What about DVB-T?

Short after we uploaded the first prototype in the subversion repository of our new project, we had a chance to test it with a different type of DVB device; in this case, it was DVB-T. All we needed then was a channels.conf file. With the scan utility from the dvb-apps package, it was straightforward to create it from scratch.

The test environment was a Raspberry Pi with MPEG2 enabled. After the firmware of the DVB-T stick was placed in /lib/firmware folder, the stick was recognized without any problems. A quick test with raberrytv $CHANNEL confirmed that the device was working and that it received a valid signal. The last necessary step was to start the prototype in the ‘omx’ mode raberrytv -out omx $CHANNEL which also worked without any problems.

However, there are some conclusions we have drawn from this lesson. First, the lip-sync code is not yet perfect and needs more work. Second, the nature of DVB-T makes the signal less reliable, at least with a small antenna, than DVB-S and thus failures are more likely. Nevertheless, the test was a great success and confirmed that the prototype can handle any DVB-* device in general without any modifications of the source. Of course it is very likely that fine tuning is required here and there to improve the quality and the user experiences, but we think that this is doable with only minor effort.

Finally, we would like to thank all people who contributed to this test. This includes especially the sponsoring of the hardware. The next step is to use the gained experiences to finish the work on a first prototype that is ready for end-users.

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