MythTV Ubuntu Freesat HD Installation Guide
Using MythTV for DVB-S2 (Freesat HD)
This guide shows you how to get MythTV working for free-to-air digital satellite channels in the UK (Freesat). However, much of it will be applicable to anyone using a DVB-S2 card.
Freesat HD channels in the UK Moved from using DVB-S to the new DVB-S2 standard on June 6th 2011. So for HD you will need a DVB-S2 card, such as the such as the single tuner Hauppauge WinTV Nova-HD-S2 or dual tuner Mystique SaTiX-S2 Dual. If you only have a DVB-S card you can still get thre standard definition channels.
MythTV can record and play the HD channels as long as your PC is capable. See here for more details.
For a list of compatible tuner cards, see the following guide:
See the main guide for details of how to install Ubuntu and MythTV.
Testing the DVB-S Card
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
Freesat is broadcast from the same satellites (Astra 28.2E and Eurobird 1) as Sky Digital. Let's do a scan on Astra and see what we can find (
-x0 means include only free-to-air)...
scan -x0 /usr/share/dvb/dvb-s/Astra-28.2E | tee channels.conf
Check the /var/log/kern.log file if you have problems. You may have an issue with the firmware on the card.
After 20 mins or so you should get a
channels.conf file containing hundreds of channels. To watch one of the channels, do the following:
mkdir ~/.mplayer cp channels.conf ~/.mplayer mplayer dvb://"BBC THREE"
Instead of BBC Three, you can play any of the channels defined in your
MythTV Setup for Freesat
To configure Myth, you run the mythtv-setup utility and step through the options. Select it from the menu: System->Administration->MythTV Backend Setup
Important: the first time this is run, it will complain that your user is not in the mythtv group. This is required so that your user can run and confgure MythTV components. It will offer to add him to the group. Click OK to do this and follow the prompts to log out and back in again.
Once you have logged in again, run MythTV Backend Setup once more. Click OK to stop the mythbackend process and and the mythtv-setup utility should run.
Change the TV format and channel frequency table based on your location. I changed the TV format to PAL and the channel-frequency-table to europe-west.
Hit the DiSEqC button and set it to LNB, or one of the other options, depending on your hardware setup (see http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/DVB-S2). The button was a bit flaky for me on 0.22. Hit the cursor keys a few times and it should work. You MUST set this or the channel scan will fail!
It is possible to use "virtual tuners" to record more than one channel on a single tuner as long as they are on the same multiplex. Select the "Recording Options" button and set "Max Recordings" to >1. This governs how many simultaneous recordings can be made from the tuner. There are currently over 7 channels broadcast on some FreeSat multiplex. See here for more details.
If you have two cards or a dual tuner, repeat the above steps, changing the DVB Card Number to 1.
This defines the source of the schedule listings. There are two options in the UK - the EIT data which is transmitted with the DVB signal and an XMLTV feed gathered over the Internet. I suggest EIT because it's easier to get working.
Select (New video source). Enter a video source name such as "EIT". Set the Listings grabber to "Transmitted guide only (EIT)". That's it. The listings will gradually be populated automatically once we have scanned for the channels.
We will now scan for SD and HD channels separately.
First we will scan for the DVB-S (SD) channels. To do this, enter the details for one transport and it will find the rest. Hit "Scan for channels" and enter the following details:
Freq: 10714000 Polarity: Horizontal Symbol rate: 22000000 Mod Sys: DVB-S FEC: 8/9 Modulation: QPSK Inversion: leave at auto Rolloff: leave at 0.35
The channel scan will take a few minutes to complete. Check the /var/log/kern.log file if you have problems.
Now we will scan for the DVB-S2 (HD) channels using the following details:
Freq: 10847000 Polarity: Vertical Symbol rate: 23000000 Mod Sys: DVB-S2 FEC: 3/4 Modulation: 8PSK Inversion: leave at auto Rolloff: leave at 0.35
Hopefully it will find BBC HD, BBC ONE HD, etc.
Testing the Configuration
Now you can exit the setup utility. It will ask you if you want to run mythfilldatabase. Answer NO because we're using the EIT.
Now run a MythTV Frontend from the menu: Applications->Sound & Video->MythTV Frontend
At this point you should have access to hundreds of channels of crap (plus a few good ones). Note that when mythfrontend is running, you can still switch between applications by pressing ALT+TAB. Enjoy.
For playback of HD channels it is best to use hardware to do the decoding. See the following guide:
See the main guide for more details on how to setup MythTV and troubleshoot any problems.
- Freesat - information and listings of what's on Freesat
- Dishpointer - Satellite Finder / Dish Pointing Calculator with Google Maps
- KingOfSat, Astra - transmissions from the Astra constellation
- BBC Satellite frequencies - help receiving BBC TV on satellite
- Linux TV WIKI - Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-4000 - information on running the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-4000 and WinTV-Nova-HD-S2 cards on Linux
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