The day before yesterday, the USB Satellite Receiver I’ve ordered arrived. A few days earlier, the smartcard reader arrived. So, I guess I have all required components now.

Plugging the receiver into the USB port, nothing happens. Ok, dmesg shows a new device has been attached, but no module is being loaded. I guess I’m a bit spoiled, expecting everything to just work, all driver support just to be in the kernel. However, this time this was not the case. The device identifies itself as ID 0572:6831 Conexant Systems (Rockwell), Inc.

Downloading the sources from and compiling them. It gives me a packed version of the dvb_usb_dw2102 module, which actually was in my current version. Please note I’ve used the “media_build_bst_121102” version, and not the patches for 3.6, for now.
On the Raspberry Pi, this went without issues. On my laptop there are little issues, as this source package includes the whole media subsystem, and there are conflicting versions with existing kernel modules. I suppose I should investigate their patches too. But… as their patches are for 3.6.6 and I am already beyond…
Nevertheless, I got the device working, both on pi and laptop.

So, next is tvheadend. This is a TV streaming server, which will stream the received TV signals to my XBMC Pi, or, at least, what was the plan. It is configures through a web interface, which is rather heavy when having all channels from a satellite loaded. Firefox regularly freezes and pops up the script not responding dialog. Opera can handle it better then Firefox. Anyhow, using the web interface, setting up username, password, ip range etc. Setting up and scanning the satellite.

On the other Raspberry Pi, running OpenELEC XBMC, connecting to it. Well…. it doesn’t work as well as expected. Really having to convince it to change channels etc.
So, what’s the problem. At first, check if the satellite is aligned correctly. The DreamBox DM7000S has fine reception, so I don’t think that’s the problem. Is there a bottleneck is computing power or bandwidth somewhere in the chain. Note that the Raspberry Pi has it’s ethernet as USB device, which might be the issue. I don’t know if there is a hardware demuxer present in this receiver, but if this is not the case, it will have to stream the signal from the entire transponder over USB, which means a number of channels is sent. This might take up a huge part of the USB bandwidth, which might not leave enough to sent the channel we’re interested in over USB to the Ethernet. If this is the problem, a possible solution might be to hoop up an Ethernet adaptor on a different interface. I’ve read about SPI Ethernet adaptors, such as the ENC624J600 (100 Mbit) and ENC28J60 (10 Mbit). However, I have no idea of the performance of the SPI bus, on the Raspberry Pi, or even in general.

So… let’s compile a xbmc on the laptop, do some cross reference tests. Installing the package xbmc-git from aur. Editing the PKGBUILD is required, remove all the inclusion of libcec, otherwise it will not compile. It will go like, this is not a Raspberry Pi, I will not compile. LOL. Also install the PVR addons. Starting tvheadend and xbmc on the laptop, it works perfectly. So, at least we know now the receiver works fine. Now, connect it to the Pi. The laptop as client, this gives issues as well. So, it seems the Pi as server is the problem.

So, the next test is running XBMC on the Pi and tvheadend on the laptop. This still doesn’t work as desired. This makes me start to believe the Raspberry Pi is not (yet) suitable as a full media center. It worked fine for playing music and videos from files, but on streaming it still has issues. First of all, I have to switch the audio to MPEG2. It will default to AC3 encoded audio, and when this is selected, the channel will not show anything. I have to select MPEG2 audio, switch to a different channel, switch back, and I might get to see something. But in general, it feels unstable. XBMC might just decide to crash and restart when using the PVR client.

Perhaps I should let it rest for a while, because I am spending too much time on this. There is one other thing to try. Installing XBMC on the desktop machine as well, to see how it performs on streaming in general. (And everything on Pi as well, but I really think CPU power will be a problem then) Also… if cpu power is the issue, I still have this CubieBoard, which may come to the rescue. Otherwise I might have to look for a more powerful board.

Anyhow, this is it for now, I still have some more topics to talk about, but that will have to wait till later. But I still have to discuss oscam, usb issues and real time clocks.

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