VGA Capture Thread

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

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby xjas » 2018-11-10 @ 07:40

vvbee wrote:I thought solving the retro vga capture problem was pretty easy and cheap. I just read through the thread, picked up the visionrgb-pro2, and was good. Writing proper software for it took a bit of time, as did setting it up for capture in linux that it had no support for. But the hardware itself was a piece of cake to round up.


How hard was it to get going in Linux? I know the later cards have drivers, but I haven't tried the Pro1 yet. My main workstation runs Linux & I'd love to have one of my Pro1s in there, but it's in a rack and is kind of a pain to get out and open up. :P

ruthan wrote:I have some heretical question.
What is so complicated on capture of digital signal, that these boxes are quite expensive? In Simple view of problem, you just need some device, which will make screenshots -for digital signal just dump some memory blocks - every 16 ms for 60 FPS and just send it to USB interface and all other processing if needed could be done by software by computer CPU.


In some cases a simple memory dump won't give you an accurate capture & you need the analog VGA output, since post-processing is done after the fact and what's stored in the framebuffer isn't what's on-screen. Voodoo or PowerVR cards (see Dreamcast above) are good examples of this.

Plus, memory snooping can be problematic, especially on really old games that count cycles or PC booters that don't even run under DOS. With an external capture, you at least know you're getting "accurate" results.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-10 @ 08:01

xjas wrote: With an external capture, you at least know you're getting "accurate" results.

Yeah, there are just simulate monitors, if they got signal they wait for whole picture some end bit.. and put it to screen. Capture devices add to chain, 1 task - save that picture to its own memory or use computer RAM for that and only things which they need to do (in simplified view) is just to faster enough and maybe have some history buffer to handle USB bus speed hiccups.
It really dont explain price of these boxes, unless is saving picture fast enough really complicated task and needs quite expensive /complicated chip.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-10 @ 10:05

xjas wrote:How hard was it to get going in Linux? I know the later cards have drivers, but I haven't tried the Pro1 yet. My main workstation runs Linux & I'd love to have one of my Pro1s in there, but it's in a rack and is kind of a pain to get out and open up. :P

Passthrough with kvm/spice into a windows xp guest. Qxl with 256 mb of vram works for what I've been doing.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby xjas » 2018-11-10 @ 10:22

Ah, gotcha. Think I'd rather just run it natively. I was hoping you'd gotten the E1S drivers to work or something.

Happy to report the OpenGL version has significantly improved speeds for me. I basically only see dropped frames when I switch the window focus away (e.g. when pasting screenshots into Paint), but other than that it reads 640x480@60 in 888 color mode just fine. Latency is noticeable but tolerable, although I'll probably end up using a VGA splitter and a second monitor to game "natively" while the capture PC does its thing.

I'm not using a very fast GPU either (Geforce 8500GT), but this is a great result!

Unfortunately if I start recording with OBS in the background (window capture mode pointing directly at VCS), the PC runs out of steam and it can't maintain 60FPS, but this is definitely due to underpowered hardware. I'll report back when my Phenom II gets here & I upgrade the RAM (& if that doesn't work I'll just swap things over to the C2Q in the other room.)
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby xjas » 2018-11-10 @ 10:42

For anyone interested (Leilei), here's an updated gallery of Dreamcast screenshots, this time with geometry set correctly & taken with the OGL version of VCS (which shouldn't make any visual difference.) Pixel perfect 640x480 with no noticeable bleed or analog artifacts. VERY pleased with these results.

ut99-2-4.png
rez2.png
sonic-5.png
^^ By request. There's a better shot showing the smoke blending in the gallery. This is the first time I've tried this game and it is freaking terrible. I do not get the amount of fandom the post-Megadrive Sonic games get. Every single one where any of the characters speak needs a good dose of "shut up."

I own a legit copy of this too. Glad I only paid $2 for it.

timestalkers-1.png
jsr-1.png
^^ On the other hand, guess which game I ended up playing for like an hour? This one holds up amazingly well, despite the awkward graphics. I think I prefer JSRF on the Xbox a little more, but they're both good.

Also, enjoy some direct capture footage of me playing Zero Gunner 2 incredibly badly. Keep in mind I was dealing with ~250ms of input lag and haven't played this in years. Native 640x480 video, captured in VCS & recorded in OBS. As mentioned above, ignore the choppy framerate - I accidentally had OBS set to 30FPS and my PC isn't powerful enough to maintain 60 in VCS while recording in the background, so we're getting drops from both utilities. I just wanted to see what the output would look like.

