Linux Journal had an article (subscription to the print version may be required) entitled, “Over-the-Air Digital TV with Linux” in their July 08 print issue. After reading the article, I thought I’d get one of the reviewed USB tuners and play with it. This post provides info (some from the article) which I think is valuable.
The tuner I got was Pinnacle’s PCTV HD Pro Stick. The article let me know that I would have to do the following actions (was written using Ubuntu 7.10, but works on 8.04):
First get all the build tools needed (I had all but mercurial already)
sudo aptitude install mercurial build-essential linux-source
Next get the firmware for USB tuner cards
sudo wget -q http://konstantin.filtschew.de/v4l-firmware/firmware_v4.tgz -O /usr/local/src/firmware_v4.tgz
Unpack the firmware into /lib/firmware
sudo tar xzf /usr/local/src/firmware_v4.tgz -C /lib/firmware
Grab the latest copy of the V4L DVB source code from mcentral.de:
sudo hg clone http://mcentral.de/hg/~mrec/v4l-dvb-kernel
Compile the V4L drivers:
sudo make install
The next step was missing, and that is:
sudo modprobe em2880-dvb
This loads the kernel module needed for the tuner. When I plugged in the USB tuner without this module installed, the keyboard locked up and I had to reboot (happened on a desktop & a laptop).
The program I landed on for tuning digital TV is Me TV. This is a simple program that uses xine on the backend. I didn’t need the bells and whistles of MythTV, which is what was discussed most in the LJ article. A program to use the analog channels is tvtime, and I used this to check out that the card was working before I found Me TV.
When you are satisfied that the usb tuner is working well, you might want to make the module load every time the machine boots. To do this add