VGA Capture Thread

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

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2018-11-17 @ 11:31

Neco wrote:pretty sure it's a Avermedia Gamebroadcaster HD

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

They're quite old.


Yeah I know it's old (it can only do 1080i) but I am not planning on doing anything serious with it and I am only going to use 640*480 60Hz (Dreamcast) up to 1280*1024 5/60hz, not really interested in the HDMI. I am not a world famous youtube channel :D

The card arrived this morning. I downloaded the software for the Game Broadcaster HD and it includes drivers. Crashes on launch but I'll fiddle more later today - hopefully it only needed a restart after install.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby sledge » 2018-11-17 @ 13:03

Almoststew1990: If AverMedia Recentral won't work, you can use VirtualDub to capture video.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby jheronimus » 2018-11-17 @ 13:55

Hey, so I've been trying to find a suitable solution for myself, but so far came up with nothing. My setup:

- VGA output on retro computers. I'm playing 90s games almost exclusively, so the machines tend to be Pentiums, Pentium 3s, sometimes 386 and 486, but nothing older and no Amigas/C64/etc;
- my modern machine is a MacBook Air. It only has USB, no audio input or PCI express slots.

So what I need is a simple device that would:

- act as a passthrough for VGA and audio;
- preferably be autonomous . So ideally I want it to just record stuff to a USB harddrive or SD card, but it can also be something that plugs into my Mac;
- cost around 100-150 USD. Maybe some discontinued product?

I've watched several guides on the topic, but most of them involve three or four devices (sometimes including PCI express capture cards). I don't aim for absolute compatibility, I just want something to record MIDI music in games and gameplay of Glide games and late DOS stuff.

The closest thing I've found so far is Startech USB3HDCAP, that I'll have to couple with some kind of VGA and audio splitter but Startech alone costs 250 bucks. Any advices?
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Neco » 2018-11-17 @ 14:26

I don't know if there are any simple "just record it" type boxes available that can capture old CGA/EGA/VGA stuff without also passing it through some kind of scaler. And then the issue becomes frame rate conversion / tearing handling.

If you have a second more modern PC that you can stick a Datapath VisionRGB-PRO card into I would honestly go with that. using vvbee's software for it to fix any image tearing issues related to the refresh rate.

Not really familiar with Apple products though, maybe something out there exists.

The current way I've done testing with captures on my system is

VGA Out from Voodoo2 -> Gefen VGA to DVI Scaler Plus -> DVI input on my Micomsoft SC512N1-L/DVI, and for audio, 3.5mm -> RCA which feeds into my Micomsoft's breakout cable for RCA audio input. Captured in OBS at 60fps.

Kinda sucks from a screen tearing perspective. But it looks like the only "close to perfect" solution for capturing old DOS stuff is going to be using a Datapath VisionRGB card of some kind, with vvbee's capture software written specifically for that line of cards. You could maybe try invesigating Epiphan products as well but that might be hit or miss
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-17 @ 16:01

jheronimus wrote:Hey, so I've been trying to find a suitable solution for myself, but so far came up with nothing.

That is exactly we have our sheet, look and external devices tab there is recording without computer column too and VGAtoDVI/HDMiConvertorsScalers tab for convertor from analog sources to hdmi.. There are new and old devices, if are not rich you just eBay used stuff.

You have 2 possibility cheaper USB box (here you have options to select one which need or dont need computer) + some VGA to HDMi convertor/scaler box or that few post ago mentioned Epiphan Av.io HD, but its ~400$, no scaler box needed, but it need computer (USB3) for sure.

If someone have, find new good box just report it..
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-18 @ 06:35

Here's a capture sample of the visionrgb-pro for ruthan's list: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=504vBdvrxMs. Dos + ultima 7 off a matrox millennium.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-18 @ 06:47

Thanks already added to the sheet, it looks almost digitally clean, even on Youtube. Which codec is used for export, is best one for YT video quality?
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-18 @ 18:18

I use libx264 but yuv420 drops off some quality in the source already.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-18 @ 20:36

vvbee wrote:I use libx264 but yuv420 drops off some quality in the source already.

Thanks, its possible somehow integrate it into Windows, because when i download it and some other codecs its just exe, probably for some cmd usage. Handbrake and other have H.264(x264) its same thing, or something else?
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-18 @ 23:03

No idea, I use it through ffmpeg, but that's command-line too.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Neco » 2018-11-19 @ 09:23

libx264 and x264.exe are virtually the same, if not completely. libx264 is just ffmpegs implementation of the H.264 codec, but I think both projects share a lot of source code.

They both work from the command-line interface unless you have a GUI program that handles things for you (MeGUI, Handbrake, etc).

Youtube works very well at handling H.264 + AAC audio. They do have published specs, but uploading to youtube and getting good quality out of it is somewhat of a voodoo art form. Some channels seems to get pristine footage even at 60fps with high temporal movement (very fast action, racing games, etc) while my experience with that, as well as what I see on other channels, is just horrible in comparisson even when uploading a lossless source file .
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2018-11-21 @ 10:48

vvbee wrote:I use libx264 but yuv420 drops off some quality in the source already.


