Help with capture card decision

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by pilgrim, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. pilgrim

    pilgrim Guest

    I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and have
    found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original box")
    for US$31.

    I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    DVDs.

    Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?

    Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2, but
    I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.

    In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford to
    spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too cheap will
    be a total waste of money that I don't have.

    All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance

    pilgrim
    pilgrim, Mar 11, 2005
    #1
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  2. pilgrim

    quietguy Guest

    Don't forget that you may need some more stuff if the tapes have macrovision
    protection

    David

    pilgrim wrote:

    > I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and have
    > found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original box")
    > for US$31.
    >
    > I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    > DVDs.
    >
    > Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    > player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?
    >
    > Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2, but
    > I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.
    >
    > In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford to
    > spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too cheap will
    > be a total waste of money that I don't have.
    >
    > All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance
    >
    > pilgrim
    quietguy, Mar 11, 2005
    #2
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  3. pilgrim

    RichA Guest

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 09:52:00 -0600, pilgrim <>
    wrote:

    >I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and have
    >found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original box")
    >for US$31.
    >
    >I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    >DVDs.
    >
    >Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    >player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?
    >
    >Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2, but
    >I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.
    >
    >In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford to
    >spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too cheap will
    >be a total waste of money that I don't have.
    >
    >All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance
    >
    >pilgrim


    You need a powerful system with plenty of hard drive space to record
    a tape. The bit rate on an analog tape is high. Also, you'll
    experiece dropped frames and "choppy" video if your system is slow.
    The program you use for recording is critical. InterVideo Win DVR 3
    is a good one. It offers many different recording modes/qualities
    and allows you to tailor it to what you want.
    -Rich
    RichA, Mar 12, 2005
    #3
  4. pilgrim

    jason b Guest

    RichA wrote:

    >On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 09:52:00 -0600, pilgrim <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and have
    >>found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original box")
    >>for US$31.
    >>
    >>I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    >>DVDs.
    >>
    >>Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    >>player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?
    >>
    >>Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2, but
    >>I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.
    >>
    >>In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford to
    >>spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too cheap will
    >>be a total waste of money that I don't have.
    >>
    >>All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance
    >>
    >>pilgrim
    >>
    >>

    >
    >You need a powerful system with plenty of hard drive space to record
    >a tape. The bit rate on an analog tape is high. Also, you'll
    >experiece dropped frames and "choppy" video if your system is slow.
    >The program you use for recording is critical. InterVideo Win DVR 3
    >is a good one. It offers many different recording modes/qualities
    >and allows you to tailor it to what you want.
    >-Rich
    >
    >
    >

    THe system doesn't have to be anything that powerful. It will just
    make the process slower. And the bit rate for analog VHS isn't high -> 3
    for SP and 2.6 for EP. Take a look at this page
    http://www.doom9.org/capture/introduction.html


    jason



    --
    ((¯`'·.¸(¯`'·.((¯`'·.¸ * jason bean* ¸.·'´¯))¸.·'´¯)¸.·'´¯))

    For me , said Sherlock Holmes, "there still remains the cocaine bottle,"
    and he reached his hand up for it.

    http://home.cogeco.ca/~jabean
    http://musicpage.kicks-ass.org/
    jason b, Mar 12, 2005
    #4
  5. pilgrim

    RichA Guest

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 22:52:55 -0500, jason b
    <> wrote:

    >RichA wrote:
    >
    >>On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 09:52:00 -0600, pilgrim <>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>>I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and have
    >>>found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original box")
    >>>for US$31.
    >>>
    >>>I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    >>>DVDs.
    >>>
    >>>Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    >>>player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?
    >>>
    >>>Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2, but
    >>>I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.
    >>>
    >>>In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford to
    >>>spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too cheap will
    >>>be a total waste of money that I don't have.
    >>>
    >>>All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance
    >>>
    >>>pilgrim
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>You need a powerful system with plenty of hard drive space to record
    >>a tape. The bit rate on an analog tape is high. Also, you'll
    >>experiece dropped frames and "choppy" video if your system is slow.
    >>The program you use for recording is critical. InterVideo Win DVR 3
    >>is a good one. It offers many different recording modes/qualities
    >>and allows you to tailor it to what you want.
    >>-Rich
    >>
    >>
    >>

