mplayerTV manual

Péter Ivanov


Table of Contents
1. Installation
2. Configuration
2.1. Video
2.2. Channels
2.3. General
2.4. Filters
2.4.1. Postprocessing filter
2.4.2. Denoise and HQDenoise
2.4.3. Equalizer and Equalizer 2
3. Using

1. Installation

You need these packages: if your system is debian: perl, perl-modules, libmplayer-perl (if the mplayertv.*deb was installed). On RPM based systems: perl-Gtk2, perl-Glib, perl-ExtUtils-Depends, perl-ExtUtils-PkgConfig. Downloadable at You need also mplayer and scantv. scantv is part of xawtv. Compile mplayer with v4l, v4l2 or with bsdbt848 driver.

Unpack file mplayerTV-0.2.1rc1.tar.gz then run install script:

tar -xvzf mplayerTV-0.2.1rc1.tar.gz
cd mplayerTV-0.2.1rc1

Under Debian run these commands as root:

dpkg -i mplayertv_0.2.1rc1-1_all.deb libmplayer-perl_0.04-1_all.deb

2. Configuration

Choice File->Configuration menu and set followings on Video page:

2.1. Video

TV driver

If you have Linux kernel version 2.4 or older then you can use v4l driver. If you have version 2.6 you can use v4l2 driver. You can use the dummy driver for testing.

Under BSD systems you can use the bsdbt848 driver (not tested yet).

TV device

Name of the tuner device (optional). The default is /dev/video.

Video output driver

Used for showing video. The good choices are: xv, gl2, sdl (or the driver what you use in mplayer :).

Video output subdriver

You can select a subdriver of output driver.

Output format of tuner

In some cases you need to change the output format of the tuner. Example: i420 for Pinnacle PCTV USB2 tuner.


Norm of TV broadcast: PAL (Europe), SECAM, NTSC (USA, Japan), etc.


You can select the input of the tuner card. Typical inputs are: #0 Television, #1 Composite, #2 S-Video. The mplayerTV gives only a number to mplayer (0, 1 or 2) and the sequence can change.


Ratio of picture: 4:3 or 16:9. The default ratio is 4:3.

Channel list

The list of channel frequencies. In Hungary: europe-east.


If enabled the On-Screen-Display is on when mplayer is starting. If mplayer is running you can switch on and off with 'o' key.

Start in full screen

If enabled the mplayer starts in full screen mode. If mplayer is running you can switch on and off with 'f' key.

Capture size

The size of picture captured by tuner. The default is 768x576.

2.2. Channels

You can scan for channels on Channels page now. Click to Scan button. If program exits you maybe see some channel names.

Name, Channel

Click to a name of channel and you will see the channel number on the right side.

Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Volume

There is five parameter per each channel: brightness, contrast, hue, saturation and volume.

You must click to Modify button to store new settings. The selected channel will be deleted if you click to Delete button. With New button you can add a new element to the list. You can move up and down the selected channel if you click to Up or Down button. When mplayer is running and you click to a channel name then mplayerTV changes channel but the settings will be applied after using Save button.

2.3. General

The Pre-exec command will be executed before mplayer. The Post-exec command will be executed after mplayer exits.

You can set the path of Terminal on the General page. But it is unnecessary if the environment variable PATH is OK. The default terminal emulator is xterm. Warning! The x-terminal-emulator does not work if it is linked to gnome-terminal. gnome-terminal is not xterm compatible. In this case set it to gnome-terminal.

2.4. Filters

You can set parameters of video filters on Filters page. The default settings are good in most cases. You can switch on a filter with the Activate this filter checkbox. Some of them eats the CPU time (denoise3d and hqdenoise3d). So do not activate all of them except you have a mainframe.

2.4.1. Postprocessing filter

Most of filters have a local menu in this page. You can activate the local menu with right-click. The Auto off: The mplayer automatically switch off a filter if CPU is too slow. The Chroma filtering: Do chrominance filtering (The default is on).

A deblock és dering szűrők igazából csak az MPEG2-es formátumban (kis sávszélességgel) sugárzott adásoknál lehet lényeges, ahol gyors mozgásoknál négyzeteket lehet látni. I think the Linear blend deinterlacel is the best deinterlacer. Another good filter is the Temporal noise reducer.

2.4.2. Denoise and HQDenoise

Another temporal noise reducer but these eat more CPU.

2.4.3. Equalizer and Equalizer 2

Switch on one of them if your video output driver does not support the contrast and brightness changing. Equalizer 2 is slower than equalizer but eq2 support gamma.

If you want set different brightness and contrast per channel and your does not support you must switch on one of them.

3. Using

You can run this program with following switches:


Run immediately mplayer.


Show a brief help.


Show program version and release date.


Show copyright informations.


Run program in verbose mode (for debugging).


Run program in very verbose mode (for debugging).

Using mplayer (the defaults): Use 'f' for toggling fullscreen mode, 'q' for quit. If the audio is captured from tuner you can use the '/' and '*' keys for changing volume. You can change the contrast with '1' and '2', the brightness with '3' and '4', hue with '5' and '6' and saturation with '7' and '8'.

See mplayer's manual for further informations.