AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have picked up the following things from reading posts on this forum, and I'm trying to understand what I can do with a WinTV-D:


1. You can capture video using the WinTV2000 software from a Digital source (after it has been converted to 480i), however there is no way to schedule this recording. Is there a way anyone has figured out to schedule it, or to use a freeware program like TheFly98 or ATV2000 to schedule broadcasts?


2. The WinTV-D uses the BT878 chip (for analogue) so it is still compatible with Linux and BeOS. Does this mean that it can receive digital in those OS's, or only in Windows?


3. The WinTV-D can save the pure MPEG-2 broadcast off the air onto your hard drive, but only in Win98. Is there a way to do this in Windows 2000? What do you do with the file after you have captured it (ie: how to convert)?


4. The WinTV-D will pretty much be recognized as a regular BT878 WinTV when used by all other applications for analogue recording.


If anyone could help me figure out whether I can actually figure out a feasible method for simply setting up my WinTV-D to record a TV show at a certain time in Windows2000 so that I can later archive stuff to SVCD, I would be eternally greatful. I'm trying to decide whether buying one is worth the money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Hi TrueDis,


I'll try to answer your questions.


1) The WinTV2000 software is not used to capture digital material. The WinTV-D uses a Phillips 8-VSB demodulator, and there is a special application that interfaces with the card through the hardware driver to capture the output of the 8VSB demod. Only digital stations are demodulated by the Phillips chip so only digital stations can be recorded in a compressed MPEG-2 format.


Analog stations are received just as with any standard TV tuner card. The bt878 chip converts the analog video into digital data that is suitable for internal computer use. As each frame of video is converted from analog to digital by the bt878 application software can be used to compress this data. Currently it is difficult to compress live video using MPEG-2 compression algorithms in real time using the CPU of the computer. Products like the WinTV-PVR use additional hardware to perform this compression.


Scheduling the recording of digital stations can be done, but it requires that the desired channel already be selected using WinTV2000.


There are a couple AVSforum threads that provide specific information on how to do this. You can use the search feature of the forum software to find these recent threads.


2) No, the bt878 is only used for analog. Digital stations are treated differently by the card and the bt878 is not used to capture the video information. So far, the required information needed to interface with the card under Linux has not been released. If this information is released by Phillips, it wouldn't take to long to develop a Linux driver and application to record the digital transport stream.


3) The WinTV-D card has different drivers for the different versions of the Windows OS. Currently, only Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows ME have drivers that allow the recording of the digital data. Windows 2000 was going to be supported, but as of yet there are no drivers that allow recording in this version of the Windows OS. Converting the data once it has been saved to disk is still kind of tricky process. Since the card stores the entire ATSC transport stream there is extra information in the file that isn't used by MPEG-2 decoders. This extra data needs to be removed before some software will correctly process the recorded information. There is a thread that covers the details of how to do this.


4) Yes.


The WinTV-D retails for around $250 but was recently sold by J&R Computer world for $50. That price was a special price and it is believed that J&R will not be receiving anymore cards once the back orders have been fulfilled. Other retailers stock the card, but the price is going to be in the $250 range. For that kind of money the WinTV-D is not such a great deal. Other card like the WinTV-HD will playback HDTV at native resolution rather than convert everything to 480i and this is a much more popular card here on the forum. The WinTV-HD will also be able to record the raw digital data once the proper drivers have been released. However, recently there is some confusion as to if the recording of HDTV will be supported by this card at all. The card has all the needed hardware to record the raw HDTV information, but the MPAA is not too thrilled that there are computer products out in the hands of the public that can easily record HDTV signals onto a computer. While it's impossible to know what pressures the MPAA is capable of applying to the hardware manufactures to encourage them to not enable this obvious feature of the card, there is speculation that this is exactly what is being done.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JoeFloyd: Thanks for your help


About 1:

I noticed a thread already about scheduling to record the pure ATSC stream, I'm curious how to record using whatever program it is you use to watch the HDTV broadcast. I haven't seen anything about a scheduling feature in WinTV2000, so I'm wondering if it's possible to record digital channels with a scheduler (I know it's possible with analogue channels using 3rd party programs that interface the BT878), however I'd just like to get a simple, 480i MPEG2 compressed video at a scheduled time. Is that possible, or can I only schedule the downloading of the whole ATSC stream?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
The WinTV2000 application does not have the integrated features needed to record the ATSC transport stream from the WinTV-D. Recording is done with a standalone application. Importantly, this application does not allow the channel to be changed through its interface so the WinTV2000 application must have been run to change the channel to the one you desired to record before starting the standalone recording application. People are experimenting with command line options to automate these functions, but it's not anywhere close to being a simple point and click type interface.


