Originally Published: Monday, 18 June 2001 Author: Dave Madeley
Published to: develop_articles/Development Articles Page: 3/4 - [Printable]

Using Your Brooktree Chipset TV Card in Linux

This week Linux.com contributor Dave Madeley looks at what it takes to watch TV on your Linux box equipped with a TV capture card. We take a look at kernel compilation, video devices and configuration. Finally Dave takes a look at some applications you can use to watch TV, listen to the radio or even check out Teletext.

Applications: XawTV  << Page 3 of 4  >>

Now what? Now we need some applications to grab our newly compiled imaging capabilities. The TV application is XawTV (http://bytesex.org/xawtv), the XawTV source package has a number of programs in it. XawTV (a TV viewing program for X), FbTV (another TV viewing program which uses the frame buffer, unless you compiled frame buffer support I wouldn't worry about this one), a ncurses radio application (if your card has radio features this can control them), a video capture application and an ftp based web cam. If you can install RPMs the easiest way to install these is by compiling the source into RPMs:

# rpm -tb xawtv-3.43.tgz

Several packages will be generated and you can choose the ones you want. Install the packages you want (or take them all if you like to use wildcards).

We're almost there; we need to create a configuration file for XawTV. While XawTV can do this to some extent itself, it is easier for us to write the preliminary one from scratch. The configuration file is called ~/.xawtv. Check out the manual pages for most of the features that can be written into the config file, but mine looks like this:

freqtab = australia #set this appropriately
pixsize = 128 x 96
pixcols = 1
jpeg-quality = 75
mjpeg-quality = 50
keypad-ntsc = no
osd = yes #on screen display
mixer = line #this is the sound device your card is attached to
ratio = 4:3
fullscreen = 768x576
# [Station name]
# capture = overlay | grabdisplay | on | off
# input = Television | Composite1 | S-Video | ...
# norm = PAL | NTSC | SECAM | ...
# channel = #
# fine = # (-128..+127)
# key = keysym | modifier+keysym
# color = #
# bright = #
# hue = #
# contrast = #
norm = PAL #set this to suit
input = Television
capture = grab #remember whether or not your board
[ABC] #supported overlay?
channel = 2
key = F2
channel = 7
key = F7
channel = 9
key = F9
channel = 10
key = F10
channel = 28
key = F11
[Access 31]
channel = 31
key = F12

Run XawTV by typing xawtv into the xterm command line. It should report your kernel version, bttv version, windows manager and information on your display features. Then give you the goods.

If you are having problems first check you're using a suitable capture mode. If you're getting static then you probably have the wrong tuner selected. Play around till you get it right, the manuals give lots of information on the config file settings.

Write a script (or make an alias, or type this into your launcher command line) that executes the following command to disable your screensaver while watching TV. (if you have xscreensaver, of course!) xscreensaver-command -exit;xawtv;xscreensaver -no-splash &

Applications: XawTV  << Page 3 of 4  >>