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How-To set up Digital TV under Ubuntu Linux (DVB)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:32 am
by Wolfman
(As to which of the two apps are better, well that is a case of personal preference, they both have good qualities, kaffeine has a better tuner and me-tv has a better EPG!).

Anyone wishing to use a DVB T/S/C (ATSC in the United States) USB stick or a pre-installed TV card; requires the firmware and either me-tv or Kaffeine to watch TV on their PC. (VLC can be used as well but I personally don't recommend it!. Other options are Myth-TV or Kodi (formerly XBMC).)

You will need to install "dvb-apps" and “kaffeine” and/or “me-tv”, also "linux-firmware-nonfree" for the hardware "Firmware" package (drivers) for your USB stick/TV card.
Installing the package “me-tv” will automatically install “dvb-apps” but will not install “linux-firmware-nonfree”, kaffeine will not install either package, you can install all three main packages with the following terminal (Ctrl + Alt + t) command:

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sudo apt-get install kaffeine me-tv linux-firmware-nonfree

If you install “kaffeine”, please bear in mind that it **will install extra KDE packages** that you most likely won't need but they are essential for the app to work!. You can also use kaffeine for satellite and cable reception!.

If your DVB-T stick is not working because your firmware is not part of the package “linux-firmware-nonfree”, you may have to extract and copy the firmware file (not the folder but its contents) from your Windows USB device driver disk into **“File System > lib > firmware” as root**, you can simply copy & paste the file, to do this, open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + t) or press “Alt + F2” and type the following command:

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gksudo nautilus

Once you have copied the file, close your home folder and restart your PC without the DVB-T device being inserted, if you have an internal DVB-T card, then obviously; this doesn't matter, please also note that this is **only for digital** TV reception and **not analogue** TV!.

Once your PC has booted you can insert your USB stick; then open a terminal and type "**lsusb**" to see if your stick is shown, if it is; then you are good to go and just need to scan for channels using me-tv or kaffeine. (This is assuming you have DVB-T reception in your area!).

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Pic 1:


If it states (after typing lsusb) that the device is in a "**cold state**"; then you may well have to look for other firmware elsewhere because your device is not loaded correctly or not being recognized!!.

If you have an internal TV card, then run:

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And you should end up with something (from a long list of other hardware) like this:

**Multimedia controller: Philips Semiconductors SAA7146 (rev 01)**

To show **ALL** hardware on your PC:

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sudo lshw

Look for your hardware manufacturer here:

**If you are having problems with an unsupported device, please go here:** ... ce_Drivers

**Firmware can be downloaded from here:**

**See also:** ... /dvb-apps/


Me-TV: ... gnome.html

A word of caution for the above link, I recommend you **don't use the dev PPA** for me-tv as the current installed Ubuntu version 1.3.7-1 is well tried and tested!. (Personal preference, use it if you want to!)

**Myth TV:**

**Kodi (Formerly XBMC):**

Open Kaffeine and click on **5 Digital TV**:

Pic 2:


Click on: **Televison > Configure Television**:

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Click on: **Device 1** (Assuming your device is indeed supported and working!).

Pic 4:


Select "**Autoscan**" as your signal source and click on OK.

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Open **Television > Channels**

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The **channel scan** window will open and just make sure that the **signal input source** is set correctly for your input, where it says "**Source**", I have it set to "**Terrestrial**" but you can **also set it to Satellite or Cable!**. Click on "**Start Scan**":

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Pic 8:

Once the scan is done, mark all channels that have been found and then click on "**Add Selected**":


Close the scanner window and then select a channel to view, double click the screen for fullscreen mode:

Pic 9:


Thats it!. :smiley:

pic 11.jpg


Open me-tv and 2 windows will open, the one you need first is the "**Scan wizard**", leave it on "**Autoscan**", select your country and click on "**Next**":

Pic 1:

Me TV - Scan Wizard_001.jpg

The scanner will start and you just need to wait for a moment or two!:

Pic 2:

Me TV - Scan Wizard_002.jpg

Once your available channels have been found, click on "**Add**":

Pic 3:

Me TV - Scan Wizard_003.jpg

And then on "**OK**":

Pic 4:

Me TV - Channels Editor_004.jpg

Now go to "**View > Preferences**":

Pic 5:

Me TV - arte - Zu Tisch auf ..._005.jpg

Select your settings, I always use "**opengl**" for the **Video driver**, use what works best for you!. Click on "**OK**" when done, enjoy:

Pic 6:

Me TV - Preferences Window_006.jpg

When you close me-tv, it has a nasty habit of sitting silently in the top panel, right click it and "Quit!:

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**Antenna (Reception) tips:**

1. Make sure your device is not near any electrical device that can cause interference like a DECT (cordless phone) telephone or a microwave oven; or even your PC monitor and PC can cause disturbance. (if you have an internal card; you should be okay on the last bit!).

