[LINUX] HOW-TO get Live TV with VDR and PVR-Testing Branch - Without manual compile!

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Swifty Offline
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Thumbs Up  [LINUX] HOW-TO get Live TV with VDR and PVR-Testing Branch - Without manual compile!
Post: #1
Here is an up to date guide for using VDR with XBMC - note that PVR support in XBMC in still in progress so don't expect perfection, but thanks to the hard work of guys like dushmaniac it's getting better every day!

You can install everything that is required via PPA's (personal package archives) which provide pre-built packages for the items we need Smile

You can get up and running with VDR and XBMC in around 30 minutes (assuming you have a TV Tuner that is natively supported in Linux) - you need to check this yourself, a basic way would be to type 'ls /dev/dvb' and see if the number of adapters listed matches what you physically have in the machine.

So I will make the assumption that you currently have an install of Ubuntu Maverick in either full or minimal form, with working graphics and TV tuner drivers...

The Main Install

Lets start by adding the PPA sources to the system, to do this run the following at your terminal;

Code:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexandr-surkov/vdr-maverick
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lars-opdenkamp/xbmc-pvr

We should now be in a state where we can update apt to include package from our new sources, to do this run;

Code:
sudo apt-get update

As long as you receive no errors when running that command you can go ahead and install VDR and XBMC - **NOTE: If you already have any form of VDR/XBMC already installed it will get replaced if you run the next command**

Code:
sudo apt-get install vdr vdr-plugin-vnsiserver xbmc

Press 'Y' to download and install the packages, this will probably take a little while depending on your internet connection.

Scanning For Channels

You need to provide VDR with a channels.conf which contains a scan of your available channels.

To do this you have several options depending on your setup.

Predefined channel lists
You can find pre-scanned channels.conf files for various satellites here (thanks to decaturguy for the links);
http://www.linowsat.de/
http://www.vdr-settings.com/download/channels/

Scan your own
You can scan your own channel lists by doing the following;
Note that the '-a 0' argument is your adapter so if you have more than one card increase this to scan using another card.

Code:
sudo /etc/init.d/vdr stop
sudo apt-get install dvb-apps
For DVB-S:
scan -o vdr -a 0 /usr/share/dvb/dvb-s/Astra-28.2E > /etc/vdr/channels.conf
For DVB-T:
scan -x 0 -o vdr -a 0 /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/uk-RidgeHill > /etc/vdr/channels.conf

Adjust the scan templates to suit your satellite / DVB-T transmitter - You can find these at /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples
Ommit the '-x 0' argument to retrieve pay and free channels (-x 0 will only get FTA channels)

Once you have your channel list saved in to '/etc/vdr/channels.conf' you need to restart VDR - do this by typing the following at a terminal.

Code:
sudo /etc/init.d/vdr start

Ensure that when VDR restarts it loads the vnsi extension - you should see this on the screen after you issue the above command.

Now you need to allow access to VDR via the network, this is done by editing the plugin.vnsiserver.config file and entering the IP's or IP range of your clients;

Code:
sudo nano /etc/vdr/plugins/plugin.vnsiserver.conf

Now add your client IP's or enter a range such as 192.168.1.0/24 - note lines starting with hashes are ignored so remove this if you want a line included.
Now press Ctrl + X and press Y to save the file, issue a stop then start to VDR using the command above.

Done!

Now open up XBMC and enable the VDR addon within the settings menu, hit configure and enter the IP of the vdr server.
Then go back to settings and enter the TV section and hit 'enable'

Optional Extras
If you are using Freesat I would highly recommend using the excellent Extended EPG plugin which is available at Hepi's PPA - this will provide you with full EPG (ie. days) instead of just Now & Next.
To install this type;
Code:
sudo apt-get install vdr-plugin-eepg
sudo /etc/init.d/vdr restart
Give it a half hour or so and you should have pulled down full EPG.
I recommend editing the setup.conf in /etc/vdr and setting 'minuseractivity' to 0 otherwise you will find your server keeps shutting down when TV is not active Smile
Also, if you don't want your channel list messed with by auto scans then change 'UpdateChannels' to 0 aswell.

Troubleshooting

If you run into issues then check the config files within /etc/vdr and /etc/vdr/plugins - If you are using a seperate client machine then you need to allow access to your network or a specific IP in these files.. by default only the local machine is allowed access.

Good luck!
(This post was last modified: 2011-05-02 12:31 by Swifty.)
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biggles Offline
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Post: #2
Great guide! Thanks!
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Swifty Offline
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Post: #3
Glad to help! Smile
I just did this from memory so if anyone runs through it and experiences problems then post back and I will try to help out and keep the first post updated.
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hepi Offline
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Post: #4
Very nice! (I guess vdr-plugin-streamdev-client is not needed in this setup, so it could be restricted to vdr-plugin-streamdev-server. If VDR and XBMC are not on the same machine, the streamdev conf file needs to be altered to allow network access from XBMC to VDR-streamdev-server. Config dir /var/lib/vdr is not mentioned yet.)
(This post was last modified: 2009-11-28 00:15 by hepi.)
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lloydsmart Offline
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Post: #5
Thanks for posting this, but unfortunately I can't get it to work.