    > THe system doesn't have to be anything that powerful. It will just
    >make the process slower. And the bit rate for analog VHS isn't high -> 3
    >for SP and 2.6 for EP. Take a look at this page
    >http://www.doom9.org/capture/introduction.html
    >
    >
    > jason
    >


    Beg to differ. For example; On a system with and older 750meg
    processor and about 384m of memory, any setting except perhaps
    lowly VCD recording mode, will result in dropped frames, a large
    percentage dropped. Some capture software will show you, in real-time,
    the number of frames dropped.
    For instance, say you
    want to match the VHS quality. If you record at 1/2 DVD or D1,
    this is the spec:
    Video:
    Size: 352x480
    Frame Rate: 29.97 frames/sec
    Bit Rate: 3600 KBits/sec

    So a 90 minute movie will occupy about 1.8 Gigs of drive space.
    Trying to do what the article you mentioned says (capture at a high
    quality and resize) will result in even more dropped frames so
    while the picture quality may be good, the dropped frames will ruin
    the video. The ATI tv card (which I have) isn't a very good tool for
    this kind of job, nor are most ATI graphics cards with video/audio
    inputs. However, quality seems to be better when capturing a TV
    signal rather than dubbing off a VCR, less problems with dropped
    frames, etc.
    RichA, Mar 12, 2005
    #5
  6. pilgrim

    Konan Guest

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 09:52:00 -0600, pilgrim wrote:

    > I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and
    > have found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original
    > box") for US$31.
    >
    > I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    > DVDs.
    >


    STAY AWAY FROM ATI capture cards for capturing! They work just great for
    gaming and are what I use in my big game machine. But, ATI has
    macrovision detection built in so you will not be able to copy commercial
    DVDs if that is what you are trying to do.

    The problem is that the ATI MV guard works very well from the standpoint
    of Hollywood. In fact it works so well and is so sensitive that it will
    trigger on perfectly legitimate datastreams that don't have macrovision.
    Especially from a recorded VCR tape. Back when I was trying to move my
    library over from tape (taped off the air - not commercial releases) about
    a third of them would "green screen" in the middle. Changing to different
    players helped some but I finally put a SIMA cleaner-upper in the chain.

    Get yourself a Hauppage PVR250 for capturing. No MV and it works great
    and is cheap.

    Konan
    Konan, Mar 12, 2005
    #6
  7. pilgrim

    Geezah Guest

    Konan wrote:
    > On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 09:52:00 -0600, pilgrim wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and
    >>have found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original
    >>box") for US$31.
    >>
    >>I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    >>DVDs.
    >>

    >
    >
    > STAY AWAY FROM ATI capture cards for capturing! They work just great for
    > gaming and are what I use in my big game machine. But, ATI has
    > macrovision detection built in so you will not be able to copy commercial
    > DVDs if that is what you are trying to do.
    >
    > The problem is that the ATI MV guard works very well from the standpoint
    > of Hollywood. In fact it works so well and is so sensitive that it will
    > trigger on perfectly legitimate datastreams that don't have macrovision.
    > Especially from a recorded VCR tape. Back when I was trying to move my
    > library over from tape (taped off the air - not commercial releases) about
    > a third of them would "green screen" in the middle. Changing to different
    > players helped some but I finally put a SIMA cleaner-upper in the chain.
    >
    > Get yourself a Hauppage PVR250 for capturing. No MV and it works great
    > and is cheap.
    >
    > Konan

    Ditto that ! I have the 350 & have converted many VHS Tapes with no discernible loss in quality. TV shows come out downright beautiful ! One note, When I got this card I was running a GA-6BXC / 400 mHz PII and it used 75% of the processor, but the video was still great. If you have 1 gHz or faster You should be OK, or You can shut off the preview when capturing.

