Cutting the cord: setting up a DVB-T2 server with a Raspberry Pi TV-Hat
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Cutting the cord: setting up a DVB-T2 server with a Raspberry Pi TV-Hat

Am I in focus? Welcome to another video of 2kB of Fun. Last week they started broadcasting … Full HD television in this area of the Netherlands. Today I am going to install a new video server. What I am going to do is: . I am going to use a Raspberry Pi, with a DVB-T add-on, so that it can grab the signal from the air. It should be compareble in quality … to cable or fibre television services … that cost a lot of money. And the idea behind this is that … the service is totally free. So I am going to use a couple of components. It will cost around 50 euros. (excl. VAT red.) and it will allow me to grab the signal from the air, inject it to the whole network in our house, and we will be able to view the Dutch … Free-To-Air television channels … in every room in this house. And on top of that, it will also add … PVR functionality (Personal Video Recorder red.) That means that you can setup timers to record shows, and it will allow you to play them back … on every device in the household. So that’s very nice, and for 50 euro in parts, it’s an amazing deal I think. I will show you how to do it, We got a package from Germany, because Germany is a little bit further into … using DVB-T. Because they have more remote areas, without cable and internet connections. And I’m going to show you what I bought, and how to set things up. What is in the box? This is a SD card. 64 Gigabytes It should allow the installation of … the Debian software, but it’s also … capable of storing roughly 50 hours of TV. This is an USB adapter, with ample power for … powering both the Raspberry Pi and the antenna. This is the Raspberry Pi TV Hat. Let’s see what’s inside: some mounting tools, and this is the actual board. It’s very tiny! It’s a small little board, has a Sony chip. And this should be capable of decoding … the new DVB-T2 signal. And then we have the Raspberry Pi 3B+. The latest model. And that one looks like this. So this is basically what we need, To set up our TV system. And off course we have the big box, I will open that later. It has the outdoor antenna. And first I’m going to check … if the indoor antenna will be sufficient. But if it’s not I’m going to open it … and add that as well. Step one now is to set-up the Raspberry Pi, and mount the TV hat on top of it. OK, this is a closeup of both boards: So we see the most recent model of … the Raspberry Pi, the 3B+. And we see the add-on board, also made by the Raspberry Pi foundation, and it’s for decoding the free-to-air … signals for television. What they do is they have a … connector that plugs into the bottom. It feels like it connects, not very sturdy, but I think it’s OK. Some tiny bits … so we have little screws, and small plastic feet. It’s like this, I’m going to mount these. Now the feet are added tot the bottom of the board. Now I am going to put it on top. OK the board is in place. A little bit strange is that one of the feet … is sitting on top of one of the chips. And this is what the bottom looks like. So here are 2 screws, and there’s … one screw extra. OK, this is step 1: the board is assembled. The next step will be that I am going to … fill this card with the software. There it is. (Samsung: this took 2 min to open!) Tiny SD card, I’m going to put it in this. Since I have a Mac computer, and it has a full size SD slot. I chose a pretty fast card, with a reasonable high writing speed, The list of items I got, so you have an idea of the price and the exact types. now I am going to install Debian, and TV Headend on the SD card. When you insert a SD card on a Macintosh, it will get a Unix disk drive name. And that name is over here (in About this Mac menu red.) And this disk has the name disk6s1, and I need to copy this. This is the download from the Raspberry Pi website. I chose to download the light version of Debian. The download is roughly 300 MB. Now I have to put this image onto the SD card. I’m going to use the Terminal for it. OK, this is the website with the instruction … on how to install Debian on a SD card. This is the important command. I’m going to copy it into Terminal, but before I do that, I edit the command first in Text Editor. I’m pasting it here. And now I drag the file, from the Raspberry Pi image, into the same window. And that delivers me the correct … file location. I’m copying it to the right positions. And you have to take care of … the name of the path. If there is a space in it, it will not work because then … the Terminal sees that as a different command. To prevent that I choose a very easy folder name. Now I have to change the number, we saw it was number 6. So now I made the command, and I’m going to copy it into the Terminal. And to “Enter” it … and “Resources Busy”. We have to fix that as well. And we do that by unmounting the disk. And I am not going to “Eject” it, because then it totally looses it. I’m going to “Disk Utility”. Here is the image, and I have to choose “Unmount”. So it is still seeing the card, but it’s unmounted, and now I can enter the command. OK this was pretty fast, it took 38 seconds. So this means that the writing speed … to this card, is yeah, is quite OK. The Raspberry Pi has booted up Default login: username pi, password raspberry Now I can get information …
