Actually our house is beeing renovated and two weeks ago they started with removing the old roof so all antennas had to be removed. Next to my WiFi antennas for FunkFeuer there were still some Satellite-dishes from tenants who moved on some years ago so i took them too. I don't really watch television so i dont own a receiver but i bought a RaspberryPi some time ago and remembered its powerful GPU, ideal for HDTV applications so i just needed a DVB-S2 USB adapter to get started. After some research for DVB-S2 Devices i found Pinnacle's PCTV 460e which is supported on Linux since kernel version 3.2 so i had to give it a try.

Back then with kernel 2.6 watching TV on Linux was more pain to setup than nowadays, especially with my TerraTec Cinegy Hybrid T USB XS FM that wasn't supported for Linux and drivers were available only for Windows. Thanks to a great open-source developer who worked a few years for TerraTec, drivers were finally available and i had my first experiences with watching TV on Linux. About a year later support and Linux drivers disappeared from TerraTec's website. Only em28xx-new works for this adapter, luckily some people made it available here. More information can be found on ubuntuusers.de (german). While writing this article i found Linux drivers on TerraTec's website.

As time and technology moves on, we now use DVB-C or DVB-S or DVB-T so the Cinergy Hybrid is somehow useless for watching TV, you might use it to capture video from other devices but there are better adapters with better driver support out there. Thats why i looked for a new adapter with good Linux support. Pinnacle has two nice devices which work perfectly on Linux. PCTV 520e for DVB-C and DVB-T, PCTV 460e for DVB-S and DVB-S2.

Project DVB-Pi:


  • Raspberry Pi
  • SDHC Card (min. 4GB)
  • Supported USB DVB-Adapter (e.g. PCTV 520e or 460e)
  • Raspbian
  • rpi-update
  • TVHeadend
  • omxplayer or pidvbip


  1. wget http://files.velocix.com/c1410/images/raspbian/2013-07-26-wheezy-raspbian/2013-07-26-wheezy-raspbian.zip
  2. unzip 2013-07-26-wheezy-raspbian.zip
  3. dd if=2013-07-26-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdb1
  4. # Boot RaspberryPi with SDHC
  5. wget https://raw.github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update/master/rpi-update; chmod +x rpi-update; sudo sh rpi-update
  6. sudo aptitude install tvheadend
  7. omxplayer $video-source
  8. # optional: pidvbip
    1. echo "gpu_mem=128" | sudo tee -a /boot/config.txt
    2. sudo aptitude install -y git autoconf automake libtool
    3. sudo aptitude install -y libmpg123-dev libfaad-dev liba52-dev libavahi-client-dev libfreetype6-dev libavformat53
    4. git clone https://github.com/Pulse-Eight/libcec.git
    5. cd libcec; ./bootstrap; ./configure --with-rpi-include-path=/opt/vc/include --with-rpi-lib-path=/opt/vc/lib/
    6. make; sudo make install; sudo cp /usr/local/lib/libcec.so.* /usr/lib/; cd ..
    7. git clone https://github.com/linuxstb/pidvbip.git
    8. cd pidvbip; ./configure && make
    9. pidvbip $video-source



First you need a SDHC card to put raspbian on it. You will need one with at least 4GB. Download the image from raspberrypi.org and write it onto the SDHC card. Put it into your Pi and boot it up. Connect via ssh or login locally onto the Pi if you have a keyboard attached.


System Information: 


Live in action: