TV and Video Hardware

To watch TV and video content on your PC, you must install a supported TV card or have a video/TV combo card installed. A complete list of TV and video cards supported by Ubuntu is at http://www.exploits.org/v4l/ . See the Gatos Project at http://gatos . sourceforge.net for information on ATI video combo cards.

Freely available Linux support for TV display from video cards that have a TV-out jack is poor. That support must come from the X11 driver, not from a video device that Video4Linux supports with a device driver. Some of the combo TV-tuner/video display cards have support, including the Matrox Marvel, the Matrox Rainbow Runner G-Series, and the RivaTV cards. Many other combo cards lack support, although an independent developer might have hacked something together to support his own card. Your best course of action is to perform a thorough Internet search using Google.

Many of the TV-only PCI cards are supported. In Linux, however, they are supported by the video chipset they use, and not by the name some manufacturer has slapped on a generic board (the same board is typically sold by different manufacturers under different names). The most common chipset is the Brooktree Bt*** series of chips; they are supported by the bttv device driver.

If you have a supported card in your computer, it should be detected during installation. If you add it later, the Kudzu hardware detection utility should detect it and configure it. You can always configure it by hand.

To determine what chipset your card has, use the lspci command to list the PCI device information, find the TV card listing, and look for the chipset that the card uses. For example, the lspci output for our computer shows

# lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] AMD-760 [IGD4-1P] System Controller ( 00:01.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] AMD-760 [IGD4-1P] AGP Bridge 00:07.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 [Apollo Super South] (rev 40) 00:07.1 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C586B PIPC Bus Master IDE (rev 06) 00:07.2 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB (rev 1a) 00:07.3 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB (rev 1a)

00:07.4 SMBus: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 [Apollo Super ACPI] (rev 40)

00:09.0 Multimedia audio controller: Ensoniq 5880 AudioPCI (rev 02)

00:0b.0 Multimedia video controller: Brooktree Corporation Bt878 Video Capture (rev 02)

00:0b.1 Multimedia controller: Brooktree Corporation Bt878 Audio Capture (rev 02)

00:0d.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8029(AS)

00:0f.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB12LV23 IEEE-1394 Controller

00:11.0 Network controller: Standard Microsystems Corp [SMC] SMC2602W EZConnect

01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV15 [GeForce2 Ti] (rev a4)

Here, the lines listing the multimedia video controller and multimedia controller say that our TV board uses a Brooktree Bt878 Video Capture chip and a Brooktree Bt878 Audio Capture chip. This card uses the Bt878 chipset. Your results will be different, depending on what card and chipset your computer has. This card happened to be an ATI All-in-Wonder VE (also known as ATI TV-Wonder). (The VE means Value Edition ; hence, there is no TV-out connector and no radio chip on the card; what a value!) The name of the chipset tells us that the card uses the bttv driver.

In the documentation directory, we find a file named cardlist , and in that file is the following entry, among others:

card=64 - ATI TV-Wonder VE

There are 105 cards listed as well as 41 radio cards, including:

which is what we would have used had we not known the manufacturer's name for our card.

The file named Moduies.conf , located in the same directory, gives us the following example of information to place in our /etc/moduies.conf file:

All we need do is enter this information into /etc/moduies.conf and change the value for card=2 to card=64 to match our hardware. We can delete the reference to the radio card (radio=2 ) because we do not have one and leave the other values alone. Then we must execute

# i2c alias char-major-89 i2c-dev options i2c-core i2c_debug=1 options i2c-algo-bit bit_test=1

# bttv alias char-major-81 alias char-major-81-0 options bttv options tuner videodev bttv card=2 radio=1 debug=1

# depmod -a to rebuild the modules dependency list so that all our modules are loaded automatically. When finished, all we need do is execute

# modprobe bttv and our TV card should be fully functional. All the correct modules will be automatically loaded every time we reboot. Ubuntu is clever enough to detect and configure a supported TV card that is present during installation.

The development of support for TV cards in Linux has coalesced under the Video4Linux project. The Video4Linux software provides support for video capture, radio, and teletext devices in Ubuntu.

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