Now that I finally have a fix to lousy QAM256 reception with my good old TT-C2300 (btw, if you own a CableStar device, please test the patch, I really think it should be applied as I know quite a few people hitting this issue), I decided to give H.264 reception a try. In order to enable vdr-1.6.0 to receive those streams you will have to apply the HD patch from Reinhard Nissl. For DVB-C the second version of the patch is sufficient as DVB-S2 is a non-issue here.

For the hardy VDR package applying the patch meant that I had to drop the jumpplay patch as that had conflict and I didn’t bother resolving it. Once you have the patched VDR up and running you will have to add a H.264 channel to your channels.conf manually. Luckily there’s one FTA HD channel available over here: Anixe HD.

Now, the good news is that VDR will successfully tune the channel and also record the stream containing H.264 video and AC3 audio. Unfortunately no software player is able to playback the file. MPlayer seems to be unable to parse the TS stream and xine segfaults when trying to decode the H.264 stream. Before crashing it will complain that interlaced PAFF is not implemented in ffmpeg, which is a known issue when you – like me – own a AVCHD camcorder.

As I know these issues are heavily being worked on I built a fresh MPlayer from SVN as that will also pull the ffmpeg trunk. The bad news is that MPlayer is still not capable to detect the video inside the TS stream, however, the good news is that when I tested the new build on a few of my AVCHD M2TS files the PAFF warnings had vanished! w00t! There were a few minor errors and my old desktop is still too slow for fluent playback, but it seems like once I have a new, more powerful system up and running I might actually be able to playback (and edit?) my AVCHD recordings.

And once I get xine to use the current ffmpeg trunk I might even be able to watch HDTV via DVB-C.

Comb Free TV

Ever since purchasing a full-featured DVB card, I always wanted to test the popular VDR package. As I don’t have a TV connected to the card, I had to analyze other options to visualize the VDR output somehow. After a disappointing session with streamdev, I started using xineliboutput and it works like a charm.

VDR seems much more robust than the other options I have been looking at so far. One thing I have been missing with xineliboutput is the Xine‘s bob deinterlacer for the xvmc and xxmc drivers. I prefer this deinterlacer as it does not reduce the framerate (unlike many others) and it utilizes the GPU, so watching TV with decent quality does not reduce my machine’s performance notably.

So I modified xineliboutput in order to use that deinterlacer – my little patch is available right here. To use it, you will have to install the xineliboutput plugin with my patch applied, and then activate the bob filter in ~/.xine/config_xineliboutput:


Now, run 'vdr-sxfe --video xxmc' to watch comb free TV (on nvidia cards). To use xvmc instead replace ‘xxmc’ with ‘xvmc’ in the patch, note that I tested this with the xxmc driver only.