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Extending V4L2 to support complex media streaming devices - Hans Verkuil


Hans Verkuil started contributing patches to the MPEG encoder/decoder ivtv driver in early 2004, took over as maintainer late 2005 with the goal of merging ivtv into the kernel. This required many changes to existing i2c drivers, new additions to the V4L2 API (sliced VBI support, extended controls for MPEG parameters, MPEG encoding commands) and to the decoding part of the DVB API. The driver was eventually merged in 2.6.22. Added the cx18 driver for the cx23418 Conexant MPEG encoder chip early 2008.

He lives in Oslo, Norway, working as an R&D software engineer at Tandberg Telecom AS developing both Linux and FPGA-based drivers.


Originally the V4L2 API was designed for simply video capture cards. However, as media devices become ever more complex it becomes harder for the user to know which /dev/videoX device to use. And for driver developers it has become more difficult to get full support for the device and to coordinate all the various video4linux, framebuffer, alsa and dvb parts that together control the device.

The effort to integrate Texas Instruments V4L2 drivers into the kernel triggered the work on a new Media Controller v4l device that pulls all the various parts together and should make it easier for both user and developer to keep track of it all.

This talk explains the concept of a Media Controller and a Media Processor and how they are to be used in practice.