BTW I paid $67 for two VisionRGB-Pro1 cards, shipped to my door, and I live on an island in canada where everything's more expensive. There are lots of deals out there...
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby KCompRoom2000 » 2018-11-10 @ 23:47

Those screenshots almost look like they were taken from an emulator (even though I'm aware that they were captured from real hardware), the Dreamcast's VGA output capability is really cool stuff.

Too bad some DC games don't support VGA, but at least there are mods that allow those games to work with it.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-12 @ 11:00

Hello,
i just made old / cheap tv/capture pci card (Genius Video Wonder Pro III - SAA7134/ Conexant (BT) 878) at least with XP and Dscaler, problem is that recordings are huge, because they are uncompressed, when i try to change recording codecs (encoders), i had only uncompressed ones available, i just tried first few google links and installed 3ivx MPEG 4 codec (its working quality / size is good enough but its paid otherwise big fullscreen logo) and its now available for recording.
In thread i didnt see to much info about codecs.. Can someone, make some simple table - its raw machine power, OS and best codec to use?
Now i need just something for XP, Core 2 E6600, 3 GB of DDR I, later i can move card to Xeon 56xx six core +DDR3 X58 machine for move processing power. I would like to muse to Win7, but i would need some official driver for my card.

I also wonder is PCI bus bottleneck for DOS s-video recording and its still better to use PCI-E card or it doesnt matters?
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Neco » 2018-11-15 @ 12:18

ruthan wrote:Hello,
i just made old / cheap tv/capture pci card (Genius Video Wonder Pro III - SAA7134/ Conexant (BT) 878) at least with XP and Dscaler, problem is that recordings are huge, because they are uncompressed, when i try to change recording codecs (encoders), i had only uncompressed ones available, i just tried first few google links and installed 3ivx MPEG 4 codec (its working quality / size is good enough but its paid otherwise big fullscreen logo) and its now available for recording.
In thread i didnt see to much info about codecs.. Can someone, make some simple table - its raw machine power, OS and best codec to use?
Now i need just something for XP, Core 2 E6600, 3 GB of DDR I, later i can move card to Xeon 56xx six core +DDR3 X58 machine for move processing power. I would like to muse to Win7, but i would need some official driver for my card.

I also wonder is PCI bus bottleneck for DOS s-video recording and its still better to use PCI-E card or it doesnt matters?


If you're gonna eventually move to a Xeon 6 core you should probably be able to use x264vfw with no problem. It's a hacked version of H.264 shoved through the VfW framework so it'll work with older capture stuff that only uses that (AmaRec, etc) if you don't / can't use OBS. Editing programs kind of hate it but you can remux the files before editing usually. I used to record to that with H.264+WAV into AVI files via AmaRec myself, I was using an FX8320 (8-core) as a dedicated PC and could capture 1080p x 60fps in real-time with no issues at around CRF 14 or so. Some games did display issues with frame drops but I think that may be the micomsoft lacking a framebuffer or something too, or the games themselves, I never really figured it out because even my i7-6800K has frame drop / dupe issues. It's a weird situation because the games appear fine in real-time and you only notice it during video playback. Even happens with OBS.



@vvbe will your software work the PCI Express / ES1 or better models as well? I might try one if that's the case, and I can find it for a good price at some point.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby appiah4 » 2018-11-15 @ 12:21

Are there any PCI VGA cards Vogons would recommend that has S-Video output and good DOS compatibility? I'm planning to replace the Trio64 in my Pentium 133 with such a card for easy capture (I could very well forego VLB and go PCI for my 486 DX4 if this turns out to be a feasible copout..)
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-15 @ 12:53

Neco wrote:If you're gonna eventually move to a Xeon 6 core you should probably be able to use x264vfw with no problem. It's a hacked version of H.264 shoved through the VfW framework so it'll work with older capture stuff that only uses that (AmaRec, etc) if you don't / can't use OBS. Editing programs kind of hate it but you can remux the files before editing usually. I used to record to that with H.264+WAV into AVI files via AmaRec myself, I was using an FX8320 (8-core) as a dedicated PC and could capture 1080p x 60fps in real-time with no issues at around CRF 14 or so. Some games did display issues with frame drops but I think that may be the micomsoft lacking a framebuffer or something too, or the games themselves, I never really figured it out because even my i7-6800K has frame drop / dupe issues. It's a weird situation because the games appear fine in real-time and you only notice it during video playback. Even happens with OBS.


