Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T USB2 on Fedora Core 4

I've spent a little more time getting the new TV tuner device working on FC4. Turns out I was using the wrong software to try and watch TV. I couldn't get tvtime to work it all. It looks for a /dev/videoN device node which the dvb-usb-nova-t-usb2 driver doesn't seem to expose. xine seemed to have the correct DVB support and worked well.

Instructions for Fedora Core 4

This is what I did with FC4. The is with kernel version 2.6.16-1.2069_FC4. I imagine other recent kernels will work as well but I haven't tried them.

  1. Extract the device firmware: The driver needs load the device firmware into the device. The device is useless without it. You may be able to find the firmware on the net somewhere. The firmware filename is dvb-usb-nova-t-usb2-01.fw for me. The firmware needs to be extracted from the Windows device driver files. I used the online extractor from Patrick Boettcher.
  2. Install the device firmware: Copy the fireware file to /lib/firmware. The hotplug daemon will pass it to the driver from that location.
  3. Plug in the TV tuner: Plug it in. You should see something like the following in your kernel logs or dmesg output.
    dvb-usb: found a 'Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T usb2' in cold state, will try to load a firmware
    dvb-usb: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-usb-nova-t-usb2-01.fw'
    usbcore: registered new driver dvb_usb_nova_t_usb2
    usb 4-2: USB disconnect, address 2
    dvb-usb: generic DVB-USB module successfully deinitialized and disconnected.
    usb 4-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 3
    usb 4-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
    dvb-usb: found a 'Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T usb2' in warm state.
    dvb-usb: will pass the complete MPEG2 transport stream to the software demuxer.
    DVB: registering new adapter (Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T usb2).
    dvb-usb: MAC address: 00:0d:fe:07:17:ad
    dib3000: Found a DiBcom 3000P.
    DVB: registering frontend 0 (DiBcom 3000P/M-C DVB-T)...
    input: IR-receiver inside an USB DVB receiver as /class/input/input3
    dvb-usb: schedule remote query interval to 100 msecs.
    dvb-usb: Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T usb2 successfully initialized and connected.
    Check for a /dev/dvb/adaptor0 directory. It should contain several symlinks.
  4. dvb-apps: Install the dvb-apps package which should be in Fedora Extras (yum install dvb-apps)
  5. Scan channels: Ensure your TV antenna is connected. As root run something like dvbscan /usr/share/dvb-apps/dvb-t/uk-Oxford > channels.conf. You will need to pick a tuning file from /usr/share/dvb-apps/dvb-t that's close to your area. Check the output in channels.conf. There should be a line for each channel.
  6. Run Xine:As root, copy your new channels.conf to /root/.xine. Run xine and click the "DVB" button. You can select channels from the playlist functionality. You should see some TV.

It's unfortunate that the above doesn't work out of the box for non-root users. I'm sure a bit of udev configuration fiddling would provide the device nodes in /dev with more liberal permissions. I'll post details of that once I've played with this.

The remote control works partially. The volume controls work but the channel changing doesn't. I think this is a configuration issue. I'll need to figure this one out as well.

posted: Wed, 24 May 2006 15:30 | permalink | comments

Reusing OpenSSH connections

Since I've moved to the UK, the initialisation time for my OpenSSH connections to various hosts in the Brisbane office has been much longer. There's a lot of data transferred when the connection is set up and this takes a while.

Turns out OpenSSH has a ControlMaster feature which allows reuse of connections to a host if there's already a connection open. This rocks! Saves me a painful wait whenever I open an SSH session.

posted: Tue, 16 May 2006 08:23 | permalink | comments

Worse than lawyers

I know this is a little old now but wow.

posted: Tue, 16 May 2006 08:04 | permalink | comments

Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T USB2 TV tuner - First Impressions

Susanna and I don't watch a lot of TV and our new place doesn't have much space so we decided not to get a TV. My wonderful girlfriend does however suffer from chronic CSI addiction. Its about the only show she'd miss. I decided to investigate a TV tuner card for my notebook.

After a bit of research I decided to go with a free-to-air digital (DVB-T) tuner. The UK has quite a few free digital channels available and all the analog stations are also available on digital. Also, the reception will be much better being digital and all.

I ended up settling on the Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T USB2 because it's cheap (50 quid), easily available and has drivers in the mainline Linux kernel that ships with Fedora Core 4. Its a box that plugs in to the roof antenna cable and a USB port on your computer. It also an IR receiver for the included remote control.

I messed around trying to get it work for a little bit in Linux. The driver loaded fine once I put the device firmeware in the correct place but I wasn't able to figure out how to get tvtime to actually show anything. I'm close to having it work but I wanted to make sure the hardware was actually functioning so ...

... I booted into Windows. The drivers and software worked well. I was able to autoscan the channels immediately. They all get named nicely because (I assume) the name is transmitted as part of the channel. The watching software uses its own GUI toolkit so it took a little while to get used to but it works well. I tested remote and scheduling software. No problems there at all.

With a bit of luck CSI shall record properly tonight. We won't be around to watch it because are meeting one of Susanna's friends for dinner. Hopefully the resident CSI junkie will get her fix :)

I will try finishing the Linux/Fedora setup in the next couple of days and will post more detailed instructions then.

posted: Tue, 09 May 2006 12:50 | permalink | comments

Fruit is for the birds

Susanna related an interesting idea this morning over breakfast...

When we grow fruit we go to extraordinary lengths to prevent birds from eating them. We're really fighting mother nature when we do this because the fruit is there precisely for the reason of attracting birds. Plants have evolved to produce fruit that is attractive to birds. The birds then eat the fruit, moving the plant's seeds to other places, inadvertently aiding the plant's reproductive process.

Most growers get upset when birds eat "their" fruit. The fruit isn't really meant for us in the first place.

posted: Mon, 08 May 2006 09:13 | permalink | comments