TVHeadend Configuration

The installation of TVHeadend includes these four steps:

  1. Installation of the kernel drivers for the TV hardware (your USB TV stick)
  2. Installation of the hardware (plugging in your USB TV stick)
  3. Installation of the TVHeadend app
  4. Configuration of the TVHeadend app

Please make sure to follow the steps in this order, especially do not plug in the USB TV stick before installing the kernel drivers.

1. Kernel Driver Installation

If you haven’t already done so, go to the RNX Kernelmods app page, check out the free add-on for your ReadyNAS and download the package matching your ReadyNAS OS release. A matrix telling you what kernel driver package is to be used for your ReadyNAS OS release is available on the kernel driver’s add-on page.

Please note that the kernel drivers package will not show up on the “Installed Apps” page of the ReadyNAS Web UI.

Also make sure that your USB TV stick is actually supported. Please check with the LinuxTV Hardware Driver List in the DVB section and double-check with the list of drivers not included in the RNX Kernelmods package.

2. Hardware Installation

If your USB TV stick should be supported and once you have the RXN Kernelmods package installed you can plug the USB stick into a free USB port of your ReadyNAS. If you have SSH access to the command line of your ReadyNAS you can verify a successful detection of your hardware by running the command “dmesg”. At the end of the output displayed you should see some statements similar to these:

drxk: DRXK driver version 0.9.4300
drxk: frontend initialized.
tda18271 8-0060: creating new instance
TDA18271HD/C2 detected @ 8-0060
DVB: registering new adapter (em2884 #0)
usb 2-4: DVB: registering adapter 0 frontend 0 (DRXK DVB)
em2884 #0: DVB extension successfully initialized
em28xx: Registered (Em28xx dvb Extension) extension

The important part is the line where it says “DVB: registering adapter 0 frontend 0…”. The name of the actual adapter and the drivers loaded may differ depending on the USB stick used.
If you’re seeing a line saying something like “Missing firmware <some filename>” or “Unable to load firmware <some filename>” then please let me know the exact name of the firmware file given so I can hunt it down and include it in an updated RNX Kernelmods package.

3. TVHeadend Installation

If your USB TV stick was porperly detected you can now install the TVHeadend app on your ReadyNAS. Please note that the app will not start automatically. This was done on purpose to prevent accidental start-up of the app with no USB stick attached to the ReadyNAS. So after installation please refresh the Apps screen of the ReadyNAS Web UI and start TVHeadend manually.

There is a known bug that will cause TVHeadend to sometimes exit shortly after the first start. So please wait for about 10 to 20 seconds after starting the application and then refresh the apps page. If the TVHeadend app is showing as “OFF” then simply start it again. It should stay on this time.

You can now start the configuration by clicking the “Launch” button.

4. TVHeadend Configuration

All configuration for TVHeadend is done through the app’s web interface. Unfortunately the process is not straight forward and may require some experimenting.

After firing up the web interface, you need to log in using “admin/netgear1” as your credentials. Next, first click on “Configuration” to open the configuration sub menu:


The next step is to check that your USB TV stick is actually detected by TVHeadend. To verify this click on the “DVB Inputs” tab. This will open another sub menu where your TV stick should be listed. If it is, fine. But please refrain from enabling it just yet.


Instead you need to set up your network and channels first. If you’re receiving unencrypted channels only then you can head directly to the “Networks” tab. If, however, you need to set up a connection to a Smart Card Server you should visit the “CAs” tab first and add an entry for your Smart Card Server.


How to set up and access a Smart Card Server is beyond the scope of this document but there’s a whole wealth of information to be found on Google covering this topic. Once you have set up your CAs or in case you don’t need to, you can head over to the “Networks” tab and start adding TV networks.


The first thing to do there is to choose your network type. This is either IPTV for IP based television, ATSC for North America and Canada and one of the DVB-type standards for pretty much the rest of the world except South America, China, Japan and Botswana. Those countries use ISDB-T which is not supported by TVHeadend.

After selecting the type of network you’ll be presented with a form where you can give your new network a name and optionally select from some predefined lists of providers or satellites. Here are some examples for DVB-S, ATSC and DVB-C (from left to right):


If there’s no predefined set of satellites or providers for your location, make sure to untick the “Skip Initial Scan” checkbox on the input form:


After saving the new network definition you need to attach it to your TV adapter. So now change to the “TV adapters” tab and click on the card displayed there. You’ll get another input form where you can enable the adapter and select the network you just defined from the “Networks” drop down menu. If EPG information is sent over the air in your region, tick the corresponding checkbox as well.


The “Inital Scan” and “Idle Scan” settings on that form are flags which determine whether the use of these functions is actually allowed on this adapter. Best is to leave them ticked.

After saving your settings open the adapter again to check whether the network information was actually saved. If it wasn’t, just add the network again and save without closing the dropdown menu.

Once the adapter is enabled and connected to a network you can change to the “Muxes” tab. You should see a list of frequencies with a scan status of “PEND” for pending. After a while those should change to “IDLE” and the scan result should change to either “OK” or  “FAIL”. Don’t worry about the failed scans as long as not all frequencies fail. It’s normal for some frequency ranges to not contain any channels which will result in a “FAIL” state.


Once the scan is complete the services on the “Services” tab should be populated as well as the channels on the “Channel/EPG” tab. That’s it, your TVHeadend is configured and operating. You can now go on to add a front-end like Kodi or MythTV on your PCs and mobile devices.