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Why is this card so difficult to get working?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:49 am Reply with quote
MasterC
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 23




I've got a short rant, but don't want to belittle this product too much, so I'll try to keep it constructive:

I bought an HD3000, and it was a PITA to configure and get working; mostly because I needed it to work with MythTV and most of the existing documentation was how to get it working with the V4L drivers (and myth seemed to want it to be used as a DVB device), ok so I blamed Myth and not pcHDTV for this. Fast forward to a couple months ago. I bought an HD5500 and it has been an extremely hard piece of hardware to get working. I have yet to actually get anything useful out of it. I no longer blame MythTV... I recently bought an AverMedia A180 (another HDTV card) and it was by far the simplest 'tuner' card I've ever configured on Linux. I don't understand why a card that is built by Linux users/developers for Linux users is *far* harder to work with/get working than an 'el cheapo' Windows specific card.

I love supporting *Linux and *Linux vendors. I'm happy to spend twice the money (actually it was more than twice the money) for the HD5500 because it is more than just buying a card to me, it's supporting a vendor that supports *linux. But my time is valuable to me (and my wife I hope Very Happy ) and I have spent an extraordinary extra amount of time on the HD5500 and have gotten very little (nothing actually) out of my time spent. I'm sure once I get it working (whatever steps that entails) it will be a great card and very solid. But I am very disappointed in the amount of effort and time it takes to get a card built *for* *linux to work in *linux.

* When I say Linux I mean actually on Linux; I should be able to take a vanilla kernel on a vanilla system (LFS for example), use the vendor supplied drivers and have my card work; not use a specific kernel version, and a specific distro, and worse, a specific RELEASE of that distro...

/rant

So, does anyone have any 'pointers' on getting the HD5500 to play well with a PVR-500 and an AverMedia A180 on a Gentoo 2.6.17-r4-gentoo system? About the only non-standard thing on the system is that it's running the gentoo-sources kernel patchset.

Thanks!

-Chad
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:53 am Reply with quote
nybbler
 
Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 125




Can you provide specifics on what the problem is?

To get my HD5500 to work, it was just plug it in, load the drivers, and go. I didn't have trouble until I starting messing around with MythTV and (worse) QAM.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:39 am Reply with quote
MasterC
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 23




I guess I should have with my rant Smile

http://pchdtv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1685

I wasn't trying to get help in this new thread, just an understanding of why it is harder to get this card working than a non-native one.

That and I was mighty frustrated after about a month of... nothing.

Thanks, I'll try your fix mentioned in the other thread.

-Chad
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:42 am Reply with quote
MasterC
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 23




nybbler wrote:
Can you provide specifics on what the problem is?

To get my HD5500 to work, it was just plug it in, load the drivers, and go. I didn't have trouble until I starting messing around with MythTV and (worse) QAM.


Yeah, I guess I shouldn't blame just the pcHDTV folks; you've got a valid point. I suppose my 'gripe' is getting this card working with mythtv, so it's a 2 sided gripe. The card is noted to work with linux, and even MythTV in particular (according to the FAQ) and so I was a little frustrated when it didn't work as I expected (or rather using the same steps I did for the HD3000).

Thanks for pointing out that I complicated the issue by throwing in more complexity than simply "getting the card working".

-Chad
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Linux friendly!!!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:51 pm Reply with quote
rzlist1
 
Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 2




I have been using TV cards under Linux for a few years, my WINTV PVR card broke down and I needed another card. A quick google search showed the HD-5500 card being Linux friendly and ordered one, I received my card a few days ago and finally got to it yesterday.

Environment: Ubuntu 2.6.15-26 kernel. the HD-5500 card is the only TV card in the system. My system is in the basement connected to Comcast cable (do not have an indoor antenna yet to use it in HDTV mode).

