Digital TV on Dapper with my Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T card

My card reports itself like this:

$ lspci
0000:00:0a.0 Multimedia controller: Philips Semiconductors SAA7146 (rev 01)

Everything seemed to work out of the box:

$ dmesg | grep DVB -A 0 -B 3
[17179585.872000] saa7146: register extension 'budget dvb'.
[17179585.872000] ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:00:0a.0[A] -> Link [LNKC]
    -> GSI 11 (level, low) -> IRQ 11
[17179585.872000] saa7146: found saa7146 @ mem e0aa2000
    (revision 1, irq 11) (0x13c2,0x1005).
[17179585.872000] DVB: registering new adapter (TT-Budget/WinTV-NOVA-T  PCI).
[17179585.908000] adapter has MAC addr = 00:d0:5c:20:33:92
[17179585.908000] DVB: registering frontend 0 (LSI L64781 DVB-T)...

So, many, many hours of Googling later, and after many blind alleys and red herrings, I remembered (yes, I have indeed been through all of this before…) what I needed to do next:

scan /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/dvb-t/uk-CrystalPalace > \

and, finally, to watch TV I just do this:

mplayer -zoom "dvb://BBC ONE"

That seems to fail sometimes, and this is more reliable:

$ cat bin/tv_watch
mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile "$TMPFILE" "dvb://$1"  &
sleep 5
mplayer -zoom "$TMPFILE"
kill %1
rm -f "$TMPFILE"

which I run by simply typing:

tv_watch "BBC FOUR"

Update: the “scan” command is provided by the “dvb-utils” package on Ubuntu.

5 thoughts on “Digital TV on Dapper with my Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T card”

  1. What about:
    mkfifo $TMPFILE
    mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile “$TMPFILE” “dvb://$1” &
    sleep 5
    mplayer -zoom “$TMPFILE”
    kill %1
    rm -f “$TMPFILE”
    Might be lighter on disc usage. No particular reason to delete and recreate the fifo every time, though.

  2. It works except gmplayer complains “Seek failed” as it starts. If I use mplayer instead it’s fine but for radio channels that gives me no window to close when I want the noise to stop.

    Why is gmplayer so annoying?

  3. Some Googling suggests the “-cache” option. I’ll try that tonight. Seems like the best way to do it if gmplayer co-operates.

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