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Television Media Software Linux

Linux-PVR Distribution LinVDR 0.7 Released 175

Mirko Doelle writes "LinVDR is a very small Linux distribution turning your normal PC with a DVB video card into a rather cool personal video recorder (PVR). 'The Busybox based system requires less than 128 MB disk space and is shipped as compressed bootable CD image (31 MB) with an easy install program. Provided that you have a supported DVB card (Technotrend DVB Premium or Hauppauge Nexus) in your system, you'll get the software up and running running within 15 minutes or less. LinVDR uses the most recent development version of the Video Disk Recorder software VDR from Klaus Schmidinger. VDR is capable of recording more than one channel per time (as MPEG-2), timeshifting, cutting (with your remote control) and converting the MPEG-2 files into other formats. The 39 plugins delivered in LinVDR extend your PVR to be also a DVD player, DVD recorder, E-Mail reader, Voice mailbox and much more. Details on the software versions and plugins you can find at the project page. For download, visit the mirror list.'"
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Linux-PVR Distribution LinVDR 0.7 Released

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  • Now that would be really cool to have. It would be like a scifi movie: Come home, have the TV show the latest news while you listen to your voice messages while you get changed.

    I wonder when MythTV will have that feature.

  • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:43AM (#11018646) Homepage Journal
    When I last looked at that project it only seemed to apply to Europe and maybe the U.K. All because our crankass digital TV providers (DirecTV and various Digital Cable providers) are too tightass to allow computers to decode their encrypted signal legally. So instead we have to use external tuners and LiRC or break the law if we want to have computer based PVRs. Pathetic, isn't it?

    Remember kids, science is NOT a crime.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:48AM (#11018712)
      There's a user community in the US, have a look at http://www.hoochvdr.info/
    • by Woogiemonger ( 628172 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:20PM (#11019181)

      When I last looked at that project it only seemed to apply to Europe and maybe the U.K.

      First the Brits get booted from the US, then from India, and now from Europe? Man, I am SO getting modded down for this :)

    • Off topic, but I didn't think there was any way to get a DVB-S card to decode Sky Digital.. am I wrong?

      And while I'm off topic, why does Sky want to charge me £259 for a Sky+ box when its only £99 for new customers???
    • by homer_ca ( 144738 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:37PM (#11020385)
      Yes, this project is only for Europe because DVB is the European broadcast HDTV standard. The U.S. standard is ATSC. If you want an internal HDTV tuner card for the U.S. ATI makes the HDTV Wonder, but it has bad reviews [extremetech.com]. Also, DVB and ATSC are broadcast standards. These tuners won't work with cable or satellite.
      • You're wrong. DVB-S *IS* for satellite. Been using it with north american sats for a few years already. What it won't work with is the couple sats companies not using DVB (DTV and *C), or "new" encoding like turbo coded 8PSK (I say new as they're starting to use it, but it's actually already obsolete)
    • you could watch FTA Satellite DVB [planetdvb.com] in the US. mmmmm hidef PBS =)

      e.
    • When I last looked at that project it only seemed to apply to Europe and maybe the U.K. All because our crankass digital TV providers (DirecTV and various Digital Cable providers) are too tightass to allow computers to decode their encrypted signal legally. So instead we have to use external tuners and LiRC or break the law if we want to have computer based PVRs. Pathetic, isn't it?

      I don't know about pathetic, but it is a pain in the ass...also not an insurmountable problem. Spend $25 on a IR blaster and

  • Any ideas how to use this (if possible) to record programs froma Dish Network system? I would love to have recording capabilities to pause and rewind my sat feed. Any ideas or input would be greatly appricated. Thanks
    • How about the 2nd receiver on this page? [dishnetwork.com] The Dish player-DVR 921. It's a HDTV receiver with built-in PVR. Personally I'd always go for a solution that doesn't require any external conversion from digtal to analog and back to digital. And I don't know of any pc based decoder cards that will tune Dish network's signal on their own.
      • I have looked for info on that receiver. Everything I have found indicates the firewire port on the DVR-921 is non functional. I dont know if there are cool hacks for the DishNetwork DVRs like there are for tivo. Next year DishNetwork should be releasing a new HD DVR called the 942 maybe it will have that functionality but I really doubt it.
      • The whole point is to avoid buying additional boxes not to pay the $5 fee per box. Second recording in hi-def, the units cost at least $500 plus.
    • If it's got a firewire port, and you have a Mac, you can record HDTV directly from it, provided it's an unencrypted signal.

