Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950 – Does It Work In Linux?

Black Friday was good to me. I visited about a dozen different stores and ended up getting better deals than I had originally expected. I tend to be one of those so-called “bad customers” who leverage price matching guarantees to their fullest potential. I ended up scoring a HDTV for under a grand less than I would have paid for it the day prior, and since they had to order it, no HDTV love for two weeks.

Enter the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950 USB HDTV Tuner to the rescue.
hauppauge-wintv-hvr-950.png

While inside a store, I found this little gem at a grand total of $30, after rebate.

“Not shabby, but does it work in Linux?” The answer is … yes. Sorta.

After following the instructions on Lunapark6, which are most excellent, I got busy installing TVTime, a live TV viewing application. Analog TV works like a charm, except no audio.

The following command fixed that right up…
sox -r 48000 -w -c 2 -t ossdsp /dev/dsp1 -t ossdsp /dev/dsp
except for a slight audio delay that’s just annoying enough to cause a panic attack. *sigh*

The bad news is, I’m about 32 miles away from the nearest HDTV broadcasting station. The extremely compact antenna included with half-a-telescoping-bunny-ear is useful for stations within 10 miles. Reception was in a word, terrible. And where’s the HD channels? TVTime doesn’t support Hi-Def Television signals. I had to upgrade to a full blown MythTV setup to take advantage of it.

But wait! This tiny device has both S-Video and Composite inputs via the included dongle. I had no problems hooking up a Nintendo, DVD player, and digital camera to view video from those devices.

For $30 and change, this device is fantastic. I doubt anyone would want to purchase this for the full retail price of $100. It works under Windows just fine. Hi-Def in such a small package never looked so good.

However, if you plan on using this for Linux, look elsewhere since even if you get it working, the audio delay is not conducive to a pleasant experience.

the-only-good-show-on-fox.png

My only question after using the HVR-950 is when will Hauppauge decide that Linux support is important enough to pay some developers to provide half-decent drivers for their products?

  • PredatoryFern

    Yeah, I’m one of the ones who bought this thing for full price. (I’m a Canadian so no black fridays for me and my wife wanted to watch TV) I’ve been kind of looking for a linux solution and figured this was the best bet for HD/analogue. It works decently under Windows so far, but we’re still looking for a better antenna… =/

  • http://none William Deans

    Greetings,

    Sounds to me like this device would work well under Linux to view TV or movies. Simply add in a delay to the video output to match the audio delay. Greetings,

    Based on your posting I have reached a different conclusion about using this device under Linux for viewing TV and/or movies. While you seem to think that the audio delay is not tolerable I would ask why you don’t simply increase the video delay to match? Then both audio and video would be totally in sync for a perfect viewing experience. I don’t know much about Myth TV but I know mplayer even lets you do things like set delay on a speaker by speaker basis in case your front speakers are “faster” than your rear speakers, etc.

    Hope this helps,
    William Deans

  • http://none William Deans

    The last posting was garbled but should have read:

    Greetings,

    Based on your posting I have reached a different conclusion about using this device under Linux for viewing TV and/or movies. While you seem to think that the audio delay is not tolerable I would ask why you don’t simply increase the video delay to match? Then both audio and video would be totally in sync for a perfect viewing experience. I don’t know much about Myth TV but I know mplayer even lets you do things like set delay on a speaker by speaker basis in case your front speakers are “faster” than your rear speakers, etc.

    Hope this helps,
    William Deans

  • Brandon Peterman

    I bought this tuner over the summer (on eBay) and my results have been mixed at best. The sounds didn’t work at all on the Feisty kernel, and audio is unreliable at best on Gutsy. Sometimes the delay is almost imperceptible with the sox command, and other times it’s unbearable.

    This dongle sounds interesting, though. I didn’t get one from my reseller. I ought to look into it.

  • davez0r

    I picked up the same card and also followed Luna6′s instructions to make it work in Myth. Mine works great, although I did go through 3 computers and 3 distros. HD seems to need a fairly decent machine- I tried a 2.0 Ghz Athlon XP as well as a 2.8 Ghz Pentium 4 with a GeForce 4 MX. It didn’t quite cut it for displaying TV, maybe my video card just sucks. Finally I rebuilt an Athlon 64 3000+ (2Ghz) with a GeForce FX 5200 and it plays it back flawlessly. I don’t even get the audio delay Wayne described.
    As for the distros, I tried KnoppMyth and Mythbuntu, but MythDora actually gave me the easiest time configuring the card. Follow Luna’s Fedora Core 6 instructions and you can have it up in a few minutes. Make sure to put up an antenna and test it out first with an old TV if possible. The channel scan will fail if you don’t have a somewhat decent signal.

  • Gavin Engel

    Hi there,

    Is there a single USB TV-Tuner that you recommend for Linux servers?

    I have checked out MythTV and V4L wikis, but they dont recommend a single best of breed.

    thanks

  • senses3

    if you run it like this:
    tvtime | sox -r 48000 -c 2 -t ossdsp /dev/dsp2 -t ossdsp /dev/dsp

    you wont get a sound delay

  • http://N/A Anti-CMOS

    Been running this tuner for awhile on Slamd64 and MythTV, I do not use the “sox” app discussed here. However this card gives me no issue as far as sound goes, everything is in sync fine. However if I try to use the card to tune in any cable channels it just wont do it. Best bet is to use this thing only for over-the-air TV and you shouldnt have any issues.

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    you can said it again ,truth is you deal it well.