LinuxTV dvb-apps

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The LinuxTV dvb-apps package contains some Linux DVB API applications and a set of utilities that both the developer and end user alike will find quite useful. Specifically, the utilities are geared towards the initial setup, testing, and operation of a DVB device, whether it be of the software decoding (a.k.a. 'budget') or hardware decoding (a.k.a. 'premium' or 'full-featured') class.

Obtaining the dvb-apps package

Unfortunately, in regards to the package, an element of confusion has been introduced by the fact that not all Linux distributions ('distro's') refer to it by the proper "dvb-apps" name. The Debian package name for it, for example, is "dvb-utils". In other cases, you may also sometimes see it called "dvbtools", even though DVB tools is itself the name of another project (not associated with LinuxTV) that features its own set of DVB related utilities.

In any regard, the dvb-apps package source code is available for direct download from the LinuxTV website, in either tar.bz2 or tar.gz format. (Note: The build procedure is very simple -- uncompress the download; in a command shell, cd to the top directory level of the uncompressed sources; run 'make' and then 'sudo make install').

Alternatively, if the package is maintained in a repository available for your "distro", then you can obtain it with your package manager. For example:

  • To install it on a debian system:
# apt-get install dvb-utils
  • With gentoo:
# emerge linuxtv-dvb-apps
  • Using Fedora, assume root privileges then install the dvb utilities with:
# yum install dvb-apps

List of utilities within 'dvb-apps'

The README file in the top level of the package gives a brief description of the package's contents, but in general, some of the items of interest that you will find are in the:

/test directory

  • diseqc: Sends various diseqc sequences on a SAT frontend.
  • set22k: Legacy tone switching for SAT frontends.
  • setvoltage: Legacy voltage switching for SAT frontends.
  • setpid: Set video and audio PIDs in the demux (only for hardware MPEG decoder)
  • video: tiny video watching application
  • test_sections: Hex dump of section data from stream.
  • test_sec_ne: Like test_sections, but also test Not-Equal filter mode.
  • test_pes: Hex dump of PES data from stream.
  • test_tt: Demonstrate teletext decoding from PES data.
  • test_av: Test audio and video MPEG decoder API.
  • test_vevent: Test VIDEO_GET_EVENT and poll() for video events
  • test_stc: Test DMX_GET_STC.
  • test_stillimage: Display single iframes as stillimages
  • test_dvr: Record a partial transport stream of selected PIDs to a file or a full stream if supported by the hardware

/util directory

  • loadkeys: a utility to setup IR control keymaps using /proc/av7110_ir interface
  • dvbdate
  • dvbnet
  • dvbtraffic
  • scan, scandvb or dvbscan: utility to generate channel lists for the currently tuned frequency.
  • azap, czap, szap, tzap: tuning utility for DVB.
  • femon
  • gnutv
  • zap