sudo apt-get update
on the packages that are available. So it’s connection to the internet now. And the second command you have to do is … sudo apt-get install tvheadend Do we want to install all this? Yes! This will take about 2 minutes. Then I get a request to give an … administrator username. And off course that goes with a password. Strange enough, the password is only entered once. Now the installation continues for another minute or so. OK, now it is setting up stuff, and we almost come to the end of the installation. OK, that was it. So now we have the system installed. I’m going to access … the Raspberry Pi through a browser. To do so I need the IP address of this machine. /sbin/ifconfig And this is the information window. OK, this is the one I need. This is my local address. So I have to remember that number. Now I’m going back to my Mac. Ah, OK. So you can’t use HTTPS. OK this is the configuration menu, I’m going to put it in Dutch. Program language, I also want that in Dutch. And second preference is English. And as third, see some German television as well. Save & next For now I only want local access. Save & next The tuner: The DVB-T Network. Save & next I’m going to check if the Netherlands are here. Netherlands: nl-All Save & next OK, now it is scanning for channels. And here you can see it has found some Sony input, so that must be the chip on the TV-hat. And you can see it’s trying all kind of frequencies. It found 35 mixes. And what I am going to do is: that I am going to install a client, for the TV Headend software, that runs on the Raspberry Pi. This is the home screen of Kodi. There can be more items on the left, I removed a couple. I am going to TV and then you see … Add-on explorer. I click this, I go a little bit down. And here you see the TV Headend client. I click it, I choose “Install”. OK, it is installed. Now you see this window. And here I can configure it. The only thing I have to do is … enter the right IP number. in this case. The number off course will depend on … your settings in the LAN router settings. “OK” It demands a restart. That means a restart of Kodi, so I’m going to quit it. Here it’s again. OK, now things have changed. What you can see here is some menu options. Here you can choose the channels. There are 4 channels right now. I’ve an Electronic Program Guide. Here you see all the programs./ And as you can see there are … 2 programs that have a little mark underneath. It’s not a mark, it is a little clock. It means that these programs, have been set-up for recording. And it is very easy. So for example if I want to … record this one as well, I right-click it and I choose “record”. OK, here you can see all the finished recordings, so all these programs are already on the SD card. Here you can see the timers, these programs are due for recording. Here you can see the last played channels. And if you move down, you see the most recent recordings. You can do a similar thing with the radio, and when you install the TV client, the radio client comes with that automatically. So these are the public radio channels. The quality is comparable to the … DAB digital broadcasting. OK, let’s have a look at the image quality. As you can see the detail is pretty good. The broadcast is free from Digital Rights Management. So that means you can record … the stream in its original format. Even the ancient “Teletekst” is recorded along. This was also in the box, I am not going to use it, it’s an external antenna. for people that have a poor signal. It turned out that the signal here is very strong. And when I looked on the map, where the antennas are, I found out it is only 4 km away. So that probably makes things work … with an indoor antenna, and that’s this one. It’s a very small antenna, I had it, because I used DVB-T before. and what I did was, I just re-used the antenna, it fits perfectly on the Raspberry Pi TV-Hat. I hope you enjoyed this little video on … making a DVB-T2 server in your house. It allows you to freely view public TV channels, if your country has a DVB-T signal available. I found the quality to be very nice, with the new signal. The easy of use with Kodi is extremely well done. It is very easy to set-up timers, to make recordings, to play them back, You can do it everywhere in your Local Area Network. It works fantastically. The sound is nice in sync in Kodi, I have to say the Mini that is running this TV screen, is quite capable of decoding … the very advanced video signal, it’s totally flawless, I didn’t see any problems with it. And that is quite amazing, because it only has a 2.26 Gz Core2Duo … processor from 2009. The videocard is also very simple, It’s a GeForce 9400M. It has some hardware decoding, but yeah, you can see it, it manages really well. So in our household, right now we only have … a 4G telephone connection … for accessing the internet. Because that one is in the Netherlands, very much on par with speeds … from cable and fiber. And for the television we use this setup right now. I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for watching, please subscribe, and see you again soon. This is what is left of our cable connections. Poor little boxes. Thanks to Slick for setting focus!


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