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VGA Capture Thread

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Reply 1060 of 1116, by darry

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Kordanor wrote on 2021-03-13, 03:15:
@Darry: So assuming I am using the Datapath E1S on a PC, I am recording via OBS, and I am playing in DOS on another PC, jump in […]
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@Darry: So assuming I am using the Datapath E1S on a PC, I am recording via OBS, and I am playing in DOS on another PC, jump in and out of a game, switch frequency and resolution - what would I need to record it? Do I understand it correctly that it will switch automatically according to presets in its software? Or would I need to readjust anything manually each time? And what software is used for that? Is it the one you can download from their page (VisionInstall v7.20.1)? I am also wondering because all the cards on ebay come without software.

Also another question regarding these cards: https://www.datapath.co.uk/datapath-products/ … ds/vision-range
So besides of the Datapath VisionRGB-E1S there are also:
VisionRGB-E2S - is it just the same with two inputs? Can you switch via their software between two Inputs or even have them both at once (like having two webcams in two USB plugs)
VisionSD4+1S - no idea at all what the difference is supposed to be. No idea what "input channels" actually mean in this context.
VisionSD8 - same.

And of course on ebay you also find old models: VisionRGB-E1 (without the "s"). What is the difference, any idea?

I am especially wondering regarding the "higher" cards, as the price for the E1S is still insane if you order from Europe.

E1S from the US (10 remaining) -> 56.44€ Price+ 44.65€ Shipping + And I guess another 30€ or so in customs.
E1 from the US (4 remaining) -> 40.76€ Price + 44.65€ Shipping + And I guess another 30€ or so in customs.
VISION SD8 from UK (1 remaining) -> 137.82€ + 10.39€ Shipping + 33.08€ in customs (thanks to the Brexit)

Of course once the cards ran out, that source is also pretty much done anyways as usual purchase price is 767€ (so I guess they better not break)

I think you need to configure/define the presets in VCS first for each required resolution, define an "output" resolution and then configure your capture application (OBS) to capture that . I have not used VCS yet or OBS . Probably best to read VCS docs, look here VCS - A capture utility for certain Datapath capture cards , experiment or ask vvbee (VCS author) . You need to install the drivers you mentioned too . If there are any other requirements, they are sure to be mentioned in VCS docs .

The software/drivers I use with my E1S are freely downloadable from their website . I use Windows 10 Pro x64 .

I am not familiar with most of the other cards Datapath sell . They are probably documented on their website (they seem to have excellent documentation for the E1S).

AFAICR, the E1 is more limited in its ability to capture very high resolutions in RGB because it can only do 480MB/second vs the E1S 650MB/second , but they are otherwise very similar . If you capture at 1600x1200 or lower, it won't make a difference, if my quick back of the envelope calculations are correct . They use the same driver package : https://www.datapath.co.uk/datapath-current-d … install-v7-20-1

https://www.datapathdocuments.co.uk/wp-conten … atasheet_EN.pdf
https://www.datapath.it/images/datasheets/pas … d_datasheet.pdf

I can't speak for durability yet, but considering the original price and target market, I would guess that they are likely as reliable as technology allows Datapath to make them . They do have heatsinks, so keeping them well ventilated is probably a good idea .

Based on your previous posts, some Google searches, and finding the exact same prices+shipping that you posted on the German version of a certain auction site (using a VPN), I am going to guess that you are located in Germany and I must admit the price are high and choice is limited. As a comparison, current pricing for getting an E1S shipped to me would be 131 CAN$, including shipping and customs, so about 43€ less than for you. Considering shipping and insurance costs, even getting someone in North America to buy one and ship it to you would likely not be worth it as it would likely imply paying customs on your end . Maybe you could look into a re-shipping service, (something similar to Buyee for auctions on Yahoo Japan), but that too would probably be almost as expensive (if it is even possible) . I bought my E1S in September 2020 for 100 CAN$ with a backplate and all shipping and customs included, so prices do seem on the rise .

