Autor Thema: Relevant Software infrastructure overview... [help needed]  (Gelesen 10394 mal)


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Relevant Software infrastructure overview... [help needed]
« am: Oktober 24, 2019, 08:45:33 Vormittag »
I've owned a Sundtek Media PRO III USB dongle since late 2014. During that time I have used it a handful of times. Once on my friends windows machine, a few times displaying free DVB-T broadcasts in Sweden on my Mac using a mix of beta drivers, terminal command, VLC and a fair bit of luck... I think it's fair to say that all together it's so far been a pretty confusing experience.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm a professional SW developer myself so I know the ins and outs of how cumbersome and unforgiving it can be to support, and keep up with the ever changing software platforms out there. But that being said, I think one of the most frustrating parts of my sundtek tuner experience so far has been the lack of a helicopter view of the intended software stack and it's current status. Especially in the english part of the forum.

This thread can hopefully over time evolve to provide that insight.

As a starting point lets start with what I think I know, or rather, what my current perception of the sundtek universe looks like.

Sundtek currently sells several different tuners, some are USB based, some are PCI-E, some card are targeting the Dreambox satellite boxes, and others are mini PCI-e cards. All products can be found (in the sundtek shop)[].

Sundtek support Linux based systems (including some embedded NAS systems, set top boxes and home entertainment distros), windows systems, and (at least with part of the feature set) mac OS X systems. Drivers for each can be found and (downloaded here)[]

Now here is where it gets complicated, but to the best of my knowledge the driver for each platform is vastly different, yet supports the same hardware. That being said, the way you use the HW and the video software recommended for the different platforms are different. Also the protocols the drivers are able to support are different. Linux systems for example have long favoured video cards to adhere to an (low level?) API protocol called video4linux or V4L for short. But needless to say, the OS X and Windows drivers does not support usage through that API as it is not available on those systems.

Open questions:
What V4L counterpart are supported by the driver on windows and mac OS?
What does the driver roadmap for those APIs look like?
Sundtek devices does not currently show up as capture devices in OS X (I.e. the type of video source you could select in quicktime player or skype), are there any plans for adding driver support to access video form a sundtek device that way?

As part of the driver installation for linux and mac OS comes a terminal application called mediaclient, this application can be used to list information about the hardware and set it up in different modes of operation. Useful commands are:

# list hardware
/opt/bin/mediaclient -e

# list available video devices
/opt/bin/mediaclient -i

It seems to me the hardware is stateful and mediaclient can be used to move from one state to another, if you learn how it operates. Though that has proven to be rather difficult and documentation is sparse to say the least.

Sundtek server
The latest iterations of the driver software package also installs and runs a small mini-webserver with a gui on your machine, the interface can be accessed using a normal web browser and visiting (http://localhost:22000/)[http://localhost:22000/]

This streaming software seems to be mostly targeting the use of the TV tuner functionality such as channel listing and VCR features for recording TV from DVB-C/T/T2. I have not found it useful for being able to configure or use the sundtek hardware to capture analog TV or S-video/composite video signals.

open questions
How does this media server work and what is the intended usecase?
What does the roadmap look like? Will the media server ever work for supplying Svideo/analogTV and composite video signals?

Usable third party video applications
Now with the driver, mediaclient and possibly the streaming server you can setup video delivery but you also need some type of video application to consume or display the video stream. The options seems to vary widely between systems and since I use OS X primarily I do not know much of what the options for linux and windows are, but it seems for OSX the goto solutions are either VLC, or mplayer (via brew or some other package manager).

open questions:
How do I setup my card to capture composite analog video, and playback the video live (without saving or compressing it) on OS X?
Is there any type of mediacenter of TV application similar to tvtime for linux that I can use when running OS X?

So there we have it, a dump of all I have gathered so far, and the most pressing open questions I have about how it all fits together and how I am supposed to figure out how to use the hardware I bought. 

Please help me out
« Letzte Änderung: Oktober 24, 2019, 08:48:53 Vormittag von jjabba »