Information wants to be free...

DVB-T USB Stick Playback

I got one of those DVB-T tuners a while ago, in the form of a USB stick, specifically this one:

15a4:1001 Afatech Technologies, Inc. AF9015/AF9035 DVB-T stick

However, it took me many years to finally get this working on Linux after a lot of trial and error. There are two important things I discovered during this time. The first is that MPlayer is quite bad at handling MPEG TS files (or streams). The second is that, at least in my case with this particular stick, the /dev/dvb/adapter0/dvr0 device would not work as advertised.

The solution I ended up with is w_scan for scanning, v4l-utils for tuning and ffmpeg for playback.

Use these steps to scan and generate the channels list:

w_scan --output-initial > channels.conf
dvbv5-scan --input-format=CHANNEL --output=dvb_channel.conf channels.conf

Then use these steps for playback:

mkfifo /tmp/dvb.ts
dvbv5-zap -c dvb_channel.conf "name-of-the-channel" -o /tmp/dvb.ts &
ffplay /tmp/dvb.ts

I found that TV (video and audio) playback works OK, but radio (audio only) will buffer for a very long time before playback starts, so not very convenient.

Topic: Configuration, by Kjetil @ 27/03-2021, Article Link