To be honest, though, even the price you would currently need to pay seems decent for what is, at this price point and feature set, practically a unique product (full RGB capture is both not common and not cheap) that is not only still supported by the manufacturer in Windows 10 (and apparently Linux ) but also still being sold as new .

Reply 1062 of 1116, by Kordanor

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To be honest, though, even the price you would currently need to pay seems decent for what is, at this price point and feature set, practically a unique product (full RGB capture is both not common and not cheap) that is not only still supported by the manufacturer in Windows 10 (and apparently Linux ) but also still being sold as new .

Yeah, I can see that it's still worth it. And if I could buy it off of amazon.com for that price, I would consider that. But ebay adds another layer of uncertainty. If the card it broken or breaks during shipment (which Isn't too unlikely either) I'd end up in a world of pain as sending it back would also not be an option. So for now I am going to stall for a bit longer.

Reply 1063 of 1116, by imi

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Kordanor wrote on 2021-03-13, 03:15:

@Darry: So assuming I am using the Datapath E1S on a PC, I am recording via OBS, and I am playing in DOS on another PC, jump in and out of a game, switch frequency and resolution - what would I need to record it? Do I understand it correctly that it will switch automatically according to presets in its software? Or would I need to readjust anything manually each time? And what software is used for that? Is it the one you can download from their page (VisionInstall v7.20.1)? I am also wondering because all the cards on ebay come without software.

I don't have a E1S, but with my PEXHDCAP60L that's unfortunately the way I have to do it right now, every resolution change may require adjustments and not every resolution works well with the same settings so requires some fine tuning, simply switching in and out of games and DOS isn't that easy unfortunately, that's why lemmings has been such a headache to capture for me because it switches resolutions between the game and menu/loading screens, not only that but it uses the oddball 640x350 mode.
on top of that I haven't found a reliable way yet to manually set my capture area, because when my card autosyncs it requires something to be on the screen, and if there are black borders it will crop to whatever is visible, you can imagine this gets awkward in DOS or lemmings for that matter if the level doesn't go all the way to the top and it loses sync while switching resolutions.

Kordanor wrote on 2021-03-13, 03:15:

VisionSD4+1S - no idea at all what the difference is supposed to be. No idea what "input channels" actually mean in this context.
VisionSD8 - same.

careful ^^ the VisionSD or not high resolution RGB capture cards, they're for normal SD TV signals.

Reply 1064 of 1116, by etomcat

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Hello,
Is it still possible to obtain the fan-out cable that goes to the oversized, 3-row female D-sub connector on the backplate of "FAST AG" brand video capture/digitizer cards (like the FPS60 or the DVnow.AV)? Thanks in advance: Tamas Feher, Hungary.

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Reply 1065 of 1116, by darry

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etomcat wrote on 2021-03-13, 15:51:

Hello,
Is it still possible to obtain the fan-out cable that goes to the oversized, 3-row female D-sub connector on the backplate of "FAST AG" brand video capture/digitizer cards (like the FPS60 or the DVnow.AV)? Thanks in advance: Tamas Feher, Hungary.

AFAICT, neither of those are VGA capture cards.

The Fast FPS60 is apparently an MJPEG hardware-assisted capture cards that works at standard definition (or actually some kind of half D1 square pixel version of it when using PAL, no idea for NTSC)
The DVnow.AV (also marketed/sold by Dazzle, apparently) is a DV code capture card that can also capture analogue video (presumably into DV, detail are hard to come by), but always from a standard definition source .

You probably know this already, but neither of these would be optimal, quality-wise, to capture analogue standard definition sources though the newer DVnow.AV would probably be better at it . Even cheap standard definition USB video capture cards that capture full D1 resolution in 4:2:2 (instead of the FPS60's halved horizontal resolution and the DVnow.AV's likely 4:2:0 in PAL ) are better . Of course that may not matter much if your source material is something like VHS .

Anyway, you are probably not going to get that many views from people who might actually be able to help/answer as you would in a new thread .

