ATV Reception via USB

Detail of the success of receiving Digital Amateur Television using a range of USB DVB-T dongles.

Addtional details of using MythTV with VK3RTV may be found on my site via:
http://vk3nro.com/vk3/VK3RTVMythbuntu.html


List of USB DVB-T dongles

This is a list of USB DVB-T dongles that have been tried with VK3RTV on 446MHz.

Leadtek WinFast USB DVB-T dongle

Leadtek WinFast USB DVB-T dongle

Kaiser Baas USB DVB-T dongle

Kaiser Baas USB DVB-T dongle

Eye TV USB DVB-T dongle

Eye TV USB DVB-T dongle

Zolid Mini USB DVB-T dongle

Zolid Mini USB DVB-T dongle

Ezcap USB DVB-T dongle

Ezcap USB DVB-T dongle


Best USB DVB-T dongle

The WinFast DTV Dongle Gold USB dongle is the best dongle used to receive VK3RTV.

Details about the dongle can be found at its home page:
http://www.leadtek.com/eng/product/6/407/intro.aspx

Warning: The dongle is sold as a Microsoft Windows product and the supplied software will NOT tune to 446MHz.
The dongle is used with Linux software here.

Details of using the dongle with Linux can be found via:
http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Leadtek_WinFast_DTV_Dongle_Gold

For some time the Linux drivers for the dongle caused it to drop out after continuous standby. Having owned the dongle for a number of years it worked okay when purchased. Many have more recently complained about it disconnecting when using multiple dongles.

As of August 2014 using the latest firmware and a recent kernel these problems appears to have been again fixed.

Low Signal Reception

My residence is right on the digital signal cliff edge.

The above WinFast dongle is the only dongle that is able to receive a signal from the repeater.

The Kaiser Baas is the next best dongle and is able to detect when the repeater is transmitting however can't lock on to its multiplex.

Good Signal Reception

In a good signal residence the repeater was received using the Kaiser Baas and Zolid Mini dongles.

The repeater was also received using the Eye TV dongle on a Machintosh computer.

The Ezcap dongle remains untested.


Linux channels.conf

This is the channels.conf file for reception of VK3RTV on Linux.

/usr/local/bin/vk3rtv.conf

It may be used with scandvb (or dvbscan)

Using vk3rtv.conf file

This is an example scan of adapter 4 using scandvb.

Example dvbscan output


Tuning MythTV with above dongles

This dongle for VK3RTV is set as adapter number 4 (i.e. /dev/dvb/adapter4).

This is done in the /etc/modprobe.d/dvb.conf configuration file.

/etc/modprobe.d/dvb.conf

Start MythTV Backend Setup and configure it following these steps to tune VK3RTV.

This is the capture card setup for adapter 4.

MythTV Capture Cards

MythTV Capture Cards 1

The recording options of the Afatech AF9013 include an EIT scan.

Make sure that "Use DVB cat for active EIT scan" is unchecked.

The EIT scan was one cause for the dongle to fail. It is not yet known if the updated firmware has also fixed this issue.

MythTV Recording Options

MythTV Recording Options

Simply call the video source "ATV" and set "No Grabber".

MythTV Video Source

MythTV Video Source

The input connections is called "VK3RTV". Then select the "ATV" video source.

MythTV Input Connections

MythTV Input Connections

Selecting scan for channels enter the frequency of 446500000Hz for VK3RTV.

MythTV also likes 7MHz and QAM16 to be selected for a successful scan.

MythTV Scan Configuration

MythTV Scan Configuration

The next 3 screen shots show VK3RTV being scanned.

MythTV Scan

MythTV Scan 1

MythTV Scan

MythTV Scan 2

MythTV Scan

MythTV Scan 3


Watching VK3RTV in MythTV

Start up your MythTV Frontend and select "Watch TV".

MythTV Frontend

MythTV Frontend

This is a screen shot of VK3RTV1 as streamed using MythTV.

VK3RTV1 on MythTV

VK3RTV1 on MythTV Frontend

The channel number of VK3RTV was manually changed to 331 as this is unused on Freeview and the Satellites connected to MythTV.