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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 05-30-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
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Video Capture Devices

I was just given an old Dell Latitude CPx laptop, and am in the process of getting it operational. Ultimately, it will have Debian - Sid installed. However, before I commit to making it single boot instead of dual with XP, I need to know what video capture devices I should consider for this. I am getting into video production and this will be used when I travel.

The first one I am considering is this:

It seems to be a fairly simple basic (and inexpensive) USB based device. Does anyone here have any experience getting this up and running with Debian? One of the biggest requirements is that is has to just work. In other words, I should be able to plug it in, fire up some capture utility (something else I still need to find), and start capturing video.

I hope this isn't too much to ask nowadays.

If this one isn't up to the task, does anyone else have any other recommendations?
Old 05-31-2011, 12:07 PM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2004
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I don't have any experience with the device you posted.

Mplayer will capture video with
mplayer /video/path/here -dumpstream -dumpfile out.avi
Or just the audio
mplayer /path/here -dumpaudio -dumpfile out.mp3

ffmpeg will capture whatever portion of the screen that you want, with or without video.

Both ffmpeg and mencoder give you just about any option you can think of for video encoding.

I was just given an old Dell Latitude CPx laptop
That's a PIII type machine isn't it?
It won't play or capture videos while playing much more than 480p, and that's if the video is of smaller size. Capturing video while it plays is a CPU intensive operation.

You can dump video streams just fine. You'll be able to encode videos just fine also. Just not so fast. I encode DVD .vob to ac3 and mpeg at about 24 fps on a PIII.

If you are wanting to use a TV card or usb device, V4L will do that.
Apps like Myth TV etc.

But a PIII isn't up to ATSC digital TV.

If you are wanting to access a camera there is software for that.
You may even be able to mount the file system on the camera.

What are you trying to capture or save or edit?

Last edited by teckk; 05-31-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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