[Nottingham] TV cards and Linux

Richard Morris richard at tannery.co.uk
Tue Sep 12 21:36:15 BST 2006

Hazel Windle wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm thinking about possibly getting a telly card that will have Freeview and  
> that can copy programmes to the hard drive. I would like one that works with 
> Suse Linux. Does anyone have any suggestions? I would also need some software
> to record things off the TV. I've heard of Myth TV or something, is that any 
> good? I use Suse Linux 10.1 on my PC which is in the living room. I'm 
> building a faster PC soon, that will also have Linux on. I've already 
> purchased a motherboard and processor. : D


I use MythTV and it does work very well. The only tricky bit I found was
setting up the freeview TV channels, however I believe that with the
latest version the installation program works better.

I have it working with both Hauppauge WinTV PCI cards and Freecom USB
Sticks, however I think that most devices are supported. The LinuxTv
website has a list of devices that there are drivers for
http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page, however it may be
necessary to install the kernel modules from their repository rather
than using the kernel modules supplied with your distribution to get the
newest devices working, but the instructions on their site are easy to
follow, for USB devices that require the firmware uploading to them on
initilisation, they have links to the firmware too.

One of the nice features of using Freeview with MythTV is that it
reduces the processing power required by the computer when it is
recording the programmes because in essence all it is doing is saving
the MPEG2 stream to your HDD, with the added advantage that the picture
quality is superb. I can record 4 programmes simultaniously on an Athlon
1800xp using two PCI cards and two USB adapters.

For playback though, unless your video adapter provides hardware MPEG
acceleration, a fast processer is a distinct advantage.



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