VGA Capture Thread

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

Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-12-09 @ 22:23

Im still waiting on these cheap Datapath cards on eBay (PCI-E VisionRGB-E1S are still expensive for me and PCI ones - i now see 70 bucks piece on eBay, but still did not make decision, if would buy it, or start with some newer HDMI card.. +my target machine is quite low of PCI slots, because im using it for gaming too) and cheap VGA to Svideo convertor box which recommended Phil few years ago is still on the way, these convertors came more quickly. For now, when i really have to capture something i can do it through some very old capture card with Conexant 878 and S-Video.. Im not in the hurry.

I have monitors with lots of inputs, i would like to have some flexibility.. i just was wondered if these i will or will not work.. i also have some older Aver capture / TV cards.. which have some special input 7/ 9 pin connectors and i dont have original cables.. i tried some from eBay and i was not successfull so far, so i tried them also just with monitors.. and it seems that they are not working.. for example one of my monitor doesnt have VGA input, but have component and composite and s-video.. I have some special convertor bundled with old Graphics card from 7/ 9 pin to Component etc.. and they are working fine for it, so i thought that other would work too.
Is interesting research i could be handy for others.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-12-10 @ 00:11

Let's face it, the datapath cards are high-end hardware for peanuts second-hand. I wouldn't pay $70 for the pro though.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby kreats » 2018-12-13 @ 04:21

Was there ever any consensus about whether the Epiphan DVI2PCIe was any better than the Datapath Vision?

There are some on ebay with free international shipping, which makes a big difference for those outside the US
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby xjas » 2018-12-13 @ 04:30

Check out Elianda's Youtube channel. Pretty sure everything VGA on there was captured using a DVI2PCIe. Maybe he can chime in with some details.

They're both excellent choices AFAIK.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2018-12-13 @ 09:15

Yes, for the earlier stuff I was still using the VGA2PCIe and for all later the DVI2PCIe. For the lower resolution custom mode VGA sources the handling is not different though.

I have no experience with the Datapath Vision cards though.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-12-13 @ 11:21

Here's the pros for the visionrgb for vga as come to mind. Someone can do one for the epiphan and go from there. I'd imagine they both do vga image quality well, so I've omitted it.

- cheap second-hand, starts from $25 or so.
- custom video modes. (also on the epiphan as far as I know)
- open api so you can write your own software. (the epiphan has this too, no?)
- custom capture software available and open-source. (elianda's been writing software for the epiphan, as well?)
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ShaiWa » 2018-12-15 @ 18:13

Vvbee, what program did you use for the Ultima 7 capture?
Tried the VisionRGB Pro after some time now I got a SSD in my test PC but I have some trouble with my black level with Amarec TV.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2018-12-15 @ 21:16

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

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



I downloaded the driver and software from the Avermedia site, but it won't detect my card. I manually extracted the driver from the install package and tried to manually install the drivers (Windows has no issues detecting the card as a "multimedia something") but it says "no driver found in this folder" when I point to the folder I extracted. Any ideas where I am going wrong? I am on Windows 7 x86.

The capture software installs fine but says no capture device detected.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby elianda » 2018-12-17 @ 19:10

vvbee wrote:Here's the pros for the visionrgb for vga as come to mind. Someone can do one for the epiphan and go from there. I'd imagine they both do vga image quality well, so I've omitted it.


For the Epiphan cards (DVI2PCIe Duo / DVI2PCIe / VGA2PCIe):

- any custom mode possible starting from 15 kHz horizontal frequency to limits of card.
- supports 85 fps up to 1280x1024, at higher resolutions max. fps go down
- supports interlaced sources, incl. the option to set field order
- supports a variety of color spaces, including RGB888
- can do VGA and DVI, requiring only a regular DVI-I adapter (DVI2PCIe)
- modes are detected by number of scanlines and vertical refresh, then capture timing is taken from a user definable table. With the freely setable pixel clock 640x480 can also be sampled as 1280x480 or 737x480 or anything that is still in the clock range.
- it is possible to tune Offset/Gain, HShift, VShift, Sample Phase, PLL, Sync Level Threshold for H and V. Specifically the PLL tuning allows advanced stuff, such as source signal bandwidth measurement. Sample Phase defines the position on the pixels where the sample is taken.
- the driver includes an optional pre-scaler for capture software that uses DirectShow. This means any input resolution is scaled to the defined resolution. It is very helpful for captures where the source changes modes. The pre-scaler offers various algorithms upto Lanczos.
- SDK is available
- The cards driver also extends DirectShow by an API to access special functions of the card that go beyond default DirectShow capabilities (e.g. mode changes). So in principle a DirectShow capture application can detect such a card and offer more functionality.
- to the DVI2PCIe a S-Video and audio input can be added by a passive cable adapter.