Best of luck to you.

Reply 1066 of 1116, by Artex

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Thanks for your responses!

So I picked up this beauty for about $114.00, installing it in my main capture box (replacing my Elgato 4K CamLink). So for this card seems to hold it's sync when switching refresh rates/resolutions. Now I just gotta figure out the audio capture piece since I completely forgot DVI doesn't carry audio and was spoiled with the simplicity of using HDMI. I will probably have to run the 3.5mm out from the OSSC to my onboard line-in on my X570 motherboard.

I also installed the latest version of VCS - version 2.3.0 and it picked up the card without issue. For some reason though I'm dropping frames, so I'll need to look into that. Also, I assume there is no way to capture audio using that util? For some reason, the preview screen in VCS looks CRYSTAL clear as compared to OBS which looks a little fuzzy. Thoughts on that?

QisTrA.jpg

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Reply 1067 of 1116, by imi

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Artex wrote on 2021-03-16, 16:57:
Thanks for your responses! […]
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Thanks for your responses!

So I picked up this beauty for about $114.00, installing it in my main capture box (replacing my Elgato 4K CamLink). So for this card seems to hold it's sync when switching refresh rates/resolutions. Now I just gotta figure out the audio capture piece since I completely forgot DVI doesn't carry audio and was spoiled with the simplicity of using HDMI. I will probably have to run the 3.5mm out from the OSSC to my onboard line-in on my X570 motherboard.

I also installed the latest version of VCS - version 2.3.0 and it picked up the card without issue. For some reason though I'm dropping frames, so I'll need to look into that. Also, I assume there is no way to capture audio using that util? For some reason, the preview screen in VCS looks CRYSTAL clear as compared to OBS which looks a little fuzzy. Thoughts on that?

QisTrA.jpg

could you maybe try lemmings and switch between the menu and game a bunch of times to see if there are any issues? ^^

OBS uses scale filtering by default, set it by right clicking your source in the preview and set scale filtering to none if you want it to be sharp

I just wish my cards didn't have such issues switching between resolutions 🙁 the import costs on the E1S are just too much.

Reply 1068 of 1116, by Artex

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imi wrote on 2021-03-16, 17:09:
could you maybe try lemmings and switch between the menu and game a bunch of times to see if there are any issues? ^^ […]
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Artex wrote on 2021-03-16, 16:57:
Thanks for your responses! […]
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Thanks for your responses!

So I picked up this beauty for about $114.00, installing it in my main capture box (replacing my Elgato 4K CamLink). So for this card seems to hold it's sync when switching refresh rates/resolutions. Now I just gotta figure out the audio capture piece since I completely forgot DVI doesn't carry audio and was spoiled with the simplicity of using HDMI. I will probably have to run the 3.5mm out from the OSSC to my onboard line-in on my X570 motherboard.

I also installed the latest version of VCS - version 2.3.0 and it picked up the card without issue. For some reason though I'm dropping frames, so I'll need to look into that. Also, I assume there is no way to capture audio using that util? For some reason, the preview screen in VCS looks CRYSTAL clear as compared to OBS which looks a little fuzzy. Thoughts on that?

QisTrA.jpg

could you maybe try lemmings and switch between the menu and game a bunch of times to see if there are any issues? ^^

OBS uses scale filtering by default, set it by right clicking your source in the preview and set scale filtering to none if you want it to be sharp

I just wish my cards didn't have such issues switching between resolutions 🙁 the import costs on the E1S are just too much.

Sure, I will test over the next few days and report back.

OBS

jiRIhJ.jpg

VCS

uPo5Dw.jpg

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Reply 1069 of 1116, by vvbee

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Artex wrote on 2021-03-16, 16:57:

I also installed the latest version of VCS - version 2.3.0 and it picked up the card without issue. For some reason though I'm dropping frames, so I'll need to look into that. Also, I assume there is no way to capture audio using that util?

