Record TV records TV on your Linux desktop. Record TV has experimental support for playing back recordings on the Nintendo Wii (using the Opera web browser).
It tries to take a direct approach, using the large and flexible toolkit that is available to Linux users, and should be useful for people who like to have control over how things work. It attempts to take the Unix approach of being a small tool that does one job well.
It's designed to be very flexible about how you set up recordings: the recording system looks in certain directories for the right kinds of files, and when it sees them it knows what to record. How those files get there is up the user interface, which means lots of different user interfaces can (potentially) all interact with the same recording system.
At the moment, it has essentually no UI for setting up recordings, and a simple web UI for playing them back.
Why not use MythTV instead? Well, you probably should, but I don't because:
· I want my tv recording to work in the background, using cron and at, as life is supposed to be.
· I want my tv recording to happen on my desktop computer, not a dedicated PVR box.
· I can never get MythTV working.
What can it do?
OK, so you're convinced I've got big plans to make a cool, extensible TV recording system that can be controlled by lots of different GUIs, but you actually came to this site because you want to record TV, right?
Well, the good news is that you can record TV right now on your Linux desktop using Record TV. I genuinely use it myself, and it works! I even have it set up so I can watch the stuff I've recorded on my Nintendo Wii.
The bad news is that you'll need to be unafraid of things like the Unix command 'touch', or be willing to learn.
In further bad news, it's probably packed full of bugs.
Oh, and it's only been tested by ... erm ... me.
And the watching it on the Wii thing ... that crashes quite a bit.
Still reading? Maybe you skipped straight to this bit? If so, I'd suggest dipping into the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt I scattered in the previous section.
Note: these instructions are experimental, and are probably missing bits. Please email me on axis3x3 at users dot sourceforge dot net if you get stuck and I'll try to help.
Here's what you need to do to start recording TV onto your hard disk:
· Get a TV card. I use a Hauppauge WinTV something-or-other DVB card.
· Get it working. I use Ubuntu Dapper, and I remember it took a lot of doing, but I don't remember what I did. My relevant blog entry might help.
· Get XMLTV installed.
· Download Record TV and unzip it somewhere. Put it where it's going to live permanently, because we're going to be making symlinks to stuff shortly.
· Create the directory ~/.recordtv and inside there create one called "config". cd into the config directory and create symlinks to the correct channels_order_*.rtvcfg and xmltv_channel_to_tzap_*.rtvcfg files for your region in the "include" directory of the unzipped Record TV directory. · The links in the config directory should not have the region name in them. For example, for the UK (which is the only region which has these files at the moment - if you are from somewhere else, just link to these for now) you would do this:
ln -s ~/code/recordtv/include/channels_order_uk.rtvcfg channels_order.rtvcfg
ln -s ~/code/recordtv/include/xmltv_channel_to_tzap_uk.rtvcfg xmltv_channel_to_tzap.rtvcfg
Edit src/rtv_config.py, and change the line that says 'cfg_xmltv_command = "tv_grab_uk_rt"' so that it names your XMLTV grabber, instead of the UK one. (If you don't know which command to use, type "tv_grab" in a terminal and press TAB a couple of times - hopefully one of the commands that appear will look sensible.)
Edit rtv_schedule.py and change the line that starts "record_start_command = " so that the file path points to the "scripts/record_dvb_to_flv.sh" command on your system. Make sure it's the full absolute path.
cd into the src directory, and run "./recordtv --download-listings --interactive". This will launch the XMLTV configuration process, and then (hopefully) download some TV listings for you.
Run "./recordtv --schedule-recordings". This obviously won't work yet, but it shouldn't fail horribly, and it will create some directories in ~/.recordtv that we will need in a minute.
Run "cd ~/.recordtv" (this should have been created for you by now).
Run "cd favourites" (note UK English spellings throughout!)
Create a file in this directory that contains a single line like this:
title_re=The West Wing. Change the title to the name of a TV programme that is showing in the next 24 hours.
Run "./recordtv --schedule-recordings" again, and Record TV should tell you it is going to record the programme you named.
Verify that some information about what is going to be recorded has appeared in ~/.recordtv/scheduled_events. Verify that an "at" job has been scheduled by running atq.
See whether the programme does get recorded. If it worked, it should appear in ~/.recordtv/recorded_programmes. If not, look at the log in ~/.recordtv/recording_log, have a fiddle, and email me if you can't work it out.
What's New in This Release:
· This version works, but requires a considerable amount of manual configuration to get it working and to schedule recordings.