Raspberry Pi – OpenELEC PVR Setup

OpenELEC logo

As many said, my previous post about OpenELEC RPi PVR wasn’t a real PVR support but DVB drivers and kernel support. Recently PVR  and RPi sub-projects were merged into XBMC master branch, thanks to Lars Op den Kamp and Edgar Huceke and many others. Here it’s how and what you need to have it working (you need to have network connectivity).

If you’ve followed my previous post, you just have to update your local git and compile it. If not, or you don’t wanna waste any time, i’ve a precompiled version ready for you.

1) Download image and plug-in.

Download here my OpenELEC RPi PVR image and here for my xbmc-tvheadend-backend-plugin.

2) Installing on SDCard

If you’ve Linux or Mac OS X you just have to:
$ gzip -d r13118.img.gz
$ sudo dd if=r13118.img of=/dev/device bs=1M

Where device is the SDCard path, like disk2 on Mac OS X or sdb on Linux.

If you’ve Windows just follow this guide.

3) Running it…

Unmount SDCard, put it on the Raspberry Pi and turn it on.

4) Copying Tvheadend plugin

Go to your PC and mount Downloads network share of OpenELEC. Now copy Tvheadend file (.zip) given before.

5) Install Tvheadend-plugin

Now on OpenELEC go to System -> Settings -> Add-ons -> Install from zip file

and select the file at Downloads folder. (Home folder -> Downloads).

When installed reboot your RPi.

6)  Configure Tvheadend

After Raspberry Pi rebooted go to your PC browser and enter http://rpi-ip:9981

Go to Configuration -> TV Adapters . Select your DVB USB Device and go to Multiplexes.

Click on “Add mux(es) manually…” and add your DVB frequency (mine’s DVB-T is 754000KHZ). Leave all the rest on Auto. Click on Save changes.
Go to Services and introduce manually channel’s name and click on Save Changes.

You now have configured your channels!
Check at Channels tab.

7) Activate Live TV

On RPi go to System -> Settings -> Live TV and select Enabled.

8) Install Tvheadend client for Live TV

Now go to the main menu and select Live TV. You’ll be guide to install one PVR client, choose Tvheadend client. Go back to Live TV and…

… Watch Live TV!

P.S.: I’ve tried to do with Raspbmc but installing Tvheadend as XBMC plug-in isn’t working atm. I’ve managed to make it work through compilation and make install but we want the more friendly possible, right? 🙂



Filed under Tech

95 responses to “Raspberry Pi – OpenELEC PVR Setup

  1. Alex

    [I’m a noob] what’s the difference between your PVR build, and one obtainable here: http://sources.openelec.tv/tmp/image/openelec-rpi/ . Additionally, can I not install tvheadend from the XBMC menu on my Pi, rather than using the backend plugin you provide?


    • Hi,

      I’m not sure if the build from OpenELEC has already PVR support (i haven’t tested it). If it’s the general build, it hasn’t PVR support (no dvb drivers, no live tv).

      • Alex

        Thanks for the reply. What do you mean by “no dvb drivers”. Are you implying that the drivers are pre-installed, or that SUPPORT for the drivers is pre-installed (since I believe I still have to run apt-get install SOMETHING).
        Also, why can’t I install TVHeadend from the XBMC menu? Why would I use your file (no offence to you, just wondering why your method is better).

      • DVB drivers are guaranteed by media_build. It enables the kernel to recognise DVB devices connected to the RPi. By default OpenELEC don’t have media_build.

        On OpenELEC you don’t have apt-get. OpenELEC is based on Arch Linux, not debian.

        Just on Raspbmc you can’t install tvheadend due to system permissions. Raspbmc default user is pi not root.

        Instead of needing to connect through ssh, download tvheadend source code and run a bunch of code to make it work, you just have to install it through XBMC. Much easier, right? 🙂

  2. Alex

    Right. So when I plug my Wifi adapter/DVB-T tuner into OpenELEC, it automatically recognises and mounts them for me?

    And you can install TVHeadEnd on Raspbmc, btw: http://forum.stmlabs.com/showthread.php?tid=2648

    • Yes that’s it, but for Wifi adapter kernel uses wlan-firmware (already included in OpenELEC).

      I didn’t said it isn’t possible to install Tvheadend on Raspbmc, i said i couldn’t install it as a XBMC plugin. The method described there is exactly what i did. But it isn’t a XBMC plugin.

