Gentoo Wiki


This article is part of the Hardware series.
Laptops TV Tuner Cards Wireless Servers Storage Other Hardware Motherboards Related

Please format this article according to the guidelines and Wikification suggestions, then remove this notice {{Wikify}} from the article

This article is still a Stub. You can help Gentoo-Wiki by expanding it.


cx88 TV Tuners

"Blackbird" boards (i.e. cx88 boards with hardware mpeg2 encoding) have very limited support at this point. To use the hardware encoding you need to be comfortable with getting the firmware code out of the windows drivers. Be prepared for some nasty erros.

Driver Support


The snapshots from CVS mostly work. CVS snapshots are a bit of a pain to get working correctly due to all kinds of unknown symbol errors.

The card Pixelview playtv pro ultra uses the cx8800 chipset. I got a hard work to install this card on my gentoo.

I the end of all, my kernel as badly configured. If anyone cant configure your platy pro ultra..

Follow the howto ripped of to re-configure your kernel

This installation method has been tested with a DViCO FusionHDTV 5 Gold but I have been told that it can be used as generic installation instructions for any device that uses the cx88 driver.

Below you will see that all of the TV tuner related drivers are being compiled as modules. This allows MythTV to detect the TV tuner card and let you send parameters to the modules.


When compiling the kernel, here are the options you need to tick:

Loadable module support:

[*] Enable loadable module support 
[*]   Module unloading
[*]     Forced module unloading
[*]   Automatic kernel module loading

Device Drivers->Multimedia devices:

[*] Video For Linux

Video Capture Adapters:

[*] Autoselect pertinent encoders/decoders and other helper chips 
<M> Conexant 2388x (bt878 successor) support
<M>   Conexant 2388x DMA audio support
<M>   DVB/ATSC Support for cx2388x based TV cards

If your card supports has blackbird mpeg encoder support, you'll need to compile the module for that. The DViCO FusionHDTV 5 Gold card does not have the blackbird mpeg encoder, so it's not necessary to tick this option for that card.

<M>   Blackbird MPEG encoder support (cx2388x + cx23416)  

Digital Video Broadcasting Devices:

[*] DVB for Linux 
<M> DVB Core Support

If you are really familiar with the hardware, you can save some system memory by only selecting the DVB Frontends that the card needs. This is accomplished as follows:

[*]     Load and attach frontend modules as needed

Customise DVB Frontends--->

[*] Customise the frontend modules to build

Then if you are using a DViCO FusionHDTV 5 Gold card, you would tick these two options:

<M> LG Electronics LGDT3302/LGDT3303 based
<M> LG TDVS-H06xF ATSC tuner

Note: The current kernel, 2.6.20, does not automatically load the cx88-dvb driver when a program like mplayer requests to use it. This problem will most likely be fixed in kernel 2.6.21, but in the mean time, you will either need to load it using:

modprobe cx88-dvb

or you can specify it in your modprobe.conf file which in gentoo would be /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6 so that it will load when the computer boots:


After that, restart your system and use the new kernel. On a Terminal with root type the commands

rmmod -v cx8800 rmmod -v cx88xx rmmod -v tuner

This commands will remove any other configurations on your system. To install and active type:

modprobe -v cx88xx card=27 i2c_scan=1 modprobe -v cx8800 modprobe -v tuner

If you uses mplayer to watch tv and got problems, try to change the "normid" parameter of 4 to 5 on command line. I hope that this howto helps you

Current Progress

We have been working on these drivers and released an alpha version at Pluto even has a self-booting kick-start CD that will automatically install & configure everything for you, including a ready-to-go Myth system. It's the fastest and easiest way to get a MythTV PVR up and running, and also installs Xine, Asterisk and our own software to give you the most advanced media & entertainment, home automation, security, telecom & computing system, controllable with your Symbian Bluetooth mobile phone, as well as PDA's and Webpads.

We're working hard to harden the drivers as quickly as possible and would like as much feedback as possible. These 2nd generation cards are lower in price and offer better picture quality than the current models supported in IVTV, so be sure to check them out. A list of all the compatible cards, known as "Blackbird" cards, is found on our website.

See also

Retrieved from ""

Last modified: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 13:02:00 +0000 Hits: 18,376