    rick
    Geezah, Mar 13, 2005
    #7
  8. pilgrim

    poet Guest

    if you want to convert your VHS tape/ LD / DV camcoder to VCD or DVD
    try Snazzi Video Maker USB 2.0(external version)
    coz it using (hardware encoding) as to say
    if u transferred your VHS tape to pc it automatically convert your format to
    your choices either to mpeg1(vcd)/mpeg2(dvd) or mpeg4(dvix) and use the
    software provided to edit to ur style...simole and user friendly
    "pilgrim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and have
    > found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original box")
    > for US$31.
    >
    > I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files onto
    > DVDs.
    >
    > Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    > player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?
    >
    > Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2, but
    > I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.
    >
    > In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford to
    > spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too cheap will
    > be a total waste of money that I don't have.
    >
    > All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance
    >
    > pilgrim
    poet, Mar 13, 2005
    #8
  9. pilgrim

    Alpha Guest

    "poet" <> wrote in message
    news:d11ju3$loj$...
    > if you want to convert your VHS tape/ LD / DV camcoder to VCD or DVD
    > try Snazzi Video Maker USB 2.0(external version)
    > coz it using (hardware encoding) as to say
    > if u transferred your VHS tape to pc it automatically convert your format
    > to your choices either to mpeg1(vcd)/mpeg2(dvd) or mpeg4(dvix) and use the
    > software provided to edit to ur style...simole and user friendly


    Is this a language you are writing in?
    Alpha, Mar 14, 2005
    #9
  10. "poet" <> wrote in
    news:d11ju3$loj$:

    > if you want to convert your VHS tape/ LD / DV camcoder to VCD or DVD
    > try Snazzi Video Maker USB 2.0(external version)
    > coz it using (hardware encoding) as to say
    > if u transferred your VHS tape to pc it automatically convert your
    > format to your choices either to mpeg1(vcd)/mpeg2(dvd) or mpeg4(dvix)
    > and use the software provided to edit to ur style...simole and user
    > friendly "pilgrim" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and
    >>have
    >> found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original
    >> box") for US$31.
    >>
    >> I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files
    >> onto DVDs.
    >>
    >> Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    >> player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?
    >>
    >> Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2,
    >> but I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.
    >>
    >> In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford
    >> to spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too
    >> cheap will be a total waste of money that I don't have.
    >>
    >> All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance
    >>
    >> pilgrim

    >
    >


    A lot more expensive than US$46, but a lot better than any of the capture
    cards I previously used.

    http://www.plextor.com/english/products/product_dvc.html

    Morvin
    Morvin Stayner, Mar 16, 2005
    #10
  11. pilgrim

    Smarty Guest

    FYI,

    The latest issue of Maximum PC magazine has a comparison of the USB2 capture
    devices from Hauppauge, Plextor, ADS, and others. The Hauppauge gets their
    highest ranking.

    Smarty


    "Morvin Stayner" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns961AC39999B5Bmorvinmailcom@216.196.97.131...
    > "poet" <> wrote in
    > news:d11ju3$loj$:
    >
    >> if you want to convert your VHS tape/ LD / DV camcoder to VCD or DVD
    >> try Snazzi Video Maker USB 2.0(external version)
    >> coz it using (hardware encoding) as to say
    >> if u transferred your VHS tape to pc it automatically convert your
    >> format to your choices either to mpeg1(vcd)/mpeg2(dvd) or mpeg4(dvix)
    >> and use the software provided to edit to ur style...simole and user
    >> friendly "pilgrim" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>>I have have been looking at ATI TV Wonder VE PCI tv capture cards, and
    >>>have
    >>> found a new one for US$46 and a used one ("like new in the original
    >>> box") for US$31.
    >>>
    >>> I want to capture VHS tapes to my HD and then burn the acquired files
    >>> onto DVDs.
    >>>
    >>> Are the inputs to the ATI TV Wonder VE able to connect to the VHS VCR
    >>> player output? Will I need any special adapters or cables?
    >>>
    >>> Is the output format of the ATI TV Wonder VE OK? I think it's MPEG2,
    >>> but I'm having trouble finding out just what the specs are.
    >>>
    >>> In short, is this capture card OK? Is it too cheap? I can't afford
    >>> to spend very much, and I'm trying to get by on the cheap, but too
    >>> cheap will be a total waste of money that I don't have.
    >>>
    >>> All helpful comments will be appreciated; thanks in advance
    >>>
    >>> pilgrim