Installation:
The HD-5500 came with a three pages worth of minimal instructions showing a chopped diagram of the included cable connections, the picture showed the audio cable connected to the sound card so I connected. I connected the Comcast coax cable to the back of the HD-5500, downloaded the driver, xine and other utilities from pchdtv.com and I was ready to have some fun. The driver did not compile, a quick search showed a needed modification to compat.h, made the modification and the driver compiled and installed. Compiled and installed xine-hd (LD_LIBRARY_PATH had to be defined).

Testing:
ran dtvscan and dtvscan -q, cable channel numbers were printed on the screen, ran dtvscan -fx and verified the creation of ~/.xine/channels.conf, ran dtvscan -fm and an empty ~/.mplayer/channels.conf got created (bug!). Ran dtvsignal and got 000 for signal strength, probably proper behavior since I am not using an antenna. Tried xine against existing video files and it worked, ran "xine -C 2 dvb://" and got:

input_dvb: continuing in get_instance
xiTK received SIGSEGV signal, RIP.
Aborted

Not sure what the syntax is for cable channels, but the above did not work. Installed tvtime, ran it, scanned channels and showed all available analog channels, the channels were displayed without sound (tvtime showed the volume at 0 and could not be adjusted). Not sure why yet.

So the remaining questions are, why is the volume silent? is there a different way display channels thru mplayer to see if this is a driver issue or tvtime's? Why couldn't xine-hd show cable channels?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:39 am Reply with quote
xyzzy
 
Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 225




I believe that dtvscan doesn't work with the HD-5500 because it tries to use QAM-AUTO and the HD-5500 doesn't support automatic qam. You might try my atscscan program.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:22 am Reply with quote
rzlist1
 
Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 2




You're right.. I ran atscscan using one of the QAM-256 files and discovered about 40 channels using cable. But the question remains, how do I get the rest of unscrambled cable channels listed?

I also noticed that on some channels, mplayer's video screen shows a waving line at the top of the screen (video sync problem?)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:48 am Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




That may be the closed captioning which normally isn't visible on regular displays due to overscan.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:17 am Reply with quote
ngibsonn
 
Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 5




I agree, this card is awful. I was excited and pleased to see a piece of hardware made for linux but this card stinks. The support is pathetic, the two page instructions don't even come close to getting the card up and running.

I have no idea what to do with it, I've followed everything and I'm getting nowhere. At this stage it looks like I may end up throwing this in the garbage. PCHDTV doesn't even respond to a support request so I'm sure I can't RMA it. It's sad, I feel like I'be been scammed. Really not what I expected.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:01 am Reply with quote
nybbler
 
Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 125




ngibsonn wrote:
At this stage it looks like I may end up throwing this in the garbage.


Heck, no. I'll take it if you don't want it, just send it C.O.D.
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Re: Linux friendly!!!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:37 pm Reply with quote
bowerymarc
 
Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 4
Location: New York




rzlist1 wrote:

input_dvb: continuing in get_instance
xiTK received SIGSEGV signal, RIP.
Aborted



I got this exact error with a PC-5500, brand new Ubuntu 6.10. The driver built and loads fine, dtvsignal and dtvscan work fine, I created channels.conf as per the wiki, so I'm wondering what the deal is. BTW, Tvtime works fine with the card and analog video channels, including audio. I ran all the tests in the volume control panel of ubuntu, they all run, nothing crashes, audio works otherwise.

Now, I got xine by installing via synaptics package manager. Do I have to use the special xine-hd version from pchdtv downloads?

Also btw the analog video quality is terrible... it's totally blown out (gain or pedistal too high so everything is squashed up against the max white level). I hope I'm missing some way to adjust whatever proc amp might be in there. Hints?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:48 am Reply with quote
xyzzy
 
Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 225




Set the contrast to 25% in tvtime.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:14 pm Reply with quote
bowerymarc
 
Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 4
Location: New York




xyzzy wrote:
Set the contrast to 25% in tvtime.


thanks that worked. Anyone have insight into the SIGSEGV problem above?
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Why is this card so difficult to get working?
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