The new toy in town

After having (happily) lived without a TV for about 8 years, I now bought a DVB-T USB stick (cheap Hauppauge Nova WinTV). Not so much because I would actually watch TV a lot, but I’d like to improve Ubuntu in the future to support them out of the box.

That turned out to be much harder than I anticipated: Even if Hardy is not even released yet, the kernel is already too old to have the necessary modules, so I built the modules from the upstream development tree, which fortunately worked flawlessly. linux-restricted-modules even has the firmware already.

Then I had to google and fiddle for a while to get a channels.conf. This is a point where Ubuntu/GNOME could really do with some integration and improvements. Finding a “scan” input file for Dresden was still relatively easy, but I don’t want to imagine what people have to do who live in small towns or villages.

But, after that, totem played TV very well, yippie! My current application of choice is Me-TV, a small, slick, and great application which can watch TV, offers a comfortable electronic program guide, and can record manually/automatically as well. Together with oggconvert I now have everything I need.