[HOWTO] HDTV with Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10) using VDR, Xine or Xineliboutput

VDPAU was one of the big topics here on this blog for quite a while. Mplayer was well known to work together with VDPAU and Nvidia’s graphics cards >= 8xxx from almost the very beginning. But not Xine. The developers of Xine didn’t run mplayer’s approach, which was almost nothing else, but the code reuse of the code Nvidia itself published for their VDPAU driver.

The developers of Xine, respectively xine-lib decided that their code should be pristine, hence VDPAU implementation wasn’t available at the beginning, and even months later one could only test a very unstable version of it. Well – now – more than one year later, after Nvidia published its first video driver for hardware based H.264 acceleration, and Karmic Koala being in the starting blocks with its native support for the e.g. Skystar HD, it’s time to have a closer look at the VDR support for HDTV with

xine (vdr-plugin-xine; playback with xine)


xineliboutput (vdr-plugin-libxineoutput; playback with vdr-sxfe).

These are – as far as I know – the only two candidates right now, which are able to make use of the hardware accelerated decoding of a H.264 transport stream.
There are a lot of HOWTOs and Blogs out there, which describes how to make xine go with VDPAU. Also this site reported on a few occasions [1][2][3] about it.
But what they and me almost all had in common, was the very experimental nature. Those days making Xine work with VDPAU was more like a open heart surgery. You risked a non-working system, after you manually disabled/removed Nvidias VDPAU driver and the xine-lib development environment.
What we’ve missed those days were binary packages (preferable Debian ­čśë ). Thanks to some busy activists we do have them today, but they are still experimental. The DVB driver is as of Linux kernel 2.6.30 built in, and is loaded while boot time automatically. The only downer at the moment, is that you still have to mess with your /etc/apt/sources.list, and Launchpad and its Personal Packaging System (PPA) has lowered peoples’ inhibition threshold in touching and trusting alien packages, err – including me.

However – I will show in a few easy steps, how VDR can handle HDTV (720p/1080i) with Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10) using Nvidia’s H.264 decoding on hardware (VDPAU). Of course you don’t need Nvidia to make it work. A high-end Intel Core i7 would to the job also, or you could also try CoreAVC. Before you begin, I’d like you to consider a few things:

  • Free To Air (FTA) HDTV channels in Europe are mostly available in German language via Satellite Astra
  • I don’t know anything about the HDTV situation in North-and South America or Asia.
  • This HOWTO doesn’t handle any usage of the CAM-interface for encrypted channels.
  • My DVB-S2 card is a Skystar HD
  • The underlying system is Linux x86_64 on a Intel Core Q6600 and a Nvidia 8500GT graphics card

Since Karmic it’s possible to add a PPA by using e.g. the KPackageKit. Do the following:

  • Open on KDE4 (Classic Menu Style) System -> KPackageKit (Software Management)
  • Go to Settings and then Edit Software Sources
  • A new window appears. Choose the tab labeled Other Software and hit the Add… button.
  • An input text field appears now. Add ppa:hotzenplotz5/ppa and hit OK
  • Select the reload button on closing

You can also add it manually by creating a file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hotzenplotz5-ppa-karmic.list, and adding this into it:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/hotzenplotz5/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

Perform therefor aptitude update on the command line afterwards.

Read on the next page about Installation, Configuration, Launching, etc.

11 thoughts on “[HOWTO] HDTV with Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10) using VDR, Xine or Xineliboutput

  1. Hello acmelab68,
    Really nice Howto. I used it myself and it works great. Could you please refresh the Repositorys cause Hotzenplotz merged his Repositorys with the-vdr-team together these one are depreciated.

  2. Hello,

    I added each ppa you described, but I get always these messages:

    Konnte kein Paket finden, dessen Name oder Beschreibung auf ┬╗libxine1-vdpau-plugins┬ź passt.
    Konnte kein Paket finden, dessen Name oder Beschreibung auf ┬╗nvidia-190-libvdpau┬ź passt.
    Konnte kein Paket finden, dessen Name oder Beschreibung auf ┬╗libxine1-vdpau-plugins┬ź passt.
    Konnte kein Paket finden, dessen Name oder Beschreibung auf ┬╗nvidia-190-libvdpau┬ź passt.

