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Looking for PCI card with CI/CI+ support

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone!


Currently using a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-5525. Works just fine, but I now need CI support for the Italian tivùsat.

Hauppauge does not offer CI cards or add-ons. Never used a PC card with CI so I have zero experience. Only heard of TBS cards.


Do you have any suggestions of reliable vendors and cards, compatible with DVBViewer? Also, recently heard of Sat>IP. Perhaps that's a better solution? No idea.

Yet another problem is the use of CI+ by most providers, tivùsat inlcuded. I believe no PC product supports CI+ but perhaps it's backwards compatible with CI hardware? Questions...

Thank you

Edited by Laserwave
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  • Laserwave changed the title to Looking for PCI card with CI/CI+ support

Nowadays you wil not find DVB PCI cards anymore (only PCIe), and no DVB cards at all that support CI+. DVB card manufacturers get no licence for it, because the open PC architecture is not suitable for implementing the degree of content protection (and the resulting restrictions for you as consumer) required for CI+.


TBS cards with CI didn't prove to be a reliable and stable solution (at least not for me).


The card closest to your needs is this one from Digital Devices. It's quite expensive, because it is designed for professional requirements, and you need to buy an additional CI module for it, requiring another PCIe slot. However, it is known to work well with DVBViewer.


The Sat>IP standard doesn't support encrypted TV natively, neither server-side nor client-side decryption. There are only proprietary solutions, particularly Sat>IP servers from Digital Devices in combination with DVBViewer. However, due to legal reasons, the server does not allow to deliver a decrypted stream to more than a single client.


Sorry, no better news...


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12 hours ago, Griga said:

Nowadays you wil not find DVB PCI cards anymore (only PCIe)...


Sorry, no better news...



Yes, I actually meant PCIe, sorry. PCI is just too old. Oh that's a pity. Too bad, those TBS cards look good on paper and I've seen during setup that DVBViewer supports them.


But, you know better of course... Perhaps I'll hunt down an older, 2nd-hand card. I seem to remember there were more PCIe/CI cards available in the past. I could be wrong of course and I don't really know which they are.

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Hello @Laserwave,


I recently managed to run CI+ modules from Polish cable TV provider Vectra, and the very same PCIe cards from Digital Devices, which @Griga linked. However, I did it with Linux software minisatip. As far as I know, this is the only open solution capable of working with CI+ cards. However you'll need certificates extracted from some proprietary device, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post them here.

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Thanks, @reki.

If I manage to buy that card at some point, hopefully Tivusat will be ok. They are not really pay/subscription TV (you only pay once, for the hardware) and thus I think their encryption is not too strong/aggressive. I have two older CAM's from them, and they work fine on my very old sat receiver which is CI, not CI+. Their current CAM's though are CI+.

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Posted (edited)

If I understand correctly, CI CAM/cards will play on CI+ hardware. However, the reverse is not true: CI+ CAMs/cards will not play on CI hardware. So, that rules PC cards out for encrypted content (including those from Digital Devices), unless using:

a) older CI CAM/cards, assuming they are still allowed and enabled by the provider

b) advanced wizardry, as hinted by reki

c) other, unknown means

Edited by Laserwave
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There are certain CAMs, that can be used in CI (non CI+) slots and are sold with an almost unusable legacy firmware, that only serves as alibi. The real purpose of these CAMs is to be programmed with some other firmware (requiring programming equipment for flash memory). This firmware can be found in legal grey areas of the internet. It enables using certain CI+ cards in these CAMs.


Of course, such kind of firmware at least violates the terms and conditions of pay TV providers, even if it is not prosecuted criminally, because the user doesn't steal something, but pays for the subscription (in contrast to users of illegal software descrambling or card sharing). That's why some pay TV providers inofficially tolerate it to a certain degree, though the copyright holders of the broadcasted content don't like it at all.


Nevertheless detailed discussions and information about this topic is unwanted in this forum. So everybody who wants to know more about it must find some other information source.


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