cubietruck as VDR server

Well, my PogoPlug-based VDR server somehow ceased to work (I assume the USB stick was killed again), but since I have a ‘spare’ cubietruck around, I thought I give that a try …

Using the cubietruck lubuntu v1.00 distribution (based off Raring Ringtail, i. e. Ubuntu 13.04), pluging in the TechnoTrend TT-connect S2-3600 USB-DVB-S2 worked out of the box, as did the apt-get install of a lot of VDR packages. VDR is at 1.7.28 still in that one year old distribution, which might become an issue trying to compile the IPTV plugin, which I intend to use (to use my subscription to Telekom Entertain within VDR as well).

One annoying issue that came up was:

root@cubietruck:~# grep pctv452e /var/log/syslog | tail
Mar 15 20:29:58 cubietruck kernel: [67383.402379] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA 20  CC 00 01 -> 55 20  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:29:59 cubietruck kernel: [67384.212391] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA 21  CC 00 01 -> 55 21  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:29:59 cubietruck kernel: [67384.253641] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA 38  CC 00 01 -> 55 38  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:29:59 cubietruck kernel: [67384.362636] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA 55  CC 00 01 -> 55 55  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:30:00 cubietruck kernel: [67385.272264] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA BC  CC 00 01 -> 55 BC  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:30:00 cubietruck kernel: [67385.302617] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA D3  CC 00 01 -> 55 D3  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:30:00 cubietruck kernel: [67385.412248] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA EF  CC 00 01 -> 55 EF  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:30:01 cubietruck kernel: [67386.252412] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA 6D  CC 00 01 -> 55 6D  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:30:01 cubietruck kernel: [67386.283658] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA 85  CC 00 01 -> 55 85  CC 00 00.
Mar 15 20:30:01 cubietruck kernel: [67386.392290] pctv452e: I2C error -121; AA A1  CC 00 01 -> 55 A1  CC 00 00.
root@cubietruck:~# grep pctv452e /var/log/syslog | wc -l
17180

There’s a shitload of error messages I can’t really find out what they are about. It seems as if they don’t impact reception, at least the test recording of today’s F1 Qualifying did not show any visible errors. It seems to be an error that only few people report, it’s cause remains a mystery.

Besides that, VDR runs nicely (with currently only one DVB frontend) as a server. Building the iptv-plugin was a partial pain, though:

root@cubietruck:~/iptv-1.2.1# fakeroot debian/rules binary
dh binary
   dh_testdir
   dh_auto_configure
   dh_auto_build
make[1]: Entering directory `/root/iptv-1.2.1'
iptv.c:17:2: error: #error "VDR-1.7.38 API version or greater is required!"
[…]

I remember this from last time; ended up using version 1.0.1 which ‘only’ requires vdr 1.7.27+

After relocation into the basement and plugging in the second S2-3600, the log is virtually flooded by pctv452e errors and I do see some artefacts as well:

[mpeg2video @ 0x46a3fe0]ac-tex damaged at 0 35
[mpeg2video @ 0x46a3fe0]concealing 1350 DC, 1350 AC, 1350 MV errors
[mpeg2video @ 0x46a3fe0]mb incr damaged710 1662/1662 11% 23% 29.9% 478 0 6% 
[mpeg2video @ 0x46a3fe0]00 motion_type at 29 22
[mpeg2video @ 0x46a3fe0]concealing 855 DC, 855 AC, 855 MV errors
[mpeg2video @ 0x46a3fe0]00 motion_type at 15 66/1666 11% 23% 30.0% 481 0 9% 
[mpeg2video @ 0x46a3fe0]concealing 1305 DC, 1305 AC, 1305 MV errors

Each of their threads, kdvb-ad-0-fe-0 and kdvb-ad-1-fe-0, listed with 5 to 10% CPU usage, which is most likely due to the broken driver/firmware. Narf. It could have been so easy …
So, another trip downstairs, unplugging the second S2-3600 for the time being. Looks like I need to order replacements for them, as they do not play nicely with Linux and no-one knows why or, actually, cares :-(
Considering that the cubietruck is bound to Linux 3.4 (due to it’s Ethernet not being part of the mainline kernel, IIRC), any suggestions for DVB-S2 USB gear that works out-of- the-box from Linux 3.4?

3 thoughts on “cubietruck as VDR server

    • I did hear quite a lot praise for the Sundtek thingies, but, as you pointed out, buying one proved quite difficult. I’ve prepared on overview of what I’m using ATM in a separate article (should be out soon ;)), and I think I’ll just add another one or two TeVii for the time being …

      Would have given the Sundtek a try, but as they are hard to get these days, I think I’ll skip.

  1. I use the TechniSat SkyStar USB HD (without CI). However, you need to download the appropriate firmware to /lib/firmware.

Comments are closed.