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ISBN : 978-2-7460-9712-4
EAN : 9782746097124
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CentOS 2.1AS







xawtv - a X11 program for watching TV


xawtv [ options ] [ station name ]


xawtv is a simple program for watching TV with your linux box. It uses the Athena widgets. xawtv supports the bttv driver, v4l (video4linux, included in 2.2.x) and the Xvideo extention.

xawtv reads the config files /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xawtvrc and $HOME/.xawtv at startup. Settings in the personal config file will overwrite the options from the global config file. These files holds the available TV stations and a few settings like TV norm. You have to create the config file yourself, see below for details.


All command line options also have a Resource, so you can put them into your .Xdefaults file too.
, -help

Print a short desctiption of all command line options.
Resource: xawtv.help (bool).


Print a list of available devices.

-f, -fullscreen

startup in fullscreen mode.
Resource: xawtv.fullscreen (bool).

-n, -noconf

don’t read the config file ($HOME/.xawtv).
Resource: xawtv.readconfig (bool).

-o, -outfile base

set basestring for the snapshot output files. The filename will be "base-timestamp-nr.ext".
Resource: xawtv.basename (string).

-c, -device device

set video4linux device (default is /dev/video0). This option also disables Xvideo support.
Resource: xawtv.device (string).

-C, -dspdev device

set audio device (default is /dev/dsp).
Resource: xawtv.dspdev (string).

-c, -xvport number

set Xvideo port (defaults to the first usable). This option also enables Xvideo support.
Resource: xawtv.xvport (int).

-v, -debug level

Be verbose, level may be 0 (default), 1 or 2. It exists just for debugging and trouble-shooting.
Resource: xawtv.debug (int).


X11 display is remote. This basically disables overlay mode, you might need this if xawtv failes to autodetect a remote X11 display.
Resource: xawtv.remote (bool).

-b, -bpp n

force xawtv into n bpp color depth. Works for switching between 15/16 and 24/32 bpp. This gets just passed through to v4l-conf(1).
Resource: xawtv.bpp (int).

-shift n

Shift the video display by n bytes. Try this if your video display is’nt within the xawtv window. This gets passed through to v4l-conf(1) too.
Resource: xawtv.shift (int).


Use the framebuffer device to determine the video framebuffer address (instead of the DGA extention). Yet another pass through argument.

Resource: xawtv.fbdev (bool).


enable/disable the usage of the Xvideo extention (for overlay), default is on.
Resource: xawtv.xvideo (bool).


enable/disable the usage of the Xvideo extention (for hardware scaling in grabdisplay mode), default is on.
Resource: xawtv.hwscale (bool).


enable/disable the usage of the VidMode extention, default is off. If there is a fullscreen video mode configured in the config file, the vidmode extention will be enabled automatically.
Resource: xawtv.vidmode (bool).


enable/disable the usage of the DGA extention, default is on.
Resource: xawtv.dga (bool).

The usual Toolkit options like -geometry are supported too.


Just start up xawtv, this will work without a config file too. Then check out the options (right mouse button) and adjust the settings (TV norm, Video source, freqency table). With the cursor keys you can control the tuner and look for TV Stations.

If you’ve found one, start up your favorite text editor and stick it into the $HOME/.xawtv config file. Or you can check out the new channel editor. Hotkey ’E’ will start it. Warning: Writing the config file with the channel editor will kill all the comments you might have added to your config file.

You can also check out scantv. That’s a command line tool which will perform a channel scan and write out a xawtv config file with all channels it has found.

Mouse functions
The left mouse button will popup a menu with all TV stations found in the config file. The middle button switches to the next station. The right button brings up a window with alot of options and control functions.

Keyboard Shortcuts
V Video (Capture) on/off
A Audio on/off
F Fullscreen on/off
G Grab picture (full size, ppm)
J Grab picture (full size, jpeg)
Ctrl+G Grab picture (window size, ppm)
Ctrl+J Grab picture (window size, jpeg)
O Popup Options Window
C Popup Channels Window
E Popup Channel Editor
R Popup AVI Recording Window
Z Channel Hopper (zapping, tune in every station
a few seconds)
Ctrl+Z Fast Channel Hopping (grab the images for the Channel

up/down tune up/down one channel
left/right fine tuning
pgup/pgdown station up/down
space next station (same as pgup)
backspace previously tuned station
Ctrl+up scan for next station

ESC,Q Quit

+/- Volume up/down (keypad)
Enter mute (keypad)

config file
You can stick the channels into a config file ($HOME/.xawtv). Looks like this:

channel = 27

The branches hold some string (TV station ID), the lines below are the settings for that channel. The station ID "defaults" is a special case, this one sets the defaults for all channels. Usually the channel line is enouth for one station, all other settings can go to the "[defaults]" section.

