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Old 19th December 2008, 03:51 AM
Ze_ro Offline
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Video Capture Cards & Fedora?

I'm interested in getting a video capture card for use in my Linux machine... however, I have no experience with these cards before, so I was hoping someone around here might have some suggestions on what kind of card I should get, and what kind of experience I should expect from it.

Basically, I want to be able to record short clips and still shots from an S-Video source (though I suppose it's probably easier to take still images from the resulting video with a separate program). My system is relatively old and slow (1.8GHz AMD Sempron, 2GB RAM), so on-board MPEG2 encoding will probably be necessary, or at least helpful. PVR functionality would be nice, and I might try it out in the future, but it's not important to me at the moment. All my video sources will be analog, so no need for HDMI or any particularly modern features. I will commonly need to work with both PAL and NTSC video signals (including PAL and NTSC colour signals too... not merely 50/60Hz support). I also have no PCI-E slots, so I guess PCI is the way to go... or are USB tuners worth looking at?

From what I can tell, almost any modern card should fit my needs... but Linux support is the tricky part. This Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150 seems to fit the bill... but does anyone have any experience with these? What kind of program is best suited to displaying video from a tuner?

--Zero
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  #2  
Old 19th December 2008, 04:04 AM
SuperNu Offline
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I have a pvr-350 and I used to have a pvr-500 in my pc. They are wonderful cards. I would recommend Hauppauge. It should be auto-detected when you plug it in considering you are using a newer kernel. Visit http://www.ivtvdriver.org/index.php/Main_Page for more information about ivtv. I do not know if you can capture pal on a ntsc card or vice versa. The latest firmware package is available from Fedora's repositories. Just "yum install ivtv-firmware" to get it. If you need the ivtv utility programs, you will need to download and install the tarball from the ivtv site.

To view the video stream, you will need a program which can read mpeg-2 files. mplayer or vlc should work. If you are looking for a pvr, then Myth TV will work.

--SN
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  #3  
Old 19th December 2008, 04:08 AM
GrapeShot Offline
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Location: Virginia
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If you decide to go the MythTV route, take a look at mythdora.com. I use it and it is a solid distribution based on Fedora 8.
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  #4  
Old 19th December 2008, 08:13 PM
Ze_ro Offline
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Okay, good to hear that the Hauppauge cards are supported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNu View Post
I do not know if you can capture pal on a ntsc card or vice versa.
On closer inspection, the manuals for the cards show that the Windows software at least has options for choosing video standards (even including other choices, like Brazilian PAL-M), so my guess is that the hardware itself at least supports it, and it might be a matter of software settings at worst. Given the relatively universal nature of Linux, it's probably safe to assume that this will be supported.

Quote:
To view the video stream, you will need a program which can read mpeg-2 files. mplayer or vlc should work. If you are looking for a pvr, then Myth TV will work.
Can something like mplayer or xine view the stream in real-time? Or do you have to direct the output to a file and then open the file after closing the stream?

I don't see any options in MPlayer or Totem that would apply, but Xine's UI has buttons for VCD, DVD, and DVB... if I'm not mistaken, DVB is the Linux interface for things like TV tuners?

--Zero
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Old 20th December 2008, 05:20 AM
SuperNu Offline
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Posts: 617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
On closer inspection, the manuals for the cards show that the Windows software at least has options for choosing video standards (even including other choices, like Brazilian PAL-M), so my guess is that the hardware itself at least supports it, and it might be a matter of software settings at worst. Given the relatively universal nature of Linux, it's probably safe to assume that this will be supported.
The one area where you might have difficulty is with the tv tuner. I believe the tuner is specific to the market. I live in the USA and cannot test this with PAL or other equipment since I do not have access to non NTSC equipment. The best place to ask would be the ivtv users mailing list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
Can something like mplayer or xine view the stream in real-time? Or do you have to direct the output to a file and then open the file after closing the stream?

I don't see any options in MPlayer or Totem that would apply, but Xine's UI has buttons for VCD, DVD, and DVB... if I'm not mistaken, DVB is the Linux interface for things like TV tuners?

--Zero
Mplayer can definitely play the video stream. There is about a 2 second delay though. I believe it is because the card is converting the video stream into an mpeg-2 stream. To use mplayer, run "mplayer /dev/video0" from the command line (without the quotes).

--SN
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