Today I installed Linux Mint 10 on my box. It's a nice Linux distro which runs out of the box on various hardware. The following pages contain a summary of the experiences I made with different video player with my dvb-s Pinnacle TV SAT (BT878 based) on Linux Mint 10. My goal was to get a player configured very quickly (< 15 mins) and not to read much doc about the player in the net. Right now I know kaffeine which I used on an openSuSE box previously.
My first try was kaffeine - but unfortunately I got
Cannot open the SQLite database
when I startet the application. I also didn't find any help in the net. Then I posted my issue in a Mint Forum and asked for help.<Update 2/6/2010>: Unfortunately I had a headcarch and had to installl Mint 10 again on another disk. On this installation I didn't get smplayer to play tv. I decided to install kaffeine and try it again - and I didn't get the SQL exception any more !?!?! . But the channel scan didn't detect any channels - unfortunately. I continued with mplaer and me-tv (I got this wornign in th previous installation of MINT) and me-tv worked fine again but I failed wih smplayer. I don't like me-tv so I tried a channel scan in kaffeine again - and it worked !?!?! . Now I use kaffeine on Mint - which I used on openSuSE before. For me kaffeine is the best video application for tv on Linux. Frankly I don't know why I had problems to scan for channels when I had a fresh kaffeine installation. I also don't know why I got the SQL eexception in my first installation.</update>
I started with Me TV. My first problem was how to scan for dvb channels. There exist two possibilities: Either go to View -> Channels -> Add and select an inital scn file of your satellit or use the commandline tool scan which creates an output file channels.conf erzeugt. You also need an initial scanfile which is available on /usr/share/dvb/dvb-s. THis channel.conf file can be imported into Me TV. The advantage of this approach is that you can edit the channels.conf with an editor and remove any channels you don't want to see. You also can clean up the channels list in Me TV but that's much more inconvenient. In addition you can reuse this channel.conf for other video tools.
Me TV is very nice and easy to configure. It took me about 10 minutes to configure the application (most of the time was needed for the channel scan) and to view TV. I also like the EPGs, which display the current tv program in parallel to the actual TV channel. Unfortunately the navigation between the channels is cumbersome because you have to go to the next program page by clicking a small box and then you also have to scroll down the list. I also had a quality issue because Me TV seems to need a lot of CPU power and my box is not one of the high end systems.
Next I installed mplayer and SMplayer which is the GUI for mplayer. You have to copy the channels.conf into the subdirectory .mplayer and can start to view TV instantely. THe channel selection is very convenient. Unfortunately it takes some time until you see a channel because mplayer buffers a lot of data before it starte to stream them on the screen.
Now I will check vlc. Until now I was not successful to get it done in 15 minutes.