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Linux Box as Digital VCR

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  • I've been working on a similar project, but using a headless box. It has a TV tuner in it, and runs Linux 2.2.18, with the latest V4l drivers. The trick is, that an extremely clever person put this little program together vcr. This program lets you record any video4linux stream straight into any format supported by avifile to disk. Consequence? I now have a skeleton of a web interface that is based on tvguide, that I can select shows from, and have this program automatically record them, straight into low motion DivX, which is really good quality (arguably better than Tivo's MPEG-2) If there is interest, I'll complete and release the project. I can then watch the recorded show on any box on my network, or even the box connected to my TV. It'd probably be cooler to have a TV out card, and watch it right on my TV, and even have a TV interface, but let's walk before we run :)
  • ill reply anyway. I cant speak for windows but i have done this on my macs for many many years.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Linux vs MPAA! -mikeeusa-
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There is definitely interest. I think a lot of us have had the idea of a writing a Tivo-like program. If you actually have a working program, by all means publish it.
  • Kuro5hin story reposted to Slashdot! (MLP)

    Dog Bites Man! (Culture)

    Why Rusty Rulez! (Op-Ed)

  • And who says this will be used for purposes of defeating copy protection? I've been lusting after a digital video editing package for a long time...a VERY long time...and this seems like just the ticket, and at the right price.

    Don't automatically assume or assert the worst possible usage for innovation. You only wind up making the status quo harder to break past.

    Just my two cents' worth...donate the change to your company coffee fund. And feel free to moderate down as flamebait at will...I know I would.

  • by brad3378 (155304) on Saturday February 10, 2001 @06:08PM (#440953)

    Can you say FSCKTV [freshmeat.net]??
    This thing would ROCK with a cable TV descrabler, (for educational purposes of course).
  • by batobin (10158) on Saturday February 10, 2001 @06:10PM (#440954) Homepage
    Just what I need. Instructions on how to turn my $2000 Linux box into a $100 VCR.
  • by Stiletto (12066) on Saturday February 10, 2001 @06:13PM (#440955)
    Anyone play around with hardware MPEG2 encoding? I like the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR [hauppauge.com] (different than the regular WinTV), but it looks like this thing is Windows only :( I'd like to be able to capture and record stuff directly to MPEG2. Anyone know about any Linux drivers for this one? The regular WinTV works with video4linux, but this one apparently does not.

    I understand the guys at LinuxTV [linuxtv.org] have drivers for a particular board [linuxtv.org] with the Visiontech KFir chip but I've never seen this board anywhere...
  • I'm praying to god that this is a troll. If not, here's my response:

    The ability to copy digital video DOES NOT IMPLY PIRATING you CLOSE MINDED BAFOON! Macintoshes can do this already. Do you associate THEM with pirating?!?! What if you happen to have a digital video recorder or some such device and which to easily copy its contents to your harddrive?

    Copying digital video to your harddrive WILL NEVER BE ILLEGAL. Copying specially COPYPROTECTED digital video will be, probably. A humungous difference.

    Also, I'm not completely sure that seeing an OS as good for pirating will hurt your business with consumers. It may make companies more wary but I'd think it would actually attract users.

    Also, yes, linux CAN rip DVD's. Both legally and illegally. This is not wrong. If you want an impotent OS that can't do anything illegal even if you wanted to than go to Win98. You'll be too busy rebooting to notice how much it sucks though.

    No one here is "'Hacking' devices for illegal purposes", we are just hacking devices. Hacking is not wrong. This is not wrong. It COULD be used for things that are wrong. I could also beat you to death with one of my Neal Stephenson books, which sounds pretty good right now (probably the effect of playing all those video games ;-)), so maybe we should just outlaw books since they can be used for illegal purposes.

    Justin Dubs
  • ... or use an older machine and buy a hard drive with 40GB of storage for about the same price as an entry level Sony VCR ($125). Next year, you'll be able to buy even more disk space for the same amount of money. After converting to MPEG-4, it also means that you could squeeze 3 or 4 of your favorite Simpsons episodes (I'm thinking of Clown College -- you can't eat that!) onto a single CD.

