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Re: Hauppage Nova-T PCI DVB receiver card fine in 2.6.8, broken in 2.6.16

Steve Duncan wrote:
I have a similar problem to some earlier posters. I will describe it to you, but first I must vent.

I have been running my little old WinTV Nova-T PCI quite happily for 3 years in a RedHat 8 box. When I say old, I mean _old_. It's got the Grundig front end and the SAA7146 chipset. I had some teething problems getting the DVB drivers compiled, back in the 2.4.22 days before they were in the kernel, but after that it was totally reliable. I once recorded 14 hours of unbroken TV.

This year, I upgraded to Debian Sarge with a 2.6.8 kernel. After some voodoo, I finally got the DVB working again. Sparing the gore, the key points were:

a) use Sarge, not Etch
b) modprobe the grundig_29504-401 driver in /etc/init.d/dvb
c) manually mknod the device nodes for /dev/dvb/adapter0 (remembering to use major device number 212)
d) build the latest dvbstream from CVS
e) personally bite the head off the chicken - the meat cleaver is not enough

This should not be necessary with udev, which should automatically create your DVB devices. Since you are starting with sarge config files, I suspect you are missing the required entries in /etc/udev/udev.rules. Try a web search using keywords debian, udev.rules and the devices you expect to see. For example, I recently had to add the following udev.rules entry for a USB remote, for the lirc driver:

KERNEL="lirc[0-9]*",	NAME="lirc/%n"

But, my USB webcam still didn't work (another story) so I did a dist-upgrade to Etch.

This could also be udev related. Once again there could be a missing USB device entry in /etc/udev/udev.rules.

  That gave me Etch stuff with a 2.6.8 kernel.  DVB
still working at this point.

Then I apt-get install linux-2.6.16 and get a new kernel. The installation process tells me to purge hotplug, so I dpkg --purge hotplug. Now DVB is totally broken. The system populates the /dev/dvb tree with what _looks_ like the correct devices,

Earlier you report that you (not the "system") created those device files in /etc/init.d/dvb. Are you saying something else has happened here?

 but dvbstream responds with "bad
file descriptor" for the frontend - cat'ing the dev files shows that they really do not exist.

It's not clear whether you have differentiated between the effect of removing hotplug and installing the new kernel. AFAIK removing hotplug should not have any effect on a non-USB device, while a new kernel obviously could have an effect.

I had been blaming this problem on the change from grundig_29504-401 to L64781, but I don't think this is it. It's something to do with removing hotplug and putting in udev, because when I apt-get install hotplug, it all works again.

Are you saying that you replaced udev with hotplug? I don't understand it because hotplug and udev are not mutually exclusive. If you are removing udev, then what may have happened that udev was misconfigured and was somehow breaking or overriding your manually-created devices in /etc/init.d/dvb. udev replaces /dev and manually-created device files with a pseudo-filesystem and potentially overrides them.

As far as I know, you don't need udev (it's just a convenience) and you should not need hotplug for your DVB devices, but if you do have udev installed, it must be correctly configured for your drivers. Your USB devices only need hotplug if you want them to be automatically recognized and installed, but otherwise you can manually install.

My approach would be to get rid of both udev and hotplug for the time being and manually install and test your drivers seperately. Then when the driver issues are sorted out, go back and sort out the hotplug and udev issues, if you need the features they provide.

After about 50 hours on this, I'm totally at a loss. I'm resigned to only ever having a 2.6.8 kernel. I'm also considering quitting computing for a gardening job. Please, please would someone who knows about hotplug, udev and DVB drivers tell me the stupid thing I'm doing wrong?

I don't know about DVB but it took me several weeks recently to get a non-DVB
TV card installed in a Sarge system with MythTV. The only non-debian drivers I needed were ivtv and lirc. In general it seems that debian tends to lag behind when it comes to multimedia support. On top of that the debian hotplug and udev subsystems still seem to be relatively poorly integrated and documented at this time, but I expect this to improve soon.


Steve Duncan

-- Come, bring forth this offending module
        William Shakespeare

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