Dropping frames all the time or just sometimes? Since VCS is single-threaded apart from a few things, dropping some frames is expected when e.g. doing things in the GUI a bunch. But it shouldn't happen on its own.

You could try switching the window renderer to OpenGL (I think it's software by default, but I can't remember if there's any difference in performance - maybe for large resolutions). You can also see if you've got any extra processing enabled, which would show in the window title as something like "VCS - XXXX - ...", where X is any of A (anti-tearing), O (overlay), R (video recording), F (frame filters).

In any case, you can hit Ctrl + S to open the signal info dialog and see if it's VCS dropping the frames or something else.

No audio capture in VCS for now. It's been requested a while back and it's on the todo list, but no idea when it might be done.

Reply 1070 of 1116, by imi

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hmm that's odd, as long as the capture window matches the capture resolution and I disable filtering OBS is tack sharp for me, did you try if it's just the preview and the capture itself is sharp?

Reply 1072 of 1116, by vvbee

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Artex wrote on 2021-03-17, 00:14:
Trying to do a vidcap but getting the following: […]
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Trying to do a vidcap but getting the following:

EN0XYN.jpg

d1rQTG.jpg

It's an issue with VCS being 32-bit and the memory space being shared with the x264 encoder, not enough memory to go around, depending on your recording settings. Setting a faster preset in the recording settings should help.

I've got some plans for making VCS 64-bit, but I still depend on using it in Windows XP in some ways.

Reply 1073 of 1116, by imi

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Artex wrote on 2021-03-16, 16:57:

OBS which looks a little fuzzy. Thoughts on that?

sorry my bad, in OBS you have to set Scale Filtering to Point and not disable ^^

if only I didn't have these signal switching issues, the output of the PEXHDCAP60L is just gorgeous otherwise.

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I'm sampling at 640x400 so if you look ever so closely you notice some noise in the pixels

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Reply 1074 of 1116, by Agent of the BSoD

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This ended up being a much longer post than I intended, but here you are. Maybe someone will find this wall of text useful.

For my E1S, the most reliable way for me to get good captures (or even just previews) is having VCS open and having OBS doing window capture of the VCS screen, with the source signal coming from my OSSC. I don't particularly like using Datapath's software as it never switches resolutions when the source does, so you'd have to manually change it every time (which gets old real quick), plus their software is pretty buggy. VCS automatically changes the window resolution to match the input resolution which is fantastic. I don't let VCS do scaling on the window but instead have OBS scale it, so like 720x400 is still 720x400 on VCS, but OBS will scale it to 4:3 or whatever I want it to do at whatever resolution I want. I also like the "area" filter in OBS for upscaling. As long as you don't have your face on your monitor, it looks very sharp like the point filter without as much of the obvious downside of point filter for resolutions that don't scale evenly with your output resolution (some pixels will be noticeably bigger than others in point sampling, whereas area sampling will filter it like other filters but still tries to keep it sharp, and also will be perfect scaling on resolutions that evenly multiply). I often like to just do it this way without even recording just so I can blow up my retro PC on my main screen. Of course, I can also just have black borders around it if I want more perfect pixel scaling, or change OBS's output resolution.

Also, I've noticed that OBS can't seem to properly latch on to the E1S's resolution, so you get really poor scaling as mentioned a few posts above if you're trying to have OBS interface with the card directly. This is why I use VCS and use window capture as it avoids the issue altogether.

tl;dr for E1S video capture: have VCS open to deal with resolution switching, have OBS do window capture of VCS and do all the rest of the processing, and optionally use an OSSC if you want so you don't have to deal with sampling phase and all that fun stuff once you've dialed it in

As for audio, I never liked using line-in as it always seems to be really noisy and peaks a ton. I instead use an audio mixer that feeds in the audio via USB, specifically a Behringer Q502USB. Small and simple mixer, but does the job very well with hardly any noise (once you install the drivers they removed from their site). This way I can send in, for example, audio from the PC and a MIDI synth separately and control the volume levels with respect to each other with just the mixer. One thing to note though is, if anyone actually is considering what I'm talking about, that the mixer can be fickle with certain USB ports and make an intermittent popping sound on ports it doesn't like, so you'll have to move it around until it stops doing that.

