I have been trying to get video stream from a frame grabber that uses the eMPIA 2861 chip. If I do lsusb I get this among others:

Bus 003 Device 015: ID eb1a:2861 eMPIA Technology, Inc.

the used device

When I connect the analog camera to the yellow connector, I get nothing in VLC. However, the camera is working as I've plugged it into an analog display and the image is there. the camera working in an analog display

I have been reading a lot and looking for solutions to similar problems but I have been unsuccessful. I have gone through the following links to look for information and none of it was useful:

  • linuxtv.org: Here it looks like this type of chip should be plug-ang-play.
  • Video recording device detected but can't use it: Here the problem looks really similar, and it says that it uses the same chip. They talk about rebuilding the kernel which I do not know how to do or if it would mes my system too much
  • Empia DC60+ blackscreen, EasyCAP: Here the problem looks exactly the same. However, the solution that made it work for a single time is not working for me any time.

Just to make sure that it was not the usb device that it was failing, I tested the same with another device (with the same chip). Moreover, If I grab images using OpenCV the LED on the USB device tourns green and I get the feed. However, it looks like this (with the same code I can wee my webcam with no problem):

enter image description here

It might not look like it's a dark (all 0) image, but there are vertical thin bars that (in the video feed) move a bit. Regardless of the camera being connected to the USB device or not, I get the same image.

Any idea on what can I do? It is really important for me to get this working asap.


Additional Information:

I use an Asus N56J with Ubuntu 14.04 with 3.16.0-76-generic Kernel.

1 Answer 1


I have the same issue too.

I found something that allows me to test the device further, i can get the picture from a terminal command line. Next step: having the picture filling the whole rectangle instead of being stretched vertically.

  1. I installed melt (a console movie grabber)

    sudo apt-get install melt
  2. I told the video4linux driver to use the device video0, interface 1 By default it will try to use interface 0 (svideo) so i tell it here:

    v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video0 -i 1

    And then test the result

    melt video4linux2:/dev/video0

You should get a video stream.

It's a workaround, I've been able to grab the sound only via the onboard sound card line-in in vlc. tvtune doesn't grab the sound, only the video stream. The real issue is that the modprobe em28xx uses the wrong card number.

OK Next. I have found an old comment about that issue, his approach is different, trying to set the modprobe to 64 instead of default. The results are swapping of interface 0 and 1. I have to test more on this one. It doesn't work for my card. Using card number 1 instead of 0 works half way, there is a buffering issue (clipping) on the sound part.

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