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5. Television Applications

Now that your kernel is configured, your devices have been configured, and your modules are inserted, you will also need an application to actually view or capture the images from your card.

5.1. Console-Based Applications

5.1.1. FbTV

Fbtv is a console-only mode TV viewing program available for viewing on a framebuffer-video enabled system with a Bt8x8 card. If you don't know what a framebuffer is you can read the Framebuffer HOWTO. Fbtv is available from the Bttv homepage with Xawtv.

5.1.2. AATV

AATV is a simple program to watch TV on a text console under Linux using aalib and a Bt8x8 card. While the graphics are enabled in ascii graphics only, the advantage is that you (or anyone) can watch television from anywhere over the internet using your local Bt8x8 hardware.

5.2. GUI-based Applications

The following applications require a graphical user interface such as GNOME, KDE etc.

5.2.1. Xawtv

Xawtv is arguably the best-known Linux application used for viewing TV from video sources including Bt8x8 devices; most Linux distributions have packaged versions. If you're not sure of your device configuration you probably ought to start with Xawtv and the -hwscan option to check for suitable devices:

 $ xawtv -hwscan 
 This is xawtv-3.94, running on Linux/i686 (2.6.8)
 looking for available devices
 port 139-139
     type : Xvideo, image scaler
     name : NV17 Video Overlay

 port 140-140
     type : Xvideo, image scaler
     name : NV17 Video Texture

 port 141-172
     type : Xvideo, image scaler
     name : NV05 Video Blitter

 port 173-173                            [ -xvport 173 ]
     type : Xvideo, video overlay
     name : NVIDIA Video Interface Port

 /dev/video0: OK                         [ -device /dev/video0 ]
     type : v4l2
     name : BT878 video (Hauppauge (bt878))
     flags: overlay capture tuner
Now that you know your Bt8x8 device is available, try starting Xawtv:
   $ xawtv -device /dev/video0
   
Note that some Nvidia cards may confuse xawtv, so if you have one of these be sure to use the -device switch as above.

5.2.2. Motv

Motv is a Motif-based rewrite of Xawtv. Other than a more attractive interface, and is also found at the Xawtv homepage. It is otherwise identical to Xawtv.

5.2.3. TVtime

TVtime is the ultimate application for those who want to watch TV using an application that doesn't get in the way and requires little or no configuration 'out of the box.' The homepage can be found at the sourceforge TVtime homepage.