      Here's a couple o' links for more detail:

      http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040 426151111599
      http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?&thr eadid=386740
  • Finally! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quill ( 238781 ) <martin@Nospam.simaltech.com> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:45AM (#11018679) Homepage
    I think it was only a matter of time before this happened - so well done! Now all I'm waiting for is someone to sell pre-configured Mini-ITX systems running this. (Yes, I'm that lazy.)

  • Integration (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AlgaeEater ( 838019 )

    Cool. Stick that on a mini ITX system with an integrated touchscreen and you have a fully integrated home media system. Heck, I might even sink one into the surface of my desk at work and WiFi it to the work network.

    Time to start saving for that touchscreen. :(

  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@ajs. c o m> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:49AM (#11018715) Homepage Journal
    "LinVDR [...] PC [...] DVB [...] PVR [...] MB [...] CD [...] MPEG [...] DVD"

    Ding! We have an acronym winner! ;-)

    Oh, and by the way, Slashdot's caps filter is annoying... I have to type random noise like this just to get the darn thing to post!
    • by siskbc ( 598067 )
      Oh, and by the way, Slashdot's caps filter is annoying... I have to type random noise like this just to get the darn thing to post!

      That's so you CAN'T FUCKING SCREAM!!!!!!

      • Having a filter that prevents you from making an acronym-heavy post on a supposed geek news site is fucking ignorant. Way to alienate your core fanbase. Just as soon as there's some other site half as useful as this one, I'm switching :P
        • Having a filter that prevents you from making an acronym-heavy post on a supposed geek news site is fucking ignorant.

          Typing gobbledygook to beat the filter isn't hard. It does suggest that the filter is pointless, but I can't see caring that much. Have a beer.

          Just as soon as there's some other site half as useful as this one, I'm switching :P

          0/2=0. That ties slashdot with a 404 error.

    • Hah! Maybe Slashdot is really trying to fight acronym bloat? ;-)
  • by JLavezzo ( 161308 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:50AM (#11018735) Homepage
    According to the site, "We're here at digital TV, there is no purpose for any analog TV cards." Which I re-translate into English as saying: "Our software only works with digital TV. Don't think about using analog."

    Can anyone confirm? Maybe someone who can read the site in it's original German?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I apologize for the bad English on that website.

      What I meant is that you defintively need a DVB card, LinVDR supports only digital TV.

      Analog TV cards like Hauppauge WinTV Express or so are not supportet by LinVDR, but there is a chance (and a plugin) for VDR so you can use them as signal source.

      We're planning support for Hauppauge's PVR 150/250/350, but it's not rock stable yet, sorry.

      Best regards, Mirko

  • by Goodbyte ( 539941 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:50AM (#11018739) Homepage
    What for hell is LinVDR

    Basically, it's an approach to build a small, cut to the bone, ready and easy to install VDR Linux distribution.
    LinVDR is a complete, breathing Linux system smaller than 128 MB with a complete digital Video Disk Recorder (VDR) / Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and several plugins -- listed seperately below.
    For easy access we installed additionaly the browser frontend VDR Admin and a Samba share for up- and downloading music or DVD images with Windows clients.

    The base system is Debian Woody compatible (only compatible, not Debian Woody itself!) with the DVB driver from Convergence [convergence.de] and Klaus Schmidingers unbeated Video Disk Recorder Software VDR [cadsoft.de].
    All this Tom has mixed smoothly together, and I made the install system and installation programme -- suitable for normal users without Linux knowledge.

