DVD Playback

Information about ongoing work on the ResinDVD components to support full featured DVD playback. The ResinDVD components are currently in gst-plugins-bad, and as of 13 August 2008 require CVS of gst-plugins-base to have working menu support via playbin in Totem, etc.


ResinDVD consists of a single registered element: rsndvdbin. This element produces 3 pads: decoded video, decoded audio and a DVD subpicture.

Internally, the bin contains some private elements that implement:

  • Source element - rsndvdsrc. libdvdnav based source element that handles the Virtual Machine operations and data reading.
  • Demuxer - rsndvddemux. Communicates with the source. Unpacks buffers and outputs a bunch of pads with the the video stream and all the audio + subpicture streams.
  • Stream selectors - rsnstreamselector. A modified copy of the stream selector from playbin. There are 2 - one for audio, and one for subpictures. The output from each is the currently selected encoded audio stream or subpicture stream.
  • Audio stream 'munger' - rsnaudiomunge. Massages the decoded audio stream to fill in gaps by producing silence, or to clip discontinuous audio when switching streams and produce a smooth continuous output stream.
  • Video stream 'munger' - rsnparsetter. Overrides caps on the video stream where necessary, as DVD's sometimes produce 4:3 video streams that should be stretched to 16:9. Eventually will also implement pan & scan operations/scaling for 4:3 display of 16:9 source materials. In addition, rsndvdbin uses multiqueue to buffer the video and audio streams (not the subpictures, because the dvdspu element handles that) and decodebin2 to actually decode the video and audio.


A list of known items that still require implementing, and some status.

Stream Selection


Implement switching of audio and subpicture streams.

Also, this means extending playbin to support ResinDVD stream switching. rsndvdbin only exposes a single audio and subpicture pad, and will handle the stream switching internally. Playbin currently expects that multiple streams are exposed via multiple output pads from the source and that it will be in charge of the switching. In the Resin case, we need playbin to act as a proxy to rsndvdbin and allow rsndvdbin to implement the stream switching. I think the way to do this is:

  • Add a current-subpicture property to playbin
  • Add current-audio and current-subpicture properties on rsndvdbin and rsndvdsrc.
  • Make playbin proxy audio/subpicture stream changes to the source element if it provides current-audio and current-subpicture properties.
  • Make the current-audio and current-video subpicture properties on rsndvdbin proxy through to rsndvdsrc
  • Make rsndvdsrc implement changes of the audio/subpicture stream by informing libdvdnav about it and sending an event downstream so that the stream selectors change input pads. Furthermore, we need the playbin streaminfo property to reflect the available streams inside the rsndvdbin, probably by providing a stream-info property on rsndvdbin and having playbin include streams in there in the set it outputs to players.

* Status * Currently, it's supported to send an internal event from rsndvdsrc and handle it in rsnstreamselector so that the subpicture and audio tracks can change when commanded to by DVD menu operations. This needs more work, to expose the stream info to players, so it can be changed from their menus.

Switching Audio Decoder Bin

Description Implement a bin which has a single input pad. When the incoming stream type changes (A52 to DTS to LPCM for e.g.), it needs to direct the stream to an appropriate audio decoder instance and then feed the output from the correct audio decoder. At the moment, all that's implemented is plugging a single decodebin2 in place of where this new rsnaudiodec element should be. Using a single decodebin2 instance means that the audio stream type can't change, so we are restricted to only playing A/52 streams.

Status DONE

Audio Munger

Description Extend rsnaudiomunge to support:

  • Rendering silence buffers into gaps in more formats, to avoid unnecessary caps changes in the output.
  • Mark rendered silence buffers with the 'GAP' flag for a slight efficiency improvement
  • When streams switch, there might be overlapping audio timestamps that should be clipped away to produce a smooth output stream. Status In progress


Description rsndvdsrc needs to support more seek formats: TIME, Title, Chapter. Especially TIME based seeking, as that is what most players need in order to implement the seek bar.

Status Time based seeking partially implemented - works for PGC's with a time-seek table, which is usually only the main movie. Chapter/Title seeking DONE

Alternate display modes

Description Implement 4:3 display modes eventually: Pan & Scan, Letterbox. Pan & Scan in particular needs cooperation from the mpeg video decoder, as they currently don't output the required information. Letterbox support involves downscaling the video vertically and inserting black. The only reason to do this is that some DVDs provide subtitles that display in the 'black letterbox' area instead of over the video. It's pretty low priority - on computers, it's usual to always display only in widescreen mode, and do letterboxing by not filling the whole screen.

Status Not started.


  • Make DURATION reporting in rsndvdsrc synchronised with the display, to avoid wackiness. At the moment, it's quite common to report (for example) that the 'current' duration is 10 seconds when playing a 30 second intro sequence, because the virtual machine has already entered the 'next' program and rsndvdsrc is reporting the duration from that. The correct fix for this is probably to have rsndvdsrc wait on the clock before ending a program, but it'll be tricky to get that right in the face of state changes (can't wait on the clock in PAUSED) and to avoid stuttering when the pipeline drains out. It might be easier to just implement the next point:

There are probably still other things that need implementing, and bugs to fix. Fill in the to TODO list as you find them.