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This documentation corresponds to ZapDvb version 0.49-0 (November 2005)

 Site Map (Some Documentation is still under Construction)

ZapDvb WEB Site    ZapDvb News (Internet)
 Download Page (Internet)
 Old documentation: ZapDvb 0.20 (Internet) (Local)
README Files    Overview and Introduction
 Installation and Configuration
 The zapdvb.conf File
 How to obtain Channel Lists
 Building your own Set-top Box
More Documentation    Getting Started, using the GUI
 Recording Video and Audio Streams
 Using the MPEG Editor
 Handling Video Aspects - View Modes
 Multiple Users - Family Mode
 Working in Remote Mode
 Concepts and Technical Details
Command Line Tools    zapdvb - DVB tuning and data stream extraction
 zapcvt - Conversion and Editing application
 zapgop - GUI helper application
 zapmcc - The Media Control Center
 setup - The Setup and Maintenance Tool

 What is ZapDvb?

ZapDvb is a software solution for DVB radio and television (sat, cable and terrestrial) that covers life viewing (or listening), various types of recording, lossless and fast MPEG II video editing and the integration of player tools to play previously recorded material or CDs and DVDs. ZapDvb includes a simple GUI that integrates it with KDE or GNOME. Recommended players are MPlayer and mpg123. Others like Xine and Kaffeine are supported. ZapDvb itself does not include a player!

You will also need a DVB card for life DVB viewing (or listening) and recording. A working version of the drivers must be installed. Even the current (still preliminary) documentation contains a lot of information on technical details and how to install or configure player software or the drivers.

This software is very easy to install or to compile! It does not depend on lots of strange packets (because the players are not part of ZapDvb itself). SuSE 9.1 ... SuSE 9.3 users can install the provided RPM, the SuSE DVDs contain all other required packages. ZapDvb was also tested on Debian Sarge and Knoppix. For these systems deb packages are provided.
SuSE 9.1 Remark #1: the DVB drivers that came with 9.1 are outdated and do not support some DVB cards.
SuSE 9.1 Remark #2: the Xine version the came with 9.1 is outdated. Get something newer or try MPlayer.
SuSE 9.3 Remark #3: the original DVD came without MPEG or MP3 support, updates are available via SuSE or Packman.
Debian (Testing): Patch suspend2 into the 2.6.14 kernel - save to disk is becomming usable (cifs gets broken by this).

 General Information, KDE Integration

ZapDvb is an integration tool that lets you build Media Control Center solutions (see zapmcc) that scale from server functionality over workstation usage to a set-top box application. It makes use of well known tools where ever it can and does not try to reinvent the wheel. The whole thing is scriptable and there is no monster GUI application. A couple of command lines tools are available (and are internally used), but as a KDE integration is provided, these are usually not visible to the user. KDE users will find some .desktop files to run ZapDvb tools or zapmcc in the KDE Multimedia Menu. Running in set-top box mode should make the application and your system child safe. A family mode supports using ZapDvb from multiple accounts while minimising conflicts between users.

Currently there are two restrictions: (1) there exists some documentation but not yet enough and (2) the GUI is currently based on kdialog and not very comfortable - although all important functions can be used via this GUI. Future releases will contain improvements for both points.

 Download and Installation

See the Download Page for the sources and/or the binaries for SuSE 9.x or Debian/Knoppix. Modem or ISDN users will be lucky, as the downloads files are quite small (typically around 300 kBytes).

The process of build, installation and configuration is described in detail in a set of essential HTML documents - see README. Starting with version 0.50 the user level documentation will come as an optional package (to reduce the download size).

 Command Line Tools

Currently ZapDvb contains three important command line utilities:

Internally the following additional tools are used: zapdvb_cut (MPEG Editor), zapdvb_job (Managing atd and cron Jobs) and zapdvb_box (Set-top Box Startup). There is no need to call the internal tools directly, see zapmcc. For historic reasons there is a tool called zapcut, which is compatible to the 0.2x versions of ZapDvb (zapcut will be removed from future versions of this software).