PixelView PlayTV Pro PV-BT878P+9X

Using “Designed for …” hardware with Linux was always a pain. Vendor support suggests to “use software from CD”, and check if card is properly installed “by clicking on My Computer, and then …”. And then I explained that I’m running Linux. I was told that Linux is not supported and card is not prepared to work with it.

I have tested some bttv “card=” parameter options and I realized that none of them works properly. With most of them I was unable to tune to any TV station, with other there was no sound and radio does not work with any of them.

I have finally installed this card into borrowed Windows box and use BtSpy to investigate Windows drivers. Card in Windows was correctly detected and system requested drivers from CD. After installing them and rebooting proprietary software was able to scan television channels and radio stations. I run BtSpy and followed each step it proposed. Here is its report:

### BtSpy Report ###

General information:
 Name: PixelView PlayTV Pro PV-BT878P+9X
 Chip: Bt878 , Rev: 0x00
 Subsystem: 0x00000000
 Vendor: Gammagraphx, Inc.
 Values to MUTE audio:
  Mute_GPOE  : 0x00003f
  Mute_GPDATA: 0x000028
 Has TV Tuner: Yes
  TV_Mux   : 2
  TV_GPOE  : 0x00003f
  TV_GPDATA: 0x000021
 Number of Composite Ins: 1
  Composite in #1
   Composite1_Mux   : 3
   Composite1_GPOE  : 0x00003f
   Composite1_GPDATA: 0x000023
 Has SVideo: Yes
  SVideo_Mux   : 1
  SVideo_GPOE  : 0x00003f
  SVideo_GPDATA: 0x000023
 Has Radio: Yes
  Radio_GPOE  : 0x00003f
  Radio_GPDATA: 0x000020

Bttv driver

After reading very helpful bttv documentation I find proper configuration.

Just create /etc/modprobe.d/bttv with this contents:

options bttv card=70 tuner=38 radio=1 gpiomask=0x3F audiomux=33,32,35,35,40
# address of tuner should be detected automatically,
# if it fails uncomment next line
# options tuner addr=0x61

GPIO mask and audiomux values comes from report (they are converted from hex to decimal). My card have no NICAM decoder and cannot work with card=72. Using addr=0x61 option is need only with older bttv driver and disables radio.


Now, we are ready to search for TV stations. Install scantv package and run:

$ scantv -C /dev/vbi0

When it find station you will see message similar to:

E5   (175.25 MHz): TVP Katowice
[TVP Katowice]
channel = E5

E6   (182.25 MHz): ???
[unknown (E6)]
channel = E6

Watch TV with TvTime or XawTV (both available as Debian packages).


Install AleVT set channel with XawTV or TvTime and run AleVT with command:

$ alevt -finetune auto -charset latin-2 -vbi /dev/vbi0



Install radio package and search for radio stations running:

radio -c /dev/radio0 -i

When it find station you will see:

baseline at 6.10
Station  0:  89.15 MHz - 7.00
Station  1:  90.05 MHz - 7.00
Station  2:  90.60 MHz - 7.00

You may also try XMMS plugin fmradio.

Remote control

Use kernel 2.6, module ir_kbd_gpio and LIRC with this configuration file (/etc/lirc/lircd.conf):

# Please make this file available to others
# by sending it to <[email protected]>
# this config file was automatically generated
# using lirc-0.7.0(any) on Thr Mar 22 19:08:32 2006
# contributed by Krzysztof Burghardt <[email protected]>
# brand: PixelView PlayTV Pro PV-BT878P+9X
# model no. of remote control: PlayTV Pro remote control
# devices being controlled by this remote: TV card receiver

begin remote

  name  pixelview
  bits           16
  eps            30
  aeps          100

  one             0     0
  zero            0     0
  pre_data_bits   16
  pre_data       0x8001
  gap          149906
  toggle_bit      0

      begin codes
          POWER                    0x0000000000000074
          ZOOM                     0x0000000000000174
          SCAN                     0x00000000000000D9
          TV_FM                    0x0000000000000182
          VOL_UP                   0x0000000000000073
          VOL_DOWN                 0x0000000000000072
          CH_UP                    0x0000000000000192
          CH_DOWN                  0x0000000000000193
          MUTE                     0x0000000000000071
          SOURCE                   0x000000000000018B
          LOOP                     0x0000000000000166
          UP_100                   0x0000000000000195
          1                        0x000000000000004F
          2                        0x0000000000000050
          3                        0x0000000000000051
          4                        0x000000000000004B
          5                        0x000000000000004C
          6                        0x000000000000004D
          7                        0x0000000000000047
          8                        0x0000000000000048
          9                        0x0000000000000049
          UP                       0x0000000000000111
          DOWN                     0x0000000000000110
          FUNCTION                 0x0000000000000162
          RESET                    0x0000000000000163
          FREEZE                   0x0000000000000080
      end codes

end remote

1 comment to PixelView PlayTV Pro PV-BT878P+9X

  • pasdesignal

    This thread is very informative and has helped me solve a problem I have been working on for days.
    Without this thread I think I would have given up hope of ever getting sound with tv card.

    Thank you!!!

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