Avicap User Documentation
to Avifile Homepage
to Avicap Homepage
docu by: Alexander Rawass (firstname.lastname@example.org)
if anyone can write a better documentation - please do it and
Avicap is a capturing tool for video4linux that allows to record
in realtime with various (DivX-)codecs.
Avicap also contains a programmable timertable, so that Avicap
can be used like a VCR/PVR.
Avicap also allows to automatically shutdown/poweroff and resume/poweron
your computer in-between programmed recordings.
Avicap also displays EPG (Electronic Program Guide) Information, that
can highlight or block programs to the regexp of your choice.
Avicap is part of the avifile library
Sections in this documentations:
- video4linux grabber interface
- Qt GUI, full control of recordings via GUI
- lot of different codecs for encoding:
- encoding thread buffers frames when system load is high
- perfect A/V-sync
- automatically segments recording at given size
- you can change saturation/brightness/etc while recording
- not hundreds of commandline options ;-))
- no Digital UnRights Management ;-)
- distributed under the GPL/LGPL license - it's Free Software!
- programmable timertable
- EPG Electronic Program Guide
it can highlight or block programs by regexp
- password lock to enforce
blocking of programs
- shutdown & resume
option to shutdown/poweroff and resume/poweron your computer between
- Directory Pool, to
use all your free space on all partitions automatically
start avicap with 'avicap'
A window will come up, showing the currently selected channel
(if you've used a v4l app before), or with noise, because no channel
has been set yet.
Best to go to the Configuration Dialog and set the correct settings
for your video device.
When you click the right mouse button, a menu will pop up with
there you can select your video device, input, color space and
- Xawtv station
If you have a valid xawtv configuration file with channels set,
then Avicap will use that file to show you a channel list in this menu
- Picture Properties
opens the window to show the programmable
- Electronic Program Guide
opens up the window of the EPG Electronic Program Guide
the timertable window will also be opened
- Capture AVI
capture an avi manually
a new window will come up, click 'start' to start the recording
If you start avicap with 'avicap -timer' , the timertable window
will automatically open and start the timer to wait for pending recordings.
My system is an Athlon550 with TNT2pro graphics card, running
SuSE8.1 with kernel-2.4.18 with apm enabled, I am using nvidia's proprietary
drivers (shame on me!).
I've got 384MB ram and a bttv-compatible TV-card, I am using
the v4l/bttv driver in the kernel.
My harddisks are set to Ultra-DMA 2 mode, they can write 30MB/sec
and read 20MB/sec.
My Motherboard is a Asus K7M which has got a 'RTC Alarm Resume
I record at 384x288 pixel, in YV12 or RGB24 color mode, 25fps
My preferred codec at the moment is native XVid, at 3Mbit/sec
for perfect quality, with halfpel interpol. and lum. masking turned on
I have to nice avicap to a lower priority (-15) to not get any
framedrops in recording (whatever I do else with my system),
the recording takes up 65-75% of my CPU time - great!
Avicap can record stable in the background without any framedrops,
I can read/write Emails in kmail and surf the net with galeon without
suffering from framedrops.
If I also nice up gcc, I can also compile source code (nice -15
I can also watch other avis with mplayer while I am recording,
but I have to nice mplayer up, so mplayer gets it's framedrops - but
NO framedrops in the recording, which is more important.
Hey, that's quite a good performance for a nowadays slow 550MHz
CPU - thanks especially to the xvid team for their codec :-)))
Can anyone tell me which processor I need to record with xvid/divx/ffmpeg
in PAL-fullscreen (786x576) in superb quality - cause that's the only
thing I'll need a newer/faster CPU for? :-)))
Plans for the future:
- Fullscreen/Maximize mode with xvideo overlay
- record while zapping through channels
Screenshot of the programmable Timertable
There, you can see my list of recordings for the next time.
The current recording is highlighted red, the next pending recording
is highlighted green.
Screenshot of the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) Window
Here you can see a typical day on german television.