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Watching and Recording analog TV with a ivtv card

First follow the description of basic configure of analog TV. In addition to what is described there, you'll need to configure at least TV_IVTV_OPTIONS and TV_VIDEO_GROUPS to get freevo to use your ivtv card. After that you can decide which plugins (mplayer or xine) to use to record and watch TV.

               input_type='tuner 1',
               desc='My cable provider',
               record_group = None

Here is a description of the various elements:

If you want to use the ivtv specific plugins, you need to set the group_type of the video group to 'ivtv'. Make sure you take note of the input_num part. That is the input number of the tuner on my ivtv card - svideo / composite are different numbers. The mplayer TV plugin looks at this information and decides whether or not to use tv:// (which doesn't work for ivtv) or to setup the ivtv device itself.

# 0: television, 1: s-video, 2: composite, 3: radio
     'input'         : 0,
# 720x576: pal, 720x480: ntsc
     'resolution'    : '720x576',
# 0: 1x1, 1: 4x3, 2: 16x9, 3: 2.21x1 
     'aspect'        : 2,
     'audio_bitmask' : 0xE9,
# 0-33
     'bframes'       : 3,
# 0: Variable, 1: Constant
     'bitrate_mode'  : 0,
     'bitrate'       : 8000000,
     'bitrate_peak'  : 9600000,
     'dnr_mode'      : 3,
     'dnr_spatial'   : 0,
     'dnr_temporal'  : 0,
     'dnr_type'      : 0,
     'framerate'     : 0,
     'framespergop'  : 12,
     'gop_closure'   : 1,
     'pulldown'      : 0,
     'stream_type'   : 14,

For a description of the dnr_* options see: http://ivtvdriver.org/trac/file/ivtv/trunk/doc/video-quality.txt

Watching with Mplayer

By default freevo will use mplayer to view tv. It will use the ivtv card just as any other analog card.

Watching with Xine (enables pausing live tv)

Xine has a mode that supports the ivtv cards and enables you to use progressive seek, pause live TV and save the show you've been watching. To use xine instead of mplayer and enable pausing put the following into your local_conf.py:


and have a look at ivtv_xine_tv to see what else you have to configure for this plugin.

Recording using the ivtv_xine plugin

plugin_record = plugin.activate('tv.ivtv_record')

Recording using the mplayer/mencoder plugin

With the generic_record plugin freevo will record ivtv too, you don't have to use ivtv_record. But the generic_record plugin does not make use of the hardware encoder of the ivtv cards, but uses mencoder instead for recording.

2014-02-15 05:10