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From: Soeren Moch <>
To: Mauro Carvalho Chehab <>
Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
	Andreas Regel <>,
	Manu Abraham <>,
	Oliver Endriss <>,
Subject: Re: [GIT PULL] SAA716x DVB driver
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:44:42 +0200	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Mauro,

On 20.07.2017 07:49:36 -0300, Mauro Carvalho Chehab wrote:
>Hi Soeren,
>Em Sun, 16 Jul 2017 20:34:23 +0200
>Soeren Moch <smoch@xxxxxx> escreveu:
>> This is a driver for DVB cards based on the SAA7160/62 PCIe bridges from
>> Philips/NXP. The most important of these cards, at least for me, is the
>> TechnoTrend S2-6400, a high-definition full-featured DVB-S2 card, the
>> successor of the famous ttpci decoder cards. Other supported cards are:
>> Avermedia H788
>> Avermedia HC82 Express-54
>> KNC One Dual S2
>> KWorld DVB-T PE310
>> Technisat SkyStar 2 eXpress HD
>> Twinhan/Azurewave VP-1028
>> Twinhan/Azurewave VP-3071
>> Twinhan/Azurewave VP-6002
>> Twinhan/Azurewave VP-6090
>> The driver is taken from [1] with adaptations for current mainline,
>> converted to git and moved to drivers/staging/media. See TODO for
>> required cleanups (from my point of view, maybe more to come from
>> additional code review by other developers). I added myself as driver
>> maintainer to document my commitment to further development to get this
>> out of staging, help from others welcome.
>> This driver was licensed "GPL" from the beginning. S2-6400 firmware is
>> available at [2].
>> I want to preserve the development history of the driver, since this
>> is mainly work of Andreas Regel, Manu Abraham, and Oliver Endriss.
>> Unfortunately Andreas seems not to take care of this driver anymore, he
>> also did not answer my requests to integrate patches for newer kernel
>> versions. So I send this upstream.
>> With all the history this is a 280 part patch series, so I send this as
>> pull request. Of course I can also send this as 'git send-email' series
>> if desired.
>Even on staging, reviewing a 280 patch series take a while ;)
>As the patches that make it build with current upstream are at the
>end of the series, you need to be sure that the saa716x Makefile
>won't be included until those fixes get applied. It seems you took
>care of it already, with is good!
>The hole idea of adding a driver to staging is that it will be moved
>some day out of staging. That's why a TODO and an entry at MAINTAINERS
>is required.
>By looking at the saa716x_ff_main:
>I'm seeing that the main problem of this driver is that it still use
>the API from the legacy ttpci driver, e. g. DVB audio, video and osd APIs.
>Those APIs were deprecated because they duplicate a functionality
>provided by the V4L2 API, and are obscure, because they're not
>properly documented. Also, no other driver uses it upstream.
>So, it was agreed several years ago that new full featured drivers
>should use the V4L2 API for audio/video codecs.
>We have a some drivers that use V4L2 for MPEG audio/video decoding
>and encoding. The best examples are ivtv and cx18 (as both are for
>PCI devices). Currently, none of those drivers support the DVB
>API, though, as they're used only on analog TV devices.
>It was also agreed that setup pipelines on more complex DVB
>devices should use the media controller API (MC API).
>Yet, we don't have, currently, any full featured drivers upstream
>(except for the legacy one).
>So, if we're willing to apply this driver, you should be committed
>to do implement the media APIs properly, porting from DVB
>audio/video/osd to V4L2 and MC APIs.
>That should also reflect its TODO:

Thanks for your feedback. I understand all your concerns about the legacy
API and your request to convert this to v4l2. For me the whole story looks
a little bit different, though.

