Use EeePC 701 to watch Digital TV channels in HK

Monday, August 4. 2008

Although the processing power of EeePC 701 is low, it should be able to watch H.264 SD Digital TV program in HK. Someone claims it runs smoothly using Windows. But it seems no one tried this on the Xandros Linux platform. The reason why the program provided by Asus cannot playback the H.264 SD TV programs is because the codec is missing (Asus choose not to include it into EeePC).

So, if I can get a H.264 decoder, then the Linux version of EeePC should be able to watch H.264 SD programs too. After asking Google, I found that the VLC media player has build-in support for DVB. Thanks to FOSS :-)

Below shows the screen capture while watching TVB J2. I have use VLC's function to resize the screen output by half, such that I can watch the log and do the screen capture.

Watching TVB J2 on Linux version of EeePC 701

The sound is smooth but the screen sometimes slow/lag.

But for ATV channels, only sound is coming out. :-(

To enable watching H.264 TV programs, the first step is to install VLC media player according to the step provided by EeeUser Wiki.

To watch TV, a few manual procedure is needed.

  1. Plug the Asus My Cinema-U3100 Mini/DMB-TH to EeePC
  2. Open a terminal and issue the following command:

    sudo chgrp user /dev/dvb0*

    The reason is, the device only accessible by root. And it seems VLC has built-in security precaution to run as normal user even you execute it by "sudo". Therefore, the only way to solve it is by setting the permission of the device to allow normal user to read/write it.

    This command need to be run every time you plug in the device, as the device files are created dynamically.
  3. Execute vlc
  4. Choose "File" > "Open Capture Device", if everything runs fine you should see there is a "DVB" tab
  5. Goto the "Customize" text box, and change the value of ":dvb-frequency" to one of the followings:
    For TVB Jade, Pearl and ATV Home, World, use 562000000
    For TVB J2 and HD Jade, use 586000000
    For ATV News, His, Her, Plus, CCTV and HD ATV, use 602000000
    No need to change other value/settings
  6. Change channel under the Navigation menu


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