Everything installed ok but when I try to go into the "TV" section in PM3.HD, XBMC just crashes out (disappears and drops me back to ubuntu).

I guess I'll wait on this for a while. I prefer confluence anyway, so once there's support for that skin I might try again. Smile
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Swifty Offline
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Post: #6
It does that sometimes when enabling/disabling the plugin through the GUI - you can manually edit the config file outside of XBMC if it consitently gives you trouble.
Ususally after a few trys it works though - I usual tick 'enable clients' then configure the addons and add the VDR client.

If you get stuck let me know and I will upload the config file - you should just be able to copy to your machine and it will read it when XBMC starts.
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mulder77de Offline
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Post: #7
Hmm, I have VDR running on a separate server, which is a Fedora 11 system.
I have installed these packages:

Code:
vdr.x86_64, 1.6.0-27.fc11
vdr-streamdev-server.x86_64, 0.3.4-3.fc11

VDR is running:

Code:
vdr      17287 17283  2 13:23 pts/2    00:00:38 /usr/sbin/vdr --lirc --vfat --userdump -s vdr-shutdown.sh -P streamdev-server

This is the streamdev config:

Code:
more /etc/vdr/plugins/streamdevhosts.conf
#
# streamdevhosts  This file describes a number of host addresses that
#                 are allowed to connect to the streamdev server running
#                 with the Video Disk Recorder (VDR) on this system.
# Syntax:
#    
# IP-Address[/Netmask]
#

127.0.0.1             # always accept localhost
192.168.1.0/24     # any host on the local net
#204.152.189.113      # a specific host
#0.0.0.0/0            # any host on any net (USE THIS WITH CARE!)

I can netcat to the VDR streamdev port from my XBMC machine:

Code:
nc 192.168.1.40 2004
220 Welcome to Video Disk Recorder (VTP)

When I try to start VDR from the console on my XBMC machine, syslog tells me this:

Code:
runvdr: stopping after fatal fail (vdr: error while reading '/var/lib/vdr/commands.conf.'#012vdr: error while reading '/var/lib/vdr/reccmds.conf.'#012vdr: error while reading '/var/lib/vdr/timercmds.conf.'#012vdr: no primary device found - using first device!)

I cannot find any VDR process on my XBMC machine after that.

When I try to configure VDR within XBMC, it tells me immediately that the Add-on lost the connection.

I am pretty new to VDR, so I could need some help.

BTW, on my F11 system I have VDRadmin installed and I am able to schedule timers and programmes get recorded, so I assume VDR is running ok on that server.

Thanks!
mulder77de
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hepi Offline
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Post: #8
@mulder77de: If you could use the packages from the PPAs described above, it would be easier, maybe you should switch from Fedora to Ubuntu. In your case, you have to carefully look at the vdr-plugin-streamdev-server version number to see if it is compatible with XBMC-PVR-Testing. You need at least streamdev version 0.5.0-pre-20090706. You can get the source from: http://streamdev.vdr-developer.org/.

Cheers,
Henning
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mulder77de Offline
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Post: #9
OK, I compiled that version on F11 and finally got it running.
Thanks for that advice!
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uomiarz Offline
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Post: #10
What would I need to change to get US ATSC tv ?
The only thing needed is channels.conf?

thx
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hepi Offline
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Post: #11
uomiarz Wrote:What would I need to change to get US ATSC tv ?
The only thing needed is channels.conf?
Yes + an ATSC EPG plugin would make things more comfortable. Please read this:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showpost.php?p=423...tcount=405
hepi
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uomiarz Offline
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Post: #12
thx hepi
but I am back to mythtv Smile
is there a support for myth in pvr branch?
I can't add it under settings
It start to look pretty good, hopefully one day I will quit using myth client Smile
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hepi Offline
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Post: #13
uomiarz Wrote:is there a support for myth in pvr branch?
I can't add it under settings
No. The developer of the branch pvr-testing, alwinus, is only working on VDR support. It is meant to be a proof-of-concept and a testrun for the planned unified-pvr solution.
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lloydsmart Offline
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Post: #14
Interesting. Are there any details anywhere of how the unified-pvr will work, and what it supports?
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decaturguy Offline
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Post: #15
lloydsmart Wrote:Interesting. Are there any details anywhere of how the unified-pvr will work, and what it supports?

http://www.xbmc.org/forum/tags.php?tag=unified+pvr
http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=GSoC_-_Unified_PVR_Frontend
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