Sabrent TV-PCIRC

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Getting it Working

This is one of the least expensive cards on the market, selling for around $19.99 at several shops around the internet.

Early versions of this card have an eeprom that identify the card as a 'Proteus Pro 2309' (i.e. card 98). In more recent versions the manufacturer Sabrent has neglected to include an eeprom, probably to save cost, but the rest of the hardware doesn't seem to have changed.

If you have a version that does not autodetect, try modprobing with the following command:

modprobe saa7134 card=98 tuner=69

If this doesn't work, it is possible the manufacturer may have changed the hardware again. Try peeling up the sticker on the metal housing over the tuner. There is usually a sticker underneath that gives some indication as to the model of the tuner. In my case I found a sticker that reads "TNF5535M" which corresponds to tuners 37,39 or 69. Any one of these tuners work for me but 69 give slightly better picture quality.

6/27/2009 Works with card=126 or 150 and tuner=38, 43, 44, 47, 51, 52, 53, 56, and a few others with TVTime (Charter cable, North America NTSC). Does not work well with MythBuntu for recording. Jumper from sound out on TV card to line in on sound card. Lock in parameters in /etc/modprobe.d/saa7134.conf, e.g. "options saa7134 card=126 tuner=38" Before that you can also examine dmesg output for saa7134 to see a list of card options.

Picture Quality

The TV-PCIRC has fair picture quality for the price. Most of my cable channels get excellent reception, but the lower frequencies (i.e. channels 2 - 7) have some thin fuzzy vertical lines through them. The channel is still watchable, but the lines do get a little annoying. The higher the channel, the less noticeable the distortion.

Overall the card does a good job for watching or recording the occasional show (as long as the show is not on channel 2).