I have captured with the card already quite obscure modes, such as the Ambience/Tran demo.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2018-12-18 @ 02:03

The $25 visionrgb-pro specifically:
- rgb888
- odd-mode demos work based on my small sample
- interlaced should work but haven't tried it
- set about any resolution you want, up to the max of 1280 x 1024 or so (tops out at 640 x 480 for 60 fps with 32-bit color)
- hardware scaling (not sure you'd want to, although downsampling before sending via the pci bus could be useful in some cases)
- software scaling (nearest, linear, cubic, lanczos + whatever you implement), padding, filtering (denoising, rotation, cropping, noise histogram, unique frame count, etc.), html-formatted overlays, and so on with vcs; can be configured per-resolution so e.g. downscale linear and upscale nearest but upscale lanczos + crop and rotate for a specific resolution
- works with pci passthrough in qemu, on my hardware anyway

The ambience demo captures, and I assume one could write an analog filter of some kind for vcs to blend the frames on the fly for digital display.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-12-18 @ 17:15

I found guy with 10x Osprey 210 PCI for 15 EUR in Europe (Slovakia), if somone is interested, payment is possible through Paypal.. Write me PM.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby ruthan » 2018-12-29 @ 17:48

I have few capture related questions / comments:

1) VLC capture settings, i got Avermedia LGP 310 Lite external USB capture, when i try use VLC for capture, i got very low resolution picture from source picture which is 1920x1080,Its probably PAL or NTFS, its possible somewhere setup right resolution and capture with VLC with source resolution?
I had similar problem

2) I hoped that Avermedia same as above would be able to capture / passthrough 1920x1200 not only 1920x1080, but it is not, do you know if newer Avers / Elgatos etc are able to support this resolution? I have 1920x1200 monitors, i dunno why but when i use it with Aver + HDMI switch - even with right aspect ration on my HP monitor is picture pixelated, i thing that direct 1920x1080 from console has not these problems..

3) This device has HDMI passthrough its between cards and monitor.. boot resolution is not supported, same as grub boot manager? I wonder if could bypass it by some hdmi splitter - can connected one cable to from splitter to monitor and second to recording device HDMI in.. let hdmi output from it not connected?

Otherwise i tested this device for less than hour, but i can say than Aver Recentral is so far most friendly capture utility, its maybe not have lots of options, but its great for just make it working and for more advanced things you can use OBS / Xsplit etc. I tried it with Dscaler in Win10 but its not working, but its maybe because of UEFI.. Elianda wrote something about Dscaler UEFI problem..
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Tore » 2019-1-11 @ 22:42

Last year I bought a used Datapath VisionRGB E1S for an affordable price on Ebay based upon recommendations here and other forums after being constantly annoyed with my Avermedia Gamebroadcaster HD

So far my experience with the card has been positive. It has captured anything I have thrown it it. PC games in Windows and in DOS, Sega Saturn (PAL) and PlayStation (PAL) (using a sync strike).

The only annoying thing has been that I need to adjust the video for each new signal it receives, but thanks to the VCS software which allows me to setup profiles for each device and their video modes that problem has gone away mostly.

I'm impressed with the image quality and and the latency of the card itself. The card was so quick that playing games through the preview window is possible though obviously there is a delay there due to the setup: Video -> Capture card -> [image processing] -> monitor.

I have uploaded a demonstration video of PC capture:

Do note though:
- PC is connected to a VGA splitter, one goes to a monitor and one goes to the card. This causes the picture to be slightly darker (maybe some colour data is lost during the splitting)
- The video was recorded using OBS this means that it was compressed before reaching YouTube (window capture on VCS preview)
- YouTube does their own compression on top of that...
- The image was scaled to 1600x1200 in VCS using Area scaling, this means that the image is scaled to 4:3 (like most games on a CRT running at 320x200@70hz if I remember correctly)
- YouTube seems to have scaled this down to 1440x1080....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1DfOH9T9M4

I also have a still of the Doom intermission screen captured with the same setup for a better lossless look.
https://tore.cnc-comm.com/stuff/doomex.png

For the price I paid I'm happy with this card, but there is one thing that bugs even though it isn't too relevant for me. The specs say you can capture 1920x1080 at @ 60hz, but I can only get an unstable 51 FPS with it set to 4:4:4 colour mode at 8:8:8 it is an unstable 21 FPS. Hopefully it is a config or software issue and not a case of "it can capture 1920x1080 at @ 60hz, but can't output it"
Last edited by Tore on 2019-1-15 @ 05:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2019-1-12 @ 06:58

Tore wrote:The specs say you can capture 1920x1080 at @ 60hz, but I can only get an unstable 51 FPS with it set to 4:4:4 colour mode at 8:8:8 it is an unstable 21 FPS. Hopefully it is a config or software issue and not a case of "it can capture 1920x1080 at @ 60hz, but can't output it"

The windows command-line tool at http://tarpeeksihyvaesoft.com/soft/?d=vrgb_fps.1_0:w should give you the card's raw output fps on the source's current video mode without any client-side scaling, display, etc. If you run it with the parameters 0 32 it'll listen on the card's first input channel requesting 32-bit (24-bit) frames, and will output a count of the number of frames it receives per second. Just don't run it while you have some other software capturing the card, or the fps takes a hit.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby havli » 2019-1-13 @ 09:54

I have the E1S too and it works perfectly when capturing 1920x1080 @ 60 Hz. The image in the VCS window is perfectly smooth as well as recorded video using OBS. Also the command-line tool shows steady 60 fps.

Image

For example this video was captured at 1920x1080@60. You can see the micro-stuttering on the crossfire configuration, while single GF 8800 is perfectly smooth... which wouldn't work if the captured video had low framerate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifVqBb0b3wo&t=2m39s

I think low fps at FHD @ 60 fps perhaps could be caused by insufficient performance / pci-e bandwidth of the PC where capture card is connected. I am using i7 8700k with ASRock Z370 Extreme4 MB. So I have full 4-lane pci-e slot available (connected to the chipset) and also more than enough CPU performance for video processing end realtime encoding.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby Tore » 2019-1-15 @ 05:08

havli wrote:I think low fps at FHD @ 60 fps perhaps could be caused by insufficient performance / pci-e bandwidth of the PC where capture card is connected.


Thanks! That was the exact reason. I have an i7 5820k @ 4.3 GHz with 24 PCI-E lanes. I took out one of my GPU's and the capture card even accepted 2048x1440 @ 41hz 8:8:8. This is odd as I remember trying this before with less success, maybe I had the card in a slower slot back then.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby xjas » 2019-2-01 @ 08:12

Question: have any of you tried capturing through a passive 1->2 splitter cable? How badly does it degrade the output signal?

I have an active (amplifying) Startech 4-port splitter, but it doesn't work & seems to be beyond my ability to fix. :( So thinking of just making a cheap-o 1-in, 2-out Y-box from its spare parts.

I want to game at zero-latency on one monitor and capture it via my VisionRGB-Pro simultaneously.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby root42 » 2019-2-01 @ 10:00

I would assume that it attenuates the signal by roughly 50%. Since it doesn’t amplify it probably works as a voltage splitter. But just try it out! Capture device should show a darker picture. Similar to what I experience with different VGA cards. E.g. my cheap Tridents produce much darker pictures than my ET4000s.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby LunarG » 2019-2-02 @ 15:21

I've been trying to figure out an inexpensive way of doing this for a while now.
One of the big problems for me, is when ordering anything from abroad, if the cost of the item + shipping is above about $41 US, then the Norwegian government will add 25% VAT + possible import charges etc.
This means that too many things will end up costing a small fortune. I've been looking in vain for an Epiphan VGA2USB eller DVI2USB for ages, but they all end up costing about $180 US even before adding taxes etc, which is a bit too much for me.
So, in the end, I've decided to have a go at the "China Method".
I've ordered a YK762H HD PCIe capture card. These are really cheap, and as with most products from China, they will usually put a lower price on the packaging (they seem to do this by default) and probably label it "product sample", so no taxes or anything on these.
But as that card only captures HDMI, I've also found a really cheap second hand Gefen VGA to DVI scaler. These are apparently really good, and will make sure you can output a variety of input resolutions to standard output resolutions, such as 480 or 720, which means that it should be able to provide the correct resolution for the capture card.
I've also grabbed a china-model 150MHz active VGA splitter, which will be able to run up to about 1280x1024 @ 80Hz modes, or higher refresh at lower resolutions. And as I'm only looking to record DOS games, it should be WAAAAY more than adequate.
So as soon as the parts arrive, I'm looking forward to trying this solution out. I've seen some recordings done with the YK762H capture card, and as long as you keep the resolution to 720p, it's actually quite decent.
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Re: VGA Capture Thread

Postby vvbee » 2019-2-02 @ 16:36

Someone in germany just had a hard time selling the visionrgb-pro for 20 euros, so that's the cheap way.
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