Sunday, May 2, 2010

Use USB ATI TV Wonder 600 with Ubuntu (HDTV)

Guide to using the USB ATI TV Wonder 600 device with Ubuntu "Lucid" 10.04 (probably applies to other versions as well)

The easy way:
sudo apt-get install me-tv

Run Me-Tv:

Select the "US NTSC xxxxxx" frequency file and do a scan.

Tada... ;)

The hard way


Install the Linux Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) applications:
sudo apt-get install dvb-apps w-scan vlc mplayer

Change into the /lib/firmware folder:
sudo wget

Create Channels for USA:
scan /usr/share/dvb/atsc/us-NTSC-center-frequencies-8VSB -o zap -a 0 | tee ~/channels.conf

You will get a bunch of "WARNING" messages.. Dont panic this is just the program letting you know it couldnt find content on that channel (it scans all known US frequencies for TV channels)

Watch HDTV!
vlc ~/channels.conf

Just a quick note here as using this device was actually my first time watching Broadcast HDTV. Using the included antenna is absolutely terrible and you will find the video breaking up constantly unless you are sitting on the transmission tower. Unlike analog television of years ago, you will either get crystal clear picture or nothing at all. If you are serious about using this for on the go tv, get a good portable antenna (if you find one let me know).


  1. Your first option is very easy, thanks, can you start the RCA connection? BTW I have the same problem with the antenna...

  2. For me the easy way didn't work until I tried the hard way. I'm guessing I needed the firmware you specified in step 2 of the hard way.

  3. Tried the "easy" way, and it scanned, then crashed my 12.4 Ubuntu.
    Trying the hard way now, it's scanning (not finding much, but I only have 3 that it could potentially detect if my antenna is good enough), and about to try the vlc ~/channels.conf command...

  4. ...and VLC plays the one station it detected. And it's in french :( Sooo, I have to turn my antenna and scan again I guess. Then I'll have to figure out how to change the channel LOL.