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 sofware decoding (aka budget) or hardware decoding (aka premium or full featured) class.

Obtaining the dvb-apps package

Unfortunately, an element of confusion in regards to the package has been introduced by the fact that not all Linux distributions ('distro's') refer to it by the "dvb-apps" name. The Debian package name, for example, is "dvb-utils". Additionally, you may sometimes also see it called "dvbtools" (though dvbtools is/was itself the name of another set of utilities seperate from the LinuxTV project (see here)).

In any regards, the sources for the dvb-apps package are 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.