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HOWTO: setup PVR 500MCE tv tuner
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Joined: 12 Oct 2003
Posts: 1203

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:55 am    Post subject: HOWTO: setup PVR 500MCE tv tuner Reply with quote

i recently fought my pvr500mce and got a good number of issues. here is how most issues are solved as well as how to get things working. also this is on gentoo-wiki at
:!: Discription

Basically, the Hauppague PVR 500MCE is a nice dual TV tuner available in the USA. This guide assumes NTSC US-Cable and the 500MCE. the PVR 150 should also work.

In the past few days, i've had many problems and leared how to fix them. This should explain a lot!

:!: First Steps

You should first check to see if your tuner will even work.

 user@localhost $ dmesg | grep irq | grep disabled

This should give no results. If it lists something, it may mean that there are IRQ conflicts. on one of my systems, the tv card and sound card required some specific PCI slots.

:!: Getting and Installing IVTV

You will need a 0.3.xx ivtv kernel module. I suggest NOT using the one in portage.

The 0.3.x module in portage:

* Was intended for the 250/350 line
* Does not work very well
* Is masked with -*
* Often gives a broken link!

:!: Step 1 - Get Module

Therefore, get a kernel module such at 0.3.7, or 0.3.8, or 0.3.9 from | ivtv's release site.
:!: Step 2 - untar the module as root

You will need to untar the module and install it. i suggest doing this:

 user@localhost $ su
 root@localhost # tar -zxf path-to-ivtv-0.3xx -C /root/

:!: Step 3 - Install the Module

You should still be logged in as root. Do this:


 root@localhost # cd /root/ivtv-0.3*/driver
 root@localhost # make && make install


It is likely that you did not compile in support for tv tuners. See the mythtv guide here for the kernl config changes required to even try to compile ivtv.


It is also likely that you have more then one tveeprom, msp3400, and tuner modules. the compile will tell you what you have extras of and how to fix it. READ THE COMPILE OUTPUT FOR INSTRUCTIONS TELLING YOU TO MOVE MODULES FROM VARIOUS PLACES IN /lib/modules.
:!: Step 4 - edit /etc/module.d/ivtv

Put the following lines into a file called /etc/modules.d/ivtv

 alias char-major-81 videodev
 alias char-major-81-0 ivtv
 alias char-major-81-1 ivtv
 options ivtv ivtv_std=1 tuner=57,57

Now run as root:

 root@localhost # modules-update


If you do not live in the USA, then tuner=57,57 may be incorrect!

* 55 = Hauppauge PVR-150 PAL
* 56 = Hauppauge PVR-150 PAL (phillips tuner)
* 57 = Hauppauge PVR-500MCE NTSC (phillips tuner)

Also, ivtv_std may need to be changed:

* 1 = NTSC
* 2 = PAL
* 3 = SECAM

:!: Step 5 - Install Firmware

Obtain the files online at | Hauppauge's Website

Extract the file:

 user@localhost $ mkdir ~/pvrfirmware
 user@localhost $ unzip -d ~/pvrfirmware

Copy the files and link them:

 root@localhost # cp ~/pvrfirmware/WinTV-PVR-150500MCE_2_0_30_23074_WHQL/HcwMakoA.ROM /lib/modules
 root@localhost # cp ~/pvrfirmware/WinTV-PVR-150500MCE_2_0_30_23074_WHQL/HcwFalcn.rom /lib/modules
 root@localhost # ln -sf /lib/modules/HcwFalcn.rom /lib/modules/ivtv-fw-enc.bin

Note -- these files are also on the driver cd that came with the card
:!: Step 6 - Load ivtv

still as root run:

 root@localhost # modprobe ivtv
 root@localhost # dmesg | grep tuner


Make sure BOTH tuners are detected! it is typical for one tuner to come up as No Tuner. This will prevent you from using both tuners The result of using "No Tuner" will be static or no signal!

To fix this:

 root@localhost # rmmod ivtv
 root@localhost # modprobe ivtv tuner=57,57
 root@localhost # echo ivtv tuner=57,57 >> /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6

:!: Step 7 - Get for some testing

EVERYTHING BELOW THIS IS OPTIONAL! is a great perl script that can be used to test your tv tuner. At time of writing it is marked "testing" or ~x86. I would not worry about this too much -- it doens't get any unstable libraries or such, at worst will just not work!

as root, edit /etc/portage/package.keywords and add to it:


as root:

 root@localhost # emerge ivtv-ptune

OK, this should work just fine.

Now for testing open up two consoles. (xterms maybe, or login to a second VC). and issue the commands. NOTE, press ctrl+C to exit the cat command


 root@localhost # --input /dev/video0 -c 2
 root@localhost # cat /dev/video0 > ~/vid0.mpg


 root@localhost # --input /dev/video1 -c 3
 root@localhost # cat /dev/video1 > ~/vid1.mpg

Ok, this will run indefinately. after about 30 seconds after issuing both commands, stop cat by pressing ctrl+C at each console.

This should give you two videos, one of channel 2, one of channel 3. If this works, then IVTV has been successfully install.

:!: MythTV Issues

This guide is not intended to Replace the mythtv guide, but it will supplement it a fair bit.

:!: Proper Capture Card Settings

The proper capture card settings in mythsetup will be:

* MPEG device, /dev/video0, tuner0
* MPEG device, /dev/video1, tuner0

The proper input connections should only use tuner0. tuner1 will likely be ignored if you set it.
:!: Recording Only Static?

* Re-Read step5 of this guide.
* Make sure you have cable plpugged in.

:!: Recording a still image?

* Make sure you have a video card that supports playing MPEGs in X11. I have a video card that does not.

:!: Permission Issues?

check with

 user@localhost $ ls -l /dev/v4l/

devices should show -rw-rw--- instead of -rw------. -rw-rw-rw is also acceptable.

To fix this, change either /etc/secuity/console.perms or /etc/udev/rules.d/50-udev.rules
:!: Channel Chaning Issues

You probably reloaded ivtv without restarting mythbackend. You will need to restart mythbackend

 root@localhost # /etc/init.d/mythbackend restart

HW problems. It's a VIA thing.
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Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I followed this to the letter, and this is what is giving me trouble now:

:!: Recording a still image?

* Make sure you have a video card that supports playing MPEGs in X11. I have a video card that does not.

How can I find this out? I'm fairly new to linux, so I'm not really sure how I would go about investigating this.
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