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From: rde...@meridianksi.com (Ryan Dewalt)
Subject: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/11
Message-ID: <3.0.3.32.19990310212001.007124a0@207.86.113.200>#1/1
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I've been perusing around, looking for information/drivers to see if there
is any FreeBSD support (or any in development, looking for a willing
programmer/victim)  for the Creative Labs "Encore" DVD kit.

I scanned Deja News, and didn't see much other than "looking for
information"  Has there been any progress?

I'd much rather not reboot to play DVD's, and for that matter, toss my
Win95 partition.

Last I checked(a while back),  Creative Labs aren't even supporting Win NT
on their DVD kits.

-Wishing I had a clue how to go about reverse engineering it..
 -Ryan


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From: u...@Alameda.net (Ulf Zimmermann)
Subject: Re: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/11
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On Wed, Mar 10, 1999 at 09:20:01PM -0500, Ryan Dewalt wrote:
> I've been perusing around, looking for information/drivers to see if there
> is any FreeBSD support (or any in development, looking for a willing
> programmer/victim)  for the Creative Labs "Encore" DVD kit.
> 
> I scanned Deja News, and didn't see much other than "looking for
> information"  Has there been any progress?
> 
> I'd much rather not reboot to play DVD's, and for that matter, toss my
> Win95 partition.
> 
> Last I checked(a while back),  Creative Labs aren't even supporting Win NT
> on their DVD kits.

Jordan posted an email address of a Taiwan CL person, who had promised 
programming documentations. Try to poke that person again.

> 
> -Wishing I had a clue how to go about reverse engineering it..
>  -Ryan
> 
> 
> To Unsubscribe: send mail to majo...@FreeBSD.org
> with "unsubscribe freebsd-multimedia" in the body of the message

-- 
Regards, Ulf.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Ulf Zimmermann, 1525 Pacific Ave., Alameda, CA-94501, #: 510-769-2936
Alameda Networks, Inc. | http://www.Alameda.net  | Fax#: 510-521-5073


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From: j...@zippy.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/11
Message-ID: <72974.921137745@zippy.cdrom.com>#1/1
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> Jordan posted an email address of a Taiwan CL person, who had promised 
> programming documentations. Try to poke that person again.

I don't think that will do any good at this point.  They don't
appear to be answering.

- Jordan


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From: q...@fan.net.au (Q)
Subject: Re: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/11
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On Wed, 10 Mar 1999, Jordan K. Hubbard wrote:

> > Jordan posted an email address of a Taiwan CL person, who had promised 
> > programming documentations. Try to poke that person again.
> 
> I don't think that will do any good at this point.  They don't
> appear to be answering.
> 

I contacted this person and got a response from him fairly quickly,
unfortunately Creative's official position at this time is that they only
support the Windows MCI API for third party access to the card. Which
doesn't help at all. 

I am currently doing research into the likelyhood of completing support
for the Dxr2 card (ie. researching required information not code hacking).
From what I have discovered, all the components used on the Dxr2 board
have downloadable documentation except one. The ZiVA-DS DVD decoder chip,
this is the brains of the board and without technical information about
the chip it looks unlikely that FreeBSD support will be possible.

From what I can gather, the Dxr2 board is based on the Auravision
Universal DVD card, with only a couple of components differing slightly.
Auravision sell a development kit to manufacturers that includes windows
drivers. Unfortunately, to get the ZiVA-DS documentation and source code
you still need to speak directly to C-Cube. Who only give it out at their
discression. So it seems to be a well kept secret.

I have tried to contact C-Cube through various channels in an attempt to
obtain information about the ZiVA-DS chipset but have hit dead ends every
time. Anyone inside the US is encouraged to persue this. Being in
Australia has made things difficult.

I have also seen a couple of reports from Linux developers that C-Cube
have refused to give them programming information because it is
"proprietry" and not for public distribution.

I am not sure on the legalities yet, but I plan to make an attempt at
trying to reverse engineer/trace parts of the Creative windows DVD player
to see if it is possible to derive enough information about the ZiVA-DS
decoder to proceed with the project.

For the moment, reverse engineering is the only option. I don't know what
the legalities are yet, but the result of such an effort would be an adhoc
programming spec. Which would be used to implement a clean room device
driver for FreeBSD. I know that the UK have "product compatability"
related laws that make reversing legal.

