The Treehouse Blog

PVR-500 w/ Samsung tuners – FC5 to FC6

on Feb.13, 2007, under Linux

When I purchased and installed my PVR-500 this fall for MythTV stuff, it had very poor signal quality. I attributed this to my cable provider, and bought a ridiculous +24dB amplifier from WalMart to rectify the problem, which it did. After upgrading the box from Fedora Core 5 to Fedora Core 6, the reception on the box was awful. I confirmed that the change in kernel from 2.6.17 to 2.6.19, or the accompanying changes to the ivtv driver were the cause. After some research, it turns out that I have an “evil” Samsung tuner card, and that in 2.6.17 the internal amplifier on the tuner is not activated by the Video for Linux drivers. So, my original amplifier purchase was to compensate for a software problem. After removing the amplifier (not just turning it off as I had been foolishly trying as a test), the reception was mostly better. Some channels are better than before, but some are worse, and overall I think this was not a good change. However, there is no software setting for enabling/disabling the internal amp (apparently no good reason to turn it off), so I’m going to go with the internal amp instead of maintaining a custom kernel on the box, which is always a pain.

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