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VGA Capture Thread

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Reply 980 of 1000, by AntiRevisionism

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I am wondering if someone could recommend an ideal PCIE VGA capture card for the purpose of playing games - not capturing/recording them? In other words, retro machine outputs VGA to the capture card, which then turns up in a window (perhaps streamed by VLC) on the modern host machine.

Reply 981 of 1000, by adalbert

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AntiRevisionism wrote on 2020-11-19, 23:05:

(perhaps streamed by VLC)

In my experience it is very hard to achieve very small latency (<100ms) with VLC. MPV or OBS would work better.

Reply 982 of 1000, by darry

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AntiRevisionism wrote on 2020-11-19, 23:05:

I am wondering if someone could recommend an ideal PCIE VGA capture card for the purpose of playing games - not capturing/recording them? In other words, retro machine outputs VGA to the capture card, which then turns up in a window (perhaps streamed by VLC) on the modern host machine.

I am curious as to why you want to use a VGA capture device for playing games . If you don't want to record footage, there are more effective ways to feed a VGA signal to a modern monitor.

Unless you are using a laptop and its integrated monitor with a PCIE to Expresscard adapter.

Reply 983 of 1000, by imi

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So, I'm using a Startech PEXHDCAP60L, and so far it's been doing pretty good. already found some quirks to work around with.
Unfortunately I can only optimize the settings for a certain set of resolutions, so DOS textmode looks a bit off when I set it for normal game capture.

I've started Lemmings recently and that switches resolutions very often, menus are 640x350 while the game is 320x200, and most of the time the card is handling it fine, but sometimes it just loses sync? (I assume that's what it is)
It's very unpredictable, sometimes it'll do fine for an hour and then suddenly it will desync everytime the resolution changes.
I have to then reset the capture card manually before it will resync again which is a bit annoying ^^

I don't currently have any idea how to solve this short of putting a scaler in between.

here's how that sometimes looks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua1wAYgZNbk

Reply 985 of 1000, by imi

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yeah, that's my stream-layout ^^

thing is, I want to avoid a scaler because otherwise the card is doing a pixel-accurate capture (even though I have to sometimes slightly adjust it) and I'm playing through the capture for now as well so I don't wanna introduce additional latency.

Reply 987 of 1000, by imi

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yes, I do have a VGA switch/splitter and another monitor connected, but I wanna play on my stream PC in the capture window while streaming so I can pay attention to chat too ^^

Reply 988 of 1000, by AntiRevisionism

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darry wrote on 2020-11-20, 18:45:
AntiRevisionism wrote on 2020-11-19, 23:05:

I am wondering if someone could recommend an ideal PCIE VGA capture card for the purpose of playing games - not capturing/recording them? In other words, retro machine outputs VGA to the capture card, which then turns up in a window (perhaps streamed by VLC) on the modern host machine.

I am curious as to why you want to use a VGA capture device for playing games . If you don't want to record footage, there are more effective ways to feed a VGA signal to a modern monitor.

Unless you are using a laptop and its integrated monitor with a PCIE to Expresscard adapter.

What I'm trying to achieve is having the video output from a retro machine appear in window on my main machine's desktop. This window I can then move, resize, minimize, etc. Not unlike if I was using a virtual machine. There are monitors that allow multiple simultaneous inputs (PIP), but all the ones I am aware of achieve this by dividing the screen up. Maybe there are better ways of achieving this?

Reply 990 of 1000, by AntiRevisionism

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imi wrote on 2020-11-20, 19:55:
So, I'm using a Startech PEXHDCAP60L, and so far it's been doing pretty good. already found some quirks to work around with. Unf […]
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So, I'm using a Startech PEXHDCAP60L, and so far it's been doing pretty good. already found some quirks to work around with.
Unfortunately I can only optimize the settings for a certain set of resolutions, so DOS textmode looks a bit off when I set it for normal game capture.

