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VGA Capture Thread

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Reply 1040 of 1184, by darry

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vvbee wrote on 2020-12-27, 18:59:
bumpnthump05 wrote on 2020-12-27, 17:11:

Yes, I would like maximum sharpness, but in all honesty it wont do me any good due to Twitch's compression and loss due to bitrate. Plus i am going for that nostalgic feel for the users watching. I do have a "NTSC Bleeding" effect filter i can put on my capture via my OBS shaders but i honestly dont like it very much. I think it over does it.
But although i do want quality for screen shots, anybody can see most pixel perfect stuff on YouTube without the effects. I'm not going to be capturing for YouTube but streaming on Twitch, That wouldn't stop me to try and make it better though, but I'm having issues with Vision even opening up. I click both Vision Window & Vision Configure and the processes run in my Task Manager, But nothing pops up to adjust. I've tried other drivers as well. I do know my capture i posted is 800x600 in windows and even my windows capture looks blurry. The only video settings i can adjust are the ones that pop up the dialog box when I click video properties in OBS. I have learned that they DO NOT SAVE. So before i can try and make this any better, I have to figure out how to save my settings, or make it better somehow. Although it would suffice for twitch streaming, the alignment is even slightly off.

Capture2.JPG

Try VCS, it should have better configurability. Although maybe not so good for OBS since it outputs in OpenGL.

I find that using an OSSC as a digitizer and then using a DVI or HDMI capture card like an E1S is quite convenient .

Advantages (for me) are

a) Analogue adjustments are very easy to do using OSSC's on screen display. Doing these on the OSSC is, IMHO, more convenient than doing the equivalent on the E1S capture PC .

b) Using OSSC to feed an HDMI splitter allows the use of a modern monitor with the best possible quality and low latency while capturing at the same time using a capture PC .

Bonus point: using an HDMI/DVI switch before the HDMI/ DVI splitter allows easily switching to using a natively HDMI/DVI equipped card for both play and capture .

Obviously, an OSSC costs additional money, but since I was already using one, it made sense for me to use it's digitized output to feed the E1S digitally .

P.S. I have not gotten to audio capture yet, but the plan is to feed a USB S/PDIF capture card on the capture PC with the output of the VS-880EX that I use as a digital mixer .

Hopefully, I will actually get to use this setup for something other than a proof of concept .

Reply 1041 of 1184, by vvbee

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darry wrote on 2020-12-28, 06:19:
I find that using an OSSC as a digitizer and then using a DVI or HDMI capture card like an E1S is quite convenient . […]
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vvbee wrote on 2020-12-27, 18:59:
bumpnthump05 wrote on 2020-12-27, 17:11:

Yes, I would like maximum sharpness, but in all honesty it wont do me any good due to Twitch's compression and loss due to bitrate. Plus i am going for that nostalgic feel for the users watching. I do have a "NTSC Bleeding" effect filter i can put on my capture via my OBS shaders but i honestly dont like it very much. I think it over does it.
But although i do want quality for screen shots, anybody can see most pixel perfect stuff on YouTube without the effects. I'm not going to be capturing for YouTube but streaming on Twitch, That wouldn't stop me to try and make it better though, but I'm having issues with Vision even opening up. I click both Vision Window & Vision Configure and the processes run in my Task Manager, But nothing pops up to adjust. I've tried other drivers as well. I do know my capture i posted is 800x600 in windows and even my windows capture looks blurry. The only video settings i can adjust are the ones that pop up the dialog box when I click video properties in OBS. I have learned that they DO NOT SAVE. So before i can try and make this any better, I have to figure out how to save my settings, or make it better somehow. Although it would suffice for twitch streaming, the alignment is even slightly off.

Capture2.JPG

Try VCS, it should have better configurability. Although maybe not so good for OBS since it outputs in OpenGL.

I find that using an OSSC as a digitizer and then using a DVI or HDMI capture card like an E1S is quite convenient .

Advantages (for me) are

a) Analogue adjustments are very easy to do using OSSC's on screen display. Doing these on the OSSC is, IMHO, more convenient than doing the equivalent on the E1S capture PC .

b) Using OSSC to feed an HDMI splitter allows the use of a modern monitor with the best possible quality and low latency while capturing at the same time using a capture PC .

Bonus point: using an HDMI/DVI switch before the HDMI/ DVI splitter allows easily switching to using a natively HDMI/DVI equipped card for both play and capture .

Obviously, an OSSC costs additional money, but since I was already using one, it made sense for me to use it's digitized output to feed the E1S digitally .