    --

  • Alas, alack... One of the only reasons keeping me from switching completely over to Linux running Gnome and Wine is the fact that my video capture device just doesn't cut the mustard under linux.

    It's not an appropriate card for gaming, but I have another card for that in the same machine. It even outperforms newer video capture devices in terms of quality and capture stability. Better yet, it works pefectly on a machine as slow as a P1 133. (A 3dfx 3500 TV card has problems with synchronization on anything slower than a p3 550)

    Unfortuneately, this problem is pretty standard across the board. Matrox is unwilling to support this card on newer OS's (Linux or Win2k) and Linux drivers just don't exist. Unfortuneately, I'm an artist and don't have anywhere near the coding skills necessary to craft my own. I doubt anyone else could because of this line I found in a Matrox email post: "Matrox has evaluated the required resources to produce a "black-box" for Linux to enable the use of the non-Matrox components. Unfortunately we concluded that many man months would be required and we cannot assign such resources to this project."

    Older, yet servicable hardware is getting more and more support on linux, but because of crap like this, it's still lacking in a big way.
  • I've been doing the same thing, but with avifile's qtvidcap. I've tried various versions of vcr, and they all had problems. I think they crashed. Don't remember, but I put vcr into my "don't download again" basket. I found that I couldn't quite get divx quality in real-time, so I'm capturing in 100MB mjpeg (damn that licence, I must try different formats) chunks and converting to divx once the first 100MB is done. I'd be interested in that tvguide / web interface to recording thing - but only if it works in Australia...
    I'll be getting a Radeon soon though, so I suppose I'll be abandoning all this for Gatos.
  • just my two cents' worth...donate the change to your company coffee fund. And feel free to moderate down as flamebait at will...I know I would.

    You would? You would moderate this down as flamebait? Then why did you write it?

    I know this is off-topic but I'm really getting tired of these little messages to the moderators. Let your statement stand for itself without disclaimers. And please tell me that's not your sig.

    I don't mean to be overly harsh, but I've just seen these messages tagged on to otherwise insightful comments too many times. And since this particular thread--the one where I vent steam about bad posting etiquette--will never be on topic, now is as good of a time as any.
  • Yes, but how to automate this whole process?
    I've been usig a program called vcr with limited results, as my processor is too slow for realtime compression...
  • Alas, alack... One of the only reasons keeping me from switching completely over to Linux running Gnome and Wine is the fact that my video capture device just doesn't cut the mustard under linux.

    It's not an appropriate card for gaming, but I have another card for that in the same machine. It even outperforms newer video capture devices in terms of quality and capture stability. Better yet, it works pefectly on a machine as slow as a P1 133. (A 3dfx 3500 TV card has problems with synchronization on anything slower than a p3 550)

    Unfortuneately, this problem is pretty standard across the board. Matrox is unwilling to support this card on newer OS's (Linux or Win2k) and Linux drivers just don't exist. Unfortuneately, I'm an artist and don't have anywhere near the coding skills necessary to craft my own. I doubt anyone else could because of this line I found in a Matrox email post: "Matrox has evaluated the required resources to produce a "black-box" for Linux to enable the use of the non-Matrox components. Unfortunately we concluded that many man months would be required and we cannot assign such resources to this project."

    Older, yet servicable hardware is getting more and more support on linux, but because of crap like this, it's still lacking in a big way.

  • Because you could descramble pay per view TV like all the movies with no comercials and if's you're a perv, free porn :)
  • No, these are more or less instructions for turning your computer into an expensive video editing studio. It's of obviously limited usage to the average person who'd use these directions to create a TiVo like device, but for doing semi-professional video editing, this would be a godsend.
  • The problem is that Fscktv is horribly, horribly out of date.


