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Linux-Kongress 2002
9th International Linux System Technology Conference
September 4-6, 2002 in Cologne, Germany

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Authors Marcus Metzler, Ralph Metzler
Title The Linux DVB API
Postscript: (1374173 Bytes)

The paper will cover the latest development in the DVB API for linux which started as a joint project of Nokia and Convergence for a Linux kernel API that provides a convenient interface to DVB PCI cards in particular and DVB hardware in general.

We will start with a short introduction to the DVB standard concentrating on the technical details that are most relevant for the construction of a useful API. This includes details about the tuning and demuxing process of DVB-S, DVB-T and DVB-C signals, information about the incoming transport streams (TS) and a short introduction to other relevant parts of the MPEG standard.

After this excursion we will know enough to understand what is needed in a kernel driver in order to provide the application programmer with the necessary functions to develop a DVB application that can handle all the tasks that are required by the user to watch television and use the other services provided by the broadcasters. Including for example such things as EPG, MHP and internet via satellite. Leading us to next part of the presentation which will go into the details of the kernel driver and the implementation as well as the definition of the API. With the goal that the audience will have an understanding of what is necessary to write a driver for a DVB hardware, we will explain the various parts of a driver implementation. This will include tuner, demuxer, section filters, MPEG decoder and network interface. Depending on the infrastructure it may also be possible to give a demonstration of the working API, if not of actual DVB reception than of some of the playback and demuxing interfaces.

About the Authors

Marcus and Ralph Metzler both got their Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cologne. As a hobby they started to write drivers for the Linux kernel for TV capture cards (bttv) and other hardware. After university first Ralph and than Marcus started working for Convergence developing Linux drivers for DVB, MPEG encoder and decoder cards. There they started their work on the Linux DVB API. Now they are working as freelance driver developers still participating on the DVB API work and developing Linux drivers for various hardware components with emphasis on TV and multimedia.

Comments or Questions? Mail to Last change: 2005-09-17