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VLC GUI for PiP and Multi-channel preview. Steven Steffen IPTV group REU 2008. The Problem. Looked into VLC’s two built in implementation of PiP and Multi-channel preview, called “Mosaic”.

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vlc gui for pip and multi channel preview

VLC GUI for PiP and Multi-channel preview

Steven Steffen

IPTV group

REU 2008

the problem
The Problem
  • Looked into VLC’s two built in implementation of PiP and Multi-channel preview, called “Mosaic”.
  • VLC’s two implementations are the main command line interface, and the mosaic wizard in the web interface.
  • After some working with VLC’s methods, I discovered that both methods they use are undependable and static, meaning that once the video is started, it cant be changed without completely reseting.
vlc command line interface
VLC Command Line Interface

The picture illustrates the main VLC interface accompanied by the necessary command line execution to implement VLC’s built in Mosaic. This is a very clumsy way of achieving the desired results, and it also has a large learning curve.

Also, this method does not allow for manipulation of the videos individually within the program. The only way to change the file playing on a certain video picture, the entire command must be reset from the beginning

mosaic wizard
Mosaic Wizard

The mosaic wizard is the only method besides a long stream of command line text to get PiP, and even then, it has a few flaws.

One thing is, the pictures can only be blocked in an edge to edge square, they cant be spread out, or even just diagonal to each other. Therefore, one cant get for instance, one picture in each corner of the larger one, because they aren’t directly adjacent to one another.

This method, again, does not allow for in-play manipulation.

slide5
The First Attempt

The C++ Approach

When using the C++ approach, we were attempting to make an interface that would at the click of a button implement the VLC command line Mosaic, thereby diminishing the learning curve. The problem was that each time this was attempted, a new instance of VLC was started. This would cause there to be an unlimited number of VLC’s open at once, and this was extremely undesirable. It was also still static, so we still couldn’t change files during playback.

  • Since both of these methods are slow and undependable. A new method was necessary.
  • We tried several methods of attempting to accomplish this, including writing a C++ program to implement the regular mosaic functions
slide6
The Final Solution

The VLC PiP Interface

  • The final solution came with the discovery of the VLC C# support, that allowed a person to make a VC# application that can embed VLC into it. This allowed us to achieve both of our goals, an easily useable PiP interface, as well as dynamic support to change files, including support for flipping between two running pictures.