    OK, sounds good. I have a XYZ tv card and a GeForce 10 with TV out. Lets start.

    That's nice you have such expensive hardware, but it won't bring you a step closer to a running LinVDR system. We're here at digital TV, there is no purpose for any analog TV cards.

    VDR was designed to work with so-called full featured DVB cards. This is a Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) receiver card originally develloped from Technotrend. Hauppauge adopted these cards and labeled them WinTV DVB-s/C or Nexus.

    The important point of this cards: Byside the receiving unit, where you can read a MPEG-2-Stream, they're equipped with a DSP chip working as MPEG-2 decoder and OSD creator. This DSP decodes the steam, overlays the menu and put the result to the composite video out of the DVB card.

    This means: You don't need a graphic card with TV out, your full featured DVB card already has one (and only this one is used by VDR).

    But you need only one of that expensive (> $150) full featured DVB cards. If you want to install a second one, e.g. to enable you to receive more channels at the same time, you can use a so-called budget card.

    These buget cards have no TV out and no MPEG-2 decoder, making them a lot cheaper (around $70).

    Type Vendor Model Class Price DVB-S Hauppauge WinTV Nexus-s Full Featured abt. $250 DVB-S TechnoTrend DVB-S Sat PCI
    Rev. 1.3, 1.5, 1.6 Full Featured abt. $190 DVB-T TechnoTrend DVB-T Rev. 1.2 Full Featured abt. $250 DVB-C Hauppauge WinTV DVB-C Full Featured abt. $300 DVB-C TechnoTrend DVB-C Rev. 2.1 Full Featured abt. $230 DVB-S Hauppauge WinTV Nova-S Budget abt. $125 DVB-S TechnoTrend Budget DVB-S Budget abt. $90 DVB-T TechnoTrend DVB-T 1300 Budget abt. $110 DVB-C TechnoTrend DVB-C Rev. 1.0 Budget abt. $110

    To cut it short: You need one full featured card with MPEG-2 decoder (Technotrend style, supported by the DVB driver of Kernel 2.6) and any number of budget cards (supported by the same drivers). No way to use your graphic adapter or analog TV card, if you're looking for an analog PVR, try e.g. MythTV.

    VDR Version and Plugins VDR 1.3.17 with enAIO-Patch and this plugins:

    • Autotimer-Edit 0.1.4 new
    • DVD-Burn 0.0.5 new
    • Clock 0.0.5b1 update
    • Console 0.6 update
    • DVD 0.3.5b06 (without CSS support)
    • EPG-Search 0.0.3 new
    • Femon (signal strength) 0.1.6 update
    • Games 0.6.1 update
    • GraphLCD 0.1.1 update
    • GraphTFT 0.0.8 new
    • Hello 0.1.0
    • Image (Diashow) 0.2.2 update
    • LCD-Proc 0.0.10 update
    • Mailbox 0.3 update
    • Manual 0.0.2 (german only) new
    • Media-MVP 0.1.5 new
    • Media-MVP-Server new
    • M-LCD 0.0.4 update
    • MP3 0.9.8 update
    • MPlayer 0.9.8 update
    • OSD-Demo 0.1.0
    • Osd-PiP Plugin 0.0.7 update
    • OSD-Teletext 0.3.1 update
    • Pilot 0.0.7 new
  • by oexeo ( 816786 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:50AM (#11018742)
    I have:

    - A dedicated development box
    - A dedicated server box
    - A dedicated "juke" box
    - A dedicated "TiVo" box
    - A dedicated gaming box
    - A dedicated backup box
    - A dedicated firewall box
    - And a general purpose box

    Unfortunately due to all the money wasted^H^H^H^H^H^H spent on this essential equipment, I don't have a home to put them in.
  • Pretty cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bilzmoude ( 811717 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:50AM (#11018743)
    This is why I love Linux... people finding a good use for it, configuring it up to do something cool, and distributing it as a useful package. There are so many distros I like to use for different things... clustering, parallel processing, desktop usage, servers, real-time processing, and now a new one to play with... DVR.

