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An early Personal Cinema type card

The RivaTV project aims to provide driver support for nVidia GPU based graphics cards that feature the inclusion of an onboard video capture chip, and, hence, have video-in facilities. By leveraging and providing an interface to V4L drivers, the RivaTV drivers also aim to support the tuner and audio features found on the, so called, "Personal Cinema" type of cards; nVidia based video and tuner combo cards, essentially equivalent to ATI's All-in-Wonder cards.

A list of cards supported by RivaTV is available here and here ... with the latter link likely the more inclusive source of the two.



  • is, unfortunately, adherent to the obsoleted V4L1 API, and not the now widely used V4L2 API
  • provides, in the case of some decoders, support that is likely quite dated and which would be much better supplied via existing V4L produced drivers instead
  • makes clear warning that it does not offer support for a number of the later "Personal Cinema" style cards (i.e. those based on the 7174HL decoder chipset).
  • does not appear to work with any recent Nvidia binary driver since the 5x.xx series....there is an intricate relationship between the card's capture facilities and the Nvidia GPU registers. Unfortunately, the RivaTV drivers and modern versions of the Nvidia X driver can not have concurrent access to these GPU registers without creating problems.
  • provides tuner support based on ancient code (i.e bttv version 0.8 .... in other words, a driver set that predates the formation of the larger V4L project)
  • has problems with framebuffer consoles

The bottom line is that RivaTV is in dire need of some modernization. However, other than some periodic commits to its CVS that re-establish/provide the ability to compile the RivaTV drivers on recent kernels, the project currently does not appear to have any sort of continued development -- a fact that is most unfortunate for owners of Nvidia based graphics cards sporting video in capabilities.

External Links