NTSC/PAL video input

I’m looking for a reference design for a NTSC/PAL video input on the BeagleBone Black. The only thing I found so far is from e-consystems.com, but there is no schematic available. I have an analog camera where I need to capture the input and display it on an LCD, but so far I haven’t been able to find any good decoder schematics. Does anyone know of any that may exist?


That board is for the Gumstix Overo, which is an OMAP3730, and more like
the Beagleboard XM. It would work for the Beaglebone Black, which doesn't
have the same sort of camera interface. You would have to do something
more like the Beaglebone Camera Cape, which uses a special purpose chip to
interface the "camera" to the GPMC port of the bone. It would be quite a
bit of work.

I would suggest some sort of cheap USB based NTSC capture dongle that
already has linux support.


I wish the USB based NTSC capture dongle were that simple. I’ve tried Hauppauge USB Live-2, and Easy-Cap, but neither work with the BeagleBone Black. It seems that the BBB is to slow for that. I’ve considered the camera capes that are available, but really need a solution that interfaces with an analog camera.

By the way, I think I may have settled on the TVP5150 decoder chip from TI. Using the reference schematic from here I think I may have a chance. However, does anyone have any pointers on which signals I need to connect to the BeagleBone?


It has no camera port. You would need an FPGA that would allow the signals to be captured and read via the GPMC would be the best bet. You could look at the camera cape. It might be able to be adapted for use with the TVP5150, the camera is on an adapter card, or at least give you an idea on how it may be done using an FPGA.


Ok, thanks. I was afraid of that. If I go the route of the camera cape, and use the Aptina or OmniVision camera instead of composite video, I’ll need about 15ft of cable in between the beaglebone and camera. This will be mounted on a noisy machine… will a shielded cable be enough protection for that kind of length? I’m sure it’s hard to guess without knowing the application, but it’s a concern that I have, which is why I thought just accepting composite video would be the easiest.

In that case. why not look at using a USB camera?


There are very few industrial rated USB cameras that work on the BBB. iDS is the only one that I have found to do so, but they are expensive. All of the webcams work, but are consumer grade.

Got it.


What kind of frame rates and resolutions do you need? Also, do
you need full color or shades of grey will do?

The NTSC signal isn't that hard to decode depending on your
specific requirements. Depending on where you are on things, the
PRU or other things might be able to do it.

Hi Brent,

Just wondering how far you got with the ezcap device?

I’ve also got a requirement to capture some analog video, but have been hitting a brick wall with my ezcap clone (STK1160 driver). Seems it’s failing to read a full frame each time, resulting in a corrupt picture. I see the same issue with mplayer, gstreamer, and a stand-alone still capture utility. Tested on 3.8 & 3.12-rc5.

WARNING: from element /GstPipeline:pipeline0/GstV4l2Src:v4l2src0: Got unexpected frame size of 265434 instead of 829440.
Additional debug info:
gstv4l2src.c(919): gst_v4l2src_get_mmap (): /GstPipeline:pipeline0/GstV4l2Src:v4l2src0

The amount of data retrieved varies a little with each frame, but is always something similar…


As far as you did, it appears. I was not the one who actually worked with the ezcap or the USB-Live 2 devices, but the failure was attributed to the BBB’s inability to support isochronous transfers from the device. Devices using the uvcvideo driver seems to work just fine, but others do not.


The defconfig for the 3.12.0-rc5-bone6 kernel does not appear to have DMA disabled, I was hoping this might make all the difference, but it seems not :frowning:


Has anyone tried one of these?:


Hey Brent - did you have any luck with analog video capture on the BBB? I need to also capture analog video and am struggling to find a solution that is capable of 30fps NTSC. What did you end up doing to solve your problem???

I’d hate to send you down the wrong path but what about some of those video input device converters to USB? I’ve seen Pinnacle MovieXXXX mentioned a lot and there is some Linux USB support for it( http://sourceforge.net/projects/pinnaclembusb/ ). This will allow a number of video input technologies converted to a USB stream.

I’ve not tried any of these yet on even a PC but have an interest since my only computer to xfer video from my handycam(firewire) is a 10+ year old laptop and my new laptop has no 1394 ports(just USB 3 and 2).


I ended up buying an encoder from Grandstream that converts analog video to Ethernet. Once the camera is on Ethernet, you can use mplayer or the player of your choice to play the mjpeg/rtsp stream.