      • alex

        So I decided to follow your OpenELEC method since my TV tuner didn’t show up in tvheadend using Raspbmc. However, I didn’t get any channels shown, gasp! Also, I could fint anything to click in the “services” tab, although you say to “manually introduce service’s name”. Any ideas on a fix?

      • On Configuration->TV Adapters appears any device on the dropdown box?

  3. alex

    Yes. In openELEC, my device does appear. In raspbmc, my device does NOT appear in Config->TV adapters (but this guide is about OpenELEC 😀 ). My problem in OpenELEC is that after configuring the adapter, no channels show in the “Channels” tab.

  4. paulselby1

    Thanks for the image – I’ve got this installed , tvheadend configured for my tuner , channels and program names viable on xbmc, mpeg4 codec installed .

    The problem is when I select a channel no picture or sound appears – just the program name and how long it’s got left

    Is there something obvious I’ve missed ? I’ve the latest firmware and pretty sure mpeg4 codec is installed as I’ve tried a mp4 file

    Thanks in advance once again !

    • Hi and thanks!

      I don’t know if it’s the same issue i’ve got, but at the first try on Live TV my DVB-T channels were without audio. So I’ve gone to Videos->Add videos and add through Zero conf the TVheadend client. Then i’ve played it (Videos-> Client Tvheadend) and i’ve got sound. Even on Live TV.

  5. João

    boas Tiago,

    Já estas a usar o turbo mode?

    Não usas o raspi-config para configurar o teu openelec?
    nunca o usei mas tinha a ideia que o raspi-config era GUI para configurar o ficheiro de configuração config.txt, confirmas?

    Testei a minha build(r11978) com estes valores:

    Está rapido e agradavel de usar.

    • Viva!

      Só ontem é que tive tempo de verificar que o OpenELEC já suportava através do arm-bootloader. Vou estar por estes dias e depois vou tentar fazer um comparativo com o que era.

      • João

        ou seja, configurando o config.txt, certo?

        a minha utilização do cpu em idle desceu para 60% em boa parte das vezes…

      • Sim através do config.txt. Estou a usar a mesma config que puseste. Ainda não experimentei mais porque li nos fóruns que overvoltage=6 corrompe o cartão SD.

  6. João

    ficou 5 estrelas com estes valores, rapido e tudo….

    • Com a confluence skin e activando o modo de debug, em idle está a 30% de cpu

      • Joao

        esse skin nao é o que vem por defeito?

        tenho pen wifi, isso deve comer o resto dos recursos para chegar dos teus 30 aos meus 60..

        o Quartz deverá ser mais leve..

        com com o turbo é tudo muito fluido.

        tenho uma caixa do ModMyPi, mas está de lado, sou capaz de ter de fazer uns furos extra por causa do calor, o turbo deverá fazer suber um pouco..tenho de ver..

      • Sim é o skin que vem por defeito.
        Pois a pen-wifi deve ocupar alguns recursos, tal como uma dongle bluetooth que já experimentei.

  7. Mario

    The link for OpenELEC RPi PVR image is not working…. please help!!!

  8. Ed

    is there a way to disable pvr support at build?

  9. Ed

    here are my build options PROJECT=RPi ARCH=arm PVR=no and pvr support is still there 😦

  10. Rich

    I’m expecting a .img file, but the link points to

    Unziping that doesn’t contain any .img’s either.

    How should I use that file?



    • It isn’t a .img file, it’s a zipped one.

      Do you have OpenELEC already installed? If you’ve unzip that file and copy all the files on the target directory to the OpenELEC Update network-share directory and reboot RaspberryPi.

      If you haven’t OpenELEC already installed, you’ve to have some linux distro installed (virtual-machine suits just fine) or go to Chris Swan rep here. Don’t download further than r12017 as it may have a libCEC bug where it crashes constantly XBMC.

      • Rich

        Thanks for the prompt reply.

        My Rpi arrived mid-week and the USB tuner arrived about a month ago.

        I hadn’t done enough background reading. I was in too much of a rush to play with it all.

        I spent an hour trying to get Raspbmc to work with the tuner before learning about the problems with IT9315 v2 based devices.

        Googling lead me to your excellent articles.

        I’m using r12039.

        I watched a couple of hours of old videos whilst testing the MPEG codec yesterday and didn’t have any issues with CEC causing instability.

