What does the TV program do?

I have always asked myself what’s the purpose of the TV program in Haiku, i tried multiple USB TV Tuner cards and SDR sticks but nothing works, and even tried some capture cards but nothing changed. So what does the TV program do?


If you have a compatible tuner card, it can show TV.

I believe the only drivers available are on 32 bit systems, by using binary drivers from BeOS for Bt848/Bt878, some exceptionally ATI All-In-Wonders, one model of DVB-T card and one model of DVB-S card; both of which are MPEG2 only and basically useless now - even where I live that still uses DVB-T every channel is MPEG4.

1 Like

Actually haiku has no support for the BT8xx driver, the only driver it supports is the cx23882, and the tv app is a digital tv only, DVB-S & DVB-T if i’m not mistaking.

1 Like

The driver did work, on 32 bit only, if you took it from BeOS.

I can’t test it any further as I disposed of my tuner card - there are no analogue signals here and my main PC hasn’t got any PCI slots either.

Ah, i see, i was referring to what haiku officially supports.

I wonder if IPTV support could be added to this application? There are a few public domain tv stations that could be included by default.


At this point, IDK why the TV app is still in Haiku. Unless it’s repruposed for IPTV, then it could prolly just be something that can be removed from the ISO without much consequence. Maybe just have it in HaikuDepot for 32-bit systems, in case there are a few people still able to use it.


Let’s just move it into Haiku Archives for those that need it.


To be honest, I don’t see, as a user, the interest of Playground app either. I guess that for devs interested in such apps, the code can be used as basic demo to learn how to do things. In this case, being in the tree makes it more accessible. Moving those in Archives, wouldn’t free a lot of place on install media anyway. Does it really worth the effort?

At least that one works, contrary to the TV app…

Yeah! Why not add IPTV support?

Oh ok. Well why not add RTL SDR support to the TV app as well? There already is the rtl_sdr package in HaikuDepot

1 Like

Developers’ time is limited and therefore usually spend on other, more important things. But maybe a developer wants to do this. Or maybe you can do it?

It will only save a few KB, but presenting a well-curated application list to the user is more import I guess. See macOS for this, all the applications are top-grade UX-wise.

1 Like

You’re right

If i could have done it, i would have already done it.

Indeed, what it needs is some devs interested in the subject. Though, I think that interest in TV apps has globally falling down since apparition of DVB even on other OS. 20 years ago, on windows and linux, there were plenty of TV apps; some with not so hidden descrambling capabilities. Someone remembers BePremiere Cortex add-on, for example? There were a lot of TV schedule programs (I tested and made French translations for few of those.) and home theatre apps as well, most of them disappeared or are not maintained.
This said even on BeOS, I rarely used bundled TV app, I had a BT878 PCI card and was using StampTV.

Pretty much everybody I know primarily uses Netflix or other streaming services these days, or they have a local Plex server, rather than streaming live TV.

Sadly, without hardware accelerated video decoding, a hypothetical Haiku Plex client or any other 1080p+ playback video app probably wouldn’t be super useful. And no Haiku drivers implement support for hardware accelerated video decoding yet.


Even with hardware decoding acceleration you sadly won’t be able watch most streaming services on Haiku since they rely on DRM programs like Widevine.

Probably the best it could be done is to run Kodi distros like LibreELEC on a virtual machine or someone writing a complete enough linux compatibility layer to run a web browser like Firefox and the linux variant of Widevine on it, like the people on the BSD world do it.

I used to use this on BeOS to record TV shows all the time. My (Riva Tnt??) Video card had a coax input so you could just plug in your cable like it was a TV and you could watch and record TV- it was great and unheard of on other platforms at the time.


Among the wrong uses that I made of TV cards, this was clearly the most crazy.
My neighbour was crossing the hall with his Playstation and, we were plugging in it to the video entries of the TV card via an adapter, so we can play Madden. Not one vs one but, each a half time. Of course, we tried also other games but it was the most fun. We even won few seasons playing with Packers IIRC. :smiley:

The goal of Haiku is to replicate BeOS R5. BeOS had a TV app so Haiku also has one.

That’s the one and only reason. No one cares about it otherwise. But changing this goal is a can of worms no one wants to open either. So, it stays that way.

I have some USB DVB-T receivers here. Not sure if any of them are up to date for MPEG4 reception, and I don’t watch any TV at all anyways, so I have zero interest in fixing this app.

We should probably add a warning message at app start like there is in CodyCam. “You need a supported TV capture card to use this app”. That will remove the forum threads and discussions about it and most of the confusion.

Maybe we could also write something about that in the userguide.

Apparently, from the team who would prefer to remove it, no one has yet attempted to submit a patch to do so. I think it would be easy to move it to the haiku_extras package which is what we’ve already done for a few other things.