It's also worth noting that the ATSC transport stream can be subdivided into several different programs. In some cases a single station may be broadcasting 2 or three separate programs all with different resolutions. A Baltimore ABC station broadcasts 720p and simulcasts 480p along with a another 480i weather radar channel. You can select which program o record using the standalone application, but there is no consistent way to select a given stream from separate stations. This requires the manual step of looking at the transport stream program IDs and deciding which program is the one you're interested in. The safe approach is to record the entire stream and later pull out the program that you're interested in.


Overall, the WinTV-PVR seems to have the features that you are most interested in. This product sells for around $250 so the cost is not too different than the WinTV-D. In addition, this product will allow you to schedule recording, but reports on the forum have been mixed when it comes to this card. NTSC seems to be fins, while PAL users are having problems.




[This message has been edited by JoeFloyd (edited 04-16-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
I might be more than a bit confused... Hmmm...


Can you forward that 878A documentation to [email protected] if it is in an appropriate format? If so, I will consult my notes at home and try to reconcile my understanding with reality. I was basing my understanding on the fact that the new dStream cards use the sound channel to DMA the stream to memory, and the fact that the sound DMA channel appears to be utilized when the the beta capture program is running (as shown in Conexant's Win9x/Me Bt8x8 tools that we have on the dTV web site).


Of course, whatever is the case, I agree that the key here is the demod chip and decoder chip. I didn't know the # for the demod chip, so thank you for referencing it. Just the other night, I was scouring the net and linux projects for TDA8960HL docs/code but didn't come up with much. I think I might have come up with an info sheet, but it didn't have very good app notes.


I think that the Xilinx chip is just an analog to digital chip or something (don't have my notes handy). Much too big for its function. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Btw, IIRC is just shorthand for "if I recall correctly". Basically, a CYA kind of throw-away phrase. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Let's keep this going.


------------------

Dan


[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 04-16-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Thanks Dan.


A major brain fart on IIRC. That usage of the term did come up as I searched, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together. Duh... I've been so wrapped up in acronyms lately that I'm starting to think in acronyms.


It does seem that Audio DMA could be used to recover the ATSC stream from the bt878A. I'm just curious as to the internal data path the stream must take in order to be available on that output. It seems kind of proprietary and that might make it difficult to reverse engineer.


[This message has been edited by JoeFloyd (edited 04-16-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry if it's been hard to understand what I'm getting at here, but let me try again. I'm not too interested in recording the direct ATSC stream, first of all because I run Windows2000 and I can't, and second of all because SVCD is 480i anyway, so I have no need for the full quality material. I just want to be able to capture what I'm seeing when I have a digital channel tuned in WinTV2000. I know that other programs can be used to schedule recording of analogue broadcasts because the BT878 chip is so generic, and lots of other TV programs have been written for it, but I want I want to know if there is a way to capture the already decoded and downconverted digital video in the first place, and secondly if I can schedule the recording of it. Thanks for your patience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
TrueDis: don't believe you can.


------------------

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, one final question. There are a whole bunch of people selling this on Ebay, so I can find it as cheap as a WinTV-PCI. I figure if it doesn't work for digital like I want it to, I can just use it like a WinTV-PCI. I assume it works (for analogue) in BeOS/Linux because of the BT878 and with the freeware TV Scheduling programs out there. I hope this is the case, then I'll be set. Thanks everyone for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
Pls. see the other thread. In short, the analog is recognized as a plain Bt878. The tuner is a very slightly different model, but in most instances the settings don't vary.


------------------

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by JoeFloyd:
It does seem that Audio DMA could be used to recover the ATSC stream from the bt878A. I'm just curious as to the internal data path the stream must take in order to be available on that output. It seems kind of proprietary and that might make it difficult to reverse engineer.
Forgive me if this is out to lunch, I haven't had time to look at this closely, but it seems the digital video port of the 878A connects to the audio stream formatter so that the audio can be stirpped out of the stream, after which the audio stream formatter feeds the audio FIFO buffer, then the DMA controller. That being said, I'm not sure if activity Dan sees on the audio port means that they're getting the video stream to the bus that way or that just they're stripping off and decoding the audio, but it would make sense if they were.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
"2) No, the bt878 is only used for analog. Digital stations are treated differently by the card and the bt878 is not used to capture the video information. So far, the required information needed to interface with the card under Linux has not been released. If this information is released by Phillips, it wouldn't take to long to develop a Linux driver and application to record the digital transport stream."