I've started Lemmings recently and that switches resolutions very often, menus are 640x350 while the game is 320x200, and most of the time the card is handling it fine, but sometimes it just loses sync? (I assume that's what it is)
It's very unpredictable, sometimes it'll do fine for an hour and then suddenly it will desync everytime the resolution changes.
I have to then reset the capture card manually before it will resync again which is a bit annoying ^^

I don't currently have any idea how to solve this short of putting a scaler in between.

here's how that sometimes looks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua1wAYgZNbk

I was looking at that same card as well. Were you able to test at slightly higher resolutions like 640x480 that many W9x games would use? Otherwise looks ideal except for the problems you've described... maybe cable issues or just a bum card?

Reply 991 of 1000, by imi

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maybe it's also a driver issue, I've noticed that the options differ greatly between different drivers, but I haven't really found a lot which driver is best, so I just stuck with one that worked.
it only desyncs on resolution changes so I don't think it's the cable, it just messes something up trying to sync to the new resolution, once it's locked on it works fine.

another quirk I've noticed though is that it ignores black when adjusting resolution, so if it loses sync and I have to resync on a screen that has black pixels on the borders it will crop the image unfortunately.

Reply 992 of 1000, by Kordanor

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What I'm trying to achieve is having the video output from a retro machine appear in window on my main machine's desktop. This window I can then move, resize, minimize, etc. Not unlike if I was using a virtual machine. There are monitors that allow multiple simultaneous inputs (PIP), but all the ones I am aware of achieve this by dividing the screen up. Maybe there are better ways of achieving this?

If you right click on OBS you have the "Window Mode Projector" and a Full Screen Projector, which essentially shows the content of the recording in a separate screen. Would that help?

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Reply 993 of 1000, by vvbee

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AntiRevisionism wrote on 2020-11-19, 23:05:

I am wondering if someone could recommend an ideal PCIE VGA capture card for the purpose of playing games - not capturing/recording them? In other words, retro machine outputs VGA to the capture card, which then turns up in a window (perhaps streamed by VLC) on the modern host machine.

I made VCS for this purpose. Get a VisionRGB-E series capture card and check out VCS on GitHub, https://github.com/leikareipa/vcs. Minimal on-screen decorations and even lets you set a custom window title.

Reply 994 of 1000, by Tree Wyrm

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vvbee wrote on 2020-11-21, 03:01:
AntiRevisionism wrote on 2020-11-19, 23:05:

I am wondering if someone could recommend an ideal PCIE VGA capture card for the purpose of playing games - not capturing/recording them? In other words, retro machine outputs VGA to the capture card, which then turns up in a window (perhaps streamed by VLC) on the modern host machine.

I made VCS for this purpose. Get a VisionRGB-E series capture card and check out VCS on GitHub, https://github.com/leikareipa/vcs. Minimal on-screen decorations and even lets you set a custom window title.

I recommend this too.

I don't have space for CRT or even another display in setup, so for me it's quite convenient having retro system video fed into window on main system with integer upscaling. I haven't measured lag and to me it's imperceptible, quite comfortable to play. I don't even use OSSC or XPC-4 that I have.

Granted this is to handle video only (VisionRGB has no audio inputs), audio would have to be dealt with separately.

Reply 995 of 1000, by AntiRevisionism

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vvbee wrote on 2020-11-21, 03:01:
AntiRevisionism wrote on 2020-11-19, 23:05:

I am wondering if someone could recommend an ideal PCIE VGA capture card for the purpose of playing games - not capturing/recording them? In other words, retro machine outputs VGA to the capture card, which then turns up in a window (perhaps streamed by VLC) on the modern host machine.

I made VCS for this purpose. Get a VisionRGB-E series capture card and check out VCS on GitHub, https://github.com/leikareipa/vcs. Minimal on-screen decorations and even lets you set a custom window title.

