TBS 5925 USB satellite tuner
The tuner offers DVB-S2, multistream ability, extreme selectivity for symbol rates down to 0.1 MS/s and modulation up to 32PSK. It's only a few very special transponders where these abilities are really needed. But it's affordable spending about 250 Euro for a real DX experience.
So the test report result: It works. Sensitivity is OK. And as expected it took some time to make it run on my setup using a USALS positioner/motor. Here are some hints that can save you a lot of time.
First of all: It's essential to have the codecs installed: I use the free "ffdshow tryout".
In many cases you must go through the properties and select the codec for each format.
The TBS comes with a few OEM versions on CD ROM such as DreamDVB, ProgDVB and the TBS viewer. Actually, I didn't manage to make the motor run with any of those.
- The TBS viewer is very basic
- the DreamDVB OEM is annoying unless you buy it: If you click on any function which is only available in the registered version the web browser always opens the "purchase" window. Crashes from time to time.
- the ProgDVB OEM lacks DiseqC. From the web you can download a fully featured 21 day trial of the Pro version. But after that you must pay. ProgDVB is combined with ProgTV. This is a skin similar to TV media players for the use with the remote control.
So I looked out for other software. My choice is the completely free...
It's well structured for the use with a motor - with a list of satellites, a positioner console, blindscan with many options, sort and group for program lists and satisfying EPG. Only a few bugs: Sometimes audio or video disappear and the codec selection gets lost, especially after switching to a disappeared feed. The software hangs for a few seconds. In some cases it helps to click on "apply and restart video" in the connections menu. It's available if you right-click on the screen.
From time to time the codec selection gets lost and have to be re-entered. Smart DVB also crashes occasionally- just like the others.
Important: USALS and DiseqC only work if you choose "Florian BDA" in the device settings.
Another new software is AltDVB which I haven't tried yet
For DX and feed hunting I recommend
EBS Pro (Easy Blind Scan)
4T2 Content Analyzer
Stream from EBS via UDP protocol to 4T2 software. Each stream is full of hidden data. This unique and free tool makes it all visible. You can also watch a cake diagram which streams require which amout of data on a transponder in real time!
Setting this up:
- It's a great combination of blindscan, spectrum analyzer and positioner console.
- It's worth donating the requested 29$ to have all features enabled.
- Double click on the spectrum to analyze the stream.
- It's possible to export EBS blindscan results to SmartDVB and AltDVB. Just store it in the related transponders You can import lists from SatFeeds.info and other platforms
- When you detect and lock a carrier you can stream it to the VLC video player, to the TSReader or record it. In my case it only works with UDP. Sometimes you must re-click on the "TBS" writing in VLC, first one in the list. The stream is only accepted if it shows the satellite name. You can select the programme in the "playback" menu. If it remains grey, nothing is available.
- In EBSPro select File/Options/Player 2 (or 3,4,5- if it's free)
- Select the link to 4T2 Content analyzer in "Player Name > Path"
- Check "network Stream" with UDP 7000 (I left buffer to default 6016)
- In 4T2 Content Manager Input/Output select UDP (drop down menu at master input/mirrors)
- click on the options button right from "UDP" and set port to 7000
- click the play button: now "signal" should be maked green. In "SI Tables" and "Services/PIDs" tabs you should get some results
blind scan speed
If you select big steps (10 MHz) and only symbol rates of 20000..30000 the blindscan will only take 5 minutes on Hotbird. If you select small steps of 1 MHz and all symbol rates of 100..50000 it will be 40 minutes for a satellite.
is tricky. I've only managed to lock the 11919V transponder on Hotbird with EBS Pro so far. It's possible if you select "root" and "8" in the advanced menu (search carrier). But nothing appears in VLC. It should be possible to use DreamDVB for it but I haven't been lucky with that.
Running the device on a DC regulated 12V power supply with 10A capability led to regular crashes. On Windows XP and 7 a screen in old MSDOS style appeared mentioning a problem in the tbs5925.sys before rebooting. In other cases the applications just froze when under load (like the EBSpro while scanning). So it's recommended to use the original power supply (with only 2A). Crahes still happen but far less frequent. By the way older versions are reported to have used 7,5V.
Unfortunately the device gets hot. It's probably no security issue but you shouldn't put it on any plastic material.
Peer-Axel Kroeske 2014/2015