Linux HDTV recording pain

There is a GREAT HDTV recording card out there. the pchdtv HD5500 card is ready to go out of the box with a fedora core 8 install. No pain getting it installed. The pain begins when you have to use it. 99.997% of all documentation out there is "now install mythtv" which is useless as many do not want to use mythtv. They want either something else or want a lean mean command line recorder. And the documentation on that is incredibly thin. well I gathered a bunch of it and will be updating this Post to reflect what is needed to get going without using mythtv or some other GUI based app.

1 - install DVB-tools. 99% of what you need to get going is in there. from linuxtv what you really need is the azap program for grabbing only the feed you want in the transport.
2 - install the pchdtv tools and compile them. you need these as well.
3 - install mplayer, mencoder, and ffmpeg. Good news on this one. Ffmpeg CVS checkout as of this date actually compiles on fedora 8!! I have NEVER been able to compile ffmpeg over the past few years. I always give up and go find a rpm.

After all that let's get some basics going....

Under Fedora 8 the HD5500 works automatically. to test it after installing the above tools type dtvscan > channels.conf to get a config file for azap to tune the streams and channels. this will get your over the air ATSC channels listed. locally my offerings are small. I have a strong PBS signal in SD and HD.. so I'll try that.

I use the command azap -r WGVU-SD and press enter. Now I get stream information on screen. I open a second window and type... cat /dev/dvb/adapter0/dvr0 > test.mpg and let that run for a while.... I then hit CRTL-C on both the cat as well as the azap and then check out the test.mpg, it's playable in mpeg with mplayer -ac hwac3 test.mpg and I get success! Captures single TS of that desired stream. now I can record the channels I can receive over ATSC. Also a great side effect.. the HD5500 and this software setup does NOT honor the broadcast flag. so you are not stuck with the draconian attempt at DRM from some stations.

Under Fedora core 8 everything is fairly straight foreword and compiles as of this date. now we are recording the raw streams. To convert to smaller files for storage or transport we need to look at compressing with ffmpeg or mencoder. Next week....


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