Aerial TV is an Android app that allows you to watch DVB-T TV with an RTL-SDR on a mobile device. We posted about Aerial TV back in April and it was available on the Google Play store back then. Unfortunately Aerial TV has recently been banned from the Google Play store as apparently the app can be used to display copyrighted material from TV. The author writes the following on a Facebook post:
Google Play has suspended Aerial TV due to “[Aerial TV] claims to provide copyrighted contents from TV channels”. According to Google apps that display live TV are of “questionable nature”. I am trying to clarify what they mean. I would like to apologize to all affected users. If you have any concerns, feel free to get in touch with Google directly.
This is quite odd and probably a mistake. But if you are looking for Aerial TV it is now available on the Amazon app store with a current 35% discount. If you bought the app on the Google Play store then to get new updates you will need to uninstall it, contact the developer for a refund, and then purchase it again on the Amazon store. More info about that is available on the Facebook page. Updates about it’s availability will always be provided on the official website at aerialtv.eu.
In his submission he shares a tutorial that explains the theory behind the PAL analog video standard. He explains the different components of the PAL signal, including the luma (black and white part), frame rates, and modulation. He then goes on to explain how color is encoded onto the PAL by using Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).
Finally in the files section marble also supplies us with the GNU Radio flowgraph which can be used to transmit PAL video with a HackRF.
ATSC is the digital HD TV standard used within the United States and Canada. It is 6 MHz wide so the RTL-SDR with its maximum bandwidth of about 2.8 MHz cannot decode this signal. However, higher end SDR’s such as the SDRplay, Airspy and HackRF have larger bandwidths that can easy cover 6 MHz.
The process the author used was to first record a RAW IQ WAV file in HDSDR in Windows, making sure that any DC spike correction is applied. The WAV file is then opened in a premade GNU Radio flow graph in Linux and processed into an MPEG file. The process is not real time. The authors article shows a step by step tutorial on how its done.
In an update post to his results the author also notes that to successfully do a recording at the maximum SDRplay bandwidth of 8 MHz a RAM disk or perhaps SSD is required so that samples are not dropped.
Finding the correct direction to point a satellite for TV reception can be difficult without the right equipment. YouTube user MegaOscarVideos shows us in the video below how he uses an RTL-SDR to accurately aim his satellite for TV reception.
He uses a TV satellite dish with an LNB connected to a bias-T circuit as the receiver, which is then connected to the RTL-SDR. As the satellite is moved he looks for the direction at which the signal level in SDR# increases the most.
The rtl-sdr as a software defined radio actually does not have enough bandwidth to receive a PAL or NTSC signal properly. PAL and NTSC signals require more than double the 2MHz typical bandwidth of the rtl-sdr. But, a decent black and white signal can still be obtained by using some of the luminance part of the signal. As only part of the signal is sampled, resolution will be lost. Also, as sound is broadcast on a separate frequency, a second rtl-sdr dongle will be required to receive the matching audio.
On YouTube, users Superphish and ek6rc have posted videos showing TVSharp in action.
Analogue PAL TV with RTL SDR (RTL2832) and TVSharp