    "Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto"
    (I am a man: nothing human is alien to me)

  • This is the same debait in my mind as to why Napster was wrong but FreeNet was right. Napster was specifically designed to trade illegal MP3's regardless of the lies the creater spews out to cover his ass. Freenet was designed as a generic way of trading files. All files. Random files. There is nothing illegal about that.

    I find it absurd that a program that has no illegal intent, but COULD be used illegal could possibly be viewed negatively. You shouldn't have to limit your program to make it legal.

    Is fdisk illegal? I could use it to wipe out your harddrive. Or a companies harddrive. Just throw it on a bootdisk and go computer to computer rebooting off the disk and wiping harddrives. That would be illegal use of the software. Should fdisk have been designed to make those kinds of things impossible? I don't think so. What's the difference?

    Justin Dubs
  • This is off-topic so shoot me. I submitted the story to slashdot but somehow I don't think they will post it.

    Slashdot has silently added more ads at the bottom - taking a sizable portion of the screen. This in an apparent attempt to counter the top ad's fatal flaw - most people scroll down to read the discussion and miss it. Also, it seems that slashdot has abandoned the ethic of posting only nerd interest related ads.

    Another .com bust in the works?

  • You can't really root a mac, can you?
  • by J.C.B. (141141)
    Really, the echoing of Kuro5hin on Slashdot is getting rediculous. Slashdot is not Kuro5hin, some of us have already discussed this a week ago.

    (To all you Slashdot readers: this is a joke, you probably won't get it, but some of you will)
  • oh, yeah ?
    check there [sourceforge.net], works for me.
  • You don't need to.

    A little girl that walks by your system has the same privilages as you, it's administrator, and can inflict the same damages.

    --
  • not true at all.

    OS 9 changed that

    try again.
  • correction, under all final OS versions of the MacOS currently out, you cannot get root access remotely without applications such as Timbuktu
  • please define "real security"

    hmmm, how about firewire support, USB support, plug and play operability, and an intuitive file structure and naming convention?
  • but what exactly can you do with that DVD burner? http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html

    read the part about the Burner.

    Scary, huh?

    Boycott the MPAA (see below)


    Get involved
  • There is actually a similar solution for windows...its called SnapStream PVS...and its pretty incredible...full web config/viewing/acess...only downside is it only reacords to AVI or WindowsMedia. Oh well... Try it (I beta tested for them): www.snapstream.com
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Never respond to a troll lest ye become a troll yourself.

    Let's repeat, shall we?

    Never resp0nD t0 4 tR0lL l35T y3 b3C0m3 4 tR0lL y0uR5eLf. 0H 5h1T 1v3 b3CoM3 4 tR0lL!!! g0D d4mN3D n1Gg3RzzZ!! fUcK1nG k1K3 f4Gg0TzZ!!!

    TRoLL.
  • The /patch/ is out of date, the code still works if you adapt it to a modern kernel. Uh, I mean theoretically of course... wouldn't want to patch your kernel in a way that is illegal :P
  • by po_boy (69692) on Saturday February 10, 2001 @07:55PM (#440979) Homepage
    Theres some more info that may help out anyone interested in this kind of stuff at linuxgazette:

    http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue62/silva.html [linuxgazette.com]

    I can't wait for my tuner card to get here.

    All your dangifiknow [dangifiknow.com] are belong to us.

  • by scorpik (314949)
    How is this news? Any box running most any platform can do this. zeven the most plebian of WinTel boxes can do it with a cable-ready video cards and a program akin to Premiere. Why is it that existing technologies ported over to Linux always gets the geek populace to spurt in glorious, simultaneous orgasm? So you can stream and capture Real Sex 4456 from your dorm, big deal. It's not making you any better off, dork.
  • You just described a *BSD.

    --
  • Check your URL. You're probably at one of the typosquatter pages that frames slashdot with more ads.
  • Can someone mark this as redundant if the EXACT SAME THING can be found in the comments on the Kuro5hin article?
  • If you don't need the editing or external storage capabilities you can just connect up a PVR as a peripheral. Feed the PVR output into your computer and/or TV/stereo/VCR. A RedRat2 serial port based remote control allows you to control the PVR from your Linux Box. Here is a Screenshot [slip.net] showing my Linux box driving a ReplayTV.

