SAA7164 – Current features

A handful of people have asked about current and future support for the SAA7164 features. Digital TV, Remote control, Analog, VBI, FM Radio, Raw Video and Encoded video for NTSC, PAL and SECAM. Firstly, thank you for writing. Second, I thought it would be useful to outline the current status and future roadmap for the driver.

Today, the only supported features of the HVR-2200 and the HVR-2250 products are the digital TV inputs. So, if you have access to DVB-T signals in Europe or Australia, or you’re lucky enough to be able to receive ATSC or Digital Cable (QAM Annex-B) in North America, Mexico or Canada then one of these two boards would be useful to you. You’re in luck. The HVR-22×0 series products are dual tuners so you can use both digital TV tuners independently and concurrently.

Today, if you need analog TV support (US cable comes to mind), remote control support, VBI / Closed Captions then you’re out of luck. The driver has no support for any of these features.

Generally speaking, the current driver is fairly stable for a large number of people but a handful are experiencing a full system lockup. I’m covering that separately on the blog so I’ll skip the detail here. Importantly, I have no plans to develop new driver features (analog etc) until we get digital TV support reliable and stable across all platforms, including 32 and 64bit. Why? It’s a question of overall quality and currently it’s not high enough for the Kernel Labs seal of approval.

Work is progressing on the driver. In the coming days / weeks I’ll isolate then fix the hang and prepare the driver for another round of testing, followed by requesting merge into the master repositories at Once this is complete then we’ll review the other missing features and outline a roadmap for implementation.

The long-term goal is to have all of the missing features working in the driver, where possible.

18 thoughts on “SAA7164 – Current features

  1. Andrew Barbaccia


    i love how you keep us all up to date on your work. its very cool to track your progress and see how you are tackling the problems and addressing user issues.

    keep it up – many appreciate you!

  2. Steven,
    Thank you for laying out the roadmap. I certainly am looking forward to analog support from the driver. Please keep us informed of your progress.

  3. OTA works well. no lockups yet, so i’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    if there were a bounty page for future features, i’ld definitely contribute towards getting composite in working. it will likely be the only way to get comcast+mythtv working in the US.

    thanks again for your commitment to this driver.

  4. Steven, thanks for a fantastic piece of work. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate it more than I can express, and that once I am able I’ll show that appreciation directly via the appropriate donation link on your blog. Thank you again for your hard work, and dedication.

  5. Looking forward to analog support as well, I’ve been tracking your posts, and have been holding out buying a HVR-2250 until analog is available. But it sounds like your well on the way. This is huge thing your doing for the PVR comunity. Thanks Steven!!

  6. Hey. Just a short note regarding the full system hang problem.

    I was experiencing the full system hang problem when using MythTV. I noticed that the problem seemed to happen when using both encoders on the card. I have disabled one of the tuners in mythtv-settings (the tuner with ID 1 is disabled, the tuner with ID 0 is enabled), and I have not had a hang since, touch wood.

  7. In addition to CJ above, I have noticed the problem when both tuners come online at once. If I start one recording, and go to watch live TV with the other, there is no problem. Same with staging recordings to not start simultaneously. If two recordings start at once, there is problems. (using a 88041)

  8. Is there any information on getting the analog side working? In other words, is the digital side stable enough that there is a chance of the analog side getting implemented this side of hell freezing over?

  9. Hi Steven,

    Thank you for the work already done on the HVR-22xx. I’d be very interested in analogue support being added and was wondering how things might be progressing in this regard.

  10. Well I think the cable companies that still send out Analog are keeping the Analog drivers from being developed. I have over 500 customers waiting for me to offer my solution to them but i am stuck waiting for the low profile PCI-e drivers for this card. I do not want to provide and ATX Micro case with a Hauppauge PVR-500. Steve, I would be interested in talking to you about paying you per customer if you could develop the drivers. If you are not interested, please forward this offer to another developer that may be interested.

    Thank You.

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