Project BS-Digital/1394 Summary

Project BS-Digital/1394 allows completely digital recording of original, unmodified MPEG2 Transport Streams as received by your HDTV Tuner or TV set, using FireWire (i.Link) cable. Using the software, Linux PC becomes a cheap DVHS target device, recording Hi-Vision content. By emulating AV/C Tape Target device on the FireWire bus, Linux PC is detected as DVHS by HDTV Tuners and TV sets. This allows you to use EPG and "Recording reservation" functions on your HDTV equipment to perform timed or temporary recordings.

system diagram

The software here is based on open-source ddr1394 application by Dan Dennedy (announcement here), modified to work with Japanese Hi-Vision hardware. Also, it might be rewritten in C in the very near future (see sample vcr1394 application).

Current Status

  • SDTV recording (BS1, BS2, WOWOW non-scramble) works
  • HDTV recording (BS-Hi, BS-A, BS-Fuji etc) doesn't work. I know why. I won't be fixing this.
  • BS-Radio recording is possible (for example channel 472), which results in a very low bitrate transport stream, one of the PID's is most likely AAC audio, and other PID's handle various images and other data related to the broadcast. I found this interesting XML inside PID 864 of CH472 radio broadcast.

    Source code for current (development) version

  • libraw1394 + libavc1394 - modified versions, from CVS - required to use either vcr1394 or ddr1394. Trust me, you need this. Make sure to remove any current/old versions of both of these libraries from your system.
  • ddr1394 - modified to support required AV/C commands.
  • vcr1394 - New application for testing (does not actually record, but processes all the required AV/C commands - send me debug dumps created by this program!)

    Equipment tested

  • Toshiba TT-D2000 HDTV tuner
  • MASPRO BDT-500 HDTV tuner

    Note on OHCI cards: TI-chipset cards are known to work (I've tried 3 of them). VIA-based cards may or may not work. Linux support for VIA / NEC chipsets is quite shitty. Better be using original TI chipset. 玄人志向 IEEE1394VS3-PCI and IEEE1394VS4-PCI are VIA, useless. This is the board I use.

    Other tools required

  • Project BS Digital TSDemux (direct link to utility)
  • Murdoc Media Player can be used under Windows to play back MPEG2TS files.

    Documentation / Specifications

  • How to get this software compiled and working
  • How to use vcr1394 test application
  • AV/C Digital Interface Command Set General Specification 3.0
  • AV/C Tape Recorder/Player Subunit Specification 2.2
  • 1394 Interface Implementation Guideline for D-VHS (JVC recommendation)
  • Consumer audio/video equipment Digital interface Part 1 General (this document is "damaged" and only opens in Acrobat Reader 4.0)

    I have various other 1394 A/V Working Group documentation, such as AV/C drafts, protocol specifications, etc. Feel free to contact me if there is a particular document you are trying to locate.


  • recording screen
  • tuner setup showing linux OHCI 1394 host
  • おねがい☆ツインズ 第08話 「恋は素直に」 720x480 MPEG2TS.ts
  • おねがい☆ツインズ 第09話 「ぬけがけしないで」 720x480 MPEG2TS.ts
    Note, these are NOT screenshots of recorded content. Just quick screencaps of my HDTV tuner recognizing the DVHS "deck" that is the Linux machine


    If you wish to help with this project, have the equipment necessary (this means you have a BSD tuner and/or DVHS deck), please contact timecop @ pbx . mine . nu.
    Because all the specifications are only available in ENGLISH, you should attempt to read English before trying to work on this project.

    Last updated 2004-02-09 18:15 JST by timecop
  • project terminated, contact timecop at pbx dot mine dot nu for details.
    this page is lynx friendly ^_^