I’ve wasted a few hours today trying to get my WinTV PVR250 working under Fedora5. Well, I got a picture and sound a couple of times, but it turns out that old Greivous' chipset (KT266) is one of those blacklisted for not being able to cope with the DMA traffic from a PVR card, explaining all the crashes and no signal when I was trying to use the card.

dmesg shows “ivtv0 warning: IRQ: IVTV_IRQ_DEC_DMA_ERR” and “ivtv0 warning: invalid api mailbox”.

I wired the PVR250 up to the Sky box using a SVHS+3.5mm to SCART+phono adaptor instead of trying to get the tuner to work, which is why it worked better than off the tuner in Gloucester.

So now I have a few choices:

  1. put the PVR250 card into Goliath and run it under Windows, cabling will be an issue there.

  2. swap Greivous and Goliath, i.e. put Windows on the Athlon 1.4 with VIA chipset and put Linux on the AthlonXP 2.4 with NForce chipset, which could work as I rarely use Windows these days, although it is a bit of overkill for a fileserver/PVR box.

  3. replace the motherboard+CPU+RAM in Greivous, gaining things like onboard SATA, gigabit, USB2 and Firewire – all of which are PCI cards in Greivous, which doesn’t help with IRQ sharing. I guess I could get a cheap Sempron64 combo, gaining 64-Bit to play with. Downside is more money spent, and a motherboard+CPU+RAM going spare.

I’ll probably go with option 4 – forget it, or maybe try the WinFast2000 card I have.