P.S. I have not gotten to audio capture yet, but the plan is to feed a USB S/PDIF capture card on the capture PC with the output of the VS-880EX that I use as a digital mixer .

Hopefully, I will actually get to use this setup for something other than a proof of concept .

If you capture very dynamic sources like DOS games, VCS may end up being easier, since you can configure unlimited pinpoint presets/filters that are automatically applied from then on.

VCS's latency is sub-frame, probably in the ballpark of 3-8 ms, depending on your system and settings. Processing 480p into 1440p nearest neighbor takes like 2 ms on my 2015 CPU, a couple more ms to draw the 1440p to screen in software mode. Processing and drawing a 480p frame without scaling is less than 1 ms. The total capture delay from source to card to screen should be like 1 frame, though I haven't measured.

Reply 1042 of 1184, by ruthan

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Can someone recommend me some convertor for component to VGA, or something more modern?

Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough raw HW.

Reply 1044 of 1184, by ruthan

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This one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Component_video
I had some cheap component to VGA convertor, it never worked, maybe other cables or boxes are working. I need it primary for also for original Xbox, if it would be easy i guess that there would be available.. Which had component out.. but there are some special cables for 35$ like in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG3aLLiJuXc&a … ernVintageGamer
so some magic is probably needed..

Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough raw HW.

Reply 1046 of 1184, by darry

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Jackhead wrote on 2021-01-20, 17:09:

My combination is a OSSC + Mira Box USB-C (the stick like one). Anything i tryed so far work, down to 320x240 resolution np. Tryed many capture cards but the mira works really good!

What chroma modes does the Mirabox support : RGB24, YUY2, YV12 ?

Reply 1047 of 1184, by lukas12p

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Hi
So my order arrived, ordered from China via ebay: https://www.arcaderenovations.com/arcade-cga- … rter-board.html
I do not recommend it. It doesn't pass DOS text mode 70 Hz and even VGA 60 Hz!
It has RGB input so might be useful for some other/older video modes. I have tested only DSUB 15 pin input.
Cheapest AliExpress "VGA Capture HD 1080P" capture 60 Hz.

Reply 1048 of 1184, by megatron-uk

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Anyone have any experience using the Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K? Does it work well with SD sources (240p etc) and common DOS signals like the regular text mode @70Hz in addition to 'regular' HD input?

It's a toss-up between the Intensity Pro 4k, or the Datapath Vision E1S..... but the Blackmagic support for Linux is far better.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 1049 of 1184, by Carrera

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I connected my DVD player's Component up to a TV that had VGA in and it works fine. It was a fairly cheap converter so apart from making sure I used video cables instead of audio/cinch cables I am not sure of any magic... I had to make some settings on the DVD player and TV though... telling it exactly what signal to send, maybe there was the magic..?

Reply 1050 of 1184, by Law212

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So i recently bought some gear to try to stream retro PC games.

I bought an Elgato HD60 S, a VGA splitter and a VGA to HDMI converter.
Seems to output when in windows, but when i got into DOS it doesnt output . Anyone know why not?

Reply 1051 of 1184, by darry

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Law212 wrote on 2021-02-15, 02:22:

So i recently bought some gear to try to stream retro PC games.

I bought an Elgato HD60 S, a VGA splitter and a VGA to HDMI converter.
Seems to output when in windows, but when i got into DOS it doesnt output . Anyone know why not?

DOS VGA text mode is 720x400@70Hz .
In DOS games, the most commonly used VGA graphics mode, the 256 color one, is output as 640x400@70Hz (line doubled 320x200@70Hz) .

Most USB and PCI Express VGA capture cards do not support those 70Hz modes, which makes them unsuitable for use with DOS games and DOS text mode . This is likely the issue with your Elgato HD60 S .

A PCI Express Datapath E1S will work with those 70Hz modes rather easily . A StarTech USB3HDCAP is a USB option that can mostly work but requires jumping through some hoops. See http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/2018/02/s … cap-review.html .

Yet another option is an OSSC (standalone VGA digitizer and line doubler) combined with something like a USB Cam Link 4K from Elgato ( owned by Corsair) . See Re: VGA Capture Thread

There are, of course, other options, but you will have to explorer this thread to know more about them .

EDIT: Corrected typo .

