Example setups

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Revision as of 23:27, 14 April 2007 by CityK (talk | contribs) (As the article already was more then about "examples of software solutions", its scope has been expanded to include "examples of hardware" too)
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This page provides examples of working hardware and software system configurations that may provide guidance for readers as to what can be accomplished on or with their own system.

If you believe you have a PVR / Linuxtv box that works well, please post a description that may be beneficial for others to read (such as your hardware (mobo/chip), what device you have (ideally with a link to the manufacturer's product page or to the device's entry here in the wiki) and what kernel and drivers you operate with.

In order to be most useful for the reader, this page is divided into three sections:

  • setups for DVB cards that rely on "software decoding" (aka budget cards ... DVB cards without hardware decoders)
  • setups for DVB cards with hardware decoders (aka full featured cards)
  • setups for analog TV cards (hey, shouldn't that sort of stuff rather be in the video4linux wiki?

Each of the three sections can, in turn, be subdivided into categories covering the different standards (DVB-{C,S,T}, ATSC) for that type of hardware. Please add to the appropriate one, or create a new one if need be.

Readers should note that the suggestions found here are just that -- suggestions. For a more complete listing of available software programs, see the commented software list page. Likewise, for more complete listings of supported hardware, consult the [Hardware & Components] section of the wiki.

A sample solution for a system with a budget DVB card

My system is a Twinhan DTV Mini Ter on a cheap HP Pentium 4 1.2GHz. The graphic card is only an on-board Intel 82810E with shared memory, so nothing fancy.

After installing the card drivers, I tried several solutions. I didn't get the VDR Software Decoder Plugin working so I tried xine -- which worked on the first trial and provides much functionality (for watching) on an easy and intuitive interface.


I use a Twinhan Express compatible card Axtrom which works great with linux. So far kaffeine is the best choice to use with a budget card. Since xine does not let you to record and it's interface is buggy and VDR is very hard to setup and startup I decided to stick to kaffeine. It lets you record un-attended. you can even record and watch multiple channels within same transponder.


DVB-T example
Nova-T stick

Via SP13000 epia system Fedora Core 6

kernel: 2.6.18-1.2869.fc6

Drivers extracted from hg

Works reasonably well, records about 8 TV programs a day using freevo. Get kernel ops requiring reboot about once a month, can be slow to tune and sometimes doesn't tune at all.

A sample solution for a system with a full-featured card

My system is a Mythtv pc installed with Fedora Core 6 following this howto [1]. I use the Technotrend Premium DVB-C 2300 Hybrid dvb-c card [2]bought from Dvb shop in Germany [3]. I was thinking buying the Technotrend Budget C-1500, but it was out of stock from Dvbshop that time [4].

The Linux 2.6 kernel had already support for Technotrend Premium DVB-C 2300 so the card was autodetected after first time boot. The firmware for the card was not in place so you must download the correct dvb-ttpci-01.fw-2622 (or newer) firmware file from this place [5]. Place this file in the hotplug directory /lib/firmware and rename to dvb-ttpci-01.fw. Change the permission on the file. After a reboot you should get some file in /dev/dvb/adapter0/

Using Fedora, assume root privileges then install the dvb utilities with

  # yum install dvb-apps

Scan will need some idea of where to start searching; for this reasons it takes a file for your location as a starting point. Therefore, you need to find channel information for your locality. Again, the location where they are installed may vary. In the following examples, the directory is /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/dvb-t/; other installations also use /usr/share/doc/dvb-apps-1.1.1 or /usr/local/share/dvb/scan/dvb-t/. DVB-S users should use the folders /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/dvb-s/, /usr/share/doc/dvb-apps-1.1.1 or /usr/local/share/dvb/scan/dvb-s/. In each case, the name of the file you're looking for is of the form cc-Ttttt, where cc is a two-letter country abbreviation, and Ttttt is the name of the location of the transmitter. So in Adelaide, Australia, you'd look for a file called au-Adelaide; the following example relates to Oxford in the United Kingdom.

I live in Norway and use Grimstad cabeltv. I did not find any channel information file I could use. But I find one for Norwegian UPC which I first take a copy of and then edited it. I got the correct frequency setting, QAM and so on from the cable box Grimstad cabeltv has delivered me.

[mythtv@mythpc ~]$ cat no-oslo-UPC
# no-oslo-UPC (cable)
C 410000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 418000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 426000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 442000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 450000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 458000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 466000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 474000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 482000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 490000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 498000000 6875000 NONE QAM64  

After I have edited the file no-oslo-UPC I did a scan.

 $ /usr/bin/dvbscan /home/mythtv/no-oslo-UPC

This should produce output saying "WARNING: >>> tuning failed!!!" if a signal was not found on that particular frequency. Eventually, a list of services found should be displayed. Here is a sample list:

dumping lists (7 services)
NRK mP3:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:0:706:1515
NRK Stortinget:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:0:705:1514
NRK Sami Radio:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:0:49:1510
NRK Klassisk:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:0:703:1507
NRK P3:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:0:702:1505
NRK P2:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:0:701:1504
NRK P1:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:0:35:1503
NRK1 sorlandet:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:512:640:3507
ZTV Norway:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:2161:2162:2160
TV3 Norge:410000000:INVERSION_AUTO:6875000:FEC_NONE:QAM_64:1111:1112:1110

This is a list with both radio and tv channels. You have both encrypted and unencrypted channels her also.

Next try to create a "channels.conf", a file in a hidden (dotted) directory off your "home" directory. I make a directory called .czap because I shall use czap to tune in the channels. Czap is only for cable broadcasting, then you have tzap for terrestial and then szap for satelite.

 $ mkdir ~/.czap
 $ /usr/bin/dvbscan /home/mythtv/no-oslo-UPC > ~/.czap/channels.conf

Next display the contents of the channels.conf file to make sure the file creation proceeded correctly

 $ cat ~/.czap/channels.conf

Then you can try to tune in one of the channels:

 $ /usr/bin/czap  -r -c ~/.czap/channels.conf "ZTV Norway"

which in turn displays lines similar to (terminate with Ctrl-C)

 using '/dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0' and '/dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0'
 tuning to 177028615 Hz
 status 1f | signal 0000 | snr ff28 | ber 00000000 | unc 00000000 | FE_HAS_LOCK
 ... (repeated output) ...

The rest of the wiki I am going to document in the Mythtv Wiki[6] because it is involving the howto use the channels.conf file in Mythtv for setting up channels in Mythtv.

A sample solution for a system with an analog card

write it down if you have one -- I can't do it cause I haven't

See also