LinuxTV

BMK MPEG encoder cards

Note: The MPEX card is out of production, please save your time and don't ask BMK about it.

Those cards used to be manufactured by BMK Elektronik.

BMK MPEX MPEG2-Encoder

A Philips EMPRESS-Chip based PCI Board for Realtime MPEG-2 encoding.

It is a PCI-card based on the Philips SAA68xx (EMPRESS) MPEG-2 encoder and the SAA7134 Videodecoder and PCI bridge.

The MPEX board is available in two flavours: With terrestrial TV tuner or with four composite and one s-video (y/c) inputs.

All functions are fully supported by GPLed drivers without hassling with proprietary microcode portions.

The driver in our download area is based on the v4l2-drivers by Gerd Knorr. MPEG-2 output is only possible in transport stream format. The driver is in an early stage. TS output works but no setting of encoding parameters like bitrate or GOP-size. All specs are open and available without NDAs.

Download sourcecode for the driver and the development-tools.
Note that the Linux 2.6.x mainline kernel already contains a driver for the MPEX board, just load the saa7134 module.

Please subscribe to the mpeg2-encoder mailinglist .

Kfir card, aka LinuxTV MPEG2 Encoder

Note: The Kfir card is out of production, please save your time and don't ask BMK about it.

Hardware

It is a simple PCI board. It has a BNC connector for composite Video, a Y/C connector for S-video input and a 3,5 mm stereo audio input jack. That's all. Insert this board into an empty slot, install the driver and have fun.

Features

The card supports MPEG-2 MP@ML up to 15 MBit. By passing module options to the driver you can select

  • input source: composite or y/c
  • video input mode: PAL, NTSC, SECAM
  • video out mode: PAL, NTSC
  • picture size
  • bitrate
  • streamtype: program stream, transport stream, av elementary / packetized
  • audio sampling frequency
  • MPEG-1 or MPEG-2

There is one drawback: at this stage of our development you need to unload and reload the driver in order to change these parameters. Reloading the driver takes about 10 seconds.

Software

Much to our regret Visiontech did not allow us to distribute the Kfir microcode in binary form together with our driver. The Kfir microcode is necessary to operate the board.

Meanwhile, we have found a way to extract the code from the Windows driver for the Kfir, which ist downloadable from their public FTP server.

The Kfir driver is only an experimental version of a device driver for the Kfir encoder board. It is a kernel module which you have to compile on your system and insert into the kernel. After that you will get your analog input digitized on /dev/video. You can pipe that to the network, to a file, your MPEG2 decoder card or to your software decoder.

As for now, we do not provide any further software like an editing suite, a player or playout solution.

This card is not a toy. You should think twice before you order. First download our driver and try to understand it. Of course, our driver is released under the GPL.

Known Problems, Updates, Questions

- MPEG-1 seems to make trouble.
If you have any questions or problems with installing or running, subscribe to the mpeg2-encoder mailinglist .