Well the thing is that if your capture card supports RGB you should probably encode with x264 in RGB colorspace as well.

Though, if the target is youtube then one can convert to YUV as youtube uses YUV anyway. For low res RGB source material from DOS (like 720x400 at 70 fps) a convenient trick is to upscale it first in RGB before converting to YUV. YUV packs neigbouring pixels, so the conversion produces much less artifacts on the upscaled image as on the low res image that has fine structures.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-22 @ 04:02

I target youtube and don't archive so just bite the bullet with yuv420.

I did a comparison of all yuv vs all rgb + final conversion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbr7KOmjSL8, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Iks-CBZWr0. They're both ultima 7 captured via the visionrgb-pro and upscaled to 1000/1080p padded. In this case, having the intermediate step in rgb gives a benefit, although not a huge one. I also did experiments with pure color forms and they showed a more notable benefit.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2018-11-22 @ 12:49

Well the YUV version has the 'shadows' on every high contrast pixel change, such as on the white logo in the beginning. It also appears blurred at 1080p compared to the RGB version.

You can see these issues much more pronounced if you choose e.g. a 1080p source with small black text on white background. With YUV all the white pixels between the letters become dark grey rendering the text nearly unreadable.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-22 @ 17:49

Sure, and if you're capturing/upscaling a dos game with pure red text, for instance, the rgb pipeline will give a much better result, too. On the other hand, the rgb source for the ultima test was three times larger than the yuv version, about 480 mb for one minute of footage, without being that much better in this case. For quality, I'd definitely go the rgb route though.

In my case, I had to specify colormatrix=bt601:bt709 with ffmpeg when converting from rgb to yuv or the colors would be slightly wrong (like darker reds and greens). I also saw some inconsistent behavior where, depending on which other seemingly unrelated scaling/filters I had applied, vlc might show the post-conversion colors wrong while youtube would get them right, except that its thumbnail would have the wrong colors still.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2018-11-22 @ 18:27

The problem is a bit deeper:
For SD video the default colormatrix for RGB to YUV is BT601, for higher resolution it is BT709.
So when e.g. a player or Youtube presents you the yuv video and converts it back to RGB for the viewport the same color matrix should be used.

Reality is that implementations vary, even between Firefox and Chrome and may also depend if you use hardware acceleration or not.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-11-23 @ 06:02

Sounds great.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2018-11-23 @ 11:04

Regarding Youtube it is probably good to know that it always encodes to YUV 4:2:0 and sets the colormatrix to BT709 (even if your uploaded video is flagged with BT601). If your source material is 1080p no additional chroma subsampling is done for this specific resolution. For the lower resolution there will be of course a resampling.

For the rescaling I use a simple Avisynth script:
video=AviSource("1.avi")
video=pointresize(video,8*video.width,8*video.height)
video=LanczosResize(video, 1440, 1080)
video=addborders(video,240,0,240,0,0)
return video

If you like to do the colorspace conversion in avisynth you can add it add the end of the script.

For content from C64 I use:

video=AviSource("ds000.avi")
video=SeparateFields(video)
videoE=SelectEven(video)
videoO=SelectOdd(video)
video=Interleave(videoO,videoE)
video=pointresize(video,8*video.width,8*video.height)
video=LanczosResize(video, 1440, 1080)
video=addborders(video,240,0,240,0,0)
return video
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-12-09 @ 12:48

I have other question related to my capturing quest, i bough quite few convertors for that. These are now working yet for me. Could someone confirm that they are working for him, or that they are just fakes by design -wild Chinese creations, they usually not have any reviews.. and they will never work.
Its also possible that they are working only with some videocards, or only in one directory, or my are just defective, i did something wrong etc.

Here is list:
S-Video 4-Pin to Composite Video RCA AV Converter - https://www.ebay.com/itm/S-Video-4-Pin- ... 2749.l2649
DVI-I 24+5 Male to 3 RCA Component Display Adapter PC - https://www.ebay.com/itm/DVI-I-24-5-Mal ... 2749.l2649
3 RCA RGB Video Female To HD 15-Pin VGA - https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-3-RCA-RGB ... 2749.l2649
S-Video S-VHS Cable 4 pin Male plug to RCA Male plug - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Newly-5ft-1-5M ... 2748.l2649
VGA a S-Video/RCA S4Y5 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adaptador-Cabl ... 2748.l2649
VGA SVGA to 3 RCA Composite Video Audio S-Video - https://www.ebay.com/itm/PC-VGA-SVGA-to ... 2748.l2649 Cinch on VGA make no sense for me.

Second question is about VLC capturing, where i can select input source if capture card has multiple sources - S-Video/Composite etc.. default is probably TV tuner, for me TV/Capture cards combos.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-12-09 @ 16:40

Is there a particular reason you're on a quest? I've been under the impression that a datapath is the way to go, whether you want to pay lots or just a bit.
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