[ubuntu-uk] Suggest a ubuntu compatible TV-CARD

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Wed Oct 15 13:23:03 BST 2008

Darren Mansell wrote:
> I'm currently setting up a MythTV network at my house and I've been trying
> out various technologies and angles of attack to get the best possible
> performance and widest choice at the lowest cost.
> I started with Freeview as thats the easiest route hardware wise. A decent
> DVB-T TV card from a decent aerial and thats pretty much it. However the
> digital reception in my area isn't very good and I had to have a 16 ft pole
> extended fully on a TNK bracket at the highest point of my house to get all
> the muxes and even then Ch.4 was poor in some atmospheric conditions.
> Reality dawned that DVB-T wasn't going to be the best solution. Plus I was
> worried about aeroplanes hitting it.
I have a similar problem in my area.  My TV and freeview boxes pick up 
all the channels fine but the DVB-T card I have won't pick everything 
up.  I've got to wait until about April/May next year for the switch over.
> At about the same time Freesat starting hitting the headlines so I started
> looking into that. It's basically Sky's FTA channels rebranded because
> whoever is driving the digital switchover has started to realise there's no
> way we can all switch over in 2012 using only DVB-T. Quick deal with the
> devil later and they can save face. 
This is where it gets confusing, there's FreeSat and FreeSat from Sky.  
FreeSat uses the FreeSat or Free To Air boxes and FreeSat from Sky uses 
a  Sky box.  Saying that, the majority of what you can get on Freeview 
is now Free to Air on Freesat anyway.  From what I understand Channel 
5's channels are currently encrypted and can only be received with a Sky 

Sods law I can't get Sky where I live because of some trees blocking the 
signals and I can't afford to get the dish moved.
> So my next plan involved buying a quad output LNB for my Sky dish and a
> DVB-S USB tuner eBay special. I fitted the LNB, fed a cable to my server
> and plugged the USB DVB-s tuner in. Ubuntu Hardy wouldn't recognise it as a
> video device and neither would MythTV. There's nothing about that
> particular device on the V4L or MythTV site so I've given up with that.
That's a shame.  I guess support is a bit patchy at the moment with 
generic 'e-bay specials'?
> My latest venture involved getting a 2nd hand Sky box (£3 off eBay :-) )
> and hooking it up via composite to a Hauppauge PVR150, going down the well
> beaten track. Just waiting for the PVR150 to arrive.
Ooh they're good cards.  I have an Adaptec VideOh PCI card which is 
based on the same chipset.  When it's detected and working (mine 
currently doesn't work on 8.04.1 for some reason) you can literally cat 
the output from /dev/video0 to an MPEG2 file (well, once you set the 
parameters such as source and TV format).  It's great for quick easy 
transfer of old home videos to MPEG2 video for editing too.
> Finally the Freeview thing isn't quite Sky's FTA channels like many claim.
> If you look at which channels on Sky are actually FTA there aren't many.
> All the BBCs and ITV's are unencrypted as is Ch4, but not Ch5. Almost
> everything else is encrypted. You need to buy a card from Sky to receive
> all the Freesat extra channels which costs £20 and so far I'm not having
> much luck getting them to sell me one.
Hmm, that's strange, I'd have thought they'd be happy to sell one.  
Maybe they just want to get you to subscribe to Sky instead?


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