VGA Capture Thread

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-24 @ 09:52

Let's start a thread so we can share tips and tricks for capturing VGA output from our Retro machines!

I got some gear today which I will test thoroughly in the next few days...

My capture card is a Compro C200Plus: http://www.comprousa.com/en/product/c20 ... _plus.html

I got this product because it support Windows 7 64 bit. It comes with some Cyberlink software (Powerdirector) which I use to capture the footage.

You can record footage as MPEG2 or DIVX. I chose MPEG2 because I will encode the footage later anyway...

I also got a VGA to S-Video / Composite box from ebay. Thing is I might not even need this as the S-Video output on the Geforce card I currently use works just fine.

Though it might come in handy when testing older machines with ISA cards.

Everything seems to come out of the S-Video port on the Geforce (it's a Geforce MX 440). So BIOS screen, Post screen, DOS text and 320 x 200 games.

However the card turns off S-Video as soon as you have a standard VGA monitor connected. I heard that ATI cards don't have this isse so I will look into that.

I will play with the VGA to S-Video box later and see how it compares to the signal coming out directly from the Geforce.

I must say the quality of the signal is better than expected. Being a TV signal it's intelaced however. I still have to get my head around the settings for deinterlacing...
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-11-24 @ 09:57

Exciting new project! :happyhappy: Please can you

a) Show an image of the VGA to S-Video / Composite box.
b) Explain your objective for capturing VGA output from a retro machine.

Thanks.
User avatar
retro games 100
l33t
 
Posts: 4481
Joined: 2008-5-03 @ 17:46

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-24 @ 10:20

retro games 100 wrote:Exciting new project! :happyhappy: Please can you

a) Show an image of the VGA to S-Video / Composite box.


http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... 3D1&_rdc=1

b) Explain your objective for capturing VGA output from a retro machine.


I wasn't 100% happy with my DOSBox videos. There is always some voice in my head whispering "hmm is this really how this sounded / played?". There are also a real lack of "bare metal" videos on YouTube.

E.g. Wing Commander I found only a single Video on a real 386 (I believe that's the work of Amigaz). I had a ton of issues getting the audio to sync with the video captured in DOSBox. Something to do with how DOSBox creates the video files...
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-24 @ 10:31

Hmm I wanted this in the Marvin thread...

Can someone please move this thread? Thank you!
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Amigaz » 2010-11-24 @ 10:49

Cool!!

Gonna grab one of these adapters!
Image

Image
User avatar
Amigaz
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1696
Joined: 2007-3-03 @ 09:01
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-24 @ 11:03

S-Video capture directly from AGP Geforce MX 400:

Click on image to play!


I do recommend you switch to at least 480p. The video is upscaled so if you have fast broadband you can also watch it at 720 or 1080

Image

S-Video capture through VGA to S-Video converter box which I got off ebay!

Click on image to play!



Image
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby TheLazy1 » 2010-11-24 @ 19:56

Doesn't the Hauppauge HD-PVR have component input?
IIRC It's still pretty expensive but maybe that would work.
TheLazy1
Member
 
Posts: 385
Joined: 2010-2-11 @ 01:28
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-24 @ 20:48

How would we get component signal from the machine though?
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby TheLazy1 » 2010-11-24 @ 21:47

I thought I saw a VGA->Component adapter before, though maybe it was for something proprietary?
TheLazy1
Member
 
Posts: 385
Joined: 2010-2-11 @ 01:28
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-24 @ 21:52

TheLazy1 wrote:I thought I saw a VGA->Component adapter before, though maybe it was for something proprietary?


Yea that sounds interesting. I will look into that haupauge card.

Are there consumer devices that can capture component? Like a DVD or HDD recorder? Or are they rare because of copy protection worries?

EDIT: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html

This seems to do the trick! Component, Svideo and Composite inputs and it seems it can record to a USB device which is great.

There are also ATI and Nvidia cards with cables that give you Component out. But I wonder if they are compatible with my board?

How can I be sure if a modern video card doesn't kill my board? I believe there are 2 voltages for AGP cards, 3.3 and 5V or something like that...
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-24 @ 22:03

Deinterlaced version!

A mix of DOS command line text, DOS text editor text and a bunch of games LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sC3FqY2vuM

EDIT: Link updated, using a different deinterlacer now!
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby TheLazy1 » 2010-11-25 @ 02:28

Youtube is barfing now, but I've found yadif2x to be the best deinterlacer. (for TV anyway)
TheLazy1
Member
 
Posts: 385
Joined: 2010-2-11 @ 01:28
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-25 @ 02:58

TheLazy1 wrote:Youtube is barfing now, but I've found yadif2x to be the best deinterlacer. (for TV anyway)


Cool I will try it out!

Any idea which setting I should use:
Image
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby TheLazy1 » 2010-11-25 @ 03:03

Defaults should be ok, but upscaling is better done by video players than by resizing the video and encoding it.
You'll save space and encoding time. :)
TheLazy1
Member
 
Posts: 385
Joined: 2010-2-11 @ 01:28
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-25 @ 03:12

TheLazy1 wrote:Defaults should be ok, but upscaling is better done by video players than by resizing the video and encoding it.
You'll save space and encoding time. :)


Yes you do, however you gain quality by upscaling and uploading the upscaled video to YouTube. It's a compromise I'm willing to take, I got fast broadband with lot's of quota and broadband will only keep getting better.

