Recording with HVR 950 USB TV tuner [SOLVED]

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Recording with HVR 950 USB TV tuner [SOLVED]

Postby Ken_g6 on Sun May 13, 2012 7:28 pm

My last major hardware obstacle to using LMDE XFCE 2012.04, that I know of, is getting this USB TV tuner working. I used it for three years in Ubuntu 9.04, and its failure to work in 9.10 was one of two major reasons I didn't upgrade from 9.04 until now.

Let's see, what can I tell you? The stick itself says it's a Hauppauge WinTV HVR 950. (No "Q".) `lsusb` sees it - sort of:

Code: Select all
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 2040:6513 Hauppauge WinTV HVR-980


So that's a little wrong; I don't know if that needs to be fixed.

On Ubuntu, I used Kaffeine to record ATSC TV shows. So I installed it here. But Kaffeine does not see any TV tuners. So I decided to look for other programs. I found something called w_scan that's supposed to scan for channels. It reports:

Code: Select all
$ w_scan -c US
w_scan version 20111203 (compiled for DVB API 5.3)
using settings for UNITED STATES
ATSC
VSB US/CA, DVB-T TW
frontend_type ATSC, channellist 1
output format vdr-1.6
WARNING: could not guess your codepage. Falling back to 'UTF-8'
output charset 'UTF-8', use -C <charset> to override
Info: using DVB adapter auto detection.
        /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0 -> ATSC "LG Electronics LGDT3303 VSB/QAM Frontend": good :-)
Using ATSC frontend (adapter /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0)
-_-_-_-_ Getting frontend capabilities-_-_-_-_
Using DVB API 5.4
frontend 'LG Electronics LGDT3303 VSB/QAM Frontend' supports
INVERSION_AUTO
8VSB
QAM_64
QAM_256
FREQ (54.00MHz ... 858.00MHz)

But then after scanning that range in 8VSB it says, "ERROR: Sorry - i couldn't get any working frequency/transponder; Nothing to scan!!" Kaffeine on my older OS was able to pick up five major ATSC channels (each with several subchannels) with the same hardware.

Suggestions? I'm open to any free software as long as it can be scheduled to record video from this card - I don't have to watch it immediately.

Edit:
OK, it's working! To summarize:

1. I followed these instructions to set up the driver.
2. I used the command "w_scan -fa -c US -X > channels.conf" (with the w-scan package) to get the channels in a format suitable for VLC Media Player. I can then view channels with "vlc channels.conf".
3. To record a specific channel, I take a line from that file, either place it in a separate file or turn it into a VLC command line this way, and use cvlc like this, optionally replacing the conf file with the command line instructions to tune the channel.

It's not Kaffeine. Fortunately, I like working with the command line. :)
Last edited by Ken_g6 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ken_g6
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Re: Recording with HVR 950 USB TV tuner

Postby Ken_g6 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:30 pm

Update: Progress! I'm starting to learn that for LMDE I should Google "Debian". I found this page - which turns out to be similar to the advice on LinuxTV.org - and followed the instructions. Note: I used a 2.6.28 Linux kernel source to get the Perl code.

Now, immediately after this, when I ran w_scan, it reported several channels found. Kaffeine didn't list anything, so I rebooted, and after rebooting with the tuner attached w_scan wouldn't even detect it. I finally got around to rebooting without the tuner attached, and w_scan went back to detecting the channels. I found in the w_scan documentation and man page that I could use the command "w_scan -fa -c US -k > channels.dvb" to get a channel dump for Kaffeine. But I don't know what to do with it.

Kaffeine has never recognized the tuner at all. I went through the FAQ question 20, but didn't get anywhere. (Except to this thread, by accident.) I do see DVB features, but the dropdown to select a tuner is grayed out.

Next, I tried VLC Media Player. When I enter a frequency found by w_scan, it is now able to tune and display the primary channel. Which is nice, but I haven't figured out how to save the MPEG stream from there yet. Not to mention how to do it on a timer.

So, that's where I am at this point. What can I do to record from the TV tuner? Is there another step that can get Kaffeine working? Or can I do something with VLC? Or should I use some other software?
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