    You cannot do this with commercial operating systems. Linux has its niche.... to support niche markets. It does it really, really well. Bravo to all.
    • But this is yet another example of why linux wont make the mainstream. Average Joe (or even me with 20 years of coding skills) just wont read a list of supported devices or make his own package that does the same with his hardweare. (even though it sooo easy*irony*) Why o why cant we have one Linux that looks alike for average Joe, that behaves alike for all average Joes, that gets the drivers and updates from a repository (automaticly out of the box/webinstall/CD) This release of yet another linux for 100
      • linux won't make mainstream because hardware manufacturers don't write drivers, and drivers won't be written until linux is mainstream.

        Oh well, game over, guess we might as well pack up and go home now. All this wasted time for nothing.

    • Re:Pretty cool (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Exactly. You need to do X? Don't worry install the mini-OS where X is packaged. What's that you say? Now you need to do Y? Just install the mini-OS with that package also.

      Wait are you complaining about installing multiple packages all the time? Oh come now, you don't have to install on top of another. Haven't you heard of LILO.

      ****** Does LILO allow you to scroll down on the list of bootable partitions if find? ****** Wait do you really wanna have that many options just to boot up? ******* segmentation fa
    • You cannot do this with commercial operating systems. Linux has its niche.... to support niche markets.

      Not to burst your bubble, but there's tons of niche use of commercial operating systems. For example, Windows is used underneath many OEM car navigation systems and inside many satellite and digital-cable tuner boxes. My Pioneer digital-cable unit has actually thrown me a standard Windows Application Exception error dialog on more than one occasion (never could figure out how to click the OK or CANCE

  • However (Score:2, Funny)

    LinVDR does not seem to make a good web server solution.. :o/
  • As the site is currently down, does anyone know any of the mirror sites, as this looks very interesting?
  • Have a Radeon All-In-Wonder, but we all know how spectacular ATI's Linux drivers are. Would this thing work with my Remote Wonder? Hell, ATIs software division manages to consistently disappoint - the WinXP PVR suite that comes with the AIW is outright _awful_ - for example, there is no way from the TV GUI to discover new files in your library - so if you download something or insert a CD full of movies, you have to use the Windows-style library manager program, which is horribly painful to use from the Re
  • by alta ( 1263 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:55AM (#11018817) Homepage Journal
    When posting a link to the download mirror, don't post the original location first. Don't post it at all. In this case, everyone see's that .iso and clicks it. Server dead. Yes, there's a mirror page, but it's hosted on the same server, so... mirror page dead. In this case people are even getting frustrated and clicking other link and killing it too. Remember, link to mirrors, link to lists of mirrors, never link to disk images!
  • Anyone know if this will work with Rogers digital cable up here in Toronto? Also will it work with USB video cards? I only have a laptop so can't add cards to my system... Thanks, Sox2
  • No HD = worthless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by badmammajamma ( 171260 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @11:56AM (#11018836)
    Who cares? All this stuff is worthless to me until I can record HDTV off my cable connection. Since there are no cards that make this possible, any software out there is useless to me. All these cute linux solutions are gonna go the way of the dodo bird once HD is the normal broadcast. The only way you'll be able to record this crap in fascist America is by buying/renting set tops from your cable or satelite company.

    Fortunately, I hate almost every broadcast out there except for about three shows (and two of them are pay channels).

    • by dowobeha ( 581813 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:19PM (#11019149)
      I know this is a bit tangential to your comment, but I'm hoping that if it doesn't help you, it might help others reading this thread.

      Another Linux-based PVR will allow you to record HD. The catch is that it only records HD over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts. So if you live in an area with HD broadcasts (at the least, most major metro areas in the U.S.), and you have an antenna, you can have an HD-capable MythTV PVR.

      The card is the pcHDTV 3000, available at http://www.pchdtv.com/ [pchdtv.com].

