Configuring Avicap

docu by: Alexander Rawass (
if anyone can write a better documentation - please do it and tell me

To configure Avicap, press the right mouse button and select 'Configure' from the pop-up menu.

If overlay mode is enabled, the overlay TV-picture may be drawn above the menues, so can't read/use them.
Best is, to go to the very right of the TV-window and click right mouse there, so the menu will pop up beside the TV window.

The configure dialog will show these Tabs:

Directory Pool

The direcory pool is a list of directories, where you want Avicap to save your recordings.

Enter the name of a directory and select, how much space should be always free on this device, then click 'add'

The directory will be shown in the Direcory pool table, along with the keep-free setting and the currently free disk space.

You can enable or disable each entry per checkbox, disabled entries will not be used for saving.

With these checkboxes, you can easilty disable a directory for now and turn it on back later.

To actually use the DirPool feature, you have to learn about the 'special way' Avicap uses to select how your files are named, and in which dir they go:

Naming your files

Avicap saves files in different ways, depending on the way you name them (either in the Configure/File/File Destionation dialog or in the Timertable/Filename entry:

If you use absolute or relative paths, the dirpool doesn't get used and Avicap also doesn't check for free space on disk or segements to different directory

When you use the dirpool, avicap will try to find a directory with enough free space and then segments there.

It is recommended to not use absolute/relative paths at all.

How Avicap finds the 'best' directory

Avicap will select the directory from the dirpool as 'best' , where Avicap has the most free space to write to.

Avicap respect the 'keep free' setting, and will stop recording into that directory if the 'keep free' limit is reached.
Avicap will then try to select another dir from the dirpool, and continue the current recording by segmenting it.

<noy yet> If Avicap cannot find free space anymore, avicap will abort the current recording and disable all other recordings, then it will go into shutdown (if selected).

Password Lock

The password lock is a feature for parents, who don't have the time to care about their children and simply park them before the TV (or rather Avicap), so they don't have to communicate with their children.

If you don't want to care what your children are watching, or if you have better things to do than be with your children, you can use the password lock to simply forbid your children to watch any TV shows you don't like them to watch.

Setting up your unix system for use with password lock

First, you need separate accounts for parent 'parent' and child 'child'.

Install avicap as root like you normally do.

Now change the owner of your /dev/video device to 'parent' and make sure that your children have no access to /dev/video at all.

Then make sure that the home dir of 'parent', the dir ~parent/.avm and especially the files
~parent/.avm/default and ~parent/.avm/avicap-regexps
are not readable (or writable) for your children.

Then change (as root) the owner of the avicap binary (usually /usr/local/bin/avicap ) to 'parent' and set the setuid-bit on the binary.

That way, when avicap is started, it runs as user 'parent'

Now start avicap as parent.

Go to config/others and do 'Set Password'

You get prompted for a password, enter it twice and click the button.

Then click 'press to lock'.

After that, Avicap will get locked, with those effects:
Your children can now use Avicap to watch TV, but it is not possible for them to switch to a blocked channel.

WARNING: the timertable has still full access to all channels YET!!

You have to have a valid EPG provier, you should have sensible regexps for blocking, and you should make sure that the epg xml date is updated at least every day.

If the epg data doesn't get updated, or if avicap cannot find the epg xml file, the lock will not be able to block channels any more.

Make also sure that your children also cannot read/write the epg xml data and the nxtvepg data directory etc

Security thoughts:
If you've got ideas to improve security or a flaw in the password lock feature, tell us.