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This HOWTO intends to describe how to get the Pinnacle PCTV USB2 TV tuner to work on gentoo. This might not be the perfect way, but it worked fine for me, and as I had to search quite a lot, I thought other people might find this useful.

The Modules Installation

As it appears from the linux TV wiki, only the Pinnacle PCTV version with the vendor ID 0x2304 and product ID 0x0208 seems to work. To know you vendor ID and product ID, use:

# lsusb -v

To get everything to work, I used the latest v4l-dvb modules provided by the portage. First, remove the v4l options of your kernel:

Linux Kernel Configuration:
-> Device Drivers
   -> Multimedia devices
      -> < > Video For Linux
      -> < > DVB for Linux

Emerge the latest v4l-dvb modules.

# emerge -av media-tv/v4l-dvb-hg

The Pinnacle PCTV USB2 uses the em28xx driver. To configure it, edit the /etc/modules.d/em28xx file as follow (you may have to create it):

File: /etc/modules.d/em28xx
  alias char-major-81 videodev
  alias char-major-81-0 tveeprom
  alias char-major-81-1 em28xx
  options em28xx card=3 tuner=38 i2c_scan=1
  options tuner pal=b secam=b
  options tda9887 port2=0

The "card" and "tuner" value are likely to change to make yours work. Here is the list of the available cards (note that for me, it's the card=3 that worked and not the card=8 as would suggest the list of cards). For the list of tuners, check this list.

When you plug your PCTV USB2 device, check dmesg to see if the module loads fine and if your card correspond to your device.

Getting the sound to work

To get the PCTV USB2 device sound to work, you have to help the kernel to recognize it as an external USB audio card. To so so, you need to activate the snd-usb-audio module. I also used the OSS emulation (a native ALSA solution is given here).

Linux Kernel Configuration:
Device Drivers --->
   <M> Sound --->
      Advanced Linux Sound Architecture --->
         <M> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
         <M> Sequencer support
         < >   Sequencer dummy client
         <M> OSS Mixer API
         <M> OSS PCM (digital audio) API
         [*]   OSS PCM (digital audio) API - Include plugin system
         USB devices --->
            -> <M> USB Audio/MIDI driver
            -> <M> Tascam US-122, US-224 and US-428 USB driver
            -> <M> Native Instruments USB audio devices
            -> [*]  enable input device for controller

(Please note that only the first option USB Audio/MIDI driver should be sufficient to make it work, but I didn't try it. Feel free to modify).

Now, when you plug your device, the snd-usb-audio module should be loaded. If you check your /dev directory, before you plug your device, you should see the /dev/dsp file which corresponds to your sound card. When you plug you PCTV USB2, a new sound card is detected and the file /dev/dspx (where x = 1 or 2 or ...) is created.

Watching TV

At this stage, you should be able to have your TV tuner working. You can use tvtime to watch TV (or mplayer).

# emerge -av tvtime

If you start blankly tvtime, you will not have the sound working. This is due to the fact the the PCTV USB is seen as an external USB audio card. Therefore, you need to pipe the sound from that sound card to your PC one (for those who have a PCI TV tuner know that you need to physically plug the sound out from the tuner to the line in of your card). As here, there is no cable, we will use the software sox.

# emerge -av sox

So to start the TV, I use the following script given here:

sox -t ossdsp -r 48000 -q -b -c 2 /dev/dsp1 -t ossdsp /dev/dsp &
tvtime -d /dev/video1 -i 0 -n PAL
kill $pid_sox

And now, you should be enjoying your PCTV!

Remote control

I didn't succeed to make this work.

External References

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Last modified: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 23:59:00 +0000 Hits: 91