DVB-S2 PCI tuner card

Digital Video Broadcasting - Satellite - Second Generation (DVB-S2) is a digital television broadcast standard that has been designed as a successor for the popular DVB-S system. It was developed in 2003 by the DVB Project, an international industry consortium, and ratified by ETSI (EN 302307) in March 2005. The standard is based on, and improves upon DVB-S and the electronic news-gathering (or Digital Satellite News Gathering) system, used by mobile units for sending sounds and images from remote locations world-wide back to their home television stations.

DVB-S2 is envisaged (contemplate) for broadcast services including standard and HDTV, interactive services including Internet access, and (professional) data content distribution. The development of DVB-S2 coincided with the introduction of HDTV and H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) video codecs.

Two new key features that were added compared to the DVB-S standard are:

Other features include enhanced modulation schemes up to 32APSK, additional code rates, and the introduction of a generic transport mechanism for IP packet data including MPEG-4 audio–video streams, while supporting backward compatibility with existing MPEG-2 TS based transmission.

DVB-S2 achieves a significantly better performance than its predecessors – mainly allowing for an increase of available bitrate over the same satellite transponder bandwidth. The measured DVB-S2 performance gain over DVB-S is around 30% at the same satellite transponder bandwidth and emitted signal power. When the contribution of improvements in video compression is added, an (MPEG-4 AVC) HDTV service can now be delivered in the same bandwidth that supported an early DVB-S based MPEG-2 SDTV service only a decade before.

In March 2014, DVB-S2X specification has been published by DVB Project as an optional extension adding further improvements.[1]

Main features

Depending on code rate and modulation, the system can operate at a C/N between −2.4 dB (QPSK, 1/4) and 16 dB (32APSK, 9/10) with a quasi-error free goal of a 10−7 TS packet error rate. Distance to the Shannon limit ranges from 0.7 dB to 1.2 dB.

Modes and features of DVB-S2 in comparison to DVB-S:

Input interface Single transport stream (TS) Multiple transport stream and generic stream encapsulation (GSE)
Modes Constant coding & modulation Variable coding & modulation and adaptive coding & modulation
FEC Reed–Solomon (RS) 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 LDPC + BCH 1/4, 1/3, 2/5, 1/2, 3/5, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 8/9, 9/10
Modulation Single-carrier QPSK Single-carrier QPSK with multiple streams
Modulation schemes BPSK, QPSK, 8PSK, 16QAM BPSK, QPSK, 8PSK, 16APSK, 32APSK
Interleaving Bit-interleaving Bit-interleaving
Pilots N/A Pilot symbols

Use Cases

Envisaged scenarios for DVB-S2 by the standard document are:

The DVB-S to DVB-S2 upgrade process

The conversion process from DVB-S to DVB-S2 is being accelerated, due to the rapid increase of HDTV and introduction of 3D-HDTV. The main factor slowing down this process is the need to replace or upgrade set-top boxes, or acquire TVs with DVB-S2 integrated tuners, which makes the transition slower for established operators.

Current direct-to-home broadcasters using DVB-S2 are:

  • VAST fully replaced the previous DVB-S Aurora service from December 2013. The extra capacity has allowed a Network Ten affiliate to be added along with five HD, seven SD multi-channels and limited advertisement targeting for viewers in DVB-T black-spot areas on Optus C1/D3 156E)
  • Foxtel use this for their four HD downlinks on Optus D3 @ 156E
Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • IRIB on Badr5 26°E and on Intelsat 902 62°E and on Eutelsat W3A 7°E
  • Gem Group on YahSat 1A 52.5°E
  • Digiturk on Eutelsat W3A 7°E
  • D-Smart on Turksat 3A 42°E
  • TRT (HDTV feed only) on Turksat 3A 42°E
  • DTVH (HD feed only) on Turksat 3A 42°E
United Kingdom and Ireland

  • Dolce operated by Romtelecom ,only for HD channels. For SD channels is using DVB-S. Backward compatibility, if subscribed to HD package. Service can only be accessed with proprietary Set-top-boxes. NDS Encrypted. Card paired with set top box. If You have a HD receiver from them, you are able to receive two HD channelsin basic package. Needs special antena for HD.
  • Focus Sat operated by UPC Romania, only for HD .SD remains in DVB-S ( except fashion TV SD). Can be used with a DVB-S receiver for SD channels, or DVB-S2 for SD and HD. May be used also with a CAM and a TV with built in DVB-S (for SD channels)or DVB-S2 (Both SD and HD) tuner and common interface slot. HD channels are offered on separate package, therefore aside a HD terminal (TV or STB), you need to pay this package. CONNAX CAS 7 Encryption. Card not paired with receiver.
  • Orange TV operated by Orange Romania , only in DVB-S2 both SD and HD. Viaccess Encrypted. Only available with proprietary set top boxes. Card paired with set top box. Set top boxes are only HD, these channels are available from the cheapest package.
  • Digi TV , operated by RCS & RDS ( since March 2014) . Until March 2014, only DVB-S, SD. Nagravision 3 Encrypted. Although it is said that the card and receiver are paired, some subscribers stated that the service can also be accessed with a TV with built in DVB-S/S2 tuner and common interface by using a CAM. However, Until March 2014, only SD channels were available . Needs special subscribing for HD. DVB-S is used in SD reception while DVB-S2 is used both for SD and HD.
Other countries

These broadcasters have used DVB-S2 in their internal broadcast distribution networks, but may not have instituted DVB-S2 transmissions for consumers.


  1. "DVB-S2X specification receives approval from DVB Steering board" (PDF). DVB Project.
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