Saturday, 12 May 2012

How-to: Freecom DVB-T Resurrected Again Pt2

This is Part Two of our latest - and easiest - attempt to get the Freecom DVB-T USB receiver working under Ubuntu 12.04. Last time, we got through the process of installing the firmware, testing and configuring the channel list.

Now we move on to setting up a media player so that we can watch some TV.

There's a host of media players that can handle DVB-T. VLC, my favourite, needs to channels configuration file converted to an XML file it can understand; for that I need a Perl script and some hacking, so I'll leave that for later. Instead, I'm returning to another old favourite, Gxine.

Gxine is a GTK+ based front-end to libxine, and is a glossier re-write of the original Xine player

You can install the package directly from the Ubuntu repositories using the Software Center or from the command-line with one of these commands:

 aptitude install gxine
 apt-get install gxine

Channel Setup
Gxine is going to look for it's channels configuration file in a particular folder
~$ mkdir -p ~/.xine

To create a channels list using the scan utility from the LinuxTV dvb-apps:

robin@Evo-N610c:~$ scan /home/robin/Templates/uk-Rowridge > ~/.xine/channels.conf

The initial tuning files for the transmitters are typically stored in /usr/share/dvb; if there's no suitable file for a transmitter near you, you should use w_scan -X instead.

However, it's much more convenient to re-use the channels.conf created during testing in Part 1; just copy it from the ~.tzap to ~.xine folder.

Next, we simply start up Gxine and choose DVB from the menu, or from the command line using:

gxine dvb://

This displays the first channel in the channels.conf list. You can set it always to load the last channel watched at startup by editing the following lines of the config file under /home/username/.xine/ :

# Remember last DVB channel watched
# bool, default: 1

That should be it for Gxine! It is a basic player that lets you switch channels and record shows to the hard drive. I am going to get this working under VLC at some stage, but for now, I have a workable TV and radio setup on the laptop. RC