Grabbing movies from TV

From time to time I grab something from TV to watch it later. Each time I had to re-discover proper MEncoder params and finally decided to write about it on site — maybe someone other will find it interesting.

Machine is simple PC desktop powered by AthlonXP 2200+ CPU (1.8GHz) and Pixelview TV tuner (card=70 in bttv) which sound output is connected via loop-cable to Line-In of onboard via82xx soundcard (ALSA driven) — all under control of Debian ‘sid’ running Linux 2.6 (2.6.16-ck1 now). For grabbing I use MEncoder (own CVS build).

First thing to do is to pick a channel — I run tvtime and quit after select proper one. Then mixer (I use KMix) is needed: turn on capturing of Line-In (can mute it too so it will not bother you during grabbing). After this you should be ready to grab videos.

Now MEncoder has to be started (all in one line):

 mencoder tv:// -o tv2.avi -ovc lavc -oac mp3lame \
 -tv driver=v4l2:width=640:height=480:alsa=1:\
       immediatemode=0:forceaudio:forcechan=1 \
 -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4

This will tell that we want DivX with MP3 Audio — on my machine this encoding takes ~50% CPU. Before I used M-JPEG but was taking too much disc space.

Mileage hires

One month ago one user reported bug: Mileage cannot be resized and is to small for tosa. Few days ago I decided to take a look (as a break from OpenZaurus release work). It’s GUI is nightmare — looks like author never ever read how to make UI using normal toolkits.. After some time with QT Designer 2 (which suxx badly) I got something which behave but still need love (and patching application) because it looks OK in VGA modes (landscape/portrait) but does not fit on QVGA landscape..


Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2 Screenshot 3 Screenshot 4 Screenshot 5 Screenshot 6

Now time to think what to do with it…

  • Sending patches upstream? Author is not interested in any VGA work.
  • Maintaining separate version? I do not have time for such things
  • Releasing patches and wait for someone to resolve it?
  • Wait for someone desperate enough to work on it?
 mileagebase.ui   | 3832
 mileageimport.ui |  613
 mileagekeypad.ui |  533
 3 files changed, 2385 insertions(+), 2593 deletions(-)

OPIE can do i18n

Few days ago one guy on #cacko (Cacko & PdaX distros support channel) told that OPIE cannot do russian (atleast I understand it in this way). So I started checking…

Since few months we use TrueType fonts in OPIE by default — DejaVu Sans is used. This font has very nice glyph coverage so it should be no problem.

Example picture with Greek, Russian, German and few other langs:

OPIE TextEditor with Unicode texts

Future of collie in OpenZaurus

During last month I worked on getting OpenZaurus released for Zaurus clamshells (c7x0, akita, c3x00). It got many updates to kernel and userspace — one of them was wpa-supplicant which now depend on OpenSSL so it takes ~1 megabyte of storage. What this mean for collie I think that I do not need to say…

I had plans to release OpenZaurus for collie/poodle/tosa (our 2.4.18-crapix powered devices) with all updates which were done since 3.5.4 release. But some of them will make rootfs too big 🙁 So I will have to decide which things to remove from it. Probably will look into recent CoreDump work on splitting task-bootstrap for Ångström.

It’s not first time when collie small rootfs (only 14 megabytes) makes creating distro for it too hard. CoreDump created cardfs for his Hentges distribution and I think that OpenZaurus will follow this soon too.