Video capture card?

S

Sephiroth

New Member
#1
i need to get a video capture card, but im not sure of which brand or what kind i need.

i know there are graphics cards with tv ins/outs, but i already have a video card.

i need one so i can take the ins/outs of my vcr and video camera and hook them up (individually) so i can "capture" video.

so what kind of video capture card should i get?

-Sin
 
Bink

Bink

Will moderate for food
#2
What end result are you hoping for in terms of picture quality? Do you plan to capture any digital video as well?
 
S

Sephiroth

New Member
#3
well...no digital stuff...unless you count nabbing video from my PS2 games.

-Sin
 
Bink

Bink

Will moderate for food
#4
Pinnacle Systems have a package desiged for home users who want to capture and edit video footage called Pinnacle Studio version 8. It comes in a variety of flavours, depending on your needs.

If your video camera doesn't have digital-out, then I'd recommend the Pinnacle Studio AV version 8 which is about US$129.99, including software and capture card. This card only captures analogue video.

If it turns out your video camera does actually have digital-out, then I'd suggest the Pinnacle Studio Deluxe which is about US$299.99 for the software and capture card. The card supports both analogue and digital video capture.
 
Bink

Bink

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#6
Well it looks cheap. I can't vouch for its quality, but if that's the kinda thing you're after, then go for it.
 
golferadam

golferadam

New Member
#7
I have an ATI 8500DV AIW and the TV Tuner on it has gone bad (in less than 3 months) and it won't give any sound. I did a lot of troubleshooting and narrowed it down, but I have been too lazy to call ATI and see about sending it back :eek:
So I am not sure how much difference it makes if you spend a lot on one of those.
 
Shinma

Shinma

____________
#8
For the product linked,
Another thing to keep in mind would be the level of driver support via the web...
 
golferadam

golferadam

New Member
#9
Yeah, that is a good point about driver support. In ATI's defense, they do seem to do a good job in that category.
 
Todd a

Todd a

New Member
#10
I have their old cheap'O TV Wonder VE and recently did some... "backing up" of some tapes off my VCR. The beta 7.6 drivers let you record it directly to Window Media Video so you can burn them on a CD and it will play on any computer made in the last 3 years pretty much. I do get a few frame drops though and the image quality is degraded a tiny bit do to WMV, but overall it is pretty good. I also only paid $30 (Best Buy had it on sale for $10 off and ATI had a $10 rebate) almost a year ago. I use it for recording TV shows mostly with its cool TV guild program. It does have an RCA in for VCRs and such. Just be warned, you will need to hook a partch cord from the TV Tuner card to your sound card and if you want to use it for video in you will need to unplug the TV tuner card to plug in the sound from the VCR or camcorder (or use a splitter.
 
golferadam

golferadam

New Member
#11
Just an update....my ATI 8500DV AIW seems to be working okay. I hooked the cable up to it last night and was going to check all the sound card settings, but after I changed the video source (composite to S-video to cable), the sound worked. I haven't what that did, but it is functioning properly now.
 
V

videobruce

New Member
#12
Anything using a PCI slot will be slower than a AGP cardwith video in built in (no pun).

Look for a card with VIVO. Price is about the same and it's faster.
 
Todd a

Todd a

New Member
#13
I am even happier now. Now that I can record to WMV. I had just recorded a tape from a VCR to my ATI TV Wonder VE and the file turned out just under 800MB, so it would not fit on a CD. Well I loaded up Window's Movie Maker II (for the first time) and found that it now has some cool features. One lets you target how big of a file you want. I set it to 700MB and it ended up at 675MB without having to drop the resolution or frame rates. Image looks almost the same (not too bad for a rented VCR tape). I think it even has a feature to copy it directly to a CD for you, but I perfer to us Nero for that.

The only downside I saw was a few dropped frames near the beginning, likely do to my slow CPU (man 1.4Ghz is slow... that's odd). Of corse WMM2 recommends 512MBH and a 1.5Ghz CPU. That's pretty mighty for an app included in Windows XP Pro (which only recommends about half the memory and CPU speed).
 
Bink

Bink

Will moderate for food
#14
videobruce:

Anything using a PCI slot will be slower than a AGP cardwith video in built in (no pun).

Look for a card with VIVO. Price is about the same and it's faster.
I disagree. All professional video capture cards for PC's make use of the PCI slot. Whether or not AGP is faster makes absolutely no difference, because the PCI slot provides sufficient bandwidth. A video card with VIVO is often crippled in terms of drivers because the company producing them is primarily a video card company, not a capture card company. I find this is especially the case with nVidia based video cards.

Quality of the capture is also important and you'll find video cards with VIVO are no where near up to standard when compared to dedicated capture cards.
 
B

blinky

New Member
#15
if you want to capture from analogue video (e.g. C-VHS, Video8 or variants) or video then a standard PCI TV will do that. Most have a composite video input and some have a S-Video input. To capture the sound you connect the sound output from the source to the line in of your sound card.

The Pinnacle PCTV Rave is about £30 and the Hauppage WinTV is around £40.

If you want to record the results of editing back to video tape or TV you need a videocard with a TV out.

Video takes large amounts of disk space. (I think an uncompressed AVI is about 1Gb/min). Capturing to compressed formats like MPEG requires a decent processor to do the encoding on the fly. Deciding what format to capture in and capture resolution can be tricky at first.

www.vcdhelp.com is a good source of information
 
V

videobruce

New Member
#16
Originally posted by Bink
I disagree. All professional video capture cards for PC's make use of the PCI slot. Whether or not AGP is faster makes absolutely no difference, because the PCI slot provides sufficient bandwidth. A video card with VIVO is often crippled in terms of drivers because the company producing them is primarily a video card company, not a capture card company. I find this is especially the case with nVidia based video cards.
I have a PCI capture card (Videum AV) and a VIVO AGP card (Asus V7100DC). The AGP card is far faster than the PCI card. I have seen another AGP VIVO card that was the same way.
What good is bandwidth if the data can't be transfered fast enough (i.e. FPS)?
I do agree regarding the quality of VIVO cards since the VIVO funtion takes a back seat to the main purpose of the card itself.
Why do you say that nVidia cards are worse? Are ATI better, if not what is?
 
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B

blinky

New Member
#18
The ATI VIVO cards use the Rage Theatre chip which some users says produces fuzzy captures. Apparantely the Radeon 9000 VIVO and 9700AIW (and presumably all new cards) use a new version of the chip which may be better.

The Nvidia VIVO cards tend to use the Brooktree or Connexant decoder chips which are used in the TV capture PCI cards.

As you correctly state the video in function is usually a secondary consideration and the drivers are not always what they should be. Another consideration with VIVO cards is that because the input is a secondary consideration the board layout may not be optimally arranged for high quality capture as the dual function of the board makes the problem of RF interenence more likely.
 
V

videobruce

New Member
#19
How about the transfer rate difference between PCI and AGP? How can PCI be better?
The cards might be better, but isn't the bottleneck the bus? So what are you gaining?
 
B

blinky

New Member
#20
The PCI bus does have a lower bandwidth than the AGP bus, which should allow for higher capture resolutions + framerates without dropped frames. (similarly USB1.1 capture devices are limited to lower resolutions by the smaller bandwidth of the bus).

However, as the capture is done in real time the actual capture cannot be any faster with a AGP card rather than a PCI card. (Not withstanding you have a card which employs either special or general relativity :D)

The time taken to encode a file can vary but it does so with the processor power and to lesser extents memory availability and bandwidth, unless you have a card which has hardware MPEG encoding built in.
 

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