Joe: to nitpick a very informative post on a side issue, IIRC the digital stream does run from the demodulator to the Bt878A Fusion. From there, the WinTV-D beta recording application picks up the stream over the sound DMA channel. In addition, I believe that the decoded program comes through the Bt878A Fusion as well. Therefore, for digital, the Bt87A Fusion acts as more of a PCI bridge than decoder. It has been my wish to "flip the switch" on the demodulator and MPEG-2 decoder, and to run HDTV at 480p through dTV. Of course, I'm just a hacker and don't have the needed skill to do that. Tom Barry has also been on this sort of quest for a while, but he hasn't received much reply from anybody.


I don't have a full parts list for the WinTV-D, but some of the needed code has indeed been released at LinuxTV for DVB cards. However, those cards (including Hauppauge's) use the Philips SAA7146 chip as a PCI bridge, so maybe not all of the needed code to flip the switch has been released. The tuner controls are nothing special. We already have the code for that.


I would love to hear from you or anybody else who has additional knowledge about the WinTV-D. Really, the WinTV-D is an excellent card for digital 480p. It's a shame that we panned it so universally at the beginning of last year and that apparently it has been discontinued. But at that time we didn't have dTV, so it was all academic, I suppose.


------------------

Dan


[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 04-16-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Dan,


I must be a bit confused then.


Maybe you can clear this up for me. Where can I find a reference on the IIRC spec? I see the that TDA8960HL input processor supports an I2S bus but I must confess that I don't know anything about I2S.


I looked into the talk about the I2C channel and there isn't enough bandwidth to pass 19 Mbits of data through that link. The Phillips documentation that I found states that the I2C tops out at around 400 Kbits in fast mode. If there another mode that allows for higher data rates?


Under the heat sink I belive there is a TDA8961 DTV demod. This chip has parallel MPEG2 transport stream output, serial input, and I2C bus interface.


From the documentation the reference design uses a SAA7146A PCI bridge. The 878A documentation seems to indicate that the I2S bus has been modified to handle 40 Mbits and this makes it the likely choice as the bus being used.



So, what I think might be going on here is that the TDA8960HL is sending data to the 878A over I2S and the 878A is the PCI bridge chip. One thing to note is that there isn't a direct I2S connection between the TDA8960Hl and the 878A. The XILINX FPGA seems to be involved in this process based on the reference design. At any rate, the TDA8960HL and the FPGA are a couple of chips that we would need documentation for. It's unlikely the the FPGA code will be released, but he pin functions may be specified by some documentation somewhere.



[This message has been edited by JoeFloyd (edited 04-16-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
Dan -


Yikes! What a find.


This thread must have snuck past when I was on vacation last month and just bubbled to the top.


There might almost be enough here to write drivers from scratch, not that I probably have time to do it. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


There is an amazing amount of info here to digest.


Now what we need is sort of a BT Reg Tool for some of these other chips. Does Phillips offer any such?


- Tom


------------------

(This sentience has tree errors.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
I also found the glossy for the Coney Ref design there at this


- Tom


------------------

(This sentience has tree errors.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
Docs jackpot!

Coney Reference Design on which WinTV-D is based (v. roughly)

TD1536D (ASTC/NTSC tuner; TD1236D control codes work fine--the digital switches appear to be ignored)
TDA9819 (IF Downconvert)
TDA8763 (ADC between IF downconvert and Demodulator)
TDA8960 (Demodulator)
XC95144XL ( Various XAPP App Notes ) (FPGA demuxer)
PIC16C54C (FPGA microcontroller) w/CSI24WC02J (2k EEPROM)

GDC21S802A (see datasheet for GDC21D401B ) (MPEG-2 480i decoder)
ADV7171 (Video DAC to Fusion 878A)

Fusion 878A (just use dTV's "other-1" input--nothing complicated)
PCF8591
MSP 3438G (Sound Decoder; dTV works fine with this chip)


Re the GDC21S802A LG/Hyundai MPEG-2 480i decoder, I can't find the datasheet because LG Semi was bought out by Hyundai during Korea's economic meltdown, but maybe the control codes on the GDC21D401B will work? It's only 3 bits and defaults to play at normal speed. See top of page 18 of GDC21D401B docs.


