Previously mentioned but worth repeating: If you are looking for support for your tuner device in Linux, start here: https://www.linuxtv.org/
A shortcut to the hardware links is here, currently:
https://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ ... nformation
The site's search works, but you might need to be specific due to case sensitivity.
If you don't know what hardware you have on your system, here's a terminal command that might help:
Look for "video controller" or "Multimedia video controller" or similar in the list of devices. You can perform an Internet search for the number pair in brackets on the "video controller" line to help you identify the device if the subsystem line doesn't have enough information to do so. For example:
Code: Select all
03:00.0 Multimedia video controller : Conexant Systems, Inc. CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb [14f1:8880] (rev 04)
Subsystem: Hauppauge computer works Inc. CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb [0070:6a18]
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
Memory at c0600000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2M]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: cx23885
Kernel modules: cx23885
For this entry I searched online for "14f1:8880".
If you run the command with sudo as a prefix, the capabilities will be shown, although at this point running the command with admin rights isn't really needed. Without sudo it will still tell you if your kernel already supports the device with a kernel driver.
My Recent Experiences
I'm growing fond of the Hauppauge units that work on Linux and support ATSC (I'm in the US).
First I started with the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-955Q
, a USB-based tuner:
https://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ ... V-HVR-955Q
It works with Linux Mint 17.3 in any USB 2.0 port, although I vaguely recall needing to download the driver mentioned in the link above.
This device consumes about one watt. It runs warm to the touch. Reception is good if the signal is good. Kodi can display the signal strength for the first channel tuned if the backend server (e.g., TVHeadend) provides it. It works for the first channel tuned from the starting menu but not for subsequent channel changes until you return to the starting menu.
The system log will likely tell you if you have reception errors.
I was able to view TV channels in VLC although I had to specify them by frequency, not something that the average viewer will know off-hand. I believe you can get or set up a template for VLC to map frequencies to channel numbers or names, but I went straight to TVHeadend as a server -- it selects channels, provides schedules, records shows and is configurable to set timer rules to record shows even when they are on different days.
(It's good, but I'm not recommending it solely because it is difficult to set up and the documentation that's part of the web interface can be incomplete where you need help the most. Yet I don't know of any simple backend in Linux that would be as powerful. This is just a recounting of my experiences.)
TVHeadend is not very user-friendly, although 4.2.3 is easier to use than 4.0.8. In the US, you'll want ATSC-T for terrestrial over-the-air (OTA) reception. If you are just using the OTA PSIP (something like "program and system information protocol") electronic program guide (EPG), TVHeadend is relatively simple to set up. The PSIP information is unfortunately limited to what the broadcaster provides, which can be as little as 8 hours of schedule.
If you want to set it up for using XMLTV (e.g., to use Schedules Direct -- see http://www.schedulesdirect.org
), that's a bit more involved. You have to override the EIT/PSIP support for each channel and then link the XMLTV channel by ID value to the OTA channel.
For the front-end I went with Kodi. You'll need the TVHeadend PVR add-on before Kodi will be able to do anything useful with TVHeadend (or the PVR add-on for any PVR server), but this is easily added within Kodi for most PVR servers. For the schedule, the TVHeadend add-on must not
be set for asynchronous retrieval.
After I encountered the need to record two programs at the same time, I obtained this PCIe card, the Hauppauge WinTV-quadHD (ATSC ClearQAM)
https://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ ... _ClearQAM)
There are two versions of the Hauppauge quad-tuner card; if you go this route you'll want the one for your region. The DVB version is supported in kernel 4.8 (card=56); the ATSC version requires kernel 4.9 or later (card=57). This support is automatic with Linux Mint 18 once updated to kernel 4.10 as part of the official updates, if
you select the kernel for updating; kernel updates are not selected by default unless you decide to always update everything.
This video controller card needs more CPU power than the single-channel USB tuner. My Haswell quad-core 3.2-GHz I5-4690S works just fine to display four channels at once in small windows with the integrated graphics support of the Intel CPU. This is fairly useless other than for demonstration purposes, but the card is excellent at recording multiple shows simultaneously; I'm recording two HD news programs and one SD science fiction show as I type this.
The card itself uses about 7-8 watts. The power management feature doesn't seem to be supported by the driver yet. The channel signal strength is also not displayed. The recording of those three shows used an additional 5-7 watts by the system.
The current official Kodi release, Krypton 17.6 (as I write), is excellent at software rendering 1080i live TV and recordings using a reasonably-fast CPU onto a 1280x1024 monitor. It would likely do even better with either a CPU that supports hardware video acceleration or a dedicated GPU.