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Reply 1075 of 1116, by imi

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if only VSC would also work for the PEXHDCAP60L 😒

I also still haven't found out why I can't use any newer driver than 1.43 as with any of the newer drivers I get a indication in the capture settings that the card is getting a signal, but I just don't get an image anywhere, so I'm stuck with the older driver... which is extra frustrating because ever since the last Win10 update it seems to cause regular bluescreens.

Reply 1076 of 1116, by Artex

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Ok, so here's a first pass:

VGA Out (Riva TNT2 Ultra to 2 x Diamond Monster 3D II in SLI) to VGA Splitter to OSSC 1.6 (Passthrough) HDMI Out to HDMI-to-DVI Adapter to DataPath VisionRGB 1S.

Captured using OBS at native 1280x1024 (Windows 98SE), and launched GLQuake @ 1024x768. Went in and out back to Windows a few times to adjust OpenGL Gamma, and to see how the capture setup would work during these shifts of resolution/refresh.

Remuxed and resized video to 1920x1080 , compressed video to x264 8 bit - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec, RGBA32 using VirtualDub2

Video
https://youtu.be/0muaCEDOT-4

You can see it's blurry in its final state, however, the OBS file at 1280x1024 looks crystal clear. It seems like OBS captures in AVC (x264) YUV420-709?

If I don't compress it but convert to RGB24, then I have crystal clear video (to my eyes) pre-Youtube but the file is 114GB

BE2uhR.jpg

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Reply 1077 of 1116, by Artex

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I also switched OBS to use VCS as the input, but it still looks blurry - at least in the preview - within OBS and the difference in clarity looks quite drastic.

EDIT: JPG Compression from ImageShack->VOGONS doesn't help, but you get the idea.

Eoccfw.jpg

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Reply 1078 of 1116, by vvbee

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Getting retro capture onto YouTube without a huge loss in quality is a pain. I got a pretty good result here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZP6HiyJKHg. Captured with the old VisionRGB-PRO from a Millennium/Voodoo combo. The video was nearest upscaled from 640 x 480 and padded to 1080p, looks near pixel perfect in fullscreen 1080p on YouTube. Not so great at other resolutions though due to the baked-in padding and nearest scaling, and of course it's easier to capture analog cleanly at lower resolutions like 640 x 480.

Reply 1079 of 1116, by Artex

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So this is definitely an exercise in patience. 😀

I thought I had the video nailed down - VGA into the OSSC 1.6 which digitizes it into HDMI out which then goes into the Datapath RGBVision D1S PCIe card.

Now my issue is that I need to deal with the audio piece. I was under the assumption that the second 3.5mm jack on the OSSC could be assigned/linked to any of the input connections. VGA/DSub is RGBHV / AV3 (or button 3 on the remote) but there is no audio out jack for this particular input - it's all HDMI. The output jack can be used as an input for AV2/Component sources or as an output only for AVI1/SCART sources.

So now do I need another box to convert HDMI (Digitized VGA + Audio) to DVI + 3.5mm audio which then would go into my motherboard's line-in for audio capture along with the video from the VisionRGB card?

Right: VGA input, Audio Input
Left: HDMI output, Audio Input (can be switched to output)**

**AV2 audio in/AV1 audio out (V1.6 and later revision units only) - Standard 3.5mm stereo
headphone plug type connector. Use this connector to output audio from AV1/SCART or to input
audio for AV2/Component video sources.

Inputs:
AV1: (RGB-SCART), supports clean csync, cvideo sync, luma sync
AV2: Component (red, green, blue cables), supports RGBS, RGsB (sync on green) and YPbPr
AV3: VGA (DSUB15 or 15khz RGB) supports video in RGBHV, RGBS (pin 13), RGsB and YPbPr formats

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