Testing Your DVB Card


In this section we will bypass MythTV and test the card directly. This is useful for debugging problems with tuning and to check that the card works.

Install the Test Software

To test the card, we're going to use some command-line utilities to do a channel scan and watch some TV.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dvb-apps mplayer

Watch Some TV

If you have installed MythTV at this point, you must stop the backend from running because it will have grabbed the tuner resource preventing the scan from working:

sudo service mythtv-backend stop

It may sound obvious, but make sure you have your aerial plugged into your tuner card. Now we can search for channels in your area using the scan utility. This uses a file on your disk to get the frequencies. Choose the correct one for your area from the /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t directory. Mine is Winter Hill. (Note that the switch to digital last year changed the Winter Hill frequencies and you need to use this file instead if you are in the Granada area).

scan /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/uk-WinterHill | tee channels.conf

Note: The scan will fail if your card needs firmware. See this howto before going any further. Alternatively, search for your card on the MythTV WIKI.

After a minute or so you should get a channels.conf file containing the channel information. You can use mplayer to tune and watch TV, but first you must copy the channels.conf file to the mplayer config directory:

mkdir ~/.mplayer
cp channels.conf ~/.mplayer

Watch some TV:

mplayer dvb://Film4

Instead of Film4, you can play any of the channels defined in your channels.conf.