[FFmpeg-devel] Reintroducing FFmpeg to Debian

Jean-Yves Avenard jyavenard at gmail.com
Sat Aug 9 03:46:40 CEST 2014


Only going to reply to some of the misinformation provided in the post
from Reinhard Tartler <siretart at gmail.com>

For the background: I am the de-facto maintainer of the MythTV's FFmpeg fork.

> To the best of my knowledge, there are only two high-profile projects
> that play hardball to require FFmpeg: Mplayer and mythtv. Neither of
> those do that (again to the best of my knowledge) mainly because of
> technical but rather very political reasons. The case of mplayer has
> been elaborated extensively in
> https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=732159#79 (see the
> following "discussion" with Reimar - my conclusion from that is while
> technically possible, nobody wants to make mplayer work with Libav -
> and that's why it was removed, not because of the FFmpeg dependency).
> For Mythtv I can only say that they didn't even bother engaging any
> discussion.

MythTV has always used its own internal fork of FFmpeg. I have been
involved in this project for close to a decade, and not once during
that time has MythTV been using a system libav*.

What political reasons are you referring to?
We were syncing against FFmpeg against before their childish fight
started, we continued syncing against FFmpeg after that. No more no

One of the core developer of LibAV is Janne Grunau, who was also a
MythTV developer. He stopped being an active member of MythTV due to
lack of time.

MythTV do not work against stock FFmpeg and never will. We run a
heavily modified version of FFmpeg, you can call it a fork.
In particular, we use our own mpeg-ts demuxer, we support things like
MHEG, DVB/ATSC/Teletext subtitles that FFmpeg do not.
We have attempted for many years to get our changes merged in FFmpeg
but gave up.

You say MythTV didn't bother engaging any discussions? what
discussions are you referring to ? I certainly have never been
contacted by either teams.

What I can recall however is me submitting an issue to both FFmpeg and
LibAV trac. The problem was dismissed in LibAV and fixed within a
couple of days in FFmpeg.
LibAV had decided to totally remove some core APIs that we make use of
(in this case it was fast mpeg decoding used by our commercial
detection system).
FFmpeg re-introduced it at our demand.

FFmpeg also have kept the old VDPAU decoding API, LibAV removed it.

As such, it is easier for us to sync against FFmpeg than it is against
LibAV. I call this technical reasons. there's nothing political into

FFmpeg cherry-pick or merge any changes occurring in LibAV in a matter
of days. So by syncing against FFmpeg we enjoy the best of both

To end this message: I fail to see how debian's decision on which
version of FFmpeg or LibAV would have any impact on MythTV, we use

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