SoC 2008/Enhance PVR capabilities of VLC

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This project is part of Google Summer of Code 2008.
Student: Dylan Yudaken
Mentor: Pierre d'Herbemont


This is the page I will use to document the progress of my Summer of Code 2008 project. Feel free to send me ideas, comments or any inspiration.

Project Abstract

VLC has fast become one of the most common video players available for 'non-technical' users. The ability to watch streams easily and efficiently is a huge advantage for VLC. The ability to timeshift streams has been added to the latest unstable builds, however it is vastly underfeatured and not nearly ready for release. The features would enhance VLC to a new level which would allow a new set of users to use it.

I propose to extend & improve the PVR capabilities of VLC. The current version is severely lacking in functionality and performance. There is a very basic timeshift capability already. To this I will add the ability to randomly seek through the buffer (fast forward, rewind, etc ). The ability to save buffers and continue recording to the new file will be added. These recordings will be in any chosen format. These features will help anyone who uses VLC to watch TV shows to easily turn their client into a MythTV/Media Centre style client. I will tie the module in with the user interface properly so that the state of the buffer and the current position can be easily seen. I then plan to begin work on a framework that combines all of these features into a simple interface easily accessible with a remote control. The interface will combine VLM and the media library into a single easily accesible place. The interface will have the ability to 'talk' to the server sending commands such as changing tv channel or switching input source.

With this and the completion of VLM and the playlist managing system VLC will have the capabilities to become a fully featured PVR system with the massive advantage of it being run off a streaming server if need be.

Current Status

End of Week 8

Latest patches


  • Mostly Done - Testing Phase!


  • Now we have a full on menu system (see screenshots).
  • Can control most VLC things from the system.
  • It could(should?) work if you pull it off the git repository. hit F5 during movie play and a menu should slide into view with some functionality.

Command line vlc --vout=pvrvout -I pvrgui <file>

  • Now is time to make it all functional and nice. Beginning with the text.

Current Problems

  • Image drawing STILL isnt working. I hate this bug. (loading works I think).
  • When the movie is paused the thread priority drops and the animations dont work well anymore.
  • Major problem with closing GLX. Traced to an nvidia driver problem. I have found a work around thought, so that will be an option. Hopefully they fix the drivers one day.
  • got to remove FTGL


End Week 8


  • Base Menu


  • Playlist modifications


  • Modifying an number variable


The plan is to work on two parts.

Timeshift Module

Initially the timeshift access module will be improved considerably. Bugs ironed out and additional functionality added. This is beign done a bit at a time throughout.

PVR Interface

Then a new interface will be added. My current idea (still to be discussed with more knowledgable developers) is to build onto the QT interface. Firstly a good fullscreen interface (potentially to be worked on with the summer of code project focusing on that) that clearly displays the current buffer state. ie. where we are in the current buffer, buffer size, recording information etc... In addition a new widget will be created that contains the PVR-style menus. These will be nice and big for use on a tv. There will be screens to access music & videos (from the library still to be finished), streams, options, pictures & VLM. There will potentially also be a new sort of hotkeys interface specifically for the PVR, so that you can have specific hotkeys linked to a remote control when watching fullscreen.

Project Timeline

Time Planning


Pre-May 26 Because of my excellent southern-hemisphere timetable have started working on code a bit. see status for progress.

May 26: Program Start. Also the start of my exams. Will not be working this week.

June 1 -> 13: Still have exams, but only 2 in this long period and its not very busy with them. Will start working properly on the project.

June 14 - July 7: Work Work

July 7: Mid term evaluations

July 8 -> Beginning of August: Work nice and hard.

Beginning of August -> August 11: Finish off. could have tests here as well depending on university. 11 August is googles suggested pencils down date.

August 11 -> August 18: Make code excellent.

August 19: no more coding


This will be expanded upon, specifically the PVR Interface section will be much more detailed closer to the time, when a specific plan is developed.

Task Description Date Finished (or planned Finish) Status
Planning 26 May done (so to speak)
PVR On screen display 16 - 23 June Busy...
Timeshift Module ? Not Started
PVR Interface 11 August Not Started