mpegcat --  Extracts structural information and PES streams from an MPEG2 video file


mpegcat {options} {file}


mpegcat dumps detailed textual information about an MPEG2 file. It also has an option for writing out a particular Packetized Elementary Stream (PES) given its id.

The original purpose of mpegcat was for debugging stream parsing issues in the gopchop cuts-only MPEG2 video editor, but it has more general utility.


General Options


Report debug info


Enable DVD packet extensions



-w,--write FILE,0xID[,0xSID]

Write PES with id ID (and subid SID) to FILE. Sub Picture Unit (SPU) streams such as overlays, subtitles and DVD menus extracted using this option can be displayed using the companion gtkspu utility.

To find SPU streams in a .VOB ripped from a DVD:

                $ mpegcat -iDa VTS_01_0.VOB | grep SPU
                   131086: 0xBD:  DVD Audio 0x20 (SPU 0): 2028 bytes (next marker @ 133120)
                   133134: 0xBD:  DVD Audio 0x20 (SPU 0): 2028 bytes (next marker @ 135168)
                   137230: 0xBD:  DVD Audio 0x20 (SPU 0): 190 bytes (next marker @ 137426)

To save a given stream:

                $ mpegcat -iDaw dump.spu,0xBD,0x20 VTS_01_0.VOB > /dev/null

(And to view the stream)

                $ gtkspu dump.spu 1
                $ gtkspu dump.spu 2
                $ gtkspu dump.spu 3

Processing Toggles


Process video packets (forced by -t option)

General Display Toggles


Toggle Pack packet start display


Toggle video ES packet start display


Toggle audio ES packet start display


Toggle other stream display (only show video & audio)


Toggle system header display


Toggle packet errors


Invert all display toggles

Video Display Toggles


Toggle slice starts (default off)


Toggle sequence header display


Toggle GOP header display


Toggle Picture header display

Short Cuts


Show only video frames (same as '-Vepvaoyq')

File Offset Options


Start reading at offset NUM


Stop after reading NUM bytes


Scan every byte of the stream instead of using PES offsets (this can show erroneous 'start code emulation' codes)


Kees Cook,


gopchop(1), gtkspu(1)