Next Previous Contents

1. Introduction

The ability to capture and view video sources is one of the more interesting multimedia features of Linux. Many different types of video devices are supported via the video4linux API (, including several TV tuner cards based on the Conexant bt848 and bt878 chipsets. This document explains how to use these cards on a Linux system.

1.1 Copyright of this document

This HOWTO is copyrighted 1999 Eric Sandeen.

Unless otherwise stated, Linux HOWTO documents are copyrighted by their respective authors. Linux HOWTO documents may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part, in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and encouraged; however, the author would like to be notified of any such distributions.

All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating any Linux HOWTO documents must be covered under this copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative work from a HOWTO and impose additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the Linux HOWTO co-ordinator at the address given below.

In short, we wish to promote dissemination of this information through as many channels as possible. However, we do wish to retain copyright on the HOWTO documents, and would like to be notified of any plans to redistribute the HOWTOs.

If you have questions, please contact Tim Bynum, the Linux HOWTO co-ordinator, at via email.

1.2 Where to get this document

The most recent official version of this document can be obtained from the Linux Documentation Project

1.3 Acknowledgments

Thanks to Ralph Metzler and Marcus Metzler for writing the original bttv driver. Also, Alan Cox for creating the Video4Linux API, Gerd Knorr for his work on the radio cards, subsequent bttv releases, and xawtv. And everyone else who contributed to Linux support for these cards. Thanks to William Burrow, who also wrote a BTTV Howto (which I learned about after I wrote this document...) I have improved this guide, thanks to his work.

In writing this HOWTO I have drawn heavily on the bttv and xawtv documentation.

1.4 Disclaimer

Use the information in this document at your own risk. I disavow any potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the concepts, examples, and/or other content of this document is entirely at your own risk.

All copyrights are owned by their owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements. You are strongly recommended to take a backup of your system before major installation and backups at regular intervals.

Next Previous Contents