pcHDTV

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A U.S. (Utah) based vendor that designs and sells ATSC HDTV PCI cards, catering specifically to the Linux market.

It's very first product (HD-2000) was produced locally in Utah, but manufacturing of later pcHDTV designs has since moved offshore to Taiwan in light of lower production costs [1].


FAQ

How do I enable the drivers for 2.6.12.3 kernels (and above)?

Here is what I have for the HD3000 card (I may have missed a couple of options. Please add them.)

Device-drivers ->

I2C support -> (some are needed, not sure which)
Multimedia devices ->

<M> Video for Linux ->

<M> Conexant 2388x (bt878 successor) support
<M> DVB support for cs2388x based TV Cards

Digital Video Broadcasting Devices ->

<M> DVB for Linux
<M> DVB Core Support

Customise DVB Frontends ->

<m> Conexant cx22702 demodulator (OFDM)
<m> OR51132 based (pcHDTV HD3000 card)

I have the DVB drivers loaded. Now what?

Try scanning for channels using dtvscan or test channel signal quality using dtvsignal. These tools are part of dvb-atsc-tools.

Which antenna is best for HDTV reception?

This is not the place for that question. Check AVS Forum. This site is pretty helpful for those who are using rabbit ears (simple dipoles) antennas.

Mini HOW-TOs

How do I enable QAM support without using the DVB drivers?

There is backport of QAM support into the pcHDTV's video4linux drivers. See this post for more information.

How do I scan for QAM channels?

pcHDTV 3000 supports unencrypted QAM channels over cable. You must have the DVB module drivers (cx88_dvb) installed and loaded to use QAM. To scan for QAM channels:

1. Get the dvb-apps tools from cvs.

cvs -d :pserver:anonymous@linuxtv.org:/cvs/linuxtv login
cvs -d :pserver:anonymous@linuxtv.org:/cvs/linuxtv co dvb-apps

2. Read the dvbs-apps/INSTALL to compile and install.

3. Save this channel.conf to ~/.azap/channels.conf.

You should be able to scan for QAM channels using azap (part of the dvb-apps tools). Run 'azap [channel]' to scan for a specific channel. For example:

$ /usr/local/bin/azap c88
using '/dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0' and '/dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0'
tuning to 609000000 Hz
video pid 0x0000, audio pid 0x0000
status 1f | signal f3f6 | snr fd27 | ber 00000000 | unc 00000000 | FE_HAS_LOCK
status 1f | signal ef9c | snr fd2b | ber 00000000 | unc 00000000 | FE_HAS_LOCK
status 1f | signal f3f6 | snr fd29 | ber 00000000 | unc 00000000 | FE_HAS_LOCK

The FE_HAS_LOCK indicates a signal lock on channel c88. Cable channels typically begin at c80.

You can also use MythTV 0.17 to automagically scan for channels on your DVB card. Make sure you compile it with DVB support. MythTV 0.17 only enables QAM-256. See this thread for a patch that enables QAM-64.

How do I know if a QAM channel is encrypted?

There does not seem to be a direct way to tell for certain. See this post and this reply (March, 2005). There is, however, an indirect way to find out which channels are encrypted. Visit the Local HDTV Info and Reception on AVS Forum. Find the thread topic that corresponds to your local area. You should be able to find quite a bit of discussion from people with QAM tuners in their TVs or separate tuners like the Samsung SIR-T4151 which will indicate if your local channels are in clear QAM or not.

How do I record a stream from DVB?

You can use dvbstream and dtvstream. See this post (March 19, 2005).

You can also use getatsc which is part of the dvb-atsc-tools. The following command will record from DVB device 0 on channel 42 into the file test.ts:

getatsc -dvb 0 42 > test.ts

The following command will play the above stream directly through mplayer:

getatsc -dvb 0 42 | mplayer -


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