        Which is lucky because the tuner doesn’t work with the r12017 image.

        At the moment, I can….

        Watch TV via the TVHeadEnd web interface on my PC.
        Start a recording on the PC and then immediately start playing it in OpenElec.

        I can’t…
        Enable the PVR in the System Settings menu. The screen goes black before returning to the main menu (restarting?). So I don’t get the ‘Live TV’ option on the main menu.

        If I take the kernel and SYSTEM from the OpenELEC-RPi.arm-devel-*-r12017.tar.bz2 file. I can enable the PVR and do get the ‘Live TV’ option but the tuner doesn’t work because it hasn’t loaded the firmware.

        I need to do alot more reading before asking anymore questions.



      • Mario

        may be I better understood Rich’s request.
        Step 2) Installing on SDCard on linux
        instead of:
        $ sudo dd if=OpenELEC-RPi-PVR-20120909-r11904.img of=/dev/device bs=1M
        it has to be
        – Extract the file into a temp directory
        -cd to the temp directory
        – $ sudo ./create_sdcard /dev/device

  11. Roger

    I have followed your posts with interest. I decided to use your OpenELEC RPi PVR image with the xbmc-tvheadend-backend-plugin. I have the Zolid Mini DVB-T Stick version 2. I also have a mpeg 2 decoder listed in the config.txt file. I have tested the decoder by playing some mpeg 2 files with no problems. The DVB-T stick works well on a Windows XP PC.

    My problem is this: Using the tvheadend-backend-plugin and selecting Configuration/TV Adapters/ Select TV adapter… . There is a very short display of the message ‘Loading’ but no adapter is offered.

    I have tried the stick on the Pi on its own and on a powered usb hub with exactly the same response. I do not think this is a lack of power issue. How can I check the correct DVB-T driver is in use? How should I troubleshoot this?


    • Hi!

      Doing lsusb what output do you’ve? It should show a line with “Zolid Mini DVB-T v2” or something similiar.
      If it’s detected what output does “lsmod” give? It shows it9135 module being used?

      To finish do “modinfo it913x-fe” and give me the output, thanks.

      • Tony

        I encourted the same problem with a Avermedia Avert TV Volar HD USB stick. I think the problem is not related to incompatible hardware but with an uncompatibility between OpenElec build and addon build. It seems kernel version is not the same between the two. I am now trying to compile a complete build in order to test it.

      • Chris Swan has encountered the same error and its due to a faulty compiled version. A clean build resolves the issue. You can download at his site, version 12079 or 12080 should do it.

  12. Roger

    That was a prompt reply.
    Here is the requested output.

    OpenELEC Version: devel-20120925135920-r11999
    OpenELEC git: 34de3a05e332e797ef41a5b6a69f022fae3f92bd
    root@‘s password:
    root ~ # lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:9512 Standard Microsystems Corp.
    Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0424:ec00 Standard Microsystems Corp.
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 048d:9135 Integrated Technology Express, Inc. Zolid Mini DVB-T Stick
    root ~ # lsmod
    Module Size Used by
    root ~ # modinfo it913x-fe
    filename: /lib/modules/3.2.30/updates/media_build/it913x-fe.ko
    license: GPL
    version: 1.15
    author: Malcolm Priestley tvboxspy@gmail.com
    description: it913x Frontend and it9137 tuner
    srcversion: 533BB7E5866E52F63B9ACCB
    vermagic: 3.2.28 preempt mod_unload ARMv6
    parm: debug:set debugging level (1=info (or-able)). (int)
    root ~ #


    • I’m almost 100% certain that it913x-fe version should be 1.28. Are you sure you built it with media_build ?
      Also lsmod should had given some output..

  13. Roger

    I downloaded this file from this site ‘openelec-rpi.arm-devel-20120925135920-r11999.tar.bz2’. Then used Vmware with Ubuntu 32bit 12.04 to create the image on a Sdcard with these instructions in terminal:
    $cd /home/roger/Downloads
    $tar xvf OpenELEC-RPi.arm-devel.tar.bz2
    $cd /home/roger/Downloads/OpenELEC-RPi.arm-devel
    $sudo ./create_sdcard /dev/sdb


  14. panis

    Is there a chance to get my Hauppauge Nova-T USB-Stick working with openelec-rpi?
    linuxtv.org sais it’s supported since kernel 2.6.19.

