Workaround for problems configuring LeadTek Winfast TV2000 tuner for KdeTv on OpenSUSE 10.2 and Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

Postscript 20 August 2007:

I have recently discovered that the problems mentioned below were due to a faulty motherboard, not to any problems with SUSE or Ubuntu. When I replaced that board I had no problems configuring kdetv on Suse (9.3,10.1) or Ubuntu (7.04 Feisty Fawn desktop).

I’ve used a LeadTek Winfast TV2000 Tuner board to watch tv using the KDE package kdetv on my home desktop using SUSE 9.3 and later SUSE 10.1 for the last few years.

I recently upgraded from SUSE 10.1 to OpenSUSE 10.2 and also installed Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn on the same machine. The Leadtek didn’t work on either using kdetv, or using xawtv or tvtime on Ubuntu. I eventually got it to work on both, and I’m writing this to share what I learned.

I used Google as my guide and found that others have run into this problem, and that there was no consensus answer. At the extreme it was suggested you needed to build a custom kernel.

If you are in the U.S. then you want to enter the input source as “television” and not “composite” and the signal type as “NTSC.”

While playing with the options to configure Kdetv I heard some audio though I didn’t see any video, suggesting the chip was working. Though all the programs I tried do auto-scan to detect available channels, none had worked, but I recalled that Kdetv lets you manually edit the channel settings. So I booted up SUSE 9.3 and wrote down the configuration information for a couple of channels.

I then found that if I manually configured Kdetv on OpenSUSE 10.2 using these settings then it worked. This also worked for Kdetv on Ubuntu. The audio didn’t work on Ubuntu but I learned this is a known problem.

Manual configuration such as this is not a clean solution, but at least now I can watch the Amazing Mets using either Open SUSE or Ubuntu.

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