Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SDR with $20 TV Tuner card.

I was going to hold off posting about this until I got mine and could try it out, but I ordered 2 weeks ago and it hasn't shipped yet so I'll drop a line now. There's been some developments on this story since then anyways. Here's a video where someone is showing this running in real time in GNU Radio.

There's also suppose to be support in Windows now too.

Basically, these are $20 laptop TV Tuner dongles from China. USB connections and they are for DVB-T which is the European digital broadcast TV standard. The US uses ATSC for broadcast and QAM64, QAM128, QAM256 for cable typically. There's a fair bit of satellite stuff that uses DVB-S/S2 though. Someone did some sniffing of the card and discovered that the FM radio portion of it was actually a SDR. It's only 8-bit but the possible frequency range is 64-1700mhz.

I'm giddy over this for a couple of reasons. If it can be made to work cheaply, hello cheap receivers to stick in other places. Yeah, the downer is the processing power required for it to actually work. Processing power is cheap these days. Also, what a neat platform for a potentially automated receiver. No interface cables needed either, plug into USB and play.


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