DVB-T with board apps on Linux

I wanted an easy way to watch TV quickly on the go. If you have DVB-T/DAB/FM sticks with the famous RTL-SDR Chip 2838 and a tuner like Elonics 4000 or Rafael Micro R820T / T2 or some Fitipowers you are able to achieve this tutorial here. We use VLC and it’s built-in capabilities to decode DVB-T.

I started with a freshly installed Ubuntu. First get sure to have the latest packages.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

After that we are going to install VLC player and the w_scan utils

sudo apt-get install vlc w-scan

Now we can make a program list and start the frequency search. For this purpose we use the command underlying. If you come from another country than Germany search for your 2-letter countrycode or be referred to the w-scan manual / man pages to find out for you (pretty straight forward to find your countrycode – its as usual). The >> in the command sends the found frequencies to a file (conf) in the path given. Feel free to specify another path like / (root) or others like the desktop /home/yourusername/Desktop.

w_scan -ft -c DE >> /etc/vlc/channels.conf

You could also go with another output file (experimental …). Just change .conf to the ending .xspf

Get sure, if you start the w_scan command, that your DVB-T stick is plugged in (type in command line “lsusb” without “”s and look out for your device. Also maybe restart or give free the resource if it may be blocked by another program already / or still. Hardware is a bit dumb. After that the scanning starts and needs some time. Your stations are now saved in the file. If you don’t find any stations. your antenna setuo could be bad. I e.g. had 2 antennas that didn’t work out well and then changed to a Yagi-Uda antenna.Now open VLC and go to the Menu > Media > choose device > select DVB-T stick (usually adapter0, you can proof that by navigating in the file explorer). Enter the command with the file to your conf or xspf file:

vlc /path/toyour/file/channels.conf

Or open in VLC via file open to open .conf or .xspf station lists. Now you should enjoy your stations by selecting them in Programs > station. Another, but unstable way (doesn’t save the stations) is to go to this device window and then press “play”. I was able to find approximately 10 working stations.

If you have trouble and have to mount the stick drivers first, use this command to mount the already implemented linux kernel drivers for the RTL stick:

modprobe dvb_stick_usb_rtl28xxu rtl2830 rtl2832

If you want to eliminate the OS drivers for the DVB-T mode and enter in the I/Q sample mode

sudo rmmod rtl28xxu

Under Debian it’s a bit differnt with an editor (add nano or vim in from of the command). Add the following line “blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu”