Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
September 28, 2014 10:22AM
Has anyone tried attaching a Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR to their Dockstar?

I acquired a used Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR from ebay and have it hooked up (via adapters) to stream my TiVo output to VLC using the Intel NUC (Ubuntu 14.04) that replaced my Dockstars. Its working great but I'm wondering if it might be worth resurrecting one of my old Dockstars to handle the streaming.

Just need to know if the hdpvr module works well under Debian Wheezy on ARM. I got the software side covered.


Re: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
October 01, 2014 11:54AM
Which program do you use to do the sharing of the stream.

Most of the packages i have looked at from 3rd party repositories are built for either x86 / amd64 or armhf. of which the dockstar/plug is neither. as to whether the module will work under wheezy? the compiled module should be ok as long as its compiled for this architecture

you may struggle with the limited cpu cycles that this litttle beauty has tho
Re: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
October 01, 2014 05:31PM
Gravelrash Wrote:
> Which program do you use to do the sharing of the
> stream.

Using homegrown app inspired by HD-PiVR which didn't work well on my Baytrail NUC.

My app runs about 3-5% CPU on the NUC while streaming so I'm guessing it will still be <10% on the Dockstar. I might also run VLC to act as an RTSP server which might add another 15% or so on the Dockstar. I wouldn't expect to be CPU bound.

I guess I'll dig one of my Dockstars out of storage over the weekend and see how it goes.

Re: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
October 02, 2014 02:52AM
Im very interested to see how this goes and what experiences you have. please keep me (and others) informed as to how you get on.

Im also - if i get time over the weekend - seeing how well this works as the backend to a SiliconDust HD Homerun.
Re: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
October 05, 2014 12:57PM
Haven't had a chance to recover my dockstars from storage so that will have to wait for a weekend or two.

A few discoveries tho...

1) hdpvr capture is pretty good down to ~4mbps - after that its gets blockly pretty fast

2) Baytrail NUC is powerful enough to transcode a1080i 4mbps live stream down to lower size/bitrates using x264 codec without hardware acceleration. This is very useful for watching remotely on tablet or phone. ~512kbps stream is actually pretty acceptable for regular TV. Dockstar would have no chance doing this so I think I'm probably going to stick with the NUC as the server.

3) Tried remotely transcoding on cheapo cloudatcost VPS but the VPS could not maintain the 4mbps download needed. If that had worked I could have served the content using the dockstar to the VPS, then transcoded and re-streamed from there.

4) If I attach the hdpvr directly to the component outputs on the Tivo then I get a watchable h.264 stream that I can easily re-serve using http pseudo streaming but VLC cannot transcode it - just gives black screen. If I connect via HDMI switch + HDMI-to-component converter (my normal setup) it all works fine. Not sure why - must be something different about the analog signal that affects the h.264 output.

5) I discovered that there are plenty of Android/Windows/Linux apps to remotely control TiVO - I'm using RCX for Tivo on Android and Network Remote for Tivo on Windows (works on Linux too). I'm using PPTP back to my home network for both remote control and streaming.

Re: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
October 10, 2014 08:58PM
Dockstar is out of storage... got it all going in less than 5 minutes...

uname -a
Linux debian 3.2.0-4-kirkwood #1 Debian 3.2.41-2 armv5tel GNU/Linux
[   55.230545] usb 1-1.3: new high-speed USB device number 4 using orion-ehci
[   55.391650] usb 1-1.3: New USB device found, idVendor=2040, idProduct=4901
[   55.398556] usb 1-1.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[   55.405910] usb 1-1.3: Product: Hauppauge HD PVR
[   55.410573] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: AMBA
[   55.414599] usb 1-1.3: SerialNumber: 00A298B7
[   55.811429] Linux media interface: v0.10
[   55.846375] Linux video capture interface: v2.00
g++ -g -O2 hdweb.cpp -o hdweb 

opened the network stream on my desktop using VLC and.... its works! :-) No messing with drivers or installing anything - worked as soon as I plugged it in with Wheezy. I did apt-get install v4l-utils so I could set the birate, saturation, color etc. but it worked without this although the picture was oversaturated.

1920x1080 @ 4mbits is using < 2% CPU and < 2Mb RAM !

top - 01:53:16 up 21 min,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.03, 0.05
Tasks:  51 total,   1 running,  50 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s):  0.7 us,  2.0 sy,  0.0 ni, 97.4 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem:    125284 total,   103316 used,    21968 free,     2108 buffers
KiB Swap:        0 total,        0 used,        0 free,    85136 cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S  %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND                                                                             
 2181 root      20   0  4384 1904  760 S   1.7  1.5   0:21.97 hdweb
Doesnt break a sweat with 4 streams: < 4%CPU and < 2Mb RAM

I didnt try transcoding to lower bitrates as there is no chance of it working on the Dockstar. I discovered the reason that transcoding the signal from my hdmi-to-component adapter works but the signal direct from my tivo doesnt was because the adapter was downscaling from 1080i to 720p. So even the NUC cant trancode 1080i. :-(

Dockstar is probably going back to storage though. I picked up a cheap Xeon 1225 server that should have the grunt to transcode multiple streams to low bitrates on-the-fly which I can then watch on my phone without using huge bandwidth. I'll probably switch to that after I get it set up.

Re: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
October 11, 2014 08:05AM
Thanks for sharing your findings. thats some interesting reading around the very low cpu usage when streaming,

I see higher usage than that when i use minidlna for streaming to the younger relatives!
Re: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR
October 18, 2014 03:53PM
FYI - I picked up a $6 EasyCap AV->USB adapter to see how that compared with the HD PVR. The one I received has a Somagic SMI2021 chipset which only has an experimental kernel driver that requires building a custom kernel. Thats too much effort but it also has a userspace app called 'somagic-capture' that can access the video directly so I gave that a spin on my dockstar.

After using somagic-extract-firmware and somagic-init tools I tried piping captured video data into vlc to see if I could serve it via RTP.
somagic-capture | su nobody -c "cvlc  -q - --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://}'"
So I put ffmpeg inbetween and tried to transcode to h264 @ 160x120..
somagic-capture --ntsc --sync=1 --iso-transfers 20 2>/dev/null | avconv -f rawvideo -pix_fmt uyvy422 -s 720x480 -y -an -r ntsc -i - -s 160x120 -c:v libx264 -preset ultrafast -f mpegts - | su nobody -c "cvlc -q - --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://}'"
Surprisingly this actually runs on the dockstar, but with the cpu over saturated the result is a jumpy flickery slideshow when viewed with VLC. As expected the dockstars kirkwood cpu is simply incapable of realtime transcoding.

How about capturing video on the dockstar and transcoding elsewhere? This would allow the dockstar to sit beside the AV source and transcoding to be performed on a remote Linux box...
# on dockstar (as root)
somagic-capture --ntsc --sync=1 --iso-transfers 20 | nc 4444
# on Linux box (as regular user)
netcat -l 4444 |  sudo ffmpeg -f rawvideo -pix_fmt uyvy422 -s 720x480 -y -an -r ntsc -i - -c:v libx264 -preset slow -s 640x480 -f mpegts -| pv 2>/dev/null| cvlc  -q - --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://}'
Then I connected using VLC client (i.e. on Windows or Android) to Linux box and it works perfectly with 30fps @ 64x480 although dockstar CPU is very high...
top - 20:32:02 up  5:03,  6 users,  load average: 1.76, 1.46, 1.20
Tasks:  56 total,   2 running,  54 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 22.9 us, 49.5 sy,  0.0 ni, 12.4 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi, 15.2 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem:    125284 total,   110068 used,    15216 free,     1740 buffers
KiB Swap:        0 total,        0 used,        0 free,    78944 cached

 3981 root      20   0  8936 5324  640 R  43.4  4.2   5:43.61 somagic-capture
 3982 root      20   0  1756  648  556 S  41.4  0.5   5:25.31 nc
With this set up the Dockstar is outputting ~175Mbps of TCP data and the Linux box is transcoding it down to < 1Mbps. So probably too much of a network hog to be a useful configuration.

I also have an stk1160 based adapter which does have an established Linux driver (at least in ubuntu 14.04) unfortunately its not present in Wheezy 3.2 kernel so I cant try it out. On regular x86_64 linux the stk1160 driver seems to work pretty well and also offers independent stereo audio capture which might be useful on devices like that dockstar.


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