[mythtv-users] DVB-S2: How to decrypt a channel with card TBS6590

Klaas de Waal klaas.de.waal at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 09:06:58 UTC 2019

> - My latest test with Mythtv show that the adapter (adapter2/frontend[01]) with the CA card inserted doesn't work with Mythtv, while the first adapter without the card does work with mythbackend; well more or less, the results are not 100% reliable (tested on V30.0-13). On the adapter which does work, the decrypting doesn't work, which isn't surprising given that the CA card is inserted in the other adapter.

If your adapter stops working when you insert the CAM then that is
definitely wrong and indication of hardware failure.

Also, for completeness, you mentioned that the CAM can be inserted
upside down, but also the smartcard can be inserted in four ways of
which only one is correct.

Also, when you run today's master, you do not need symlinks anymore to
access the DVB-S/S2 tuner on the TBS cards.
It is really a good idea, if only to make it easy to reproduce
problems, to run the master with a fresh database and with all capture
card and other configuration done exclusively with the mythtv-setup

To verify that your hardware works outside MythTV you could use
dvblast (www.videolan.org). This utility is also mentioned on the TBS
forum so if dvblast does not work with your card you can also ask the
TBS forum for help.

The dvblast cannot handle the frontend0/frontend1 configuration that
TBS uses, with frontend0 for DVB-T/T2/C and frontend1 for DVB-S/S2, so
you need to make a few symlinks to make this work. In my case, with
the TBS9528 on /dev/dvb/adapter31, this is needed:
$ cd /dev/dvb/adapter31
$ sudo ln -s dvr0 dvr1
$ sudo ln -s demux0 demux1

When you start the dvblast then you get lots of output, including
communication with the CAM if that is detected.
This the command I used:
$ dvblast -a 31 -n 1 -y 0 -5 DVBS2 -m psk_8 -f 11739000 -s 29900000 -v
13 -r /tmp/dvblast.sock

The output then includes the following:
info: CAM: AlphaCrypt, 01, 4A20, 4A20
debug: opening ConditionalAccess session (3)
debug: CA system IDs supported by the application :
debug: - 0x606
debug: - 0x602
debug: - 0x604
debug: - 0x608

On your system, you should get something similar. If that is there you
can use the dvblast_mmi.sh script to communicate with the CAM and the
Here is how it works on my system:

$ ./dvblast_mmi.sh -r /tmp/dvblast.sock
Defaulting to slot #0
ERROR: Unknown MMI object
Opening MMI session...
<96>AlphaCrypt 3.05 (c) Mascom GmbH
Module Mainmenu
0 - Cancel
1 - Information
2 - Smartcard
3 - Email Messages
4 - Parental Control
5 - Module Options
6 - Quit
Select item and press OK
Your choice: [0-6], (C)lose or (R)etry ? 1

To summarize:
- receiving FTA channels should work when the CAM is inserted or not,
failure when the CAM is inserted indicates hardware failure
- smartcard must be in the correct position (25% chance on random inserts)
- dvblast can communicate with the CAM if the hardware is OK
- dvblast can communicate with the smartcard inside the CAM, i.e.
retrieve the serial number
- dvblast makes decrypted streams available in your network (n.b. have
not tested this myself)

If dvblast works OK then MythTV should also work.

Hope this helps!

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