Re the FPGA, please see the following docs, in particular.

Xilinx FPGAs: A Technical Overview for the First Time User
Xilinx In-System Programming Using an Embedded Microcontroller


Additions/corrections welcomed.


------------------

Dan

Edits 5/4: many, many revisions as my understanding progressed and information came in hand; this looks like a fairly complete list of chips and documentation


[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 05-05-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Great find Dan.


I couldn't find those spec sheets using the Philips web site. It keep pointing me to the reference design documentation which wasn't nearly detailed enough to really see what the card is doing.


Now, if you can work some magic and find the code used to program the FPGA, that would be the icing on the cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
OK, guys. I think this is as nicely a wrapped docs package as anybody could ask for. My wish list is full DTV 480p support, including recording and playback, in dTV. You can even add hardware DVD support, if you want to, for noise-free, glitch-free playback and deinterlacing through dTV.


Joe: as you can see, I unrolled about 2/3rd of the package after your post. Not surprisingly, the FPGA was the toughest to figure out. As far as I can tell, the microcontroller controls the FPGA's functions, including inserting the FPGA's code, when necessary. What put it all together in my mind were the .xsv files included in the dtvcap application. Each one appears to be either a patch or a full program. The code fragments are only about 50 bytes apiece. The microcontroller only has 25 bytes RAM, so they added a 2K EEPROM to hold the full set of code. When you run the dtvcap upgrade program, it flashes the EEPROM with these code fragments.


It doesn't appear that the FPGA code is all that complicated, and if you were so inclined, you could just open up the .xsv files and map the hex to FPGA commands and memory references. However, I don't want to steal anybody's code, so perhaps if we asked Hauppauge nicely, they would open up at least the FPGA control information just a tad? Perhaps they would be amenable, considering that the card is entering its golden years.


Some weeks ago, I wrote PeteB and asked if he would provide WinTV-D docs for the dTV team. He hasn't returned that e-mail, but perhaps he would, if a much more defined question were asked about their FPGA code.


Tom: yeh, everything just started flowing today, and much of it continued after your posts. This is how computers work for me. No progress for weeks and then it just starts to unravel.

"Now what we need is sort of a BT Reg Tool for some of these other chips. Does Phillips offer any such?"


I don't know. It would be cool if they did.


------------------

Dan


[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 05-05-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
Dan-

Quote:
OK, guys. I think this is as nicely a wrapped docs package as anybody could ask for. My wish list is full DTV 480p support, including recording and playback, in dTV.
For 'full DTV 480p support' were you talking about digital 480i that is being deinterlaced to 480p by dTV code?


Or were you talking about trying to get the BT chip to actually present us with 60 input fields per second of 480 line fields.


The second option contains twice as much info as the first but I don't know if that is doable on the Fusion 878A chip. Even though the broadcast contains the needed info I'm not sure the Fusion chip is any faster than the other BT chips in this regard.


If this is so then we could get a well deinterlaced digital SDTV out of it, but not EDTV.


But maybe I still don't understand how all this works yet. I think maybe the dStream gets away with it by blasting the ATSC stream over the bus insead of the uncompressed video, and making you do software decode. But to take advantage of the WinTV-d on board decoder the BT chip would have to be able to either handle 480p or use 480i.


We know the AGP bus is fast enough for 480p, since obviously dTV does it, but is the BT chip?


- Tom




------------------

(This sentience has tree errors.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
"For 'full DTV 480p support' were you talking about digital 480i that is being deinterlaced to 480p by dTV code?"


Tom: Yes, I'm talking about this method. The WinTV-D sends along 480i and then dTV makes it 480p. It already works by using the WinTV32 and the hacked method that I described a couple of weeks ago, but I would like native dTV support because my previous method is kludgy and glitch prone. In its simplest form, you would turn on all of these chips and then choose the appropriate audio and video programs on the FPGA.


In addition to adding various card support in dTV, it would have ancillary benefits of making dTV more relevant for future digital projects.


------------------

Dan


[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 05-05-2001).]
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top