USB OTG goes webcam

Posted on March 19, 2008
Filed Under Maemo, N810, Software, Tutorials, video |

This time in my mini series of testing USB on the N810 tablet - I bring you external webcam. The following video shows mplayer playing v4l stream from the device. See details after the jump.

Nokia N810 + Creative webcam + USB OTG + mplayer on Vimeo.

All you need really, are the basics set up, and some custom modules and mplayer. This mplayer build is based on .24 and has no optimisations whatsoever. So don’t try to use it for anything else.

The module my Creative webcam uses is the ov511. Other modules are available also. Installation from the command prompt:

insmod ov511.ko

Mplayer starts the new video device from command prompt with the following:

mplayer-v4l -cache 128 -tv driver=v4l:width=420:height=240:outfmt=i420:device=/dev/video1 -vc rawi420 -vo xv tv://

Thanks to google and brainwagon fro the syntax.

ps. You might have to try a few times before the video looks right. Sometimes I get only b/w or some weird colors.


14 Responses to “USB OTG goes webcam”

  1. USB OTG con webcam esterna | Blog on March 19th, 2008 13:09

    [...] .24 for OS2008 with v4l This build is not optimized in any way. It just has v4l enabled for webcam use. [...]

  2. Will on March 22nd, 2008 12:29

    Looks great. I will try as soon as my F-F USB adaptor tunrs up.

    Question, can you record the video? This would be ace!

  3. Will on March 27th, 2008 16:52

    Hi, can someone put the mplayer-v4l.tar.gz file on another server somewhere so i can get it. the current link has only worked once for me and then the file was corrupt. the download speed is currently in the bytes per second and then finally drops and needs a restart. Much appreciated as I want to use this on my race car as a helmet cam. Should be great fun!

  4. Bobo on April 2nd, 2008 21:32

    Try copying the url and removing from it. This disables CoralCDN that I’m using to reduce load on the server.

    For some reason CoralCDN doesn’t work for you :(

  5. Will on April 7th, 2008 14:20

    I removed the….. oh that is soooooo much better. I have actually managed to download the file now. Thanks

  6. Will on April 7th, 2008 14:31

    By the way the, Kate’s usb-otg-plugin does not work on my N810 but does on my N800. any suggestions to fix?

  7. Qole on April 9th, 2008 20:23

    Your mplayer-v4l also can display the internal webcam, with the following syntax:

    mplayer-v4l -cache 128 -tv driver=v4l2 -vo xv tv://

    (the v4l2 is v4L2 not v412)

    The irony is that -vo xv looks better than -vo nokia770 for some reason. I guess you have to mess around with the parameters or something.

    Now, can mplayer do network streaming out?

  8. MTLNeon on June 11th, 2008 19:10

    Has anyone get this working with a Logitech QuickCam Zoom and what module did you load and command line options?

  9. johannesgj on January 12th, 2009 13:16

    is there a way to use this hack together with a recording program. so you have a kind of homemade videocamera that records to the memory of the n810

    i really need this to record some projects down in denmark.

  10. Shining Chan on March 18th, 2009 07:11

    Thank you very much for this very useful artical. But I have a question that my N810 can not recognize the camera I connected. Why? Thank you very much again~

  11. Shining Chan on March 19th, 2009 14:56

    Now, I can open my USB flash disk when I connected it with my N810. But when I connected a camera, it displayed the infomation that there is no available file system. So there was no file video1 in the directory /dev. And after I ran mplayer, my X terminal failed to load. I have no idea to deal with it. Could help me? Thank you very much.

  12. ngrp on April 12th, 2009 19:37


    did anybody succeed in using uvcvideo with n810 (kernel 2.6.21)? if the answer is yes — how did you do that? is there something special to be done so that the kernel does not panic when the video device is opened?


  13. hayes on May 12th, 2009 21:34

    The ov511.ko does not work for my cameras, so I tried the gspca.ko from here, which does create a /dev/video1 file for my creative and logitech cameras:

    However, the mplayer version listed here does not work right. I get this error:

    unable to open ‘/dev/video1′: Input/output error
    MPlayer interrupted by signal 11 in module: demux_open

    Can anyone advise how to connect and use this camera? In particular, it would be great to use the python easy api ( to address this external camera. Anyone know how?


  14. How to: add a USB webcam to the Nokia N810 on October 7th, 2009 21:04

    [...] Nokia N810 owners are finding more uses for the USB on-the-go support every day. The latest entry attaches an external USB web-cam to the Internet Tablet which comes in handy since the integrated cam is front-facing only unlike the swivel barrel of the [...]

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