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BSD driver for the HD-5500 ?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:48 pm Reply with quote
Fritz_Katz
 
Joined: 17 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




This subject has already been brought up in this forum w.r.t. the HD-3000 -- and the short answer was NO.

However, could it be done?

I am a consultant for a company that wishes to deploy a large number of interactive systems with television tuners.

The system is based on FreeBSD.

The product must support analog TV, since it may be sold in places without digital broadcasts. I see that the HD-5500 supports analog-NTSC. Does the HD-5500 support PAL/SECAM for the rest of the world?

If there are concerns about allowing commercial release of GPL-licensed code in a BSD system, I believe my client would not be adverse to making the source for the TV application portion of the product available.

Regards,
-- Fritz_Katz
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Re: BSD driver for the HD-5500 ?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:13 pm Reply with quote
Fritz_Katz
 
Joined: 17 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




Fritz_Katz wrote:
The product must support analog TV, since it may be sold in places without digital broadcasts. I see that the HD-5500 supports analog-NTSC. Does the HD-5500 support PAL/SECAM for the rest of the world?

Answering my own question:
Quote:
In what countries can I use the card?
The card only supports NTSC/ATSC which is broadcast or will be broadcast in the USA, South Korea, Canada, Argentina (Buenos Aires - Experimental), Mexico (DF, Tijuana). Other countries are either undecided or using the DVB standard.
I suppose the company may have to ship different tuners depending on the country (something they didn't want to do, for support reasons). Or find a tuner that handles all the world's standards.

Regards,
-- Fritz_Katz
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:36 pm Reply with quote
xyzzy
 
Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 225




I don't know of any multi-standard demod that can handle both ATSC and DVB. There are multi-standard analog tuners that can do NTSC/PAL/SECAM.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:35 pm Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




According to the FreeBSD handbook, the Bt848 line of cards has a BSD driver:
http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/tvcard.html

It also lists the Conexant CN-878/Fusion 878a Video Capture Chip as being supported. The Pinnacle PCTV is also listed as being supported. Here is the LinuxTV wiki on Bt848 cards
http://www.linuxtv.org/v4lwiki/index.php/Bttv_devices_%28bt848%2C_bt878%29#Pinnacle
And here is their entry on the Pinnacle PCTV:
http://www.linuxtv.org/v4lwiki/index.php/Pinnacle/PCTV_Pro

Here is a complete list of cards that are supported by the Linux Bt848 driver, maybe they would work in BSD as well:
http://linuxtv.org/hg/v4l-dvb/file/tip/linux/Documentation/video4linux/CARDLIST.bttv

I don't believe FreeBSD supports any digital tuner cards.

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Unfortunately, Brooktree is no longer available.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:40 pm Reply with quote
Fritz_Katz
 
Joined: 17 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




waterhead wrote:
According to the FreeBSD handbook, the Bt848 line of cards has a BSD driver:
http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/tvcard.html

It also lists the Conexant CN-878/Fusion 878a Video Capture Chip as being supported....
Yes, that's exactly the problem. FreeBSD appears to only support old Brooktree chips. Brooktree has gone out of business over ten years ago --> they sold to Rockwell Semiconductor in 1996 -->which became Conexant in 1998 --> and all those chips supported by FreeBSD are now no longer manufactured.

I have no problem viewing TV on my personal FreeBSD system -- it's easy enough to find an old Hauppauge-WinCast-TV or a ATI-TV-Wonder-VE on eBay or Craigslist. But we can't roll out a product world-wide unless we've got a reliable manufacturing source capable of delivering thousands of tuner cards.

Conexant is still making one tuner that looks interesting, and would do everything we want ( DVB-T, ATSC, PAL, NTSC, and SECAM) : CX24210 Worldwide Terrestrial and Cable Tuner. But I don't know of anyone who's built this tuner into a PCI board for Windows, or Linux, or FreeBSD.

waterhead wrote:
I don't believe FreeBSD supports any digital tuner cards.
From what I've been able to gather, I think you are absolutely right.

That's why when I saw capabilities of the HD5500 it gave me (as Chris Matthews once said) "tingles in my leg". Very Happy

Linux, on the other hand, supports numerous chips that are still being manufactured. Because of Linux's larger base, it's not stuck supporting chips that were manufactured a decade in the past. The Video-for-Linux-2 project (V4L2) seems to be pretty good at supporting newer chips as they come to market.

