Plextor ConvertX PX-TV402U on Linux
The Plextor ConvertX is a USB2 device that captures broadcast TV and
compresses the video in MPEG4. The video compression happens entirely
in hardware on the Micronas GO7007 chip without taxing the CPU.
The ConvertX supports different compressions: mjpeg, MPEG1,
MPEG2 and MPEG4. Audio is uncompressed. Note that the ConvertX can only
deliver compressed video and not uncompressed or raw video. The
ConvertX is currently the only widely available TV tuner that offers
MPEG4 compression. Most other devices do only MPEG2 or tax the main CPU
with software compression.
This site is about using this nice piece of hardware on Linux.
The GPL driver for the Plextor ConvertX was available at
http://oss.wischip.com/. As that site disappeared from the internet,
use this (partial) mirror.
Follow the instructions provided in the package for more details.
The gentoo wiki contains additional explanations on the
It's also possible to use the ConvertX
on OpenWRT devices.
As the ConvertX works differently than usual TV capture cards, programs
must be written specifically to support it.
The website lists only three programs that support the ConvertX:
In fact there are more of them, especially since i wrote a few more. :-)
The GoRecord program records AVI files from the ConvertX with MPEG4
video and PCM audio.
As the GoRecord program main purpose is to serve as an example, the
program is small and it's features are limited. For example it does not
handle audio-video synchronisation or audio compression.
is a version of GoRecord patched by L.B. It does basic audio-video
synchronisation and outputs the video on the standard output. By using
the standard output it's possible to watch the video with mplayer or
xine while recording in a file.
Timo Pylvänäinen wrote a patch against GoRecord official SDK
version 0.9.4 that handles the audio-video synchronisation. The patch
can be obtained at http://www.iki.fi/tpyl/linuxp.html.
As GoRecord changed since 0.9.8, the patch of Timo didn't apply
directly anymore. I (Francois Beerten) have ported the patch for 0.9.8. A second version contains
some extra cosmetic changes.
You cannot play video that's being recorded by GoRecord. With
this patch by Francois Beerten,
mplayer can read a video while it's being recorded. This patch also
includes the audio-video synchronisation code.
FFRecord is a small program that can record vidoes with the ConvertX in
many commonly used video formats like AVI, ASF, MOV and so on. FFRecord
also compresses the audio and can be used for simple live TV time-shifting.
You can contact me at
ffrecord <at> colabti <dot> org.