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Re: Wanted: PVR Mentor

I'm by no means what anyone should call "mentor" but here's information
that should get you started.

The driver for Brooktree-based capture / tuner cards is the bttv driver,
and the page is at:


I think Hauppage has some cards that are supported by this driver, but
you have to check the docs to see.

In order to look at the output from this card, you probably want to use
xawtv, at:


Other issues you might want to consider is if your base system is fast
enough to handle the data from this card.  You can probably do 320x240
at 30 fps, but are the on-board hard drive interfaces fast enough for
you to capture all this data without loss or with minimal loss ?

Secondly, your CPU might not be fast enough for these operations.  It
certainly will not be fast enough to decode DVD information.  For that
you're looking for at least a G4 450/500 ... ???  Or something in that
region.  Remember that on Linux (especially on the Power PC), there is
little or no support for hardware DVD-decoders, so everything has to be
done in software ...  If you pipe the DVD output through the tv tuner
card, you might have better luck there.

The bottom line is the system is probably okay for watching TV through
the card (if bttv supports it), and for captures (if you don't mind low
resolutions, you should be fine).  But for DVD decoding as is - your
system probably won't perform very well.  And if you are thinking of
doing upgrades, give some thought to the total cost of the upgrades vs.
selling the G3 and getting at least a 1st generation G4 with the AGP ATI
cards.  These have a much faster system bus (and should be able to move
all the data from higher res captures), faster drive interfaces, and a
G4 to help decoding DVDs ...


(replace "4" with "for" in the above address to reach me by e-mail)

On Sun, 1 Jun 2003, Cate Tolzmann wrote:

> I'm looking for a mentor to help me add pvr capabilities to my
> Debian-PPC box. It is a Beige G3 266 to which I am emotionally
> attached, so I thought that adding a hardware PVR card (such as the
> Hauppage WinTV PVR-350) might give it a new purpose in life. Can such
> a card be made to work (for both hardware encoding and hardware
> decoding in a PPC system using Debian? Can it be used to play DVDs,
> since my machine is too slow to decode DVDs in software?

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