Reply 1052 of 1184, by Law212

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TheGreatCodeholio wrote on 2017-12-17, 21:49:
DOSLIB has small and large memory model builds of VGA240.EXE. […]
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SpeedySPCFan wrote:
TheGouldFish wrote:
I got a HD60 recently thinking it would make for a good capture card and I'm had so many issues. It only really supports widescr […]
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I got a HD60 recently thinking it would make for a good capture card and I'm had so many issues.
It only really supports widescreen resolutions so it makes it very hard to use, so ended up using a VGA to HDMI upscaler to get most resolutions, but as many before I had the issue with dos and its refresh rates.
Which I have to say thanks for the VGA240 program it worked great and managed to record this using it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHnM21fnZug

I wonder how VGA240 is only taking 24KB of memory in your video? When I ran it, it took 73kb or so which made some memory hogs like Ys 2 Special and Illusion Blaze unplayable.

DOSLIB has small and large memory model builds of VGA240.EXE.

The small memory model dos86s build consumes only 24KB (last time I checked). The large memory model dos86l build consumes 73KB.

Use the small memory model build.

I cant find this file at all. just the .C anyone have a direct link?

Reply 1053 of 1184, by darry

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Law212 wrote on 2021-02-16, 02:55:
TheGreatCodeholio wrote on 2017-12-17, 21:49:
DOSLIB has small and large memory model builds of VGA240.EXE. […]
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SpeedySPCFan wrote:

I wonder how VGA240 is only taking 24KB of memory in your video? When I ran it, it took 73kb or so which made some memory hogs like Ys 2 Special and Illusion Blaze unplayable.

DOSLIB has small and large memory model builds of VGA240.EXE.

The small memory model dos86s build consumes only 24KB (last time I checked). The large memory model dos86l build consumes 73KB.

Use the small memory model build.

I cant find this file at all. just the .C anyone have a direct link?

You can download the latest one from here https://github.com/joncampbell123/doslib/releases

Reply 1055 of 1184, by darry

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Law212 wrote on 2021-02-21, 21:24:

So I used the VGA 240 and it showed DOS in the capture card but when i started a game , it didnt capture. Any suggestions?

Were you able to see the game in the capture card's preview window or were you getting no picture at all ?
I could be completely off base here, but if it is the latter of the two , maybe the game is writing to the VGA CRTC registers and overriding what VGA240 is doing . Could you try some different games ?

Reply 1056 of 1184, by Law212

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darry wrote on 2021-02-21, 21:31:
Law212 wrote on 2021-02-21, 21:24:

So I used the VGA 240 and it showed DOS in the capture card but when i started a game , it didnt capture. Any suggestions?

Were you able to see the game in the capture card's preview window or were you getting no picture at all ?
I could be completely off base here, but if it is the latter of the two , maybe the game is writing to the VGA CRTC registers and overriding what VGA240 is doing . Could you try some different games ?

I tried a couple others games and it worked fine. I played Megarace and Microcosm and it captured just fine. Thanks

Reply 1057 of 1184, by Artex

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So I've read this entire thread - wowza, lots of good info and much more complex than anticipated. I've bought (and returned) quite a few items (thank you Amazon) as I didn't read this thread first before buying and honestly thought video capture would have come a long way by now. However, capturing DOS resolutions @ 70hz really throws a wrench into things apparently.

I started with an Elgato HD60 S+, which I promptly returned after realizing that it doesn't do anything more than 60Hz (as per the case with other USB capture devices). I also ordered what was supposed to be a new-in-box StarTech.com VGA2HDMIPRO (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LRKB78/ … 0?ie=UTF8&psc=1) but Amazon sent me the newer version which doesn't handle the 70hz / 700x400 DOS mode as this thread has taught me, so that's going back as well.

My goal is to capture DOS games but also 3DFX Glide titles in Windows 98SE (1024x768) using my "Time Machine" box that has a TNT2 Ultra + SLI Voodoo 2 cards. So now have the following hooked up currently:

  • Kaico Edition OSSC 1.6 (waiting on my 2GB MicroSD card to flash it to the latest firmware).
  • UGREEN VGA Splitter 1 in 2 Out
  • Elgato Cam Link 4K

So VGA out from retro box -> UGREEN VGA Splitter -> VGA Input Kaico Edition OSSC 1.6 -> HDMI Out -> Elgato Cam Link 4K which is plugged into a USB 3.0 Port.

I ordered a bunch of other stuff, currently en-route:

  • DataPath VisionRGB-E1S with full-size bracket
  • CableCreation DVI to HDMI Adapter
  • Atlona AT-HD500 PC/Laptop to HDMI Converter with Built-In Scaler

I've tried OBS and VirtualDUB2, both of which seem to require you to reconfigure/re-add the device each time the video resolution or refresh rate changes. Do any of these items remain synced when going from DOS into Windows or when rebooting? Is this the norm??

