Sunday, September 27, 2009

VLC Alsa Surround Sound 5.1

The recent versions of VLC require some extra setup for alsa 5.1 surround sound. By default vlc chooses the alsa device 'default'. When you're trying to switch the audio mode to "Surround 5.1", you got the error message

VLC Audio output failed: The audio device "surround51" is already in use

This can be solved by running vlc from terminal like this

vlc --aout alsa --alsa-audio-device surround51

Surround51 is the alsa device you want to play audio with. You can get the list of available alsa audio devices by typing aplay -L in the terminal

Monday, September 7, 2009

Compro VideoMate Vista M5F Linux Setup

If you've recently purchased Compro VideoMate Vista M5F tv tuner card and want to get it working on your linux machine, then you are just in a few steps before you will get this done. I bought this card two weeks ago and finally setup it yesterday. But don't be upset, this will not take so long for you. So lets begin.
First check that you card is correctly plugged into the system

# lspci -v

04:00.0 Multimedia controller:
Philips Semiconductors SAA7131/SAA7133/SAA7135 Video Broadcast Decoder (rev d1)
Subsystem: Compro Technology, Inc. VideoMate T750
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 21
Memory at 90100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2
Kernel driver in use: saa7134
Kernel modules: saa7134

If you see that then the card is connected and you can continue. On my linux distribution (Archlinux) the card is automatically detected as Compro VideoMate T750 and all required saa7134 modules are loaded. This is not right so unload these modules

# rmmod saa7134_dvb && rmmod saa7134_alsa && rmmod saa7134

Now you can load the saa7134 module using valid card and tuner numbers

# modprobe saa7134 card=49 tuner=54 alsa=1 i2c_scan=1

After you loaded the module check if the device /dev/video0 exists and if the new soundcard was added

# ls /dev/video*
/dev/video /dev/video0
# ls /dev/dsp*
/dev/dsp /dev/dsp1

If you cannot see this, examine dmesg log for errors. Do not forget to set the volume levels for the new sound device

# alsamixer -c 1

Now you can try to perform a channels scan using your favourite tv software (MythTV, tvtime, xawtv). If the scan was successful, you can add the modules options to the modprobe.conf file

options saa7134 card=49 tuner=54 alsa=1 i2c_scan=1