    These packages couldn’t be found. What can I do?

  3. @herman
    1) You’ve got to use now the repo from the vdr-team, like Diable mentioned. Look up here the repo you are interested in: http://www.henningpingel.de/vdrstuff/vdr_trendy_features_matrix.html

    2) If you should decide to take https://launchpad.net/~the-vdr-team/+archive/vdr-ubuntu-karmic , then there won’t be libxine1 any longer. It’s libxine2. And libvdpau is 195+ meanwhile.

    Simply perform a
    aptitude search libxine
    aptitude search libvdpau

    and install the appropriate packages.

    Good Luck

  4. @herman
    you are right. One cannot mix the versions of libxine – but the dependencies should be resolved automatically – if I remember correctly.

  5. hi
    thanz for HOWTO
    I received this error
    Couldn’t find any package whose name or description matched “libxine1-vdpau-plugins”
    Couldn’t find any package whose name or description matched “libxine1-vdpau-plugins”
    which repo should I use?

  6. I’m using on Lucid this PPA-repo:
    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/yavdr/testing-vdr/ubuntu lucid main
    and this is what dpkg -l | grep yavdr returns:

    root@server:~# dpkg -l | grep yavdr
    ii  liblircclient-dev                    0.8.6-0yavdr6                                    infra-red remote control support - client library development fi
    ii  liblircclient0                       0.8.6-0yavdr6                                    infra-red remote control support - client library
    ii  libxine-dev                          1.2.0~hg20100615-0yavdr1                         the xine video player library, development packages
    ii  libxine1-xvdr                        1.0.6+cvs20100602.1715-2yavdr1                   Xine input plugin for vdr-plugin-xineliboutput streams
    ii  libxine2                             1.2.0~hg20100615-0yavdr1                         the xine video/media player library, binary files
    ii  lirc                                 0.8.6-0yavdr6                                    infra-red remote control support
    ii  vdr                                  1.7.14-8yavdr1                                   Video Disk Recorder for DVB cards
    ii  vdr-dev                              1.7.14-8yavdr1                                   Video Disk Recorder for DVB cards
    rc  vdr-plugin-burn                      0.1.0~pre22-ff1-11yavdr1                         Plugin for vdr that implements dvd conversion and writing
    ii  vdr-plugin-femon                     1.7.7-3yavdr1                                    DVB frontend status monitor plugin for VDR
    ii  vdr-plugin-fritzbox                  1.3.3-0yavdr1                                    VDR plugin to access certain functions of an AVM Fritz!Box
    ii  vdr-plugin-skinenigmang              0.1.1-2yavdr1                                    Skin plugin for VDR
    ii  vdr-plugin-skinsoppalusikka          1.7.1-3yavdr1                                    Skin plugin for vdr
    ii  vdr-plugin-text2skin                 1.3.1-0yavdr1                                    Plugin to vdr that loads and views skins
    rc  vdr-plugin-xine                      0.9.3-7yavdr1                                    Plugin for "software only" playback using xine
    ii  vdr-plugin-xineliboutput             1.0.6+cvs20100602.1715-2yavdr1                   VDR plugin for Xine based sofdevice frontends
    ii  vdr-plugin-yaepghd                   0.0.2~beta-1yavdr2                               Rewrite for Yaepg
    ii  vdr-skin-anthra-1920-os              080510-0yavdr1                                   Anthra 1920-overscan Skin for VDR's text2skin plugin
    ii  vdr-skin-blackandblue-os             0.0.1-2yavdr1                                    Black and Blue Overscan Skin for VDR's text2skin plugin
    ii  vdradmin-am                          3.6.7-1yavdr2                                    Web-based administration tool for vdr
    ii  xineliboutput-sxfe                   1.0.6+cvs20100602.1715-2yavdr1                   Remote X-Server frontend for vdr-plugin-xineliboutput

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