Here is the detailed description of all options:
fine = n

finetuning (what left+right keys do), default: 0

norm = pal | ntsc | secam

which TV norm, default is pal

key = keysym

Hotkey for the channel. All X11 keysyms allowed here. You can prefix a keysym with Modifier+, i.e. ^F is "Ctrl+F".

capture = off | overlay | grabdisplay

capture mode: off, overlay (default, TV card => video, 0% cpu) or grabdisplay (TV card => main memory => X-Server => video, frame rate depends on load and picture size).

input = Television | Composite1 | Composite2 | SVHS

input source. The valid choices depend on the hardware driver, the values above are just examples.

color = n
bright = n
hue = n
contrast = n

Valid range is 0-65535, default is 32768. Adding a percent symbol changes the range to 0-100, i.e. "50%" has the same effect like "32768".

audio = mono | stereo | lang1 | lang2

Set the audio mode for the given channel.

freq = n

Specify the frequency for the given station (MHz, video carrier). You shouldn’t need this for normal operation, all your channels should be listed in the frequency table for your area (if not, mail me a patch). Maybe unless you live near the border and the foreign country uses another channel scheme.

A few global settings go to the "[global]" section:
fullscreen = width x height

specify which video mode should be used for full-screen. Works with XFree only, and of cource you need a valid modeline for this mode in your XF86Config file. You also have to enable the VidMode extention (option -vm, see above) to make this work.

wm-off-by = [+-]x[+-]y

Some WM’s handle static gravity not correct (I know mwm and kwm). This is somewhat boring with fullscreen mode. With this options you can correct this with a displacement for moving windows. For example, wm-off-by = -4-24 does the trick for kwm (the KDE1 window manager).

freqtab =

select a channel-to-freqency mapping. Options window->Frequency table brings up a menu with all valid entries (and allows table-switching at runtime).

pixsize = width x height

size of the channel pixmaps (within Channels window). 0x0 disables this feature.

pixcols = n

number of columns the channel window should use. Defaults to 1.

mixer = ctl | device:ctl

This allows to control volume using the sound card mixer. ctl is the mixer control, i.e. "vol" for the master volume. "line1" is a good candidate for the TV card. device is the mixer device (defaults to /dev/mixer in unspecified). Volume-control works with the keypad: + is up, - is down, Enter is mute.

jpeg-quality = n

set the quality for jpeg images. As usual the valid range for n is [0

mjpeg-quality = n

set the quality for mjpeg AVI movies. Default is 75.

keypad-ntsc = on | off

Configure keypad mode. Default is off. When set to on, numbers typed on the keypad are interpreted as channel numbers (this is like NTSC TV sets work). Otherwise they are interpreted as programmed station, i.e. 1 is the first station from $HOME/.xawtv, ...

osd = on | off

Enable/disable the onscreen display in fullscreen mode. Default is on.

ratio = x:y

Set a fixed aspect ratio for the TV image.

mov-driver = files | raw | avi | mov
mov-video = ppm | pgm | jpeg | rgb | gray | 422 | 422p | rgb15 | rgb24
| mjpeg | jpeg | raw | mjpa | png
mov-fps = fps
mov-audio = mono8 | mono16 | stereo
mov-rate = rate

Set defaults for movie recording. Not all possible combinations are valid choices. "streamer -h" will print a nice list.

You can start other programs from within xawtv. This is configured with entries in the "[launch]" section:
label = key, command line

The specified hotkey will run the configured program. Calling the Action "Launch(label)" works too. If you want to play with the Xt translation tables, feel free to do so. But don’t complain if you broke something while doing so...

config file example
My config file looks like this:

# this is a comment
# empty lines are ignored too

freqtab = pal-europe
#mixer = line
fullscreen = 768x576

# for /etc/XF86Config
# Modeline "pal" 50.00 768 832 856 1000 576 590 595 630 -hsync -vsync

AleVT = Ctrl+A, alevt

source = television
norm = pal


channel = 27
key = F2

# more stations follow here

source = Composite1
key = K


Bug reports with images attached go to /dev/null unseen.

The mono/stereo display is not reliable due to v4l API restrictions. The API can not report back the current audio mode, but a list of the currently available modes. xawtv just does a guess based on that, assuming the driver uses the best available mode. Depending on your hardware this might not be true.

If in doubt whenever stereo really works, please tune in MTV and listen, don’t trust what xawtv says.


fbtv(1), v4l-conf(1), scantv(1)
http://bytesex.org/xawtv/ (homepage)


Gerd Knorr <kraxel@bytesex.org>


Copyright (C) 1997-99 Gerd Knorr <kraxel@bytesex.org>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


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