Video capture cards for linux

Michael Still mikal at
Tue Dec 4 18:12:25 EST 2001

On Sun, 2 Dec 2001, David Price wrote:

David, thanks for your comments...

> I use an old bt848 card for this sort of thing.  streamer from the
> xawtv package works nicely.  It captures to a few different formats,
> but I use mov format with mjpeg encoding.  This takes up a lot more
> hard disk space than DivX ;), but is pretty good quality, uses less
> CPU to encode, and can be edited using bcast2000 (no longer available
> for download).  Typically a couple of hours of television will take up
> a few GB, so large file support is essential.

Off hand, does anyone know what format VideoCD uses, and is this is a
cdrecord burning option?

> On a 1.2GHz Athlon I can just capture 640x480, but usually use 320x240
> since at 90% jpeg quality this looks pretty good and uses heaps less
> disk space.  I used to capture on a PII 350, and I think it could do
> 320x240, although only just.

Wow. I hadn't realised how much CPU time the compression takes (I assume
most of it is taken with compression). Does anyone know what resolution a
TV runs at?

The next question is now that I know that I can stream this stuff to disc,
does anyone have a hardware recommendation for streaming it back to the
TV? I could go the VGA -> TV route, but I am not sure that is the best way
to go. I am aware that some matrox cards have a TV out -- are they any

> I'm afraid I haven't tried any non-bttv capture cards, so I can't
> really provide a comparison, but I'd say I'm fairly happy with bttv -
> even this few year old card.

I think I'll go out to the markets and see what I can see.



Michael Still (mikal at

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