TV audio

The TV Input Framework (TIF) manager works with the audio routing API to support flexible audio path changes. When a System on Chip (SoC) implements the TV hardware abstraction layer (HAL), each TV input (HDMI IN, Tuner, etc.) provides TvInputHardwareInfo that specifies AudioPort information for audio type and address.

  • Physical audio input/output devices have a corresponding AudioPort.
  • Software audio output/input streams are represented as AudioMixPort (child class of AudioPort).

The TIF then uses AudioPort information for the audio routing API.

Android TV Input Framework (TIF)

Figure 1. TV Input Framework (TIF)


A SoC must implement the audio HAL with the following audio routing API support:

Audio Ports
  • TV audio input has a corresponding audio source port implementation.
  • TV audio output has a corresponding audio sink port implementation.
  • Can create audio patch between any TV input audio port and any TV output audio port.
Default Input AudioRecord (created with DEFAULT input source) must seize virtual null input source for AUDIO_DEVICE_IN_DEFAULT acquisition on Android TV.
Device Loopback Requires supporting an AUDIO_DEVICE_IN_LOOPBACK input that is a complete mix of all audio output of all the TV output (11Khz, 16bit mono or 48Khz, 16bit mono). Used only for audio capture.

TV audio devices

Android supports the following audio devices for TV audio input/output.


Note: In Android 5.1 and earlier, the path to this file is: system/core/include/system/audio.h

/* output devices */
/* HDMI Audio Return Channel */
/* S/PDIF out */
/* input devices */
/* TV tuner input */
/* S/PDIF in */

Audio HAL extension

The Audio HAL extension for the audio routing API is defined by following:


Note: In Android 5.1 and earlier, the path to this file is: system/core/include/system/audio.h

/* audio port configuration structure used to specify a particular configuration of an audio port */
struct audio_port_config {
    audio_port_handle_t      id;           /* port unique ID */
    audio_port_role_t        role;         /* sink or source */
    audio_port_type_t        type;         /* device, mix ... */
    unsigned int             config_mask;  /* e.g. AUDIO_PORT_CONFIG_ALL */
    unsigned int             sample_rate;  /* sampling rate in Hz */
    audio_channel_mask_t     channel_mask; /* channel mask if applicable */
    audio_format_t           format;       /* format if applicable */
    struct audio_gain_config gain;         /* gain to apply if applicable */
    union {
        struct audio_port_config_device_ext  device;  /* device specific info */
        struct audio_port_config_mix_ext     mix;     /* mix specific info */
        struct audio_port_config_session_ext session; /* session specific info */
    } ext;
struct audio_port {
    audio_port_handle_t      id;                /* port unique ID */
    audio_port_role_t        role;              /* sink or source */
    audio_port_type_t        type;              /* device, mix ... */
    unsigned int             num_sample_rates;  /* number of sampling rates in following array */
    unsigned int             sample_rates[AUDIO_PORT_MAX_SAMPLING_RATES];
    unsigned int             num_channel_masks; /* number of channel masks in following array */
    audio_channel_mask_t     channel_masks[AUDIO_PORT_MAX_CHANNEL_MASKS];
    unsigned int             num_formats;       /* number of formats in following array */
    audio_format_t           formats[AUDIO_PORT_MAX_FORMATS];
    unsigned int             num_gains;         /* number of gains in following array */
    struct audio_gain        gains[AUDIO_PORT_MAX_GAINS];
    struct audio_port_config active_config;     /* current audio port configuration */
    union {
        struct audio_port_device_ext  device;
        struct audio_port_mix_ext     mix;
        struct audio_port_session_ext session;
    } ext;


struct audio_hw_device {
     * Routing control

    /* Creates an audio patch between several source and sink ports.
     * The handle is allocated by the HAL and should be unique for this
     * audio HAL module. */
    int (*create_audio_patch)(struct audio_hw_device *dev,
                               unsigned int num_sources,
                               const struct audio_port_config *sources,
                               unsigned int num_sinks,
                               const struct audio_port_config *sinks,
                               audio_patch_handle_t *handle);

    /* Release an audio patch */
    int (*release_audio_patch)(struct audio_hw_device *dev,
                               audio_patch_handle_t handle);

    /* Fills the list of supported attributes for a given audio port.
     * As input, "port" contains the information (type, role, address etc...)
     * needed by the HAL to identify the port.
     * As output, "port" contains possible attributes (sampling rates, formats,
     * channel masks, gain controllers...) for this port.
    int (*get_audio_port)(struct audio_hw_device *dev,
                          struct audio_port *port);