The only application which makes use of the decoder part of this saa716x_ff
driver is VDR (Video Disk Recorder by Klaus Schmidinger, [1] [2]) - if
anybody else knows about a different use-case, please speak up!
In fact the high-definition version of VDR (vdr-2.x) was co-developed with
the S2-6400 hardware and this saa716x_ff driver. So it is no surprise, that
this driver utilizes the - now legacy - DVB API of the ttpci cards, since
VDR was originally developed with this API in mind. The missing API
documentation, besides of course not being ideal, is therefore no real
problem here, since driver and application are closely tied together.

The S2-6400 card (the only hardware which saa716x_ff supports) only has
two simple hardware interfaces for the decoder part, a transport stream
interface for the video/audio decoder, and a DVB API command interface
for osd. There is no real separate DVB audio interface, audio TS packets
are simply multiplexed into the video TS stream.

Because there are no complicated hardware interfaces or, e.g., configurable
processing pipelines, I think a media controller driver is not applicable
for this hardware, but a v4l2 API would be possible for the video part. For
the osd part instead I'm not really sure how to convert this. The DVB osd
API contains several commands for window and palette management,
pixel/line/block drawing, and even text rendering. Typical plane/framebuffer
based overlay APIs are a very bad match for this command-based hardware
interface. And a full-blown GPU driver only for menu overlays would be quite
a big effort, especially as we do not need a standard command-to-image
processing, but a gpu-command to dvb-osd-command conversion. Even now with
the osd API command processing implemented in the S2-6400 hardware, the
overlay is relatively slow, this could only become worse with an additional
translation layer. But let's assume that is all solvable technically.

The real problem is not my commitment to convert the DVB video/osd API to
v4l2. I would do it, although this means huge additional effort. My real
concern about your request is, with converted DVB APIs in this saa716x_ff
driver, VDR would not be able to use this driver. So the only known use-case
would not work anymore, so the whole effort to mainline this driver would
not make sense for me.

I agree that new drivers should use modern APIs in the general case. But
for this driver the legacy DVB decoder API is a hard requirement for me,
as described. So I hope you will dispense with the v4l2 conversion for
this special case. I'm pretty sure that there will be no new hardware
and therefore no new driver with this legacy API, this saa716x_ff driver
also has a 7-year development history, in this sense it is not really new
and one could also think of it as some sort of legacy code.

If it helps, I can offer to also take maintainership for the saa7146/ttpci
drivers, I still have such card in productive use. This way I could at
least maintain the DVB decoder API code together, as we cannot get rid
of it.

If you got any better idea how to solve this "legacy issue" in a different
way, I'm glad to help.



  parent reply	other threads:[~2017-07-21 20:44 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 26+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2017-07-16 18:34 [GIT PULL] SAA716x DVB driver Soeren Moch
2017-07-20 10:49 ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2017-07-21 20:44 ` Soeren Moch [this message]
2017-08-27 10:30   ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2017-09-09 12:52     ` Soeren Moch
2017-09-09 21:20       ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2017-09-16 12:54         ` Soeren Moch
2017-09-16 17:49           ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2017-09-24 22:17             ` Soeren Moch
2017-11-24 16:28               ` Tycho Lürsen
2017-11-27 11:24                 ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2017-12-02 18:51                   ` Jemma Denson
2017-12-02 19:49                     ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2017-12-02 23:59                       ` Soeren Moch
2017-12-03 10:57                         ` Jemma Denson
2017-12-03 14:11                           ` Soeren Moch
2017-12-03 15:04                             ` Jemma Denson
2017-12-04 10:07                               ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2018-01-19 13:59                           ` Tycho Lürsen
2018-01-19 15:11                             ` Jemma Denson
2018-01-20 15:49                               ` Tycho Lürsen
2018-01-25 17:08                                 ` Jemma Denson
2017-11-28 18:35               ` [GIT PULL] " Mauro Carvalho Chehab
2017-12-02 23:58                 ` Soeren Moch
2017-08-23  9:56 ` [GIT PULL RESEND] " Soeren Moch
2018-03-07 15:14   ` Mauro Carvalho Chehab

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