  15. oskreso

    I’ve managed to install DVB-S2 USB receiver but HD picture is jerky.
    mkv HD Pi plays perfectly.
    Any advice?

    • Hi! I’d never had the chance to test DVB-S2 USB receiver, but shouldn’t be jerky.. What device is it?

      • oskreso

        I am using technotrend s2-3600 usb receiver. I am able to scan channels, but HD is jerky. I didn’t buy licence for mpeg2 so I don’t know how it’s working with SD picture. I have installed your r19999.

      • oskreso

        my goal is to make PI with DVB-S2 tuner as dreambox.
        I think that the problem is in fact that PI does software decoding of mpeg4 frames, and not hardware decoding.

      • All your sat channels aren’t encoded with MPEG2?
        If that were true, i couldn’t either decode DVB-T MPEG4 channels, but it does..

  16. oskreso

    SD channels are encoded with mpeg2 and HD channels are encoded with MPEG4 (h.264). And I want to watch only HD channels.

  17. oskreso

    it seems that my dvb-s2 tuner is not working fine under linux

  18. Hi.
    I am having problems when tvheadend recognizing the tv adapter.
    In that stage, the tvheadend web shows no tv-adapters at all.

    I have test it with two different usb devices (both of them working under ubuntu).

    Here is a dmesg output:
    [ 364.220662] usb 1-1.2.2: USB disconnect, device number 6
    [ 391.338739] usb 1-1.2.2: new full-speed USB device number 9 using dwc_otg
    [ 391.498626] usb 1-1.2.2: new high-speed USB device number 10 using dwc_otg
    [ 391.610690] usb 1-1.2.2: New USB device found, idVendor=1d19, idProduct=1102
    [ 391.610722] usb 1-1.2.2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
    [ 391.610739] usb 1-1.2.2: Product: Rtl2832UDVB
    [ 391.610751] usb 1-1.2.2: Manufacturer: Realtek
    [ 391.610764] usb 1-1.2.2: SerialNumber: 1

    What am I doing wrong?
    Thanks in advance

  19. eyeamok

    Any chance of including drivers for Genpix Skywalker DVB-S USB , or a new Media_Build with drivers included?? I am running Generic version, I can compile it myself if I had the proper media_build with the gp8psk drivers. And yes I built a version with saraev’s media_build and it works for my Fusion dvb-s but not Genpix.

  20. I am trying now your image and TVheadend file. To get used to the PVR/tvheadend addon. but download is a little bit slow. ~25k for the 85MiB 😦 why not torrenting it or upping on sourceforge/etc… ??

    • Files are allocated on Dropbox and i’ve never experienced low rates on it. I’ll consider your opinion to the latest builds. I’m just waiting to see how to patch media_build to latest kernel 3.6.x.

  21. Raul Silva

    Segui (+-) o teu tutorial, como tenho windos no pc acabei por utilizar esta imagem: openelec-rpi.arm-devel-20120925135920-r11999
    Comprei uma placa tdt igual à tua, mas acabei por utilizar outra que tinha aqui em casa(MobiDTV Pro – Realtek DVB-T RTL2832), e funcionou!
    No entanto, apenas funciona no primeiro canal que selecciono, basta mudar de canal uma vez e dá barraca, nunca mais consigo ver um canal (só fazendo reboot…), no system log do HTS Tvheadend ( obtenho a seguinte mensgem:
    HTS Tvheadend 02 21:53:05 subscription: “ [ XBMC Media Center ]” subscribing on “SIC”, weight: 150, adapter: “Realtek DVB-T RTL2832”, network: “TDT Continente”, mux: “TDT Continente: 754,000 kHz”, provider: “”, service: “SIC”, quality: 100
    Nov 02 21:53:23 htsp: [ XBMC Media Center ]: Disconnected
    Nov 02 21:53:23 subscription: “ [ XBMC Media Center ]” unsubscribing from “SIC”
    Nov 02 21:53:23 htsp: [ XBMC Media Center ]: Write error — Success

    Alguma pista?

    • Raul Silva

      I’ve managed to get it work with r11930.img and service.multimedia.hts-tvheadend-2.1.5.zip.
      Everything works nice, but on live tv sometimes I see artifacts on parts of the image, like scanlines, especialy on imagages with fast panning.
      Is there progressive/interlaced settings on OpenElec?

