This page is intened to help the user determine whether the device they own, or one that they are considering purchasing, is supported or not under Linux.
Check For Hardware Compatibility
Before purchasing a DVB device, you should check whether it is listed as supported within the appropriate section of the wiki:
* ATSC devices * DVB-C devices (Digital Cable TV) * DVB-S devices (Digital Satellite TV) * DVB-T devices (Digital Terrestrial TV) * Sortable List of Device Vendors * DVB Conditional Access Modules (Pay TV)
If the device you're considering is not cited as being supported, then there is a good chance that it will not work under Linux. However, as the information in the wiki is not always current, you should also consider inquiring about the device's status on the mailing list (but please search the archives first!).
If you have already purchased your DVB device but can not find mention of it in the wiki's supported device sections, it might be a good idea to search this wiki for the device's name or the manufacturer name -- Reason being: while there are indeed many DVB devices available on the market, the actual selection of hardware components that a manufacturer has to choose from when designing their device is limited. As a consequence of this fact, many DVB devices have a similar component constitution, and hence some information can usually be ascertained about any given unsupported device. Furthermore, sometimes you can even adopt the support provided for another device for your own currently unsupported device.
Gathering Information About Your Unidentified/Unsupported Device
If your device is PCI based, then the output from the following commands (which likely require you to run them with root privileges) should be your first starting point:
# lspci -v # lspci -vn
Look for output lines with
Multimedia video controller: ... Multimedia controller: ...
Also read the manufacturer's details from the tin box of the card. If there are any textual/numerical markings printed on the board itself, they would be useful too - basically anything to help others identify a card visually. Send this information to the Linuxtv DVB mailing list along with the above output.
Similarly, if your device is USB based, look at the output generated from the commands
# lsusb -v # lsusb -vn
As these devices tend to be completely encased, it is difficult, if not impossible, to make any visual identifications of components used in the device's design without resorting to physically prying it open. The degree of difficulty of undertaking such a task can vary greatly, but in most cases the user can, with patience and care, find a way to non-destructively disassemble the device. Nonetheless, anyone attempting such a venture should be prepared to fully accept the consequences of their own actions in the event of an unsuccessful attempt.
As a final thought in your preliminary steps to find support information for your device, you might also search with google and add "Linux" and/or "how to" to your keywords.
You can also take a look at http://hardware4linux.info/type/87/ to see the note for the different devices.