[mythtv-users] Questions about v4l, digital cable, and the WinTV-D

Ray Olszewski ray at comarre.com
Fri Mar 14 20:55:30 UTC 2003

At 03:33 PM 3/14/2003 -0500, Joey Adams wrote:
>First of all I'm very impressed with what I've seen of MythTV so I've 
>decided to build a machine to run it on.  I have digital cable 
>(Scientific-Atlanta decoder box) but I didn't want to have to go the IR 
>Blaster route so I started looking for a tv tuner that could decode it.  I 
>found the Hauppauge WinTV-D 
>that looked like it might do the job, at least it does Digital TV.
>DTV is the same as "digital cable" right?

The "standards" (standards? hah! we don't need no stinkin' standards) for 
digitizing TV signals are a mess. As a general rule for TV products, don't 
assume *anything* digital works with *anything else* digital unless you 
have specific reason to believe it does. In this case ... I don't know for 
sure, but I believe the Hauppauge card you refer to supports some digital 
form of broadcast TV, not any of the common digital-cable formats.

>And if it is, is the card even supported under linux?   I'm guessing no, 
>but the only reference to the card that I found was from the middle of 2002.

 From the link above, the card appears to present to the linux-v4l drivers 
as though it were a standard bt878 card (seemingly with some hidden, 
internal stuff to handle digital signals on some of the channels). I'd 
**guess** from this description that it does work with Linux  for standard 
analog signals -AND- probably for standard Digital-TV signals, but -NOT- 
with digital cable. I offer this only as a guess based on reading the card 
description, though, not as a definitive answer based on actual experience 
with it.

>I was reading through the links on the Video for Linux Resources page and 
>apparently Hauppauge cards aren't the best supported either...

Nonsense. I've used the standard, analog-TV Hauppauge cards for over a year 
now, and they play (the newer, bt878 ones, anyway) very well with v4l 
(specifically, the bttv module in newer kernels).

>    am I doomed to just using analog or an IR Blaster?

Yes, but not because Hauppauge cards aren't "the best supported" ... just 
because the digitizing of cable TV remains unstandardized.

BTW,  if I am wrong in any major way here, I'd very much appreciate a 
correction. I've resisted my cable company's unending appeals to "upgrade" 
to digital service because I too do not want to be stuck using an IR 
Blaster solution (partly because it seems like such a clunky workaround, 
partly because it means renting another decoder from the cable provider). 
So if there is a tidy way to use a v4l-based device with digital cable, I'd 
love to learn about it.

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list