      • Viva,

        Não me parece que para já o progressive/interlaced esteja a funcionar com o stream através do DVB-T. Irei fazer upload brevemente de uma nova build com uma nova versão do media_build.

  22. eyeamok

    I see there is a new media_build on saraev’s site, I built a generic version with the new file without editing options for “additional drivers” and it built fine, however still no Genpix. If I change the additional drivers line it errors out on error 127. Would love to genpix working in this.

  23. kaneco

    First of all let me say great work tpires.

    I’am a “noob in this matter” Can anyone please let me know if is possible to buy a hybrid usb tv tuner “Analog to work with meo and zon providers and digital work with mpeg 4 decoder for Portugal TDT” on the raspbery PI with openelec or other distro working on raspbery PI? the idea is to work with XCMC to play files like mp3 and AVI MKV and working as a PVR and also to record in to USB device or assist TV from the to system Analog and TDT.

    Thank you in advance for your reply

    Best regards

    • Hi and thanks.

      I guess what you’re looking for is a DVB-C and DVB-T device. I don’t know any but i will look into it.

      • kaneco

        Hello tpires

        No I’m not lokking for a DVB-C and a DVB-T device, what I want is a analog and a DVB-T receiver because the signal given by the services provider to connect directly to TV without a box is analog and the idea is to use the raspi to play media files and watch tv from analog and TDT

        Thank you and best regards

  24. Hi i use a OpenElec for RPi (OpenELEC 3.0 (Beta 5) – 2.95.5 – arm) with DVB-T Win TV NOVA – T, for see a TV..But i have a problem….: I use TV Headend Serivice and from web control i configure my device (is seen as DiBcom DiB7000) , and work fine! From web i can see a TV and it’s all ok. But if i try to see a TV from my xmbc RPi with liveTV i see a list of all channels and a EPG , but if i select any channel does not appear a video and i not hear a sound….If i try from Videos->Add videos and add through Zero conf the TVheadend client, I hear the sound, but not see the video…Any Idea?

  25. Peter Hughes

    I cannot get PVR to work. I get either “PVR not connected” or “No PVR client started”. I’ve spent days going around in circles reading installation guides, OPENELEC posts, … with no luck. It simply doesn’t work. I have the latest release of OPENELEC installed on the Raspberry PI. Help – is there someone who has PVR working? What are the configuration parameters … where is there a guide based on a working installation?

  26. Hi there,
    any chance of getting TBS-5680 support? I tried it several times, but it’s not working with any of the images I tried.

    lsusb showes the device:
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 734c:5680 TBS Technologies China

    But that’s it. lsmod does not show the module.

    I build a new image with these drivers http://www.tbsdtv.com/download/#tbs5680
    No chance. Ubuntu is working well with it.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi there!

      do you see any message if you do “dmesg | grep dvb-usb” ?
      how did you build the new image with these drivers?

      • No nothing with “dmesg | grep dvb-usb”

        Sorry mixed it up. Tried compiling them into raspbmc which didn’t work as well. Trying at the moment to build openelec with linux-tbs-drivers put into options file. Does anybody here have such an image around?

        Thanks for your help.

  27. Son derece işe yarar bilgiler hocam teşekkürler.

  28. Angel

    Hallo, I downloaded your build and installed , I installed the plugin and pvr tvheadend , on my browser i did,
    on tv adapter, i do ot see mine 😦 , I have a eyetv ddt elgato , i thought drivers were including in this compilation, or I did something wrong ?

  29. Angel

    update , i did dmesg on pi and i see this , [ 2.274155] smsc95xx 1-1.1:1.0: eth0: register ‘smsc95xx’ at usb-bcm2708_usb-1.1, smsc95xx USB 2.0 Ethernet, b8:27:eb:6e:4a:98
    [ 2.368746] usb 1-1.3: new high-speed USB device number 4 using dwc_otg
    [ 2.470764] usb 1-1.3: New USB device found, idVendor=0fd9, idProduct=0018
    [ 2.470797] usb 1-1.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=1, SerialNumber=2
    [ 2.470815] usb 1-1.3: Product: EyeTV Hybrid
    [ 2.470829] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: Elgato
    but on hts tvheadend configuration, tv adapters , I don’t see mine.
    Help please .

  30. Angel

    Hi, If I use dmesg | grep dvb-usb, I get nothing , any idea ?

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