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Re: Upgrading from FC4 to current Linux

Devin Heitmueller wrote:
On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 2:15 PM, Bill Davidsen <davidsen@xxxxxxx> wrote:
I fear you are concentrating on the analog which is only a discussion of
where things were when there was support. But since you didn't offer any
suggestions for some user-friendly app I could give users, and I haven't
found any, I have to assume that the tools which I did find, all requiring a
significant user expertise to install, configure, and use, are all that's
available any more.

Ah, well, we can talk about digital TV as well, although I had
excluded it since your references were to analog and this was sent to
the video4linux mailing list as opposed to linux-media.

Compared to digital television support for international standards
like DVB-T, the application support for ATSC/ClearQAM is much weaker.
I added ATSC support to Kaffeine last year, and ClearQAM *should* work
under Kaffeine but it is not heavily tested.  Me-TV supports ATSC as
well, although it has considerable playback problems at high bitrates
(channels such as CBS-HD).  I don't know of any applications that are
easy to use and have support for both digital and analog.  The "easy
to use" apps generally support one or the other, as they tend to have
been developed by different groups of people.

The reason for ATSC/ClearQAM support not being as good as DVB is
pretty simple:  I can count the number of developers who actively
contribute to it on one hand (three of which work for KernelLabs).

The driver support for both ATSC and ClearQAM is pretty mature, but
again most of the problems you will find are in the applications
space.  There also is an issue where because ClearQAM devices are much
newer, there tends to be fewer devices that support both ClearQAM
*and* analog.  There are plenty of devices that support ATSC and
analog but not ClearQAM, and there are plenty of devices that support
ATSC and ClearQAM but not analog.  There are fewer devices though that
support all three.

Perhaps the days of the Linux desktop are over, at least
for people who want to install and have it work.

Well, I'm not as extreme as some other developers as to say that
"analog is dead", but like most developers, I don't have any personal
interest in going out of my way to continue supporting it.

First, thanks for your detailed response. As long as cable providers have a policy of providing analog in clear for customers with old TV hardware, and only broadcast local in clear-qam (because they must), users will want support for analog, because the digital is encrypted and needs a cable box. So analog won't be dead any time soon, at least in much of the US.

In looking for solutions I got an HDhomerun box, and while it's pretty much a single user solution, it works well for clear-qam, although the tuning is awkward, you don't need to be a genius to use it. Unfortunately it seems to not do the analog, so it's less than ideal as an overall solution. I haven't found any solution for S-video, other than to drop back to FC6 and use old analog apps. I have a bunch of cards (mostly PCI) and several USB dongles, none seem to do S-video under Linux. That's turned out to be more of an issue than I expected as well, I considered feeding the USB to a VM and Windows under KVM, but I really want Windows out!
I guess staying with FC4 or going Windows are the only options for users who
want something easy to use, thanks for assuring me that I didn't miss

Yeah, short of some commercial entity being willing to support
maintenance of the apps and adding support for new devices, it seems
likely that this is where things are going.  People seem to think they
are somehow entitled for this stuff to "just work" when in reality it
takes an enormous amount of effort, and if developers don't have an
interest in doing it, and nobody is willing to pay for it, then
support will indeed continue to get smaller and smaller.

These folks have money, for political reasons they prefer open source, but that's the end of it, it's not a deal breaker to buy a solution by the seat.

Again, thanks for clarifying the dismal situation, I'm surprised that none of the developers is in an area where the majority of the signal are still analog, but that seems the case.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen@xxxxxxx>
 Unintended results are the well-earned reward for incompetence.

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