Again, I wonder, would it be possible to go from V4L2 -> V4B ?

Regards,
-- Fritz_Katz
frtzkatz(at)yahoo.com
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 am Reply with quote
xyzzy
 
Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 225




The CX24210 is just a tuner, not a demodulator. It only supports ATSC in the sense that you can connect its IF output to an ATSC demodulator. I'm pretty sure there are cx88 cards out there with mutli-standard tuners still being made. Mostly for the European market, so I don't know if you'll be able to find something with an ATSC demodulator and a multi-standard tuner.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:25 am Reply with quote
Fritz_Katz
 
Joined: 17 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




xyzzy wrote:
The CX24210 is just a tuner, not a demodulator. It only supports ATSC in the sense that you can connect its IF output to an ATSC demodulator. I'm pretty sure there are cx88 cards out there with mutli-standard tuners still being made. Mostly for the European market, so I don't know if you'll be able to find something with an ATSC demodulator and a multi-standard tuner.
Agreed. I think it may be too much to ask that there's a one-chip-fits-all solution out there. But I hope to be proven wrong.

There are several companies besides Conexant that are manufacturing world standard tuners to consider:

Philips-NXP: http://www.nxp.com/acrobat_download/literature/9397/75011533.pdf
xceive: http://www.xceive.com/technology_XC5000.htm
Samsung: http://www.physorg.com/news102179311.html
TI: http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/tvp5147m1.html

However, that's not the driving portion of the equation -- the company I'm consulting for wants to deliver on FreeBSD.

If they have to deliver different tuners to different markets then that's the reality of the market.

However, they've already invested a lot of time and money on the FreeBSD operating system and they can't change that.

Regards,
-- Fritz_Katz
frtzkatz(at)yahoo.com
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:27 am Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




You should contact the CEO of pcHDTV, Jack Kelliher, directly. This forum does not seem to be monitored by anyone connected with pcHDTV, and your requests for a FreeBSD driver will go unnoticed. I believe that pcHDTV was involved in developing the original Linux driver for their cards, so maybe they can help.

I recently read an article on DigitalTV in Linux, in the July 2008 edition of Linux Journal. There is a small interview with Jack Kelliher, here is a small bit of it:

Quote:
LJ: How do you see your products evolving?

JK: We want to support PCI Express in the future, and we are considering a small USB product as well.

LJ: What are your thoughts about targeting your product for European users (non-ATSC users)?

JK: We have been and are continuing to work on a world-wide solution, and this has been using up most of our time. The project is fairly large for us, but we hope to introduce something by the end of the year.

In the end, the company that you are consulting for may have to write the drivers themselfs. But with the support of pcHDTV, that may be possible. I wonder if pcHDTV is as willing to support TV development on FreeBSD as it was on Linux? It would be great if that could happen!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:46 am Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




There is one thing that I wanted to add. In my internet search for digital support for FreeBSD, I found an (old) thread suggesting that a USB device would be easier to add support for. There is no existing structure in FreeBSD to support a digital TV PCI card, but the USB structure exists.

I mention this because of the quote by Jack Kelliher on a planned USB product.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:30 am Reply with quote
Fritz_Katz
 
Joined: 17 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




Thanks for the info, waterhead. I'll contact Jack Kelliher directly.
waterhead wrote:
There is one thing that I wanted to add. In my internet search for digital support for FreeBSD, I found an (old) thread suggesting that a USB device would be easier to add support for. There is no existing structure in FreeBSD to support a digital TV PCI card, but the USB structure exists.
USB tuners seem to be the wave of the future -- even in the Windoze world. It's harder and harder to find a PCI tuner card on the shelves at my local electronics superstores (Fry's in California) but there's no shortage of USB tuners.

Even though FreeBSD supports USB, it will still need to support the video/tuner protocol via USB -- there just aren't any 'bktr' USB tuner sticks. I asked that same question a few days ago on the FreeBSD-Multimedia list, again the short answer was no
Fritz_Katz wrote:
While we're at it, has anyone been able to get any of the USB TV tuners working with FreeBSD?

Aragon Gouveia wrote:
I've only heard the answer 'no' to these questions...

Regards,
-- Fritz_Katz
frtzkatz(at)yahoo.com
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