    I have a hacked 40Gig ReplayTV(they go upto 160 gig now) which is more than enough for my needs. The dedicated device handles all the channel aggregation(cable/sat), scheduling conflicts, space management. It has channel guides which exactly match my locale and also provides many other features(web interface, theme based recording, ...) Most importantly it's never in the middle of a reboot when I want to record something nor does it ever slow down my computer while it's recording. See my web site for more details:

    http://www.slip.net/~gmd/index.html [slip.net]

    B.t.w. I'm just about to release 0.3 of the software, which includes a Gtk based interface.

    • Unfortuneately, this problem is pretty standard across the board. Matrox is unwilling to support this card on newer OS's (Linux or Win2k) and Linux drivers just don't exist

      [...]

      Older, yet servicable hardware is getting more and more support on linux, but because of crap like this, it's still lacking in a big way.

    Wait a minute... so where exactly are you saying the source of the problem is?
  • If you happen to read both groups, great. Still, this isn't K5 and a post shouldn't be judged as redundant just because the person decided to post it to two different message boards.
  • by Outlyer (1767) on Saturday February 10, 2001 @09:48PM (#440987) Homepage
    Hmm... sounds familiar... almost as if he cut and paste it from the one _I_ wrote. I'm outlyer on kuro5hin.org too...
  • Bugger me! A relevant first post! YIKES! What's that sound? Oh yeah, hell just froze over...

    This is an awesome idea. Why pay for a service when you can do it yourself. Nice work dude.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    NEWS: MPAA sues 'Linux' over digital movie piracy.

    Today, a spokesman for the MPAA has announced an impending lawsuit against 'Linux' for alleged conspiracy to commit copyright infringement on a mass scale.

    "It seems that malicious video pirates have created a tool used solely for pirating movies," stated the spokesman, who wished for his name not to be released. "Using this 'Linux', which can be altered at will to pirate anything, they are able to convert video, including copyrighted movies, into an easily reproduced digital format."

    "We have to nip this in the bud," he added. "Since copying video infringes on our copyrights somehow, we're going to sue them."

    When asked about the legitimacy of people wishing to archive things such as home movies, he replied, "We're working to copyright those, too. 'Video of Child's Third Birthday,' as well as many other motion pictures in a similar style, are originally the works of motion picture executives, somewhere, and thus our intellectual property."

    "Besides," he expounded further, "if people go around making their own home movies, it seriously injures our business. They will have no reason to go to theaters and watch the movies that we make. It is a direct threat to our business, one that infringes on our copyrights. Somehow."

    "But how will you sue 'Linux'?" someone asked. "Isn't it a widely-used, open-source operating system, not made by a single entity? Who will you sue?"

    "Next question," responded the spokesman, who also announced plans to sue "digital formats" and "computers", claiming that they could be devices used in piracy, and thus against their business plans.


  • Do you know if there is a way to record multiple video streams simultaneously with free software? If I had 4 cameras and and a fast computer, could I capture 4 full-frame video streams at once?
  • you want an impotent OS that can't do anything illegal even if you wanted to than go to Win98." This is not true. When I last ran Windows98, MANY of the operations it performed were illegal. Luckily, soon after the illegal operations were performed, screens of blue showed up and closed everything down, forcing a reboot of all operations.
  • by Enahs (1606)
    Yes, you've proven you can be an asshole not just on kuro5hin, but on Slashdot as well.

    Congratulations.
  • by J.C.B. (141141)
    An asshole? I don't see how making a joke "proves" me an asshole.

