HD Camcorders on Linux

My Sony SR-10 camcorder is fairly neat, and works with Linux a lot better than one might expect. Part of this is probably because Sony uses open-source technology now in most of their stuff, as evidenced by the little paper OSS disclosure notices that come with most of their advanced products now. I know my PS3 and XBR5 TV both came with them; I'm not sure but I think the SR-10 camcorder did too. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=789775 is the thread where most of the helpful info I've found has originated, btw...

Copying data off of the SR-10 is pretty straightforward. You simply ensure that you have the prerequisite programs (xport, ffmpeg, mencoder, and maybe something else), as well as Axel Olmos's m2ts package. Unfortunately, it seems that the xport package is somewhat of a gating issue barring Fedora users from being able to conveniently install m2ts. If you must compile xport, you will find the source here. If you must compile it from source, bear in mind that the m2ts package will expect there to be a program named 'xporthdmv'. This is just a symlink to 'xport', so when you compile the source and install it (in /usr/bin preferably; that's where the FC8 RPM puts it, and presumably a latter FC9/whatever RPM), you should make a symlink to point xporthdmv to xport. Some folks will toss out links to an xporthdmv.zip file, but the support's been linked into the xport.zip file, and the xporthdmv file now only contains a bit which says "hey, get xport.zip instead".

I've gotten moderate success (with some macroblocking issues) using v1.00 of xport and v13.2 of ldecod. Ldecod has nothing to do with large coldwater fish, but that's how things go. Just as with xport, it's necessary to compile it from source if you're running FC9+ at this point. It's also necessary to run the unixprep.sh script, from the zip file. If you haven't installed gcc-c++, then it will fail. There isn't any package called g++ you only need the gcc-c++ package. Anyway, it's worth noting that when you compile the archive from source, you get a lot more than just the lencod package. It appears that you get some parsing apps and something to encode the video as well.

Now, because I'm using the SR-10 (an HD camcorder that films in 1080i), I have a higher resolution (1920x1080 vs 1440x1080) than the camera which Axel wrote his script for. As a result, higher-res camcorders just show this nasty shifting green screen in place of the expected video. Since I seemed to recall that my camera films in 1920x1080, I tried plugging that number into Axel's script in place of 1440x1080, and it worked perfectly.

mencoder $videofifo -demuxer rawvideo -rawvideo w=1440:h=1080 -aspect 16:9 -ofps 29.97

should be changed to:

mencoder $videofifo -demuxer rawvideo -rawvideo w=1920:h=1080 -aspect 16:9 -ofps 29.97

Given that the SR-10 has 2.3 effective megapixels, but the SR-11 and SR-12 are both at 5.6, it's possible that owners of this camera may still have to adjust their resolution settings.

-- SeanNewton - 29 Jul 2008

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Topic revision: r2 - 2008-07-29 - SeanNewton
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