Helix Plugins


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Helix Plugins

The Helix Media engine uses a plugin system to provide an extensible framework. The purpose of this list is to describe in detail, the files that may be contained within a Watch & Listen bundle. This list may not be exhaustive but should contain most plugins.

All of the listed plugins are available under the GPL or RPSL. They can all be built from source available on HelixCommunity.org. However, not all plugins (codecs) are royalty free.


These plugins make up the helix engine. They all perform a specific function.

File Name Description
authmgr.so Authentication manager
colorcvt.so Color Converter Plugin contains functions for converting between different types of color formats (ie. YUV -> RGB)
httpfsys.so HTTP File System Plugin for dealing with files retrived via the HTTP protocol
hxplay.so HXPlay Python extensions for the helix media player
memfsys.so Memory Filesystem Reads media stored in memory
smplfsys.so Simple Filesystem Plugin for reading files from the local filesystem
vidsite.so Video Site Plugin for handling video output. Handles both creating windows and video overlays.

File Formats, Renderers, and Codecs

"Codecs" in helix are broken into pieces to make a more extensible system.

  • File format plugins read a specific type of container file.
  • Renderer plugins decode a specific media format.
  • Encoder/Decoders are used by renderer plugins.

For any media format that you wish to support you must have plugins to read the container and render the format.

Free Formats

These plugins are completely free.

File Format Description Mime
giffformat.so GIF File Format Reads GIF files image/gif
gifrender.so GIF Renderer renders GIF files image/gif
jpgfformat.so JPG File Format image/jpeg
jpgrender.so JPG Renderer image/jpeg
oggfformat.so OGG File format audio/ogg, video/ogg
pcmrend.so raw PCM renderer audio/L8 and audio/L16 audio/x-adpcm
pngfformat.so PNG File Format image/png
pngrender.so PNG Renderer image/png
rtspclnt.so RTSP Client
rtspfformat.so RTSP FileFormat
smlfformat.so SMIL file format application/smil
smlrender.so SMIL renderer application/smil
theorarend.so Theora Renderer video/x-theora+ogg
tonerend.so tone renderer
vorbisrend.so Vorbis Renderer audio/x-vorbis+ogg
wbmpfformat.so Wireless Bitmap Fileformat image/vnd.wap.wbmp
wbmprend.so Wireless Bitmap renderer image/vnd.wap.wbmp

Real Media Formats

These plugins are owned by Real Networks but may be distributed royalty free per an agreement with OLPC

File Format Description Mime
atrc.so Real Audio 8 High Bitrate Decoder audio/vnd.rn-realaudio
drv1.so Real Video 1.0 decoder
drv2.so Real Video G2 decoder
imgrender.so Image Renderer contains png/gif/jpg formats, for use with realpix plugin.
ngtfformat.so Nugget file format
ramfformat.so RAM File Format application/ram
ramrender.so RAM renderer application/ram
rarender.so RealAudio renderer
rmfformat.so Real Media file format
rpfformat.so RealPix file format
rpgifplin.so RealPix GIF Plugin image/gif
rpjpgplin.so RealPix JPG Plugin image/jpg
rppngplin.so RealPix PNG Plugin image/png
rprender.so RealPix Renderer image/vnd.rn-realpix
rtfformat.so RealText File Format text/vnd.rn-realtext
rtrender.so RealText Renderer text/vnd.rn-realtext
rvrender.so RealVideo Renderer video/vnd.rn-realvideo
smmrender.so Real Events Renderer

Non-Free Formats

These plugins are patented but may be distributed by RealNetworks

File Format Description Mime
avifformat.so AVI file format
h263render.so H.263 renderer
mp3fformat.so MP3 file format audio/mpeg
mp3metaff.so MP3 metadata file format
mp3render.so MP3 renderer audio/mpeg
mp4arender.so MP4 Audio renderer
mp4fformat.so MP4 file format

Non-Distributable Formats

These plugins have royalties associated with them and may not be distributed. To obtain these plugins you must build them from source code yourself. Please note that even if you have built the codecs from sourcecode a license may still be required.

File Format Description Mime
amrff.so AMR file format audio/AMR
amrn.so AMR-NB decoder Adaptive Multi-Rate Narrowband, a low bitrate voice encoder audio/AMR
amrw.so AMR-WB decoder Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband voice encoder audio/AMR
avc1.so H.264 decoder front-end
dmp4.so MP4 decoder
h264dec.so H.264 decoder
mp4vrender.so MP4 video renderer
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