      The MythTV web site is http://mythtv.org [mythtv.org].

      For info about HD and MythTV, search the MythTV mailing list archive [gossamer-threads.com] for "hdtv" or "pcHDTV".

      Finally, a step-by-step install guide for MythTV is available here [wilsonet.com].

    • Bad -- IT may be too late to tell you this (because this thread is so old), but Fusion (www.dvico.com) makes the Fusion QAM III which decodes QAM-64 and QAM-256 including HDTV. It doesn't work in Media Center Edition yet, but it works in their own tuner/recorder app. I use it for OTA HD broadcasts and it works fine.
      • The Sasem USB HDTV device also supports QAM. I haven't tried it, but I hear it works.

        I use the FusionHDTV with Comcast cable, and it works fine.

        I use a MyHD card for OTA programming, it's much better than the Fusion, but doesn't support QAM.
      • "IT may be too late to tell you this (because this thread is so old), but Fusion (www.dvico.com) makes the Fusion QAM III which decodes QAM-64 and QAM-256 including HDTV. It doesn't work in Media Center Edition yet, but it works in their own tuner/recorder app. I use it for OTA HD broadcasts and it works fine."

        It's important to note that the fusion QAM III only does unencrypted QAM... if you cable company encrypts their HDTV content you're hosed (except for OTA, of course).

        e.
    • Record the MPEG2 stream from your HD cablebox via firewire.

  • by Kinetic ( 3472 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:00PM (#11018906) Homepage
    Looks like a Slashdotting has killed the site. Of course, MirrorDot [mirrordot.com] has the pages and the ISO image mirrored.
  • How much would a setup like that cost?

    What are the other HW requirements? (site is slashdotted...)

    This looks very promising. Might be a nice way to build yourself a non-DRMized, non-broadcast-flagged DVR before the MPAA locks everything down.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You need at least one DVB card, the cheapest is around $150 (Technotrend DVB-s Premium Rev. 1.3), the one I would advice you is about $190 (Technotrend DVB-s Premium Rev. 1.5).

      Everything else you need is a normal PC, so depending on how cool it must look the costs increase.

      You can start with an old Pentium 133 or Pentium MMX, no problem -- most of the load is taken by the Full-Featured DVB card and its MPEG-2 decoder. We're using normally a Via Epia ME-6000 and a desktop P4-1700MHz system.

      Best regards, M

    • How much would a setup like that cost?

      I can't speak to LinDVR, but a decent MythTV [mythtv.org] setup can be built for less than $500.

      MythTV has most of the features listed for LinPVR, plus some additional modules. It's really nice to use, and it can handle HDTV in the US. I may be wrong, but I think that LinPVR is based around DVB, which is the digital TV format for much of Europe.

      • MythTV ... can handle HDTV in the US.

        I should clarify. Myth can handle HD over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts.

        There is currently no TV card that can be used under Linux to record HDTV from cable or satellite.

  • I've fooled around with a couple of linux solutions and a couple of windows solutions. The really frustrating part for me is getting the hookup to the TV right. I wanted to use the TV as the display for both the desktop and for full-screen TV. With a standard def tv the desktop was unreadable but TV was ok. Now I've got an HD Sony Wega that has a tube. The DVI connector works but I've had problems with resolution and whatnot. I finally settled on component input but the resolution is limited to 640 an
    • The DVI connector works but I've had problems with resolution and whatnot. I finally settled on component input but the resolution is limited to 640 and the desktop runs over the edges.


      This is extremely frustrating. I have the same problem. I can find no information on how to fix this problem, or whether it should even be a problem. The vendors provide no help at all.

      • I actually got the screen to fit on the tv by changing the colors from 16 bit to 32 bit. Or maybe it was the other way around. In any event, it didn't make any difference in picture quality.
  • Let me know when they get rid of that zero in front of the dot. Till then I dont realy care too much.
  • by koi88 ( 640490 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:15PM (#11019096)

    Right, the first link in the article must be the actual disk image, later maybe a link to the web site (so people can find out about hardware requirements, features, etc.).
    The list of mirrors should come last, as the project is unworthy if the server doesn't survive the stampede of the slashdot crowd...

