June 30, 2016 - Mauro Carvalho Chehab
Kaffeine 2.0.4 Released, Includes Major Improvements for Digital TV
Kaffeine version 2.0.4 has been released today, substantially improving its already excellent Digital TV (DTV) support!
Update: tarball is now available at: http://download.kde.org/stable/kaffeine/2.0.4/src/kaffeine-2.0.4.tar.xz
While version 2.0.4 was meant to solve several bugs reported via the project’s bug tracker, it offers a lot more:
DVB-S/S2 Kaffeine improvements
Kaffeine now supports the ability to select the Low Noise Blockdown feedhorn (LNBf) among a list of other LNB features used on Digital TV. This list comes from libdvbv5, which provides the backend to setup a satellite configuration.
Other Network Information Table Scans
Digital TV relies on physical transponders to transmit a signal, and each transponder can carry multiple channels. There’s a special table in the MPEG transport stream that’s responsible for listing the other transponders associated with a given transmission that belong to the same network provider. This table is called the Network Information Table (NIT). Sometimes, there are multiple tables on an MPEG stream; these other tables point to networks that are meant to be associated with different network providers.
Yet on DVB-C, several cable operators use the NIT to identify regions of service; each region has its own separate network identifier. Specifically, the broadcaster sometimes uses multiple NITs by default on DVB-C. Kaffeine seeks only the main table to speed up the scanning process; however, a new option was added to version 2.0.4 to allow the use of other NIT tables.
Improved Electronic Program Guide Parser
There were several reported issues related to Kaffeine’s Electronic Program Guide (EPG) parser; Kaffeine version 2.0.4 received some care on its EPG code. Now, it’s possible to check for troubles in EPG by using the “–debug” option. Kaffeine now also allows for existing content descriptors to be extended while parsing the EPG table instead of replacing them. This seems to fix issues where multiple descriptors were adding text to existing entries. Two new descriptors are now parsed as well, providing descriptions about the genre of the TV show and how it is rated. Parsers for both DVB and ISDB-Tb descriptors have been added.
Revamped Bar Gauge While Scanning Channels in Kaffeine
Kaffeine 2.0.4 comes with a revamped bar gauge that will now show the signal strength in dBµV and the Signal to Noise ratio in dB. Support for a percentage is still kept as it depends on whether or not the Kernel driver supports the DVBv5 statistics API. The gauge scale was also changed to better reflect the signal quality, the more green the gauge, the better quality the signal has.
Thanks to Burkhard Lück from KDE documentation, Kaffeine 2.0.4 has also added man pages and a handbook that’s accessible via the F1 key. The documentation is still in its early stages, but it should be enough to help newcomers learn how to use Kaffeine. Additionally, some “what’s this” helper text has been added to the buttons on the main screen.
I hope you’ll all enjoy the new Kaffeine features, it’s been a great experience improving Kaffeine’s DTV support! Feel free also to contribute to improve Kaffeine, by sending us patches adding new features to email@example.com.
Stay tunned for more improvements.
About Mauro Carvalho Chehab
Mauro is the upstream maintainer of the Linux kernel media and EDAC subsystems, and also a major contributor for the Reliability Availability and Serviceability (RAS) subsystems. Mauro also maintains Tizen on Yocto packages upstream. He works for the Samsung Open Source Group since 2013. Has worked during 5 years at the Red Hat RHEL Kernel team, having broad experience in telecommunications due to his work at some of the Brazilian largest wired and wireless carriers.
Image Credits: Sparkle Motion (CC-BY-2.0)