TehGuy wrote on 2022-01-16, 20:16:
One (or two) more questions, then, and I think I should be good. […]
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NamelessPlayer wrote on 2022-01-16, 19:24:
In that case, I'd get any sort of scaler that adapts PC resolutions to a modern screen mode like 1080p60, something widely used […]
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TehGuy wrote on 2022-01-16, 14:40:
So uh let's say, hypothetically, I've got a Pro 2 for like $10 because it advertised 1080p60 and that's good enough for recording my PS4, switch, or PowerMac (yay DVI-D) and came with the breakout cable so I can slap my N64 or Wii/GC on there and I just needed the device to show up in OBS (give or take some tinkering). How much DOS stuff am I about to not be able to do, if any at all? I mainly keep to the later-ish end of the DOS spectrum, I think, with stuff like Epic Pinball, Xargon, Doom, Duke3D, etc. and Windows 98. GPU also happens to have an S-VIDEO on it if that changes anything (because previously mentioned breakout cable comes with a S-VID in), though I'm aware that's not as great as VGA.
EDIT: would one of these Gefen boxes make things play nice?
In that case, I'd get any sort of scaler that adapts PC resolutions to a modern screen mode like 1080p60, something widely used in the broadcast and film industries that Blackmagic would have a preset for in the capture card settings. You should have plenty of options.
I haven't looked too closely into the Gefen boxes in question to see if they do any rescaling.
If the S-Video output on the DOS system works, that may technically be a solution just to see whatever that computer is outputting, but you'd be losing out on image quality and resolution (it's still standard-def video, 480i/576i max, and colors are degraded from being combined into one chroma signal). You really want something that captures RGB (of which VGA is really just RGBHV) so as to preserve image quality and support higher resolutions, or better yet if your PC has a modern enough graphics card, DVI.
By the way, Power Mac with a DVI output? That'll be easy mode. Macs are far more consistent in their video signal output and generally just letterbox the image if you're running at a higher desktop resolution, the sole exception being if you're running anything that's 3D-accelerated (QD3D RAVE, Glide, OpenGL, doesn't really matter), at which point it behaves more like PCs in switching resolutions to whatever's specified in-game.
Since you mention Duke Nukem 3D (and potentially other Build engine games), that raises the possibility for VESA SVGA modes there as well - it's not like Doom where you're stuck in base VGA Mode 13h the whole time in its original release.
One (or two) more questions, then, and I think I should be good.
1. Would DVI on the DOS machine change anything? Assuming it works in an AGP 2x slot, I have an AGP 6600 I could dunk in there.
2. what kind of testing do you put your devices through, if you don't mind my asking? I've managed to grab one of those Epiphan DVI2PCIe cards you mentioned (if the seller wasn't lying) and would like to put it through the works.
So even if #1 doesn't change anything on its own, hopefully pairing it with #2 would make things all nice and lovely (and remove any need for additional adapters)... or at the very least #2 working.
I need to do more testing on the DVI front, but I did notice that when I captured my P4EE/6800 Ultra box with the USB Capture DVI Plus, the signal info suggested that it was spitting out 1920x1080@60Hz while it was still on the BIOS - something even I found a bit hard to believe. Maybe it upscales the 720x400 mode to whatever it thinks is the display's native resolution based on EDID.
My quick-and-dirty first impression testing generally centers around a few things:
-Amiga 4000 native video output (still waiting on my MNT ZZ9000 RTG card with HDMI scandoubler/scaler for the native video modes), which comprises a not-quite-standard 31 KHz 640x480 VGA mode (MULTISCAN: Productivity) in Workbench that I prefer to use AGA systems in, combined with the usual smattering of 15 KHz PAL progressive and interlaced modes that most of the demos and games use, maybe even a touch of NTSC modes for Mac emulation.
I like to use Captured Dreams (The Black Lotus) as one of my choice demos for testing, because it uses some video modes that don't quite line up with what Workbench provides and require some fine tuning from the capture card as a result, as well as switching from progressive to interlaced and back on the fly, most notably as a high-res artwork of a drug pill fades in. The fact that it switches during the fade-in instead of during a black screen makes transitions painfully obvious on a non-CRT monitor if you don't have everything dialed in just right for every mode, though Magewell is remarkably quick about it while Datapath blanks out for a moment.
-PS2 component video output, running Chrono Cross since it's one of the PS1 games noted to use 240p gameplay and 480i menus, thus being another solid test of progressive/interlaced switching on the fly. Said menus also have some UI elements that become noticeably blurred if you don't use weave deinterlacing (something that technically really isn't deinterlacing at all) instead of blend deinterlacing, as if Square only saw fit to draw those pixels on one field.
-The aforementioned P4EE/GeForce 6800 Ultra retro build that usually boots into XP (and can also boot into 98SE), desktop currently set to 1920x1080@60Hz. I've done relatively little testing here, as I was mostly concerned about being able to see the BIOS and make adjustments as needed or run native DOS, but I'll probably go more in-depth there later, including testing VGA output instead of DVI.
There are other systems I'd like to run through both the Datapath and Magewell cards that I just haven't gotten around to yet for physical setup reasons, mainly my original Xbox with component cables for 720p and 1080i capture, and my small fleet of Power Macs, mainly the Power Mac 9600 kitted out with a Rage 128 and a PC Compatibility Card (which could theoretically run in single-monitor passthrough for more on-the-fly mode switch testing, but I lack a DE-15M VGA to DA-15F Mac monitor adapter), but also my MDD Power Mac G4 that I crammed a Voodoo2 SLI setup into because Virtual PC 3.0 can use it to some extent.
Also, it's become quite apparent that the Mac Pro 3,1 with the fastest possible configuration of twin quad-core LGA771 Xeons with 3.2 GHz Penryn cores just isn't cut out for 1080p60 capture, regardless of whether I use the Datapath or Magewell devices (with a USB 3.0 PCIe card in the latter case). The CPUs just don't have enough single-threaded performance to handle it. I'll do further testing with the VisionRGB-E2S on my 4.5 GHz 4770K desktop, though its location makes setup of other computers a bit difficult.
There is much testing to be done, which is why I'm not yet declaring a formal review, but I'm definitely hoping to get a system going so that I can write up a list of setup tips and tricks for the hardware I've tested (really wish I could add the DVI2PCIe to that list, but I've already spent too much money on the VisionRGB-E2S and USB Capture DVI Plus combined), as well as start up a regular retrocomputing stream with authentic hardware as opposed to emulation.