    You my friend, have no sense of humor.
  • Looks like these guys have come up with a redimentary opensource tivo: http://www.stanford.edu/~jjd1/opendvr/ [stanford.edu]. Looks like a fun and very promising school project! Aparently they could not solve the realtime encoding problem. S
  • Good point. Teach me how to run Linux with X on my $100 VCR, now that's useful . . .
  • Yes you can record from multiple sources at once. You'd probably need scsi drives.
  • Actually, on the MPEG 1 front, mp1e has been around for quite a while.
    It does real time video/audio capture direct to MPEG 1, at any bitrate, with decent audio sync
    and *superb* picture quality at higher bitrates.
    *And* it doesn't require major hardware - I use a K6/2 475 and it rarely jumps above 20% CPU while capturing.
    It is, however, rather difficult to find. (Check the V4L mailing lists).
    I'm *no* coding wizard (not by a long stretch), but looking at the source this guy has done some amazing optimization (and large chunks of inline MMX assembler).

  • kuro5hin would be ok if it wasnt SO GOD DAMN DIFFICULT to type in there url without getting it wrong all the time! and also, if they had a better theme.

    "Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk ?"

  • What's even more interesting to me is that this is quite a long first post, how did he have time to write all that without some AC typing "first!" and pressing submit real quick!?


    --
  • if's you're a perv

    Oh, come now. If anyone says they don't like porn, they're lying. Secondly, what else is illegal cable for? Crap movies? Wrestling? Spice channel is where it's at.


    --
  • Then could you please tell us what kind of tv-card you have used.. I am alose planning a similar project, but I have not found a good tv card yet..
    The same question was asked on kuro5hin, but you haven't answered that one yet.
  • by kju (327) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @02:23AM (#441002)
    At least here in germany digital TV (using the afaik worldwide standard DVB - digital video broadcast) is gaining popularity.

    You can already buy PCI-Cards for the reception of digital TV (arround $200-250). A Linux Video Disc Recorder for the storage of the digital MPEG2 stream from the satellite is available too.

    It has all the features a decent satellite receiver needs and nice recording features. You want to record that weekly show? No problem. Or that other daily show? Cut out the commercials? Using a second card: Start recording when the movie starts, and make a break whenever you like, playing back the still recording stream when you return from your kitchen or whereever you have gone to.

    For the software (under the GPL) see http://www.cadsoft.de/people/kls/vdr/

  • In the new issue of the german ct is an excellent and detailed article about the topic
  • You're a cheating git, Synpax.
    Any time I am permitted to moderate I'll mod you down for the points that belong to outlyer who wrote that comment on the kuro5hin pages.
    Screw meta-moderation, I have 28 Karma to spare.
    (This will be modded down by -3 to -1 off-topic, but I don't care. Of course - the nice moderators who are just about to mod me down could verify my story by going to http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory;sid=2001/ 1/31/18749/1930
    and searching for 'outlyer', and then they could mod you down instead :-) please :-) )

    FatPhil
    -- Real Men Don't Use Porn. -- Morality In Media Billboards
  • More ads on Kuro5hin too.. These high and mighty CmdrTacos and rustys are selling our souls to big business (OSDN).

    It's sad, very sad. Are there other places we can turn where we don't have to be pressured into buying cordless telephones or server space in Texas?

  • <shameless plug>
    The link to vcr: http://www.stack.nl/~brama/vcr/ [stack.nl]
    </shameless plug>
  • uhm. Pot calling kettle black? just maybe? I've noticed, you've got NT Nazi's, and Linux Losers. Neither camp will admit the other OS has some good features, and in the end will end up completely bullshitting the other just ot have something to fight about. Both OS's have decent things about 'em. Get over it.
  • It's at least possible that the same person made both posts. Different boards, different names, same person - it's at least possible.

    I think synpax deserves at least the benefit of the doubt - innocent until proven guilty.

  • Now. Can you modify the code to strip or ignore commercials in incoming feeds?

    MjM

  • There is an article at http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue62/silva.html. Which covers recording with any TV card supported by Linux, using realproducer. I couldn't get the audio to record though.


    Jesus died for sombodies sins, but not mine.

