Setup VDR under LinuxMCE


As you may know LinuxMCE in the version 0710 supports two personal video recorder systems: MythTV and VDR. This brief howto will help you setup VDR.


VDR can be chosen by two ways. The first one is initial configuration after installation. During setup the media center property you should choose VDR and not MythTV. The second way is to tick VDR and tick off MythTV on the Software modules page – Wizard –> Media Directors. In both cases VDR will be installed automatically and will start after installation.


To make VDR configuration and manage easier its web interface – VDRAdmin can be used. It should be installed manually:
sudo apt-get install vdradmin-am
and then enabled to be able run by replacing ENABLED=”0″ by ENABLED=”1″ in the /etc/default/vdradmin-am. Also don’t forget to add a new firewall rule for the port 8001 – Advanced –>> Network –> Firewall Rules.

Another useful tool is set of DVB utilities should be also installed manually:
sudo apt-get install dvb-utils


To configure VDR we should get the list of all available channels for desire satellite. You can find it somewhere or create using DVB utility scan. To do that we need the list of transponders stored as INI file. Get it from the JoshyFun’s site. Store it somewhere on your LinuxMCE core. In my case I use the INI file for Hotbird – [Download not found].

Before scanning stop VDR:
sudo /etc/ini.d/vdr stop
and start scanning procedure:
scan -o vdr -p -x 0 0130.ini > channels.conf
It might take about 10-20 minutes depends on the number of available channels on your satellite. When scanning is finished just upload the created channels.conf file via Admin site – Advanced –> Configuration –> VDR. And then pickup your satellite from the list (see picture above).


Quick reload router (most probably is not needed) and press button TV on the on-screen Orbiter. You should be able to watch live TV. To navigate on that screen use F6, F7 and F8 buttons on your keyboard, Gyration mouse or Fiire remote. Additionally you can switch channels, see EPG and schedule recording from VDRAdmin web interface.


If VDR works not as you expect you can do following:

  1. Check VDR log – /var/log/pluto/<ID_VDR_IN_YOUR_SYSTEM>_VDR.log
  2. Check if everything ok with your DVB card:
    • lspci – you should see your card in the list of PCI devices
    • dmesg|grep -i dvb – if driver if your DVB card is loaded correctly you will see it here. Note that in some cases you should place a firmware for your card into /lib/firmware!

The next step is to configure setting to watch paid channels using Common Interface and Common Interface Module for my Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-CI PCI. When I do this I’ll post results here. So, stay tune!

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