I already moved it, because i got that typical TV / capture card hell with my i865 machine, simply sometimes other devices were stopping to work in WInXP or WIn7 or wasnt available at boot etc.. with X58 i dont have such problems yet.
I have a bit problem with some encoders (what the hell is right name for this stuff) and Windows compatibility, at least with Dscaler - with XP i installed everything fine and option was present in Dscaler, but with Win 10 x64bit, even when i install - HuffYUV or x264vfw, they are not present in Dscaler - recording codec option combobox. Maybe i dont use right install packages. For example with Lagarith a Xvid, i dont have such problems. I created RecordingVideoEncoders tab in our capture sheet, i also converted some comments to notes, so comments now should be some open issues which would be nice to answer Elianda add lots of info too. New devices and info added too.

I would like to use Win 7 x64 bit, but it i need some BT878 universal Win 7 x64 driver, because there not official drivers.

Just for fun $6 USB capture device recording sample:
https://streamable.com/
On eBay are also lots 5-10$ old pci cards for recording so, so price wall is really low.. but of course its more hassle with cheap and old stuff.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2018-11-15 @ 13:05

OT: 32 bit applications can use only 32 bit encoders and 64 bit applications only 64 bit encoders. So 64 bit encoders will not appear as option in 32 bit software.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-15 @ 13:45

Thanks, DScaler is 32 bit, with x264vfwit worked.. With Huffyuv seem to be more compliced, but its y2003 stuff..
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-c ... ffyuv.html
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Neco » 2018-11-15 @ 13:58

I would just stick to X264 VFW anyway. you should be able to capture good enough looking footage. If you're that concerned with lossless capture, you might look at MagicYUV

https://www.magicyuv.com/

it's got a price though, but it definitely performs and has tons of bit-depth / color space options. You can get it for $15 currently. It also has a demo and an older free v 1.x version
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-15 @ 17:13

Neco wrote:@vvbe will your software work the PCI Express / ES1 or better models as well? I might try one if that's the case, and I can find it for a good price at some point.

The visionrgb range should be supported.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-16 @ 13:37

Could pleas someone with Datapath / Osprey / Startech PCI-E / PCI capture cards help to fill blanks with max. capturing framerate for typical resolutions?

Because other manufactors have in specs simply resolutions and framerate, but these are using different metrics and im not sure how to recalculate it,
i simply was to know if there are 60 FPS capable or not for particular resolutions.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-16 @ 19:20

At 60 hz refresh, my visionrgb-pro2 using 16-bit capture depth does full rate at 640x480, full at 800x600, and 54 at 1024x768. Using 32-bit capture depth (which you would), it's full at 640x480, 45 at 800x600, and 28 at 1024x768. Vga mode 13h at 70 hz captures at the full rate with 32-bit capture depth. This is with pci passthrough in a virtual machine using vcs. For me, datapath's own program is notably slower at the higher resolutions.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2018-11-16 @ 21:27

Today I dabbled with capturing for the first time. I got a "Live View" capture card with a junk PC a while back and finally put it in a PC. The PC in question is a Pentium 4, as the software for the card requires XP!

Anyway I captured some Dreamcast S-video and PS3 composite footage and I've "edited" it in Lightworks. Annyingly, it keeps outputting it at 16:9, even though the project format is "PAL 4:3" and I export it as "youtube 480p". Any idea why it outputs in 16:9 still? The whole project is set up a 25fps 640*480 as that is what the capture card captured at? The titles I add overhang the black borders so I think the problem is occuring before I hit export.

Anyway I am having fun so I ordered a Avermedia thing (coincidentally the thing that LGR mentioned the other day that does VGA and HMDI, some guy has like 20 of them on eBay for £20 each).
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-17 @ 06:35

Almoststew1990 wrote: Anyway I am having fun so I ordered a Avermedia thing (coincidentally the thing that LGR mentioned the other day that does VGA and HMDI, some guy has like 20 of them on eBay for £20 each).

What is exact card model / name?
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2018-11-17 @ 10:41

ruthan wrote:What is exact card model / name?


C199-B near the PCI-E slot and C199AF on a sticker on the back. It doesn't show up in the Avermedia porduct pages and a current or discontinued product so I guess it had a "brand name" that is missing from it.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Neco » 2018-11-17 @ 11:25

pretty sure it's a Avermedia Gamebroadcaster HD

https://shop.avermedia-usa.com/products ... =996694345

They're quite old. Anyway its important to note the key step in his process is that Startech VGA - > HDMI upscaler box he's using. It probably has the same internal stuff as a Gefen, although obviously it has different input/output options. The status display on resolution change is exactly the same tho. That is really what's letting him grab the 70hz stuff I am betting

He's also using an Avio HD which looks interesting I might have to check it out. But it seems to have its own drawbacks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOoyYJ2MkqQ

it's a short video for anyone who just wants to watch it
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