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Load required Modules

You have to lookup the chipset of your specific card; tools like lshwd may help you.

Pinnacle PCTV Sat

This card uses bt878 and cx24110 as chipset.

Load them (under root) with:

# modprobe dvb-bt8xx
# modprobe cx24110

If you want Arch to boot them on startup, add both modules to Template:Codeline in Template:Filename.

Setup Permissions

To use your DVB-S card as user add him to the Template:Codeline group:

# gpasswd -a [username] video

Scanning channels

Note: You can skip this part if you use Kaffeine.

Most applications like szap or xine are needing a channel list created by scan, which is part of dvb-utils. You'll find the dvb-utils package under the name Template:Package Official in the Community-Repo.

Install it with:

# pacman -S linuxtv-dvb-apps

Using scan

scan needs an channel to initialize scanning. In /usr/share/dvb/dvb-s/ are some files which contain these channels; you will need that one that fits the satellite you are watching from.

The following command will scan all channels and save them to Template:Filename:

$ scan -x0 -t1 -s1 /usr/share/dvb/dvb-s/[your satellite] | tee channels.conf
Note: The channel file doesn't have to be called Template:Filename but it's more convenient as you will see later.
Note: Depending on your satellite dish setup you may have to try other arguments.

Using w_scan

w_scan allows for automatic scanning of channels without configuration. Install it then issue:

# w_scan -c [your country] > ~/someChannels.conf

Alternatively you can also scan using the satellite position like 19.5E for Astra 1. Scans like that can be done as follows:

# w_scan -fs -s S19E5 > ~/someChannels.conf

You can also add the -X flag to generate tzap/czap/xine output instead of vdr output.

# w_scan -X -c AU > ~/AustraliaChannels.conf

DiSEqC switch scanning (AKA multiple satellite LNB)

If you have a LNB with a DiSEqC switch in it you can manually select that using the -D option like so:

# w_scan -fs -s S23E5 -D 1c > ~/someChannels.conf

In my case the above line did the trick to scan all Astra 3 (a lot in HD) channels.

Switching channels

Note: szap only works with satellite TV.

By using zap, which comes with dvb-utils, you can switch channels, so you don't have to rely on the abilities of your player.

szap needs the channel file we created earlier; it will try Template:Filename by default. You can move the Template:Filename there or you can use the Template:Codeline command-line option.

Switching channels works like this:

$ szap -r [channel]
Note: szap needs to keep running.

You can list all available channels with:

$ szap -q

Now you can watch the stream for example with xine:

$ xine -g stdin://mpeg2 < /dev/dvb/adapter0/dvr0

or with mplayer:

$ mplayer /dev/dvb/adapter0/dvr0



Kaffeine is a really nice player; it supports EPG, time-shifting, and recording. Additionally Kaffeine has built-in channel-searching.

Install it with:

# pacman -S kaffeine

Importing channel list


Klear is also a really nice player; it supports EPG, time-shifting, and recording, videotext. Channel-searching is still missing. Install it from AUR:


Copy your channel file to Template:Filename.

Watch a specific channel with following command:

$ xine dvb://[channel]

or use the playlist editor in Xine

Additional Resources

TV Cards in general

Pinnacle Cards