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03 April 2013, 11:14

New major release of Linux Video Disk Recorder

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VDR logo After five years in development and 43 developer versions, version 2 of the VDR Linux video recorder has been released by its author Klaus Schmidinger. The new software offers full HDTV support. TV images are processed either by a plugin using the graphics card or by a DVB card's hardware decoder; however, only TechnoTrend's S2 6400 DVB card, which is mostly unavailable at present, currently supports rendering images in HD.

With the introduction of HDTV, Klaus Schmidinger has also changed the recording format from PES (Packetised Elementary Stream) to TS (Transport Stream), but the new VDR can still play back old recordings. VDR has also acquired new capabilities in other areas, for example DVB subtitles and ATSC support. Additional threads improve the handling of Electronic Program Guides (EPG) and make a particular difference if the EPG data is large. VDR 2.0.0 is also better able to process EPG data from external sources.

VDR 2.0.0 supports "Satellite Channel Routing" (SCR), a technology that allows multiple receivers to be operated through one cable (also known under the brand name "Unicable"). Even without SCR, multiple DVB cards can now share one satellite cable. VDR will ensure that cards use the same polarisation plane (V/H) and frequency band (lo/hi).

Zoom The new default LCARS interface
Source: VDR
The user interface has also had a makeover. The On-Screen Display (OSD) now offers full-screen HD and TrueColor support. The new "LCARS" standard skin is modelled after the control panels from the Star Trek franchise. In addition to the existing OSD designs, the software now supports plugins such as nOpacity that make even better use of the available options.

VDR 2.0.0 requires DVB drivers that support at least version 5.3 of the DVB API, meaning version 3.0 or newer of the Linux kernel or the external DVB drivers from The VDR 2.0.0 source code and a detailed overview of all changes can be found on the VDR project web site. Numerous plugins that provide added functionality are also available for VDR.

(Tobias Grimm / sno)

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