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Recomendations for Video Capture Cards - FreeBSD

Hi all, I've recently had a PC become available, and I would like to set it up as a kind of video recorder. I would like to purchase a card of some sort that would allow me to connect the PC to my TV, and record television programmes on the hard-drive. The reverse also - playing back the recording, and viewing it on the TV. Now, i've done a little research, and I understand that FreeBSD "provides support for PCI-based TV cards using a Brooktree Bt848/849/878/879 or a Conexant CN-878/Fusion 878a Video Capture Chip with the bktr(4) driver". Does anyone ...

  1. #1

    Default Recomendations for Video Capture Cards

    Hi all,

    I've recently had a PC become available, and I would like to set it up as a
    kind of video recorder.

    I would like to purchase a card of some sort that would allow me to connect
    the PC to my TV, and record television programmes on the hard-drive. The
    reverse also - playing back the recording, and viewing it on the TV.

    Now, i've done a little research, and I understand that FreeBSD "provides
    support for PCI-based TV cards using a Brooktree Bt848/849/878/879 or a
    Conexant CN-878/Fusion 878a Video Capture Chip with the bktr(4) driver".

    Does anyone have any recomendations on a video capture card that would be
    suitable?

    Has anyone done anything like this before? I presume so as the driver
    already exists.

    How successful (or otherwise), did the project turn out?

    I realise there is lots of software in the ports collection that can provide
    audio/video capture capabilities, but does anyone know of any that can be
    scheduled to automatically start and stop capturing at predefined times? I
    suppose I could use the crontab if the software supports command line
    configuration...

    Regards,

    Jazz

    Jasvinder S. Bahra Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Recomendations for Video Capture Cards

    Since no one else seems to have replied...

    On Wednesday 16 February 2005 22:36, Jasvinder S. Bahra wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I've recently had a PC become available, and I would like to set it up as a
    > kind of video recorder.
    >
    > I would like to purchase a card of some sort that would allow me to connect
    > the PC to my TV, and record television programmes on the hard-drive. The
    > reverse also - playing back the recording, and viewing it on the TV.
    >
    > Now, i've done a little research, and I understand that FreeBSD "provides
    > support for PCI-based TV cards using a Brooktree Bt848/849/878/879 or a
    > Conexant CN-878/Fusion 878a Video Capture Chip with the bktr(4) driver".
    >
    > Does anyone have any recomendations on a video capture card that would be
    > suitable?
    Anything Brooktree, which are most PCI cards, e.g. WinTV, Miro, Pinnacle, but
    also the more expensive ones like osprey. Do make sure to put the card in a
    PCI slot where it has sufficient ventilation. The tuner unit can get very
    warm. I have had a WinTV card that apparently had caught on fire a few years
    ago (I remember smelling something funny...).

    IMHO the bad thing is that we basically only have one driver for TV cards, the
    good things are that it works very well (try video4linux, then bktr and see)
    and that the vast majority of TV cards have a bktr chip. I'm using an old
    Miro-Bt848 card now. It does freeze everything sometimes (if I could switch
    to a console it would show a panic), e.g. when changing input sources
    quickly, I think when it's reinitialized too fast, but I've seen the same
    happen on Linux and Windows. Bad firmware that never got updated would be my
    guess. Also, I always found that your tossed aside VCR cam plugged into the
    V-in of a framegrabber card makes a great webcam as well.

    We have a few working TV apps, the best arguably being Fxtv which is
    especially written for the bktr driver. It works well but looks a bit
    outdated. As for more modern apps, KDETV is not ported yet (I've looked at
    it; a porter would basically have to either create an interface to our
    framegrabber/tuner/audio devices that mimics v4l or v4l2 or/and rewrite a lot
    of the other code to use FreeBSD's ioctls and other provisions instead --
    both are doable but not trivial) and neither is Gnome's equivalent AFAIK. We
    don't have anything canned-in specifically for either Gnome or KDE at the
    time for TV viewing.

    You can use (k)mplayer as a TV renderer though. If you use KDE: I've been
    experimenting a bit with using kmplayer's dcop functions to change the
    channel/frequency while running kmplayer with TV input and it seems to have
    some potential.

    That's all I can tell about TV cards.

    HTH,

    Dan
    Danny Pansters Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recomendations for Video Capture Cards

    Forgot one thing...
    > I would like to purchase a card of some sort that would allow me to connect
    > the PC to my TV, and record television programmes on the hard-drive. The
    Most normal VGA cards now have a TV outlet, you could use that while playing
    the video full screen in X or SVGA. Never done it myself, but I'd say you'd
    have to set up X for TV-ish horizontal and vertical frequencies (low).

    Dan
    Danny Pansters Guest

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