           
 │     -> Device Drivers                                                                                                 
 │       -> Multimedia devices                                                                                           
 │         -> Digital Video Broadcasting Devices                                                                         
 │           -> DVB For Linux (DVB [=y])                                                                                 
 │   Selects: CRC32                                                                                                      

Then DVB_BT8XX:

 | Symbol: DVB_BT8XX [=m]                                                                                                
 │ Prompt: BT8xx based PCI cards                                                                                         
 │   Defined at drivers/media/dvb/bt8xx/Kconfig:1                                                                        
 │   Depends on: DVB_CORE && PCI && VIDEO_BT848                                                                          
 │   Location:                                                                                                           
 │     -> Device Drivers                                                                                                 
 │       -> Multimedia devices                                                                                          
 │         -> Digital Video Broadcasting Devices                                                                       
 │           -> DVB For Linux (DVB [=y])                                                                                
 │             -> DVB Core Support (DVB_CORE [=m])                                                                      
 │   Selects: DVB_MT352 && DVB_SP887X && DVB_NXT6000 && DVB_CX24110 && DVB_OR51211 && DVB_LGDT330X                    
 │   Selected by: VIDEO_BT848_DVB && VIDEO_DEV && VIDEO_BT848 && DVB_CORE                                               

This selects:

 │ Symbol: DVB_NXT6000 [=m]                                                                                              
 │ Prompt: NxtWave Communications NXT6000 based                                                                          
 │   Defined at drivers/media/dvb/frontends/Kconfig:107                                                                  
 │   Depends on: DVB_CORE                                                                                                
 │   Location:                                                                                                           
 │     -> Device Drivers                                                                                                 
 │       -> Multimedia devices                                                                                           
 │         -> Digital Video Broadcasting Devices                                                                        
 │           -> DVB For Linux (DVB [=y])                                                                                
 │             -> DVB Core Support (DVB_CORE [=m])                                                                      
 │               -> Customise DVB Frontends                                                                             
 │   Selected by: DVB_USB_DIGITV && DVB_USB || DVB_BT8XX && DVB_CORE && PCI && VIDEO_BT848                              

Possble problems

  • LOTS of debug messates- this can be turned off via a module parameters.
  • Ignore IRQ - not sure.
  • Side by side comparison with AirStar 2 PCI/ Air2PC DVB PCI showed signifcantly more errors in DigiTV's reception. (With antenna taken to DigiTv in, coax from DigiTv out to AirStar 2 PCI - signal was confirmed in optimal range from antenna).

External Links