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dvgrab and HDV on Linux  
Saturday, 07 July 2007

dvgrab 3.0 will be released soon. Dan Streetman contributed patches adding MPEG2-TS support (via libiec61883, of course). This benefits users of HDV camcorders and digital TV settop boxes. My contribution was to merge, address regressions and bugs, simplify options, minor changes to improve settop box support, update documentation, and test. I do not own a HDV camera, so I test against the settop boxes as well as regression testing DV. Testing is almost done.

Users of settop boxes have been struggling along on libiec61883's test-mpeg2 utility for capture or, more recently, mythtv's firewire integration, which works marvelously, I should add. However, if you are not running mythtv, or want to experiment prior to mythtv, then you want a little command line utility. Well, settop boxes require some connection management before they will start transmitting, and users have learned from me to use some arcane incantation using the plugctl utility. Not only that, but they would frequently encounter problems with dropped packets as disk I/O interleaves with firewire I/O. dvgrab 3.0 addresses all of these problems. You do not even need to know the guid (euid) of the box either. You just need to know a couple of simple options, and the man page contains a concise example.

You can get a preview of dvgrab 3.0 in the Kino CVS.