    WHY? A little more careful approach would make downloads faster and save the server's admins a lot of trouble...
  • I have contemplated this problem for a long time. Here in the US the signals are scrambled so forget about getting a tuner into a pc that can record. In fact DISH-TV tuners baffle all the IR-Blasters I can find so even that solution won't work. Instead I propose a simple button pusher built with something like a lego mindstorm kit that can be programmed to push the buttons on my DISH-TV remote. That would save $5/mo for each DVR, provide nearly unlimited storage, and allow broadcasting around the house
    • The $199 Dish Network receiver reliably has been able to control the VCR and DVD-RAM recorders without my presence. I pick a show off the menu, I tell it "record this show," it kicks on the recorder automatically.

      It works best if the receiver and the device it's controlling are behind an enclosure, with a sheet of glass, but it's worked relatively reliably for Dish.

      The other advantage over the cheaper is that the pay channels, Sci-Fi and a few others are broadcast in AC3 (Dolby Digital), and the 2nd leve
  • does it support the HD3000 [pchdtv.com]?

    Or the HDTV Wonder from ATi?

    And no, I haven't able to go to linvdr's site....it's called the /. effect.
  • How about controlling the system with a remote? Any ideas what would be compatiable?
  • For those of you shopping around for the DVB-S card by Hauppauge, check Froogle [google.com], and for those of you looking to find free (as in beer, and legit) channels, check LyngSat [lyngsat.com]. There are literally thousands of channels that you can get freely, depending on where you live (search "Free to Air" in google). The downside is that lots of channels are from non-English speaking countries -- why do you think lots of Arabic speaking households here in the US have satellite dishes?
  • by SeattleGameboy ( 641456 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:56PM (#11019787) Journal
    Let me get this straight...

    It DOES NOT handle analog signals - No cable/OTA analog channels.

    It DOES NOT handle HDTV signals.

    AND it DOES NOT decrypt encrypted signals - No DirecTV, Dish, etc.

    Okay, what is this software for??? Seems to me this is DOA for US.
    • Okay, what is this software for??? Seems to me this is DOA for US.

      Possibly, but it's great news for us Europeans who have digital.
    • > It DOES NOT handle HDTV signals.

      You can record HDTV Movies with LinVDR. All you have to do is to add a HDTV Channel to your channel list and set up a timer for it. And, you have to disable processing your output video signal. Your DVB Card can not handle the resolution and will crash. (Reboot of the card needed). If you save the HDTV data stream to your disk without forwarding it to your v/output you can watch the show.
      If you do not want to waste disk space you can stream the data to your Local
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, it's absolutely worthless.
      Nobody outside the US watches TV.

      What were they thinking - why did they
      waste their time like that?

      Those crazy Europeans, huh?
    • This is DOA for US
      You pretty much summed it up there. But it doesn't make it worthless. Works great here with my DVB-C card.
  • apt-dist (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
    Why ship an entire new distro for every app-specific server? Why not just an "apt-get" script? Then I could keep a list of many different profiles in a DB on my home server, and run a little client script on any distro at all that reinstalled/reconfigured its packages to run in that profile. The packages themselves all come from the Net, so my home system could be really lean, with just a package cache to which the client
    s sources.list can points.
  • NTL Digital (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Idimmu Xul ( 204345 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:04PM (#11019933) Homepage Journal
    Are there any DVB cards that support NTL Digital at all? This sounds awesome and I'd really like to play!
  • What looks exciting about this particular PVR project (besides it's linux based) is the DVB support. I think that'll be a key draw for some people to try it.

    Alot of windows options don't do DVB... Tvedia does, but I don't think it will do an analog tuner next to the DVB... and Meedio is supposed to be coming up with DVB card support for their MeedioTV product.

    e.

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