Chapter 15. TV, Video, Radio, and Webcam


15.1. Watching TV with motv
15.2. Video Text Support
15.3. Webcams and motv
15.4. nxtvepg—The TV Magazine for Your PC
15.5. Webcam Operation with gqcam


This chapter introduces some basic Linux video, radio, and webcam applications. Learn how to configure and use motv for watching analog TV, using a webcam, and browsing video text. Webcams can be run using gqcam. EPG information can be accessed using nxtvepg.

15.1. Watching TV with motv

motv is an improved successor to xawtv. It incorporates all essential functions into the user interface. Start the application with Multimedia+TV+MoTV. Start it at the command line with motv. Initially, only a TV window appears after the application starts. Open a menu window by right-clicking it.

Figure 15.1. The TV Application motv

The TV Application motv

15.1.1. Video Source and Network Search

In Settings+Input, select the video source. If you select Television here, set up the broadcasting network before starting the application. This automatically takes place with the network search, also found under the Settings menu. If you click Save settings, the network found is entered into the .xawtv file in your home directory and will be available the next time you start the application.

[Tip]Selecting Channels

If you do not want to browse for all available channels, find the next channel with Ctrl-. If needed, subsequently adjust the broadcast frequency with or .

15.1.2. Retrieving Audio Data

The audio output of the TV card is connected to the line input of your sound card, to the speakers, or to an amplifier. Some TV cards can change the volume of the audio output. The volume can then be set with the sliders that appear after selecting Settings+Slider. This window also provides the sliders for brightness, contrast, and color.

To use your sound card for audio playback, check the mixer settings using gamix, described in Section 14.1, “Mixers” (↑Applications). For sound cards meeting the AC97 specifications, set Input-MUX to Line. The volume can then be adjusted with the Master and Line sliders.

15.1.3. Screen Proportions and Full-Screen Mode

Most television images have a height and width ratio of 4:3. These proportions can be set with Tools+Screen Dimensions. If 4:3 is selected here (this is the default setting), the screen dimensions are retained automatically, even when the display size is changed.

With F or Tools+Fullscreen, switch to full-screen mode. If the TV image in full-screen mode is not scaled to the full monitor size, some fine-tuning is required. Many graphics cards can scale the full-screen mode television image to the full monitor size without changing the graphical mode. If your card does not support this function, the graphics mode must be switched to 640x480 for the full-screen mode. Create the related configuration in Settings+Configuration. After restarting motv, the monitor mode is also changed if you have switched to full-screen mode.

[Tip]Storing the Configuration in .xawtv

The .xawtv file is created automatically and updated by clicking Settings+Save settings. Here, the broadcasters are saved along with the configuration. More information about the configuration file can be found in the man page for xawtvrc.

15.1.4. The Launcher Menu

Use the launcher menu to start other applications to use with motv. Start the audio mixer gamix and the video text application alevt, for example, using a keyboard shortcut. Applications to launch from motv must be entered in the .xawtv file. The entries should look like this:

[launch] Gamix = Ctrl+G, gamix AleVT = Ctrl+A, alevt

The shortcut then the command used to start the application should follow the application name itself. Start the applications entered under [launch] via the Tool menu.