I am still learning a lot of new stuff as I investigate this (mostly about
the internals of windows). DVD support fgor FreeBSD is a commercial sized
project. Things that need to be done before DVD will happen on FreeBSD
includes UDF support, CSS key negotiation support in the ATAPI CDROM
driver, Dxr2 video overlay driver, Dxr2 TV/Out driver, C-Cube ZiVA-DS
driver, implementation of a full DVD navigator.

I would be interested to discuss this with anyone interested in commencing
with such a project.

Seeya...Q

               -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
                        
                          _____  /      Quinton Dolan - q...@fan.net.au
  __  __/  /   /   __/   /      /          Systems Administrator
     /    __  /   _/    /      /            Fast Access Network
  __/  __/ __/ ____/   /   -  /          Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
                    _______  /              Ph: +61 7 5574 1050
                           \_\                 SAGE-AU Member



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From: pusa...@juniper.net (Tom Pusateri)
Subject: Re: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/11
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In message <Pine.BSF.4.02.990311...@gromit.fan.net.au> you wri
te:
>On Wed, 10 Mar 1999, Jordan K. Hubbard wrote:
>
>I am currently doing research into the likelyhood of completing support
>for the Dxr2 card (ie. researching required information not code hacking).
>From what I have discovered, all the components used on the Dxr2 board
>have downloadable documentation except one. The ZiVA-DS DVD decoder chip,
>this is the brains of the board and without technical information about
>the chip it looks unlikely that FreeBSD support will be possible.
>
>From what I can gather, the Dxr2 board is based on the Auravision
>Universal DVD card, with only a couple of components differing slightly.
>Auravision sell a development kit to manufacturers that includes windows
>drivers. Unfortunately, to get the ZiVA-DS documentation and source code
>you still need to speak directly to C-Cube. Who only give it out at their
>discression. So it seems to be a well kept secret.
>
>I have tried to contact C-Cube through various channels in an attempt to
>obtain information about the ZiVA-DS chipset but have hit dead ends every
>time. Anyone inside the US is encouraged to persue this. Being in
>Australia has made things difficult.
>
>I have also seen a couple of reports from Linux developers that C-Cube
>have refused to give them programming information because it is
>"proprietry" and not for public distribution.

I may be way off base here but I would rather see efforts focused
towards products from companies that show more cooperation. If FreeBSD
and Linux users find that certain brands are supported because
the company was cooperative, then this is what the users will buy.

If the company doesn't want to cooperate, boycott it and find one
that will cooperate. I think there are enough non-windows users
out there that we can take this attitude.

Just my $0.02. (Not trying to start a war. ;-)

Tom


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From: j...@zippy.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/11
Message-ID: <4323.921185684@zippy.cdrom.com>#1/1
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Thanks for the summary - that's quite good (though the situation you
paint a picture of is a little less so).  I think the first place to
start is IS9660/UDF, and since my DVD drive now works with Soren's
latest ATAPI driver, I think I'll start poking around on
http://trylinux.com/projects/udf/

I've also seen BETA (Linux) drivers for "the Dxr2 board", but I have
no idea how comprehensive or complete they are.  Wasn't Bill Fenner
or somebody also working on such a thing for FreeBSD?

- Jordan


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From: q...@fan.net.au (Q)
Subject: Re: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/12
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On Thu, 11 Mar 1999, Tom Pusateri wrote:

> >I have also seen a couple of reports from Linux developers that C-Cube
> >have refused to give them programming information because it is
> >"proprietry" and not for public distribution.
> 
> I may be way off base here but I would rather see efforts focused
> towards products from companies that show more cooperation. If FreeBSD
> and Linux users find that certain brands are supported because
> the company was cooperative, then this is what the users will buy.

I agree with this point, but it would probably only influence a fraction
of a percent of their total sales. And while there remains no DVD support
for these platforms it doesn't effect their sales at all. I think it is
also safe to assume that there are a lot of Linux and FreeBSD users who
would prefer to buy the best item from a product line and get it supported
than an average product that has Linux/FreeBSD support but only average
performance. (I put myself in this category) I would prefer to reboot into
Windoze than endure less than perfect picture quality.

