Getting Down and Dirty with TV

Getting Down and Dirty with TV

There’s a project that I’m looking at that requires one to be able to input and control a television signal using a custom C/C++ application on an embedded platform. In other words, the project is to “watch TV on my computer”, with custom software for controlling the appearance and size of the TV window.

There’s also a need for a Macromedia Director Xtra that does the same thing, so we can rapidly prototype a functional UI.

Fun! Looking at vendors now.

I’m looking at Hauppauge, Pinnacle, and other manufacturers to see who offers an SDK. It’s possible that this functionality is all exposed by the DirectShow interface, but as we are targeting an embedded device or Single Board Computer (SBC), the availability of these interfaces are in question.

  • If there isn’t a solution available commercially, it might be possible to leverage a Linux driver somewhere. They have either reverse-engineered or acquired the specifications somewhere, and the source code may be useful. This is probably not a bad starting place if vendors prove unresponsive.

UPDATE: I got a nice reply from Hauppauge on the availability of their developer tools:

All we have available is our free OCX toolkit which will only work our regular line of WinTV-PCI boards including the WinTV-go and WinTV-radio and also our Impact VCB boards. It’s free to download and use as you please, but is as-is. WinTV OCX developers kit version 2.0 Develop your own application which uses the WinTV to display or capture video images with our OCX toolkit! Note: this file includes functions such as video region selection, source, etc. It contains an ActiveX TV control, plus VB, C++, and Web page examples, and requires VB6 Runtime be installed on your machine.