oops, now: bsd question: how to record a tv stream?

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Wed Mar 14 03:09:32 UTC 2012

On Tue, 13 Mar 2012 19:19:46 -0700, Gary Kline wrote:
> 	i have heard about the "848" or whatever cards for years.
> 	should i have my sister's technician add one?  i understood
> 	everything but your last paragraph.  please do send me the
> 	links....offline i f you think it wise to spare the
> 	bandwidth.

Just to make a note: This is the card I'm using. The model
name is "Haupauge WinTV" and the tuner chip is Brooktree 878.
It is well supported by FreeBSD (and has been for many years).
A "problem" may be that it is a PCI card.

The programs mplayer and mencoder can be used to address the
tuner and video-in functions of that card, as well as displaying
and storing the received content. You need a HF line to the
card (or an antenna maybe), except you provide the video feed
from a satelite receiver via video-in. In that case, you also
need to provide the audio signal from the receiver to your
sound card's line-in. With mencoder, both sources can be
"combined" and the result can be stored as a video file in
any format and container you want.

This is the card:

bktr0 at pci0:0:9:0:       class=0x040000 card=0x13eb0070
                        chip=0x036e109e rev=0x11 hdr=0x00
    vendor     = 'Conexant (Was: Brooktree Corp)'
    device     = 'Bt878/Fusion 878A Mediastream Controller'
    class      = multimedia
    subclass   = video

The card provides HF-in both for TV and radio, video-in,
audio-out and... not sure what it is. :-)

You need the kernel modules loaded per


in /boot/loader.conf, and the card will work out of the box.
No need to manually and interactively install a "driver". :-)

The player command is something like

	% mplayer tv://1 -vo x11 -ao sdl -tv driver=bsdbt848:device=/dev/bktr0

and similarly mencoder can be used (-ovc and -oac need to be
adjusted accordingly) to encode to a file.

I'm not sure how to handle TV ("antenna") input as I've always
been using a raw video feed (from VTR or camera). However, there's
documentation that may help:


It also contains an example to "record to file", which will
implement the "software video tape recoder" functionality.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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