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PICO2000 is a cheap DVR card that works well with ZoneMinder.

Name origination

The name "PICO2000," though often used, is technically not correct. PICO2000 is the name of proprietary software that was bundled with this class of cards.

PICO2000 is available under many different brand names such as Star Imavision Video Capture, Brooktree 848, Brooktree 878. They are generally stated as PICO2000 compatible.


PICO2000 is a quad camera input PCI card. The card uses a single Conexant 878A chip. In addition, some models have 1 audio input jack; it has not been tested with ZoneMinder.

  • Compression: MPEG4
  • Display Resolution: 352 x 240 (NTSC)
  • Screen Display: 1/4/7/10/13/16 multi-view or full screen
  • Multiple cards allowed as per your PCI slot allocation
  • Minimum PC capability: Pentium III 800 MHz or equivalent
  • 30 FPS (degrades as the channels are utilized; expect ~2 FPS with all four channels capturing)

Purchase information

A PICO2000 costs about US$5.00 in China with free shipping.

For the United States, ebay may be the best place to purchase a PICO2000. As of January of 2010, they are $30 each (including shipping from China). An ebay search for "PICO CCTV" will return results.

Linux driver

Linux kernels after 2.6.2x appear to have the driver for this card bundled in. Further info can be found at http://linux.bytesex.org/v4l2/bttv.html.

Linux configurations and experiments

In /etc/modprobe.conf

For one card:

options bttv card=77 tuner=4 radio=0 triton1=0 vsfx=0 autoload=0

For two cards:

options bttv card=77,77 tuner=4,4 radio=0,0 triton1=0 vsfx=0 autoload=0

And so on.

Also, if during bootup your system hangs for 5 minutes or more at "Setting clock (utc)":

options i2c-algo-bit bit_test=1
options bttv card=77 tuner=4 radio=0 triton1=0 vsfx=0 autoload=0

The order of the lines is important.

In Ubuntu 12.04 server, /etc/modprobe.conf is gone, so you need to create a config file in /etc/modprobe.d/:

  • call it bttv.conf (the name doesn't really matter), and it contains:
alias char-major-81-0 bttv
options bttv card=77 pll=1

On an AMD 6-core running zm 1.25 on Centos 6 I got this error a couple times a second in /var/log/messages -- kernel: bttv0: PLL can sleep. The remedy was to remove the options from a file in modprobe.d and put it in /etc/rc.d/rc.local as

 modprobe bttv card=77,77 tuner=4,4 radio=0,0 triton1=0 vsfx=0 autoload=0  

ZoneMinder configuration

Settings under source >> source >> general...

The following settings depend on your camera. Check your camera's specification sheet (try the suggested starting values in brackets):

  • Device format [NTSC, PAL]
  • Capture pallet [GREY]
  • Dimensions [X=320, Y=240]

When you have multiple cameras sharing one Pico card, you may have issues where:

  • An image from one camera shows up on more than one input
  • Blank images on certain inputs
  • Mixed images between inputs.

The reported solution for these problems has varied. You may want to try each of the following options one at a time. Remember to restart ZoneMinder after each change.

  • Disable V4L_MULTI_BUFFER (found in options >> config)
  • Change CAPTURES_PER_FRAME to a value such as 2 or 4 (found in options >> config)
  • Use Video For Linux version 1 for each input (found in source >> source >> capture method)
  • In ZoneMinder 1.25, I had to use V4L2 to get it to work

ZoneMinder configuration 2.0

This is working for me. Might not work for others. This card is very 50/50 when getting it to work. Each system is different!

I live in UK so for me I use PAL. PAL is 768x576 NTCS should be 640x480 (NOT TESTED).

My settings are just like the other ones but like so.

In the ZoneMinder Console, Add/edit a camera to this.


Device Path /dev/video0
Capture Method Video for Linux Version 2
Device Channel X
Device Format PAL
Capture Palette YUYV (Tested most of them, half work, half working ones are B/W or wrong color).
Capture Width (pixels) 768
Capture Height (pixels) 576

X = what input you are using. I have a image on the bottom of this page showing what inputs are what. (NTSC should be 640x480)

In your /etc/modprobe.d/bbtv.conf

alias char-major-81-0 bttv
options bttv gbuffers=32 card=77 tuner=4 radio=0 coring=1 full_luma_range=1 chroma_agc=1 combfilter=1 autoload=0 triton1=0 vsfx=0

Expect about 7-15FPS, 10 average at this resolution. I have added a photo of a night garden shot. More to come. http://www.zoneminder.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=20692&p=78737#p78737 TBH, This capture card is a waste of time and money unless if you are happy with 1-2FPS 4 channel or 1 channel 10FPS.

Test with config 2.0 Night garden http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/6170/capturexwm.png

Card input numbers. http://img803.imageshack.us/img803/8941/inputsfw.png

Chip history

The Conexant Fusion 878A is the newer version of the Brooktree Bt878A. The Brooktree Bt878A is the successor to the Bt848.

Video capture software supporting Bt878A that is not designed for CCTV will likely only allow you to access one camera port at a time.



Pico2000 photo 3 Pico2000 photo 1 Pico2000 photo 2

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