The primary goal of the IvTV Project is to create a kernel driver for the iTVC15 family of MPEG codecs. The iTVC15 family includes the iTVC15 (CX24315) and iTVC16 (CX24316). These chips are commonly found on Hauppauge's WinTV PVR 150/250/350/500 model TV capture cards. More supported cards can be found at their wiki.
Much of the earlier work on these drivers was done by Chris Kennedy, a large amount of work was then done by Hans Verkuil and as of New Year's Eve 2010, the official maintainership of the ivtv driver was passed to regular contributor Andy Walls. The driver is now in included in the mainstream Linux kernel, with some earlier versions being minimally maintained for users in specifically limited situations.
Video Compression Settings
Settings->TV Settings->Recording Profiles->MPEG-2 Encoders (PVR-250, PVR-350)-> Default->Video Compression settings
The default is MPEG-2 PS. Some of the other options are MPEG-2 TS, MPEG-1 VCD, PES AV, PES V, PES A, DVD, DVD Special 1, DVD Special 2.
MPEG-1 PS and TS are the standard program and transport streams, respectively. MPEG-1 VCD is mpeg1 compression and will give a VCD compliant stream when used in combination with the proper resolution and bitrate settings. DVD and DVD Special 2 are DVD compliant mpeg2 streams which will give an mpeg2 stream which doesn't need to be replexed when it's in a compliant resolution and bitrate. DVD Special 2 is the streamtype MS MCE uses and therefore should be the one the firmware is optimised for.
Note: with ivtv 0.7 series and svn -head (as of 2-8-07), using MPEG-2 TS with pvr150 results in "Error: select timeout - ivtv driver has stopped responding", with myth failing to record from the card properly. MPEG-2 PS seems to work fine, however.
Any IVTV Device
My console/log is full of messages about IVTV DMA errors and some of my recordings are truncated!
This is an IVTV problem. Some motherboard chipsets apparently don't respond correctly to DMA resets. The search for a solution is ongoing. See the IVTV mailing list (http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/ivtv/) for details.
This problem appears to be fixed in 2.6.24 kernels (or the ivtv drivers included with this kernel.) If you can't wait for 2.6.24 the 2.6.24-rc5 prepatch has the updated drivers, but it is still considered a prepatch that may contain other bugs. Those with older kernels can download the driver from the IVTV site. More on the problem can be found in this thread.
I upgraded my ivtv drivers to the latest version and now I can't record anything.
In newer versions of the ivtv drivers, namely 0.4.1 and above, the tuner name has changed from Tuner 0 to Tuner. This means that your existing card configuration in MythTV is no longer valid. The easiest way to fix this is to delete all your card data in mythtv-setup and set your cards up again and make sure to redo the Input Connections screen.