It sounds like my best path going forward is:
VGA out from my retro box -> OSSC (RGB3 in Pass-Through Mode) -> HDMI Out to HDMI-to-DVI Adapter -> DataPath VisionRGB-E1S with full-size bracket in my main capturing rig (using the homebrew VCS app).

Can someone check my understanding that both the Atlona AT-HD500 and Elgato Cam Link 4K require conversion to RGB to use the ffull colorspace post-capture? Is there any benefit in replacing/swapping the OSSC with the Atlona AT-HD500? It seems like the OSSC is just doing passthrough to convert VGA to HDMI?

I'm totally green when it comes to this colorspace stuff (and the OSSC) so any help from you techies out there would be appreciated!

My Retro B:\ytes YouTube Channel & Retro Collection
LihnlZ.jpg

Reply 1058 of 1184, by darry

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Artex wrote on 2021-03-13, 00:22:
So I've read this entire thread - wowza, lots of good info and much more complex than anticipated. I've bought (and returned) q […]
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So I've read this entire thread - wowza, lots of good info and much more complex than anticipated. I've bought (and returned) quite a few items (thank you Amazon) as I didn't read this thread first before buying and honestly thought video capture would have come a long way by now. However, capturing DOS resolutions @ 70hz really throws a wrench into things apparently.

I started with an Elgato HD60 S+, which I promptly returned after realizing that it doesn't do anything more than 60Hz (as per the case with other USB capture devices). I also ordered what was supposed to be a new-in-box StarTech.com VGA2HDMIPRO (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LRKB78/ … 0?ie=UTF8&psc=1) but Amazon sent me the newer version which doesn't handle the 70hz / 700x400 DOS mode as this thread has taught me, so that's going back as well.

My goal is to capture DOS games but also 3DFX Glide titles in Windows 98SE (1024x768) using my "Time Machine" box that has a TNT2 Ultra + SLI Voodoo 2 cards. So now have the following hooked up currently:

  • Kaico Edition OSSC 1.6 (waiting on my 2GB MicroSD card to flash it to the latest firmware).
  • UGREEN VGA Splitter 1 in 2 Out
  • Elgato Cam Link 4K

So VGA out from retro box -> UGREEN VGA Splitter -> VGA Input Kaico Edition OSSC 1.6 -> HDMI Out -> Elgato Cam Link 4K which is plugged into a USB 3.0 Port.

I ordered a bunch of other stuff, currently en-route:

  • DataPath VisionRGB-E1S with full-size bracket
  • CableCreation DVI to HDMI Adapter
  • Atlona AT-HD500 PC/Laptop to HDMI Converter with Built-In Scaler

I've tried OBS and VirtualDUB2, both of which seem to require you to reconfigure/re-add the device each time the video resolution or refresh rate changes. Do any of these items remain synced when going from DOS into Windows or when rebooting? Is this the norm??

It sounds like my best path going forward is:
VGA out from my retro box -> OSSC (RGB3 in Pass-Through Mode) -> HDMI Out to HDMI-to-DVI Adapter -> DataPath VisionRGB-E1S with full-size bracket in my main capturing rig (using the homebrew VCS app).

Can someone check my understanding that both the Atlona AT-HD500 and Elgato Cam Link 4K require conversion to RGB to use the ffull colorspace post-capture? Is there any benefit in replacing/swapping the OSSC with the Atlona AT-HD500? It seems like the OSSC is just doing passthrough to convert VGA to HDMI?

I'm totally green when it comes to this colorspace stuff (and the OSSC) so any help from you techies out there would be appreciated!

Looks like you are getting equipped to have fun .

First, I suggest you read (or at least skim through) the following four Wikipedia articles .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YCbCr
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_subsampling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_space

a) Changes in video resolution/refresh normally require capture device reconfiguration in Virtual . However, if I understand correctly, using VCS on an E1S would allow you to use automatically switchable presets for different resolutions while scaling in real time to a video stream at a chosen target resolution that you then capture . See ( Re: VGA Capture Thread) . I have not tried this yet

b) Using an OSSC and splitting its output for HDMI is my personal preference so far. I like it's configuration options and have not had great luck with either VGA splitting or VGA directly into an E1S . I also prefer to keep the analogue signal chain as short as possible . AFAIU, using an OSSC in this way does not prevent you from using VCS and it's preset system, but I could be wrong).