    /* Set audio port configuration */
    int (*set_audio_port_config)(struct audio_hw_device *dev,
                         const struct audio_port_config *config);


To test DEVICE_IN_LOOPBACK for TV monitoring, use the following testing code. After running the test, the captured audio saves to /sdcard/record_loopback.raw, where you can listen to it using FFmpeg.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.MODIFY_AUDIO_ROUTING" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />

   AudioRecord mRecorder;
   Handler mHandler = new Handler();
   int mMinBufferSize = AudioRecord.getMinBufferSize(RECORD_SAMPLING_RATE,
   static final int RECORD_SAMPLING_RATE = 48000;
   public void doCapture() {
       mRecorder = new AudioRecord(MediaRecorder.AudioSource.DEFAULT, RECORD_SAMPLING_RATE,
               AudioFormat.CHANNEL_IN_MONO, AudioFormat.ENCODING_PCM_16BIT, mMinBufferSize * 10);
       AudioManager am = (AudioManager) getSystemService(Context.AUDIO_SERVICE);
       ArrayList<AudioPort> audioPorts = new ArrayList<AudioPort>();
       AudioPortConfig srcPortConfig = null;
       AudioPortConfig sinkPortConfig = null;
       for (AudioPort audioPort : audioPorts) {
           if (srcPortConfig == null
                   && audioPort.role() == AudioPort.ROLE_SOURCE
                   && audioPort instanceof AudioDevicePort) {
               AudioDevicePort audioDevicePort = (AudioDevicePort) audioPort;
               if (audioDevicePort.type() == AudioManager.DEVICE_IN_LOOPBACK) {
                   srcPortConfig = audioPort.buildConfig(48000, AudioFormat.CHANNEL_IN_DEFAULT,
                           AudioFormat.ENCODING_DEFAULT, null);
                   Log.d(LOG_TAG, "Found loopback audio source port : " + audioPort);
           else if (sinkPortConfig == null
                   && audioPort.role() == AudioPort.ROLE_SINK
                   && audioPort instanceof AudioMixPort) {
               sinkPortConfig = audioPort.buildConfig(48000, AudioFormat.CHANNEL_OUT_DEFAULT,
                       AudioFormat.ENCODING_DEFAULT, null);
               Log.d(LOG_TAG, "Found recorder audio mix port : " + audioPort);
       if (srcPortConfig != null && sinkPortConfig != null) {
           AudioPatch[] patches = new AudioPatch[] { null };
           int status = am.createAudioPatch(
                   new AudioPortConfig[] { srcPortConfig },
                   new AudioPortConfig[] { sinkPortConfig });
           Log.d(LOG_TAG, "Result of createAudioPatch(): " + status);
   private void processAudioData() {
       OutputStream rawFileStream = null;
       byte data[] = new byte[mMinBufferSize];
       try {
           rawFileStream = new BufferedOutputStream(
                   new FileOutputStream(new File("/sdcard/record_loopback.raw")));
       } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
           Log.d(LOG_TAG, "Can't open file.", e);
       long startTimeMs = System.currentTimeMillis();
       while (System.currentTimeMillis() - startTimeMs < 5000) {
           int nbytes =, 0, mMinBufferSize);
           if (nbytes <= 0) {
           try {
           } catch (IOException e) {
               Log.e(LOG_TAG, "Error on writing raw file.", e);
       try {
       } catch (IOException e) {
       Log.d(LOG_TAG, "Exit audio recording.");

Locate the captured audio file in /sdcard/record_loopback.raw and listen to it using FFmpeg:

adb pull /sdcard/record_loopback.raw
ffmpeg -f s16le -ar 48k -ac 1 -i record_loopback.raw record_loopback.wav
ffplay record_loopback.wav

Use cases

This section includes common use cases for TV audio.

TV tuner with speaker output

When a TV tuner becomes active, the audio routing API creates an audio patch between the tuner and the default output (e.g. the speaker). The tuner output does not require decoding, but final audio output is mixed with software output_stream.

Android TV Tuner Audio Patch

Figure 2. Audio Patch for TV tuner with speaker output.

HDMI OUT during live TV

A user is watching live TV then switches to the HDMI audio output (Intent.ACTION_HDMI_AUDIO_PLUG) . The output device of all output_streams changes to the HDMI_OUT port, and the TIF manager changes the sink port of the existing tuner audio patch to the HDMI_OUT port.

Android TV HDMI-OUT Audio Patch

Figure 3. Audio Patch for HDMI OUT from live TV.