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OTA Channels in North Vancouver

posted Jan 4, 2010, 6:34 PM by Tom Gutwin   [ updated Apr 27, 2010, 6:31 PM ]
I have recently been configuring two different TV Tuner cards (DVB cards) to get my TV in Ubuntu Linux.  Both Hauppauge cards:
  • WinTV HVR-950 a USB hybrid ATSC/NTSC
  • HVR-1600 a PCI based ATSC/NTSC with a FM tuner (the OEM model 1101 )
both worked right off after I obtained the firmware.

The HVR-1600 has a separate input for Digital (ATSC), Analog (NTSC) , and FM Radio.
I used a splitter to feed the Digital and Analog inputs since I have only 1 antenna.
See picture to the right - Top is Digital tuner, Middle is NTSC, and bottom is FM tuner.

I am using them to tune over the air channels in North Vancouver (mainly the HDTV channels available).
The one thing that took a bit of playing was the channel file that holds the frequencies of the stations available.

I used w_scan to get a list of the local DIGITAL frequencies using the following:
    w_scan -f t -A 1 -c CA -X > channels.conf

My channels.conf file looks like:
    Citytv Vancouver:671000000:VSB_8:33:36:2
    Vancouver HD:737000000:VSB_8:129:132:8

I the updated the Call signs to be more readable.
NOTE: I also had to change the 'VSB_8' to '8VSB' to make it understood by VLC.

My working Vancouver channels.conf file looks like:

CBC, CTV and Global are in High Def!  Wow The Simpsons in Hi-def is awesome.

I use VLC to watch TV with the command
    vlc -vvv channels.conf

To go straight to a channel from the command line use (CBC)
    vlc atsc:// :dvb-frequency=737000000 :dvb-modulation=8VSB --program=8

The channels.conf to commandline syntax was found in the VLC forums post...

Basically if the channels.conf line is
The vlc commandlione is:
    vlc atsc:// :dvb-frequency=nnnnnnnnn :dvb-adapter=0 :dvb-srate=0 :dvb-modulation=8VSB --program=p

I also have MythTV 0.22 installed and recording fine!

Right now I am using a roof antenna, however I am planning to build a Modified Gray Hoverman.
Take a look at how easy and cheap it is to build.  These people at digitalhome.ca really know their stuff and have shared a tonne of good info.
Lots of pictures.

I think I am going to build a GH8.
I will post pictures here when I get it built.