TV Card Frustration

So the first component of my new media centre arrived on Friday: the Terratec Cinergy 1200 DVB-C. This is my first foray into the world of digital TV, the technology that is supposed to completely replace analogue tv in this country in less than two years. In a word, unlikely. Now I did some research on this whole thing before I started, and I knew that this card was for sale in Finland, and that there were some on the message boards that had some trouble setting it up, but it seemed like just a nice little technical challenge. It wouldn't be any fun being a propellerhead if just anyone could set one of these things up. But it seems that the challenge is a little beyond anyone's grasp right now. The basic problem is that Finland uses a slightly different signal modulation for digital tv signals than Germany, or the rest of mainstream Europe (QAM 128 instead of QAM 64, for those playing at home). While it looks like my card's software will show channels on QAM 128, it (or any other available that supports my card) doesn't allow me to change the automatic channel search to that modulation. The alternative is to put in the channel information manually, as some enterprising folks in Helsinki have done. Problem is, no one- not even the so-called experts at Sonera (my cable provider) know the proper channel settings.

So far, I know that the available channels come in three multiplexes (or constellations, or "mux"):

  • MUX1 (CNN, Discovery, other paytv): 154mHz, QAM128, 6900 symbol rate
  • MUX2 (MTV3, Nelonen, etc): 162mHz, QAM128, 6900 symbol rate
  • MUX3 (YLE channels): 170mHz, QAM128, 6900 symbol rate

If anyone knows the full channel info for these stations (TSID, Service ID, Video PID, Audio PID, PCR PID, Teletext PID), please post a comment (just a shot in the dark). I'll keep you posted on progress.

Posted on February 15, 2005 and filed under Geek Gear.