I’m getting ready to push several commits to the gst-plugins-bad source repository that add plugins for capturing SDI and HD-SDI using cards from two different manufacturers: BlackMagic Design‘s DeckLink, and Linear Systems SDI Master capture card.
The Linear Systems cards are probably better known by their reseller, DVEO. Entropy Wave uses both of these cards in the E1000 Live Encoder appliance, we’ve found that aside from some motherboard incompatibilities in the DeckLink cards, they both work great in Linux. While we’re primarily interested in live capture at the moment, output has also been implemented.
We slightly prefer the Linear Systems cards – mainly because the drivers are open source, but also because the API allows lower level access to the hardware, including SDI clocking and raw VANC and HANC data. It also allows subframe latency, although not implemented in the GStreamer plugin, it will be nice to use in the future.
In comparison, the DeckLink driver and SDK are not open source (which means I can’t fix any bugs), although they conveniently provide open source headers and shim code for interfacing with the SDK. This allows the GStreamer plugin to be completely open source and legally distributable separately from the SDK, but will only work if the SDK libraries and driver are present. Optical fiber connections are only available in the DeckLink, and the DeckLink cards tend to be less expensive.