hugo hugo at aardvarks-and-platypus.com
Sat Dec 17 16:21:24 CET 2005

Hi List

Thanks to eveyone who has replied to my abysmal failures trying to get an
Avermedia A771 working under Linux. Someone was asking where I got it -
got it from Media Atlantic in the UK, but you can also get them from
Maplins (probbaly scan.co.uk and dabs.com). Anyhoo until the thing works I
wouldn't recommend it (under windows it's really nice and clear)

Anyway, I think Andrew was asking if I was getting any messages about
firmware...when I checked in dmesg there was nothing in there about
firmware. However, when I checked I had not loaded the front end stuff
(modprobe dvb_bt8xx) would've thought the firmware went with the card
driver not just the frontend - something I've learned. I was playing with
FC4 for a while and it makes no mention of firmware so either it fails
quietly or it doesn't work. Under Slackware 10.2 with the stock 2.6.13
(got fed up compiling 2.6.14.x kernels everytime I rebuilt the machine) -
noticed it complains about firmware. There's a:

firmware_class_init: class_register failed

message in the dmesg.

This message remains even when I have a dvb-fe-sp887x (or whatever it's
called) in the correct location (/lib/firmware). I've turned on debugging
in the hotplug scripts and don't ever see the firmware.agent script being
called. However, the default scripts do try and call dvb.agent scripts
amongst others. Naturally slackware doesn't have a dvb.agent script -
possibly this is meant to call or trigger the firmware.agent script.

I'm going to brave the horrors that is a gentoo build on the hopes that it
has better hotplugging firmware loading record breaking dedication......

My real question is: so what? I don't actually think loading the firmware
will make a blind bit of different (NB: I'm being ultra cynical here).
Surely the firmware that gets loaded is merely some extra
post-manufacturing updates to fix bugs or improve features. I would've
thought that the card would work (possibly not very reliably) but basic
bread'n'butter functions of a DVB card i.e. tuning into stations and
receiving television, would just work from the get go.

Is firmware loading really that ultra important - has anyone else
experience of their card just absolutely refusing to act like a digital
television receiving card until they managed to coax the firmware into it?

As always thanks for your time and patience


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