That looks great and exactly what I'm after. I see there are both one and two input variants of the card. Anything to be concerned about buying one over the other?

Reply 996 of 1000, by imi

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so I tried an Extron RGB Interface with ADSP to see if that fixes the issues, and I switched the Diamond Speedstar24 ET4000 to a WD90C31A-LR to see if a different GPU would fix it but no dice, it still just messes up upon switching resolutions randomly sometimes.
I'm happy with the capture performance of that card otherwise, and latency is pretty low, so I really wanna get this to work ^^

though I noticed the greens are way too intense on the WD card for some reason ^^

the lemmings hair and the letters shouldn't be that bright green should they?

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Reply 997 of 1000, by OldTV

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Hello,
I am looking for the most extreme cheap solution for recording video from my retro pc. I'm only interested in 640x480 at 60 fps.
The old PC outputs a signal to DVI, and on the new one (which I want to record) there is only PCI-E or usb.

I met cheap devices for usb 3.0 on aliexpress, in which 60 fps are declared, but I'm not sure if they can write at 640x480x60fps.
YrUp3d1.jpg

If anyone has a similar experience, I'd love to see your advice. Thanks!

Reply 998 of 1000, by imi

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does noone else have this card? ^^

I wish I could get the latest driver from the startech site to work, all my tests so far had been done with the x.140 version because that was the only driver that actually gave me a picture so far.

the x.172 driver has a lot more fine grained resolution control but I just can't seem to get any picture, it still gets the signal (with the previously set capture rate of 1280x400) but there's just no image showing up 😒

edit: I just saw that on the japanese micomsoft site there is a newer driver even x.178... lets try this one ^^
edit2: nope same issue, shows me the signal status but no picture.

if I roll back the driver to x.140 or x.142 it works again.

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Reply 999 of 1000, by adalbert

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OldTV wrote on 2020-11-22, 11:50:
I met cheap devices for usb 3.0 on aliexpress, in which 60 fps are declared, but I'm not sure if they can write at 640x480x60fps […]
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I met cheap devices for usb 3.0 on aliexpress, in which 60 fps are declared, but I'm not sure if they can write at 640x480x60fps.
YrUp3d1.jpg

I have it, so here you go. But it is not USB 3.0, at least the one I have. Maybe there is a newer revision, but most likely it's fake blue USB 2.0 connector. I also have small dongles without HDMI passthrough and they perform exactly the same.

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This is 60FPS mode. It only works with MJPEG compression, so there are visible artifacts. It works in 60FPS up to 1280x720.

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This is 30FPS mode. Here you can get YUY2 image with much better quality.

I listed available modes:

1920x1080 (max 30FPS MJPEG) 1600x1200 (max 30FPS MJPEG) 1360x768 (max 30FPS MJPEG) 1280x720 (max 60FPS MJPEG) 1280x960 (max 50FP […]
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1920x1080 (max 30FPS MJPEG)
1600x1200 (max 30FPS MJPEG)
1360x768 (max 30FPS MJPEG)
1280x720 (max 60FPS MJPEG)
1280x960 (max 50FPS MJPEG)
1280x1024 (max 30FPS MJPEG)
1024x768 (max 60FPS MJPEG)
800x600 (max 60FPS MJPEG, YUY2 up to 20FPS)
720x480 (max 60FPS MJPEG, YUY2 up to 30FPS)
720x576 (max 60FPS MJPEG, YUY2 up to 25FPS)
640x480 (max 60FPS MJPEG, YUY2 up to 30FPS)

BTW it has built in scaler, so you can connect 640x480 input and capture upscaled to 1024x768 60FPS (or any other resolution, even 1600x1200 or 1920x1080p, but only 30FPS obviously). The image will be softer, but will have less visible compression artifacts.

//edit: i also added a comparison image here (it is magnified 200%)

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Edit2: if this device captures 1920x1080P at 60FPS (mine does only 30FPS) maybe it is a better/newer revision.