MPEG-TS helper library

This library should be linked to by getting cflags and libs from gstreamer-plugins-bad-{{ }}.pc and adding -lgstmpegts-{{ }} to the library flags.

NOTE: This library API is considered unstable


The MPEG-TS helper library provides a collection of definitions, object, enumerations and functions to assist with dealing with the base MPEG 2 Transport Stream (MPEG-TS) format (as defined by ISO/IEC 13818-1 and ITU-T H.222.0) and its derivates (DVB, ATSC, SCTE, ARIB, Blu-ray, AVCHD, ...).

This library provides helpers for dealing with:

  • The various Section Information (SI) and Program-Specific Information (SI), handled with the GstMpegtsSection object and related functions.

  • The various descriptors present in SI/PSI, handled with the GstMpegtsDescriptor object and related functions.

This library does not cover:

  • Parsing MPEG-TS packets (PSI or PES) and extracting the sections. One can use an existing demuxer/parser element for this, or parse the packets themselves.

  • Generate and multiplex MPEG-TS packets and sections. One can use an existing muxer element for this.

Applications, or external elements, can interact with the existing MPEG-TS elements via messages (to receive sections) or events (to send sections).

Specification and References

As much as possible, the information contained in this library is based on the official Specification and/or References listed below:


This is the base specification from which all variants are derived. It covers the basic sections (for program signalling) and descriptors. All variants must abide by this specification.

  • ISO/IEC 13818-1 and ITU-T H.222.0: "Information technology – Generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information: Systems". The two specifications are identical, the ITU one is more easily available (nudge).

SMPTE-RA : SMPTE Registration Authority

The official registration authority for MPEG-TS. This is used for the base Registration Descriptor which allows to unambiguously identify a stream when it is not specified in a standard (yet).

DVB : Digital Video Broadcasting

This standards body covers the variant of MPEG-TS used in Europe, Oceania, and most of Asia and Africa. The standards are actually published by the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).

  • ETSI EN 300 468: "Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Specification for Service Information (SI) in DVB systems". Covers all the sections and descriptors used in DVB variants.
  • ETSI EN 101 154: "Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB);Specification for the use of Video and Audio Coding in Broadcast and Broadband Applications". Provides more details about signalling/sectios for audio/video codecs.

ATSC : Advanced Television Systems Committee

This set of standards covers the variants of MPEG-TS used in North America. * ATSC A/53-3 : "ATSC Digital Television Standard, Part 3 – Service Multiplex and Transport Subsystem Characteristics". How ATSC extends the base MPEG-TS. * ATSC A/65 : "ATSC Standard:Program and System Information Protocol for Terrestrial Broadcast and Cable". Covers all sections and descriptors used in ATSC 1.0 variants. * ATSC A/90 : "ATSC Data Broadcast Standard". Extensions for data transfer (i.e. DSM-CC). * ATSC A/107 : "ATSC 2.0 Standard". Adds a few more descriptors. * ATSC Code Points Registry : The list of stream types, decriptor types, etc... used by ATSC standards.

SCTE : Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers

This set of standards evolved in parallel with ATSC in North-America. Most of it has been merged into ATSC and other standards since.

  • ANSI/SCTE 35 : "Digital Program Insertion Cueing Message for Cable"

DSM-CC : "Digital Storage Media - Command & Control"

This ISO standard is the base for asynchronously carrying "files" over mpeg-ts.

  • ISO/IEC 13818-6 : "Information technology — Generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information — Part 6: Extensions for DSM-CC".