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The gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad package in Debian recently added Video4Linux2 capture support (cf. bug #379867).


  1. Gstreamer project
  2. FAQ
  3. Documentation
  4. man gst-launch


For a webcam:

gst-launch-0.10 v4l2src use-fixed-fps=false ! video/x-raw-yuv,format=\(fourcc\)UYVY,width=320,height=240 \
! ffmpegcolorspace ! ximagesink
gst-launch-0.10 v4lsrc autoprobe-fps=false device=/dev/video0 ! "video/x-raw-yuv, width=160, height=120, \
framerate=10, format=(fourcc)I420" ! xvimagesink 

For tv -- capture takes place without error messages:

gst-launch-0.10 v4l2src device=/dev/video5 ! video/x-raw-yuv,width=640,height=480 ! avimux ! \
filesink location=/tv7/test0.avi

tcprobe says it's an I420 file and gives the framerate as correct NTSC:

$ tcprobe -i test1.avi
[tcprobe] RIFF data, AVI video
[avilib] V: 29.970 fps, codec=I420, frames=315, width=640, height=480
[tcprobe] summary for test1.avi, (*) = not default, 0 = not detected
import frame size: -g 640x480 [720x576] (*)
       frame rate: -f 29.970 [25.000] frc=4 (*)
   no audio track: use "null" import module for audio
           length: 315 frames, frame_time=33 msec, duration=0:00:10.510

The file will play in mplayer, using the codec [raw] RAW Uncompressed Video.

Some other parameters that might be useful for v4l (this particular combination is not working):

gst-launch-0.10 v4l2src device=/dev/video1 ! video/x-raw-yuv,format=\(fourcc\)UYVY,width=640,height=480,\
framerate=(fraction)30000/1001 ! avimux ! fameenc quality=90 ! ffmpegcolorspace ! filesink location=~/test0.avi

To convert the files to matlab (didn't work for me):

mencoder test0.avi -ovc raw -vf format=bgr24 -o test0m.avi -ffourcc none 

Please add your own experiences.