PVR suggestions (UK FreeSat DVB-S)

I have an old satellite PVR (Humax FoxSat-HDR) that’s starting to fail, so I plan to replace it… The question is, with what?

Option 1 - Commercial consumer product, dual tuner: e.g. Humax HDR-1100S or similar. Closed source, internal hard disk.

Option 2 - OSMC + 2 x USB DVB-S tuners. Open source. Synology NAS disk store.

I just wondered if Option 2 is really easy and practical yet?

  • How easy is TVHeadEnd to set up on OSMC?

  • How well does it support the UK’s FreeSat services?
    - Does it understand the FreeSAT EPG properly?
    - Does it label its recordings in a simple way?

  • Are there any known reliable USB DVB-S2 receiver modules for OSMC / TvHeadEnd and UK FreeSat?

  • For reliable dual-tuner recordings, would the OSMC PVR need its own computer? Or is my Vero2 powerful enough to play back MKV recordings on my TV whilst recording two other DVB-S channels?

Thanks for any pointers or opinions!

  • Martin

I had the same question 3 years ago, albeit DVB-T rather than DVB-S. With option 2 you do have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves a bit vs a dedicated machine, but you will gain a lot in flexibiiity and you will get lots more support in here than you will from Humax if things go wrong.

TVH is not complicated to set up for DVB-T so I assume it will be similar for Freesat. Someone else might be able to advise on 2 tuners+playback on vero2.

Have you checked with the hummy.tv forums to see if there are any good options for fixing the box?

I have the exact same query. Getting DVB-S tuners seems to be an issue though.

USB DVB-S2 tuners are not easy or cheap to get hold of, last time I looked into it a single USB tuner generally cost more than a dual tuner consumer box, but if you can get the tuners at a reasonable price then I would think it should work well.

I’ve had TVH running with dual tuners (DVB-T not S) recording and playing back another video at the same time all on a Pi1 so I don’t think the more powerful vero2 would have any problems.

Thinking about it if you have a Synology NAS it might be worth looking into running TVHeadEnd on that, I know it can be run on a Synology and it would be less network traffic when recording that way.

Good point about running TVHeadEnd on my NAS - I hadn’t thought of that.
I can only get satellite based TV here in the wilds of Devon so it has to be DVB-S2.

Slightly off topic now but any ideas if a Formuler F1 box, or a similar DVB-S2 box, would allow recording to a NAS.

Thanks for all the replies!

The Hauppauge 461e DVB-S2 stick seems to be 69 Euros at http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/site/webstore/webstore_product.html?prod=24

But I’d need two of them! It claims to be supported in Linux kernel 3.14 onwards - but I don’t know if it’s well supported in TVHeadEnd.


I guess I’d also need a powered USB hub, because the two DVB-S2 sticks would need to power the quad LNB on my dish.

Hmmm, seems to be supported in TVHeadEnd but not without annoying bugs e.g. FreeSat HD channels not working…


Guess I’d need to hunt for known-good tuners on https://tvheadend.org and its forums.

I wonder about using an old laptop as a DVDHeadEnd server. I can’t easily run satellite cabling to my Synology.

For comparison… The Humax HDR-1100S - a dual-tuner DVB-S PVR - costs something like 150 to 300 Euros depending on disk size (500GB, 1TB or 2TB).

If you’re in the UK, you could get Freeview with a DVB-T2 tuner quite cheaply. I think it should offer a similar channel offering as DVB-S2 (Freesat).


Good thought… But our terrestrial reception is a bit poor, so we prefer satellite

When did you last check that? I had the same problem years ago but since the switchover I can now get DVB-T2 perfectly using an old aerial in the loft.

I think [some] DVB-S2 sticks come with a separate PS for this. One less thing to buy.