2. If you have a roof antenna; make sure it is actually pointing in the right direction of the transmitter mast and covers the frequency given out by the transmitter, some older roof antenna don't cover all the newer DVB-T frequencies and some are only horizontal (UHF where I live) or vertical (VHF where I live) but not both, so make sure it covers both polarities. Some roof antenna also require 5 volts of power so you might want to check that too but don't overload it!.

3. If you have an indoor antenna, make sure it is one that is adjustable with a regulator booster adjustment switch for maximum/minimum decibels (if you turn it up too much, it can actually distort the signal badly!) and that it is a mesh antenna because they offer better reception qualities. The larger the mesh, the better the reception. This is wholly dependant on how near or far you are from the transmitter mast!.

4. If you live near a main road, traffic can cause problems because some vehicles give out high frequency signals.

5. Stick antenna are okay if you live right on top of the transmitter but don't work too well if you are too far away, what the actual distance is I don't really know but they are subject to interference but work quite well outdoors!!!. (Mine works but does get interference now and then!)

6. If you are using wireless lan (WiFi) during scanning; you may well get nothing but interference due to the signal from the WLAN router!!!!!. Switch it off!!!!!!.

**A video link for you all:**

And a mapping site that is really cool:

DVB-T Wiki:

Any suggestions or comments are welcome so we can all get it right!. :smiley:

I hope that this is of use to you.

Re: (STICKY) DVB-T (S & C) How-To

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:11 am
by SilFox
Also, if I may add, it is advisable to buy device (DVB-T tuner) which already have explicit support for Linux.
For example, please look here.
Few years ago I bought Avermedia USB DVB-T stick, and now I have priceless Linux DVB-T that works even without installing any firmware or drivers - I think that drivers/firmware are included by default in every Linux distribution - so now I can watch TV even with Xine or VLC media player. Only thing needed is proper "channels.conf".
Kaffeine is excellent, even have a recording with schedule option. :)

Re: (STICKY) DVB-T (S & C) How-To

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:23 am
by Wolfman
Hi Silfox,

thanks for the input, I did include this link:

in my original post so people could take a look, you are right that I never really pointed out that they should check 100 pro that a device actually works under Linux!!.

Regards Wolfman :D

Re: [STICKY] How-To set up DVB-T (S & C) (ATSC) under Linux

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:03 pm
by Tucup
Does anyone know a step by step guide for PCI-e DVB-T card setup.........I am so lost and also DVB_APPS is not in software downloads but linux firmware nonfree is automatically in zorin as is TV software.

Re: [STICKY] How-To set up DVB-T (S & C) (ATSC) under Linux

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:29 am
by Wolfman
Tucup wrote:Does anyone know a step by step guide for PCI-e DVB-T card setup.........I am so lost and also DVB_APPS is not in software downloads but linux firmware nonfree is automatically in zorin as is TV software.


install both "kaffeine" and "me-tv" packages and the package "dvb-apps" will auto install!.

How old is the DVB-T card and are you sure it is Digital and not an Analogue receiver?.

More details like make & model would be nice.

Do you have the Windows driver CD for it too?. You might be able to get the firmware from that if it isn't in the "linux-firmware-nonfree" package.

Regards Wolfman :D

Re: How-To set up Digital TV under Ubuntu Linux (DVB)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:40 am
by Wolfman
Thread updated!. :D

Re: How-To set up Digital TV under Ubuntu Linux (DVB)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:46 pm
by siologen
Thanks for this guide Wolfman, but the problem is always the same when somebody tells you how to do something in Linux, in that the whole story is not revealed and so it doesn't work when you try it. You can't use dvb tuners like the sveon stv26 usb which says it supports High Definition like you say-what have you missed out telling us? I've written and e-mailed realtek which makes the tuner tech inside this confounded usb stick and they don't want to know/help. I think they know it can't be done and can only work in windows. Googled till my eyes bleed, and as for all solutions they will send you down a path of deception and frustration.

If you or anyone can help, please contact me below

email removed - unless you like tons of spam! ;) :D

Re: How-To set up Digital TV under Ubuntu Linux (DVB)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:56 pm
by Swarfendor437
Just an aside here - I don't have a DVB tuner but I do have in another rig, not working, and old analogue card (VooDoo 3dFx card) that on some GNU/Linux distros in the passed got picked up as a scanner! Wonder if removing 'Simple scan' might work? :?:

Re: How-To set up Digital TV under Ubuntu Linux (DVB)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:46 pm
by siologen
Still trying, and am convinced only certain cards will play ball.

Like all these ubuntu/zorin guides with endless installing and terminal commands,the end result is still the same, it never seems to work. Frustrating really as lsusb and dmesg recognize it.

Re: How-To set up Digital TV under Ubuntu Linux (DVB)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:20 pm
by Swarfendor437
Well, it is like I have said elsewhere - lobby the makers of said card to provide GNU/Linux drivers! ;) :D