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xine Digital TV (DVB)
=====================

xine can be used to watch digital television.

xine supports Digital TV (Digital Video Broadcasting - DVB) cards using the
Linux DVB drivers in your kernel or from http://www.linuxtv.org/.

Many DVB-S (direct satellite reception), DVB-C (Cable) and DVB-T and ATSC
(Terrestrial) devices are supported via these drivers.


Driver download and installation
--------------------------------

You may need to download and install drivers for recent hardware. See the
"Getting Started" section at http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ .

You will probably need to add yourself to group "video". With a DVB device
installed and recognised:

  $ ls -l /deb/dvb/adapter0
  total 0
  crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 4 2007-08-07 15:33 demux0
  crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 5 2007-08-07 15:33 dvr0
  crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 3 2007-08-07 15:33 frontend0
  crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 7 2007-08-07 15:33 net0

This shows that you need to be either root or in group "video" to be able to
use the DVB device.

You can find out if you're already in this group by using the "groups"
command in a terminal. If you aren't, then trying to use the DVB plugin will
cause a "no input plugin" error: this is somewhat misleading because the DVB
plugin was actually found but it failed because it couldn't open the device
nodes.

Adding yourself to group "video" is the best way; one of

  # adduser fred video
  $ sudo adduser fred video

will do the job for a user named "fred". Note that the change won't take
effect until after fred has logged out if he's currently logged in.


Install a channel list
----------------------

xine-lib's dvb input plugin needs a channel/transponder list that fits your
dvb equipment. xine-lib uses the channels.conf format of szap, czap and tzap
as appropriate for DVB-S, DVB-C and DVB-T. It will search the channel list
file in ~/.config/xine/channels.conf.

channel list format for DVB-S: (satellite)
-------------------------------------------
NBC         :11053   :h  :1        :27500      :550 :551 :1  :8008
station name:freqency:h/v:sat no   :symbol rate:vpid:apid:sid:????
-------------------------------------------

channel list format for DVB-T (terrestrial):
-------------------------------------------
WINSA	    :557500000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_7_MHZ:FEC_2_3:FEC_AUTO:QAM_64: \
		   TRANSMISSION_MODE_8K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_8:HIERARCHY_NONE :33  :36  :1
station name:frequency:config options go on seemingly forever ...         :vpid:apid:serviceid
-------------------------------------------

You scan for all available channels using the scan utility which comes with
the dvb-apps package (also known as dvb-utils). See
http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Scan for more information.

  $ scan /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/dvb-t/uk-PontopPike >~/.config/xine/channels.conf
  $ scan Hotbird-13.0 >~/.config/xine/channels.conf

This can take a while. In a DiSEqC environment, use the -s N switch to
select different satellites to scan and paste the results in one big
channels.conf file. As always, please be sure to read the man page for the
version of the tool you are using.

HINT: you might want to manually sort the channels.conf file to have your
favourite channels at the top and maybe remove any scrambled channels to
which you don't have access.


Using xine to watch digital television
--------------------------------------

Make sure you have a recent libxine and front end installed, then simply
start something like

  $ gxine dvb://

or, perhaps, click on the DVB button in xine-ui. You should be able to zap
around using the NumPad-9 / NumPad-3 keys, the xine playlist, or using the
next/previous chapter buttons in your gui.

An OSD menu is available too. Press NumPad-8 / NumPad-2 to scroll through
the channels, then press NumPad-Enter to switch to the channel you have
selected. The channel list can be brought up and scrolled through via the
mouse wheel. Use the left mouse button to switch to the channel you've
selected. The side buttons (6 & 7) can be used to rapidly switch to
previous/next channels, if they are available on your mouse.

You can use MENU3 (F2 in xine-ui, F3 in gxine) to zoom into the centre of a
videostream. This will allow you to view 4:3 content that has been embedded
into a 16:9 stream in fullscreen (no more black borders). Press the key
again to return to normal viewing. There is also an option in the xine
preferences to zoom automatically when using xine to view DVB.

MENU7 (F6 in xine-ui or F7 in gxine) will toggle viewing of the current
channel's Electronic Program Guide (information on the current/next program)
on the OSD, if available.

HINT: if audio or video is stuttering, pause (space key) shortly to give
xine-lib a chance to fill its buffers. If watching a large HDTV stream, you
may need to increase the xine video & audio buffer size - increasing audio
buffers to 300 and video buffers to 700 has been known to work with streams
up to 1920x1088 in size.


Recording digital television
----------------------------

There is a very simple VCR-like feature built into the xine engine. just
press MENU2 (that is F2 in gxine, or F1 in xine-ui for example) to
start/stop recording the currently displayed program to your local disc. A
small OSD message in the upper left corner of your screen will tell you the
file name the recorded stream is being written to. You can select the
directory to save to in the xine configuration under the MISC tab, otherwise
the plugin will record to your home directory. You can pause the recording
at any time by pressing MENU4 (F3 in xine-ui, F4 in gxine). An OSD in the
top left hand corner will notify you of the status of the recording.
Pressing MENU4 again will resume recording.


Using the Kaffeine DVB frontend
-------------------------------

Kaffeine has a very nice DVB (digital TV) frontend. However,
since Qt/KDE 4, Kaffeine no longer has a built-in configuration GUI.
The defaults are not really optimal. A suggested quick solution is:
  * close Kaffeine
  * build/install xine-ui
  * do your configuration with that
  * make Kaffeine use it too:
    $ ln -sf ~/.xine/config ~/.kde4/share/apps/kaffeine/xine-config
A similar trick applies to previewing videos in Gwenview via phonon:
    $ ln -sf ~/.xine/config ~/.config/kde.org/Phonon-Xine.xine.conf

Have fun.

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