Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Freeview on Linux (v4l-dvb)

Up-to-date instructions for using a Freecom DVB-T USB stick on linux are now on my website.

I recently ordered a Freecom DVB-T (freeview) USB2 stick. Getting it working on Windows XP was fairly easy but Ubuntu was a different matter. These instructions also allow you to install v4l-dvb on Ubuntu if you have a different adaptor (but then you'll need to find the right firmware yourself).

(These instructions are for the UK only and are followed at your own risk.)

Plug in the USB stick then enter these commands to the terminal:

sudo apt-get install dvb-utils mercurial build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)
hg clone
cd v4l-dvb
hg update -C 4501
sudo make install

# if you aren't using the same adaptor as me, omit the next 2 lines
sudo cp dvb-usb-wt220u-fc03.fw /lib/firmware/$(uname -r)/

sudo reboot
Note: the hg update -C ensures that you use a version of v4l-dvb that I know works (some later revisions do not work for me). At your own peril, omit it and so use the latest version.
Your USB stick's LED should be amber upon restart meaning it's working but not tuned in. I'm using Kaffeine as my player - open it now.
It should detect you have DVB and copy some files into your home directory. Now close Kaffeine.
Then you need to find the name of the transmitter nearest to you using WolfBane. I'll assume you are closest to Rowridge.
cd ~/.kde/share/apps/kaffeine/dvb-t/
cp uk-Rowridge uk-OriginalRowridge
nano uk-Rowridge
Round the frequency to 3 significant figures, e.g.
# Rowridge, Isle of Wight
# T freq bw fec_hi fec_lo mod transmission-mode guard-interval hierarchy
T 490000000 8MHz 3/4 NONE QAM16 2k 1/32 NONE
Now start kaffeine again, select uk-Rowridge (if that's your transmitter) and tell it to scan for channels. Add the channels it finds, close the scanning window and pick a channel. Your USB stick's LED should be green.

And that's all there is to it.

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Blogger Andrew said...

Ta muchly - this was most helpful in getting my own stick up and running on my Debian Unstable system. :-)

Just two things, which may or may not be applicable to Ubuntu systems:

1) I didn't need to use WolfBane - Kaffeine had an "AUTO" option which meant I didn't have to select the closest transmitter.
2) I had to make sure my ordinary user account was in the video group in order for it be able to access /dev/dvb.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Thanks andrew.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Towy71 said...

I couldn't get the firmware from the link you provided but I did find it here
I have to reiterate what Andrew said about Kaffeine about the AUTO option for tuning
Thank you for a clear and tidy solution to getting this working on Ubuntu Edgy

7:53 AM  
Blogger hyperhead said...

Im using the Freecom stick in Edgy, so far its great (although I dont like using Kaffeine)

One side note, is there any way of reprogramming the remote control? At the moment the on off button hibernates the computer and the channel up and down buttons put the volume up and down, it would be great if I could remote control the computer with this as well as watch telly.

11:23 PM  
Blogger hyperhead said...

Ok I found this, not sure if it works yet

11:36 PM  

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