The creative DVD kit appears to have been the most popular and best
reviewed recently. Consiquently this is the one I have. There may be
others out there that are better candidates for Linux/FreeBSD support.
However, unless Jordan, or someone else interested in seeing DVD support
wants to donate a DVD kit that does everything in hardware (including CSS)
with readily available programming specs I can't really help here.

> If the company doesn't want to cooperate, boycott it and find one
> that will cooperate. I think there are enough non-windows users
> out there that we can take this attitude.

I think the best angle is to have someone (Jordan?) approach C-Cube with a
proposal for the FreeBSD team to fund and manage the development of
FreeBSD support for ZiVA based DVD products. If it costs them nothing, and
has the potential to make their products more appealing they may be more
likely to cooperate with an organisation than an individual. Unfortunately
C-Cube only make chips, it is up to the board manufactures to decide
whether or not to buy them not the end user. Most PC card manufactures
will be looking to compete in the windows market with anything else a
bonus, so it would be a tough sell. Other companies like panasonic don't
even care about windows support because they use the chips to make
standalone DVD players.

RedHat funded and developed X support for NeoMagic based notebooks with
cooperation from whoever manufacturers the chips. So it's not like this is
unexplored territory.

I have seen details of linux projects for the Creative Dxr2 board and the
Matrox G??. But if the board doesn't do CSS in hardware (the ZiVA based
boards do) DVD support for it isn't going to happen non commercially for
Linux/FreeBSD. Unless something changes you wouldn't be able to open
source a CSS implementation without getting sued.

Whatever happens, it's just a matter of time before enough people push in
the same direction and DVD support for some hardware appears.

Well... anyone still interested? :)

Seeya...Q

               -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
                        
                          _____  /      Quinton Dolan - q...@fan.net.au
  __  __/  /   /   __/   /      /          Systems Administrator
     /    __  /   _/    /      /            Fast Access Network
  __/  __/ __/ ____/   /   -  /          Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
                    _______  /              Ph: +61 7 5574 1050
                           \_\                 SAGE-AU Member



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From: q...@fan.net.au (Q)
Subject: Re: Creative Labs DVD Dxr2
Date: 1999/03/12
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.02.9903120937270.23442-100000@gromit.fan.net.au>#1/1
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On Thu, 11 Mar 1999, Jordan K. Hubbard wrote:

> Thanks for the summary - that's quite good (though the situation you
> paint a picture of is a little less so).  I think the first place to
> start is IS9660/UDF, and since my DVD drive now works with Soren's
> latest ATAPI driver, I think I'll start poking around on
> http://trylinux.com/projects/udf/

I haven't bothered reading about UDF yet. UDF has a freely available
specification so it shouldn't be too difficult for someone to get
functioning. I have concentrated on the Dxr2 board (because I have one),
and the possibility of using it as a hardware MPEG-2 decoder which doesn't
require CSS or UDF support to work.

> I've also seen BETA (Linux) drivers for "the Dxr2 board", but I have
> no idea how comprehensive or complete they are.  Wasn't Bill Fenner
> or somebody also working on such a thing for FreeBSD?

I have seen the odd discussion about DVD support in the archives but I
haven't actually seen anyone say they were working on it.

I have spoken with Andrew Veliath (Linux driver author) and he has
encountered the same problem with obtaining information about the ZiVA-DS
chip. His driver currently only manipulates the video overlay hardware,
the Auravision AnP-82 which has online documentation. So you can't really
use it for much yet.

He also has some patches for the Linux CD-ROM driver to support CSS key
negotiation, although nothing uses it yet.
(http://www.rpi.edu/~veliaa/linux-dvd/)

Seeya...Q

               -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
                        
                          _____  /      Quinton Dolan - q...@fan.net.au
  __  __/  /   /   __/   /      /          Systems Administrator
     /    __  /   _/    /      /            Fast Access Network
  __/  __/ __/ ____/   /   -  /          Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
                    _______  /              Ph: +61 7 5574 1050
                           \_\                 SAGE-AU Member



To Unsubscribe: send mail to majo...@FreeBSD.org
with "unsubscribe freebsd-multimedia" in the body of the message

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