  • use v4lctl (from xawtv build) to start the audio and set the channel.
  • It's news because unlike those WinTel boxes running something akin to Premiere, you can do all this without spending a penny on software. Personally I find it impressive how much work people put into these spare-time-projects of theirs to try to make them compete with the commercial software out there.
  • Because the discussion -started- on kuro5hin.

    dumbass

  • Just what I need. Instructions on how to turn my $2000 Linux box into a $100 VCR.

    Well, I have a $100 VCR, about a year old. Current problems:

    • It's an analog device, so any noise in the signal (and I see a lot) gets amplified.
    • Quality degrades even further if I record at slow speed, which I need to do if I want to record more than 2 hours unattended.
    • It's not just an analog device, it's a complicated analog device with a lot of moving parts. At any given time, one or more of these things is worn out, misbehaving, or dirty. Currently the thingee that looks for the record-allowed tab is hung up, so I can only play back. Various other problems. In general, VCRs break suddenly and unpredictably.
    • As long as we're figuring costs, figure the repair bills and the inconvenience of taking the thing in. And the cost of replacing the whole thing when the repair bill (generally high) exceeds the value of the machine (which degrades very quickly).
    • Fast-forward and commercial skip, though improved over previous models, are still very tedious to use.
    • The VCR is not a very hackable box. Given a choice, most slashdotter prefer to hack their own systems, even if its slightly less cost-effective or convenient, no?

    __________________

  • by Enahs (1606)
    You my friend, have no sense of humor.

    Whoops! Guess you don't have one either.

    Sorry.

  • by J.C.B. (141141)
    Ah, your comment didn't seem to be phrased as a joke. Sorry, I still don't see the joke.
  • Kuro5hin had that too [kuro5hin.org], and only 362 days ago! :p
    --
  • Then why would he respond to himself with a complain under the name of Outlyer? If you read the posts you'll see that Outlyer has responded to synpax's comments.

    I agree with your innocent till proven guilty, but he HAS been proven guilty, especially when the real person who wrote that comment confronted him.

  • The sad thing is, if it were posted on kuro5hin today, it'd get shot down in 10 minutes.
  • IIRC GATOS goal is to become a V4L driver. Just they're not there yet ':)
  • The peak volume doesn't actually increase, they just (over)compress the audio on commericals to make them sound louder. In theory you could detect the higher average sound level, but it would pretty tricky. I think it would just cut in & out the whole time. A better way might be to detect the cue marks in the top right corner they show before each ad break (in the UK at least). We get them here so the regions know when to drop in their crappy local ads.
  • Well, I have a $1000 Linux Box, about a year old. Current problems: It's a digital device, so any noise in the signal (and I don't see much) gets amplified and conterted twice. (What was the point of this one? - the input is analog) Quality degrades even further if I record at low bps rates, which I need to do if I want to record more than 2 hours on a cd. It's not just a digital device, it's a complicated digital device with a expensive moving parts (cd-burner, HD). At any given time, one or more of these things is worn out, misbehaving, or dirty. Various other problems. In general, Computers break suddenly and unpredictably. As long as we're figuring costs, figure the repair bills and the inconvenience of taking the thing in and teach a tech how to use it. And the cost of replacing the whole thing when the repair bill (generally high) exceeds the value of the machine (which degrades very quickly). Fast-forward is still very tedious to use. Commercial skip does not exist. You must do it manually. In all, my hacking time is better spent building a perl-based caching load-balancing proxy server than duplicating an existing tech. in new and more expensive ways. Who's getting stable on the 2002 Cadillac first - Linux or NetBSD?
  • Yeah, we need to kick some ass and get the group think out. Sigh.
    --
  • Justice was almost done - his +5 has now become a +2.
    If you post interesting stuff to Kuro5hin, why not post more to /. to help keep the SNR high? Your posting history indicates you only lurk now.

    FP.
    -- Real Men Don't Use Porn. -- Morality In Media Billboards

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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