Sunday 15 July 2007

Virgin Cable on MythTV

I've been trying to get my TechnoTrend C-1500 DVB-C card to connect to Virgin Media and tune in the FTA channels.

Linux detected the card and configured it automatically. The TechnoTrend card has been available for some time now, so support is good.

It took a while to work out the correct numbers to give to the tuner program, but I eventually found out how to boot into the Engineering menu of the Samsung SMT-2100C STB, which contains the current settings. I used DVB-Tools on Linux to scan the channels. Here is the config file for scandvb:

# Virgin Cable (UK)
# freq sr fec mod
C 666750000 6952000 NONE QAM64

This worked well, detecting 344 channels, 94 of which were unencrypted (Freeview channels and radio).

My main problem now is signal strength - I'm getting 0-1%, which is just not enough to watch most of the channels. I think the quality and shielding of the cable I've used (TV aerial RF) is much less than Virgin's and I'm connecting to the end of a fairly long extension. I'll try to get a better one this week and give it another go on a machine nearer the Cable access point.