If bttv takes very long to load (happens sometimes with the cheapcards which have no tuner), try adding this to your modules configurationfile (usually, it is either /etc/modules.conf or some file at/etc/modules-load.d/, but the actual place depends on yourdistribution):
A small percentage of core logic devices may start a bus transactionduring the same cycle that GNT is de-asserted. This is non PCI 2.1compliant. To ensure compatibility when using PCs with these PCIcontrollers, the EN_VSFX bit must be enabled (refer to Device ControlRegister on page 104). When in this mode, the arbiter does not pass GNTto the internal functions unless REQ is asserted. This prevents a bustransaction from starting the same cycle as GNT is de-asserted. Thisalso has the side effect of not being able to take advantage of busparking, thus lowering arbitration performance. The Bt879 drivers mustquery for these non-compliant devices, and set the EN_VSFX bit only ifrequired.
This card is basically the same as all the rest (Bt484A, Philips tuner),the main difference is that they have attached a programmable attenuator to 3GPIO lines in order to give some volume control. They have also stuck aninfra-red remote control decoded on the board, I will add support for thiswhen I get time (it simple generates an interrupt for each key press, withthe key code is placed in the GPIO port).
I was quite surprised being asked to examine a TV- tuner fromECS. No secret that ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) is the largest supplierof budget-level mainboards. At the same time, the company makes effortsto cover other market sectors - notebooks, barebone systems, video cards,peripherals etc., that is why taking over the sector of tuners mustn'thave looked strange, but it, nevertheless, surprised me. I wonder whetherECS can fight on the field occupied by AverMedia, FlyVideo, Pinnacle Systems.And I was quite skeptical when started testing this device especially becausenot every ECS mainboard makes a positive impression.The box contentsThe way the box is designed noticeably differs from ECS's style.The austere design in red and black makes an impression of a good productif not a Hi-End one. There is nothing typical of ECS's ordinary boxes -they either want to underline a different market sector or to avoid undesirableconnections between its products. Besides, the handwritten sentence "Theeasy way to build your multimedia center" makes a favorable impression.The box contains the following:TunerRemote controlExternal IR port of the remote controlCable for sound card's line-inFM antennaCD-R with drivers and softwareUser manual of a beautiful pearl color (only in English)The PCB is red, though it's not typical of ECS. Although many card makerspaint red their video cards, this is a rare color for tuners.This is a preproduction sample, and software and drivers come on a usualCD-R. But it didn't affect their quality or performance.It seems that the designers' talent was used up by the moment they startedworking on the remote control because the way the sections on the RC arepainted reminds me something from the world of Barbie, Pokemons, and TheSims. The combination of the colors looks acid. Some users may like itthough.SpecificationThe Philips FM1256 radio unit is used to receive TV and FM signals. Thisunit had a good showing in the LeadtekWinFast Cinema review.Audio and video signals get decoded in the Philips 7134 9-bit ADC withthe PAL/SECAM D/K support (7133/7135 chips can be used for countries witha different combination of signals).The tuner uses Philips circuitry of the latest generation, and it's veryinteresting to look at how it works.The connectors are standard: for TV and FM antennas, S-Video, RCA, audio-in,audio-out and IR port's connector.Besides, the board has space for connectors of a sound card and internalIR receiver for the ECS EZ-Buddie barebone system. But the connectors arenot soldered out.According to the user manual the board's got the following functionsAutoscanning and tuning of TV and FM signals (amazing :-))Reception of 125 TV channels16 channels in the Channel Surfing modeOptional teletext support in PAL Video capture in MPEG 1/2 (SVCD/VCD/DVD) formats up to 720x576Time-Shifting Multifunctional Remote ControlThe functions of auto tuning of channels, recording, scheduler etc. whichare carefully enumerated in the user manual are absolutely standard.Testbed configurationAthlon 2000XP processorGigabyte 7VAX mainboard (KT400 chipset)Samsung 512 MB PC3200 PowerColor Radeon 9700 Pro video cardCreative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 audio cardIBM DTLA 305020 hard driveWindows XP ProfessionalConnectionThe connection is typical of most internal TV tuners.I hope the production model will have an audio connector soldered out asit will let us get rid of one cable on the PC case backside.Installation & TuningWhen I fed the disc to the drive I was sure that it had a disordered heapof drivers and software with manual installation required. But I was wrong.The unpresentable appearance of the CD-R confused me.What does this nice disc shell offer? ECS chose an easy way by using softwarefrom third manufacturers. This is a packet from InterVideo.I little digression. Software coming with video cards, tuners ormainboards usually have a last but one or even earlier version comparedto what's available on developers' sites. Is that because older versionsare cheaper? Or they are afraid that latest versions would leak away? Whateverthe reason, I think that it's not fair regarding end-users.So, here is what we get after the installation is completedNow a little on the software supplied. The programs can have icons on thedesktop or can be started up through the EZ-TV Remote Control iconin the tray.InterVideo WinDVRDVR (Digital Video Recorder) is actually meant forrecording and playing TV programs. This is the version 2.0. But the siteoffers v3.0 (the difference is mostly in the interface and in the supportof frame capture in *.jpeg (in addition to *.bmp)).InterVideo WinDVDDVD player v4.0. Its audio features are pretty poor. At their site youcan find v5.0 with a lot of changes.InterVideo WinDVD CreatorThis is a program for creation and recording of DVD/SVCD/VCD media. Thisis v1.0; v2.0 is available on the site.InterVideo WinRIPThis is an audio player/recorder. Version 2.0 both here and on the site,but mp3 recording is unfortunately unsupported (only wav is available).One of the tuner's strong points is that the RC supports Voice Help.If you want to use it you should install Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1(but it can be done later as well).Another advantage is that ECS lets users choose the RC management means.The Bonus Software includes a ShowShifter program workingas a normal multimedia center with a completely compatible remote control. Here you can find v2.10 (the tuner comes with v1.55). Moreover, it doesn't have deinterlacing support, that is why you'd better not use it to spare your eyes. 2b1af7f3a8