Media Controller, harnessing the full power of tomorrow's multimedia devices

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One Line Summary

The Media Controller is a new kernel API to give applications full control over multimedia devices


Back when the first version of the Video 4 Linux (V4L) API was designed, video acquisition and output devices available to Linux users and developers only offered basic functions. With the introduction of hardware compression, V4L showed its limits and the new V4L2 API saw the light of the day in the 2.5.x kernels.

Video hardware available today once again push the Linux video API to its limits, and there’s no doubt that tomorrow’s devices will offer even more complex features. Several V4L developers got together during the Linux Plumbers Conference 2009 to discuss a possible future extension to the V4L subsystem called the Media Controller.

Targeted at both embedded and desktop hardware, the Media Controller will let userspace applications access media hardware to discover and control devices internals. Although written with V4L in mind, the API is not limited to V4L but aims at being useful for sound and display devices as well.

This talk will introduce the Media Controller concept and present the current state of the implementation.


Multimedia, Embedded


  • Laurent-pinchart

    Laurent Pinchart

    Ideas on board SPRL


    Laurent Pinchart has been a Linux enthusiast since 1997 and Linux kernel developer since 2001. He has written the Linux UVC driver which supports several hundreds of webcams.

    Laurent is the founder and owner of Ideas on board, a company specialized in embedded Linux design and development. He currently works for Nokia in the MeeGo Devices unit where he develops embedded camera drivers.

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