Monday, August 07, 2006

I setup an Ubuntu machine for a mate from work.

Installing was no problem, I partitioned the disk, setup the files, rebooted and it was all working (after discovering the BIOS was set to only boot from the DVD drive, and fixing that).

I then downloaded VMWare server, cool that it's now free, installed that, requiring the installation of make, gcc, and a few other bits and pieces.

I installed windows in that, and it was all working. That was all basic stuff that I've done before, so nothing was a hassle there.

After that, I decided to get the TV tuner card working, a "Fusion HDTV DVB-T Hybrid" (see it here).

I saw that the kernel was trying to load a driver for it (CX88), but it didn't recognise the card.

I did a bit of googling, and found a few useful pages, here, here, here, and here.

I decided that installing the proper nvidia driver would probably be a good idea to start. I ended up here, click on "IA32, latest version", and downloaded this (link will probably change, since the version is in it).

I then had to switch to a VT, stop GDM, make the download executable, and run it (as root). It went through, claimed to be building, compiling, installing etc.

I allowed it to modify the Xorg config file, tried to restart X, and found that it wouldn't work, the nvidia module hadn't been compiled.

I fiddled around for a bit, even tried rebooting, in case there was a kernel module that needed loading, but it didn't help, and then switched the original config file back, using the free nv driver.

I did a bit more googling, found that I might need the Xorg dev packages, so I installed those, and also the kernel source, and then went about reinstalling the driver package.

This time it worked, and X started up properly. The next morning however, when I booted the machine up, X wouldn't start. I had to manually unload and reload the kernel module, and then X started. I need to work out what's going on there.

I then went on to getting the TV card supported.

Following the instructions here, I downloaded the latest v4l source:

hg clone http://linuxtv.org/hg/v4l-dvb (after installing the required packages).

I then compiled that (make), which complained about mismatching kernel versions a bit, some of the software requires 2.6.16, and I was only running 2.6.15, but it still compiled. I installed it (make install), and after a reboot, it had loaded, and the card was supported, /dev/dvb/adapter0 existed, good.

I installed mysql, which I'd read mythtv required, and then installed mythtv. It came up and wanted the mysql password, which I hadn't set, so entered nothing, and it told me I had to run mythtv-setup as the mythtv user.

I fiddled around with the X persmissions (xhost +), switched to the mythtv user in a terminal (sudo su - mythtv), and then tried to run mythtv-setup, but it couldn't talk to X.

I set the display variable (export DISPLAY=:0) and then it was fine, and mythtv-setup ran.

Now I had no idea what I was doing. I hadn't read any install/config documentation.

I fuddled my way through, setting up things I thought should be set, and then got out of the setup. I hadn't set it all up properly though, because I had no guide data (tv_grab_au was missing).

I then worked out to start myth-backend, and then myth-frontend, and I tried to watch tv. It was a start, the screen filled with static.

I had no channels, and no tuning, but at least the tv card was giving a signal.

I found a page that told me I needed to "scan" the channels, but I had no scan command, hmm.

I decided to do a bit more reading, to try to work out how to tune the card, and ended up looking at this.

Ah, installing "dvb-utils" might help. I did that, and then found I had a scan command, as well as a bunch of files in /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils, example channel configs, and frequency lists.

I tried scanning a couple of the au ones, but didn't have any luck. I needed to know the local transmitter frequencies.

(In writing this blog, I found this page, which looks quite handy).

I ended up here, put in the postcode, (2320), and ended up getting a useful list of stations and frequencies. (here).

I grabbed one of the example channel lists I'd tried to scan, and edited it, replacing the frequencies with the local ones, ending up with lines like:

# ABC
T 592500000 7MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/16 NONE

etc, for the 5 channels available. I rescanned, using that file, and it locked on, finding all the channels, radio channels, and generated a proper channels.conf.

I then used tzap to tune to the channels, and dvbtraffic to check that it was receiving an mpeg stream, I couldn't work out how to display it though.

I ran mythtv-setup again, and went through, thinking I could get it to source the channels.conf, but it didn't make any difference. I ran it up as before, and tried tuning the card manually, with tzap, but then realised that mythtv was sourcing from the analogue tuner.

I fiddled around in mythtv-setup again, trying to source from the digital tuner, but I couldn't work it out.

I decided to just try to work out how to test the analogue tuner. I found that mplayer can run a tv tuner card.

I installed mplayer, and after fiddling around with the parameter list a bit, found that something like:

mplayer -tv driver=v4l2:freq=79 tv://

would display somewhat of a picture. I had no idea what the analogue frequencies were, and I couldn't find a list of them anywhere, so I just randomly put things in there, 79/80 resulted in a black and white snowy picture, I'm not sure what channel it was.

At that point, I gave up. I decided I needed to do some reading, and setup mythtv properly.

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