c) I don't know what color processing the AT-HD500 uses internally. IMHO, its only practical use is converting 70Hz VGA to 60Hz DVI/HDMI and the Extron RGB-DVI 300 and RGB-HDMI 300 units are much better than the AT-HD500 if you need scaling and conversion from 70Hz to 60Hz . EDIT: If you are going to be capturing using the E1S, and are OK with with capturing 70Hz, using the OSSC to digitize will give better results than the AT-HD500 or the even one of the Extron units . You could capture VGA directly with the Extron, but you will likely need to use a VGA splitter to feed the monitor you will be watching to use the computer you are capturing from. Also, If you are going to be using the OSSC anyway for displaying on your retro machine's monitor, you might as well use the OSSC to digitize and split its output to the monitor and the E1S, which will have the added advantage of adjusting parameters such as phase on only one device (OSSC) rather than two (OSSC and E1S).

d) VGA outputs analogue RGB which need to be digitized for capture. The digitization and capture can be done by the same device (VGA capture device) or by separate cascaded devices (like an OSSC to digitize OR a VGA-to-HDMI converter/scaler to digitize AND a DVI/HDMI capture device for the actual capture). Either way, analogue VGA RGB video is digitized into digital RGB and then, depending on the device used for digitization, is either left as is in digital RGB format or is converted to digital YCbCr and then most often subsampled. The OSSC, for example, passes digital RGB to its HDMI output (though you can force to it output YCbCr, but you typically would not want that). I have not tested what the Atlona and Extron units output in term of digital signal and, even if they output digital RGB through HDMI/DVI, it does not guarantee that they process video internal in that format . As for VGA capture devices and HDMI/ones, most of them will not only force a conversion of received analogue RGB or digital RGB into digital YCBCr, but will also subsample to a 4:2:2 or even a 4:2:0 format .

e) Format conversion between digital RGB and digital YCbCr is not a lossless and can cause visible artifacts, even when there is no subsampling being done . Such conversions should only be done when necessary and avoided if possible .

f) Subsampling of digital YCBCr is to be avoided as much as possible during the digitization/scaling/capture phase of the process . Subsampling is particularly unkind to low resolution computer-generated video (especially if the images has hard well-defined edges) that has not been upscaled or preferably line doubled and will result in visible artifacts if done prior to upscaling or line doubling . Subsampling does serve a useful, even essential, purpose in final video encoding/compression .

g) The Datapath E1S is one of the few (affordable) devices than capture analogue RGB or digital RGB without converting to digital YCBCr or subsampling .

h) The Cam Link 4K does convert everything it receives to digital YCbCr and subsamples to 4:2:2 (which is better than 4:2:0 , but still).

i) As alluded to previously, line multiplying (of which line doubling is an specific case) or integer scaling, which are conceptually the same (and literally so when done in the digital domain), when done BEFORE YCbCr conversion and subsampling will greatly diminish the quality degradation due to subsampling . This is due to the nature of what subsampling is . See this post and the 3-4 following ones for some examples : Re: VGA Capture Thread

j) Once conversion to digital YCBCr and subsampling have occurred, there is no way reverse the effects of the related image quality degradation . Explicit conversion to RGB is always possible but will likely offer no tangible benefits at this point (except maybe it is done in order to apply a filter/effect that can only be applied to RGB video)

k) I have never used a non-linear video editor, except Virtual, so I do not know in which color format they usually operate, but I presume YCbCr . If you start off with digital RGB capture footage, it is probably best to upscale it to a higher resolution before importing into your editing application to maximize image quality. Someone with more experience/knowledge with this will hopefully chime in .

l) As mentioned in point f), digital YCbCr format and subsampling are useful and are nearly always used in video compression formats meant for use in content distribution . I believe the Wikipedia article on subsampling explains at least some of the rationale behind this .

I hope that helps answer some or hopefully most of your questions . Feel free to ask more.

Disclaimer : This is how I understand things . I have learned/practiced this in a DIY fashion, so I apologize for any possible factual errors or misconceptions and welcome constructive criticism . EDIT : Please do not make purchasing decisions solely based on my opinions .

EDIT : Corrected typos .
EDIT2 : added points k) and following

Last edited by darry on 2021-03-13, 03:21. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1059 of 1184, by Kordanor

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Oh, nice coincidence that this thread is reactivated. Had just been looking into the topic on ebay again...
But now I am a bit confused about the Datapath E1S.
@Artex I Guess you bought it via ebay?

@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)