Also viewers can just switch to 480 if they have slow internet...

Also just in case anyone is wondering WTF why am I uploading old Retro videos in 1080...

The cropped source footage is pretty close to 480p (614 x 490) so it's natural to scale it to 640 x 480 and upload the video like that. Now I know that upscaling does increase the quality of the encode slightly from having done DOSBox videos in the past.

Still I might as well document this, because the "WTF why am I uploading old Retro videos in 1080" question keeps popping up :-)

So I took a small recording, added the deinterlacing filter, cropped the image and scaled it to 640 x 480 (and then again to 1440 x 1080).

Codec is x264 and I use "Constant Quantizer" of 16. The 480 file ended up being 17.6 MB and the 1080 file 76 MB. File length is just under 4 minutes.

This is how the videos compare:
Image
Image

Now once you upload the files it gets interesting. YouTube reencodes the videos and this is something you have no control over. So after the videos are uploaded and YouTube has done the reencode, I can download the file that is stored on YouTube and let's take a look. Note this option is only available to me (Because it's my YouTube account)

The 480 file has shrunk down to 9.09MB and the 1080 file is now only 41.2MB. Let's take a look at what the videos look like after YouTube "got it's hands on them"...

Image
Image

Looking at the DOS command line, the 480 version has clearly lost detail. Looking at the other image we can see that there is lost detail on the 480 video (Markings on the floor and detail on the prince)...

There you have it :lol:

PS: You can watch the 480 version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Em0zK821V4

and the 1080 version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOz3P3fZHq8
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Ace » 2010-11-25 @ 04:02

How were you able to record the S-Video from your GeForce 4 without having the picture with a huge black border around it(this is a problem on all my direct capture videos)? Do you get that border in the raw unedited file? I need to figure out how I can get rid of that border.

And by the way, the picture is off-center in the VGA to S-Video box. It does the same thing like my GeForce 2 MX: the picture is shifted too far to the right. Thing is: on my GeForce 2 MX, no matter what I do, the picture is ALWAYS off-center. Is there any way to adjust the positioning of the screen on that converter?
Creator of The Many Sounds of:, a collection of various DOS games played using different sound cards.
Ace
Oldbie
 
Posts: 529
Joined: 2010-10-16 @ 17:35
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-25 @ 04:22

Is your image "just" off center, or is there actually something missing on either side?

My card is PAL (Australian TV standard), but my capture card can do PAL or NTSC. PAL has a resolution of 720 x 576 and yes the actual gameplay image is smaller with a black bar all around.

What you do is called "cropping". Avidemux (this is the tool I use) and Virtualdub have these filtures built in.

AFAIK there is nothing you can do to the card to change the output. Though under windows I am sure there are driver options, but I don't run windows on that machine, just pure Dos 6.22 bliss LOL Though changing the BIOS to a US one might work...

Also my VGA to S-Video box can be set to PAL or NTSC, though I found little difference once the cropping and resizing has been done. I did notice however that the quality in general is better directly off the Geforce card.

The VGA to S-Video box is too bright, but has a menu to adjust brightness. Still it's another step which isn't necessary when capturing directly off the Geforce card.

PS: I still need to fully investigate the option of using component, so all of this might be superseded...
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Ace » 2010-11-26 @ 00:27

There's actually something missing on the other side. First thing I noticed with my GeForce 2 MX was how the POST on all my computers seemed too far to the right. And this was confirmed when I noticed Star Wars X-Wing was shifted too far to the right and cut off. I then checked with my TV capture device, and sure enough, the part that was cut off was not in the overscan area. It just wasn't there. And no amount of repositioning fixed the problem, so right now, I'm using the ATI Radeon 9000 from my Windows 9x gaming PC(that card only has Composite video, which looks really bad, but it does have the necessary circuitry for S-Video, so I'll remove the Composite plug and put in an S-Video plug instead).

I also have another ATI graphics card(don't know which) that has the exact same problem, however, this time, it's part of the LEFT side of the screen that's completely missing. Why would this happen?

Another thing: I noticed inferior S-Video quality on my GeForce 2 MX compared to all my ATI graphics cards with S-Video. It's blurrier, the blacks are slightly gray, and the picture has a rather noticeable blue tint to it. I don't have this problem on any ATI graphics card, but that one ATI card whose name I don't know(it's an AGP card) has the video cut off at the left side of the screen(lame!).
Ace
Oldbie
 
Posts: 529
Joined: 2010-10-16 @ 17:35
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2010-11-26 @ 00:50

I can only suspect that your capture device has trouble "syncing" the image or something like that?

You can try hooking it up to a TV and seeing if you get the same shift or not. This might help isolate what the issue is.
User avatar
Mau1wurf1977
l33t++
 
Posts: 7652
Joined: 2010-8-27 @ 04:15
Location: Western Australia

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2010-11-26 @ 00:57

So why are you sticking to youtube?
You could put the original videos on some webspace. This would prevent the uncontrolled reencoding and the data would be easily downloadable to a local source.
Retronn.de - Vintage Hardware Gallery, Drivers, Guides, HQ Videos.
Youtube Channel
FTP Server - Driver Archive and more
DVI2PCIe alignment and 2D image quality measurement tool
User avatar
elianda
l33t
 
Posts: 2207
Joined: 2006-4-21 @ 16:56
Location: Halle / Germany

Next

Return to Video

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Nvm1 and 1 guest