fbtv - a console program for watching TV
fbtv [ options ] [ station name ]
is a program for watching TV with your linux box. It runs on top of
a graphic framebuffer device (/dev/fb0). You'll need a new 2.1.x kernel to
play with this. fbtv
shares the config file ($HOME/.xawtv) with the
application. Check the xawtv(1) manpage for details about the
config file format.
- -o base
- set basestring for the snapshot output files. The filename
will be "base-timestamp-nr.ext".
- Be verbose.
- -c device
- video4linux device (default is /dev/video0).
- -D driver
- video4linux driver (default is "libv4l").
- -d device
- framebuffer device (default is $FRAMEBUFFER; /dev/fb0 if
- grayscaled display (works for 256 color mode only)
- -s widthxheight
- display the TV picture in width x height size
in the upper right corner.
- -f font
- font for text. Default is to look for lat1-16.psf in
/usr/lib/kbd/consolefonts and /usr/share/consolefonts. If you have a local
X11 font server running (or the FONTSERVER environment variable set to
some working server), you can also give X11 font specs here.
- -m mode
- video mode for TV. fbtv will look up the mode in
- -j joydev
- joystick device to use for controlling fbtv.
- keep capture on when switching consoles. Might be useful
together with -s switch, you have a video picture while working on another
console. This is more or less a dirty hack. Works only if all your
consoles have the same video mode and fbcon does not use panning to speed
up scrolling. For a multiheaded setup this is useful too.
- quiet mode. Doesn't reserve space for the status line at
the top, doesn't display the status messages and clock. You can toggle
this at runtime too ('F').
- EXPERIMENTAL: Turn on backend scaler mode (write yuv to
offscreen memory and let the gfx board scale up the video). Supported
hardware: Matrox G200/G400 (with matroxfb) and ATI Mach64 VT/GT (with
atyfb, 16bpp only). You'll need at least bttv-0.7.16 or kernel
fbtv is supported to work much like xawtv from user's point of view. You might
have noticed that xawtv has a lot of keyboard shortcuts. They work in fbtv too
(if it useful). Here is the list:
G Grab picture (full size, ppm)
J Grab picture (full size, jpeg)
F Fullscreen. Toggle quiet mode (see above).
up/down tune up/down one channel
left/right fine tuning
pgup/pgdown station up/down
X Quit, but leave sound on.
+/- Volume up/down
The channel hotkeys defined in $HOME/.xawtv are supported too, with one
exception: modifier keys (something like "key = Ctrl+F1") do not
Some hints from Dag Bakke <email@example.com>:
The BT8xx cards can produce images up to 768x576 pixels. In order to have fbtv
make use of your entire monitor-size and get maximum image quality, you need
to create a 768x576 pixels framebufferconsole. This can be accomplished with
the fbset(1) utility, which is available at various locations. See:
Or, you can let fbtv handle the videomode changes with the -m switch. This
requires that you have a small database with the various videomodes available.
The file containing the videomodes is normally named /etc/fb.modes. For
example, the following entry produces a 768x576x32bpp mode, with 75Hz refresh
on a Matrox G200.
# D: 49.188 MHz, H: 46.580 kHz, V: 75.008 Hz
geometry 768 576 768 576 32
timings 20330 128 32 32 8 128 5
The command "fbtv -q -mtv" thus gives you crisp clear (well, as good
as the received signal anyway) tv on your entire screen. Alias this command to
'tv', and you're set.
Please note that your monitor may or may not be able to handle such a
"custom" resolution. And that misuse of the aforementioned fbset
utility can toast your monitor. It is a lot easier to pull smoke out of
electronic components, than to put it back in.
A database of the standard VESA-modes can be downloaded from:
Gerd Knorr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Copyright (C) 1997,98 Gerd Knorr <email@example.com>
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
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.