    >>
    >>

    >
    > A lot more expensive than US$46, but a lot better than any of the capture
    > cards I previously used.
    >
    > http://www.plextor.com/english/products/product_dvc.html
    >
    > Morvin
    >
    >
    Smarty, Mar 16, 2005
    #11
  12. pilgrim

    Tom Wiley Guest


    > a third of them would "green screen" in the middle. Changing to different
    > players helped some but I finally put a SIMA cleaner-upper in the chain.
    >



    Ah ha! So that is the problem!! I was trying to put some videos of a
    school football program on to DVD but the camcorder that was used by the
    kids was really uncooperative. So I decide to just "play" the video into
    the capture card.

    Anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes into the video the capture screen would just
    turn green and that was it for that capture.

    Is there anyway to fix the problem or tell the card that Hollywood has no
    copyrights on my own videos?

    Tom Wiley
    Tom Wiley, Mar 16, 2005
    #12
  13. pilgrim

    Smarty Guest

    The capture cards are very intolerant of non-standard synch signals. These
    include video coming from a VCR, which typically have "jitter" and missing
    synch pulses, as well as incorrectly formed synch signals. The capture cards
    sold in the U.S. also, for the most card, honor several copy protection
    schemes, most notably Macrovision (both types) and CGMS/A. They will confuse
    a non-protected video which has poorly formed synch and treat it as if it
    were copy-protected.

    The SIMA devices solve both problems, since they regenerate a new and stable
    time-base using their time base corrector (TBC) circuitry, and also can
    remove some copy protection as well.

    Smarty


    "Tom Wiley" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    >
    >> a third of them would "green screen" in the middle. Changing to
    >> different
    >> players helped some but I finally put a SIMA cleaner-upper in the chain.
    >>

    >
    >
    > Ah ha! So that is the problem!! I was trying to put some videos of a
    > school football program on to DVD but the camcorder that was used by the
    > kids was really uncooperative. So I decide to just "play" the video into
    > the capture card.
    >
    > Anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes into the video the capture screen would just
    > turn green and that was it for that capture.
    >
    > Is there anyway to fix the problem or tell the card that Hollywood has no
    > copyrights on my own videos?
    >
    > Tom Wiley
    Smarty, Mar 16, 2005
    #13
  14. "Smarty" <> wrote in
    news::

    > FYI,
    >
    > The latest issue of Maximum PC magazine has a comparison of the USB2
    > capture devices from Hauppauge, Plextor, ADS, and others. The
    > Hauppauge gets their highest ranking.
    >
    > Smarty
    >
    >


    Fair enough, but did they compare it to Plextor's PX-AV100U, which utilizes
    the CPU for encoding/decoding or the PX-TV402U, which is a hardware
    encoder/decoder and takes a major load off the CPU?

    Morvin
    Morvin Stayner, Mar 16, 2005
    #14
  15. pilgrim

    Smarty Guest

    Morvin,

    No, they did not. For whatever reason, they only rated 5 devices and the
    Plextor was not among them. I mis-spoke in my earlier message when I said
    that the Plextor was among the models rated. The 5 units which they did rate
    were the Hauppauge, ADS, Adaptec, Pinnacle, and Dazzle. The more expensive
    Plextor with the hardware encoder seems to get pretty good ratings, but one
    reviewer makes the comment that it needs to be tweaked in order to get it to
    the same level as the Hauppauge. Newegg's reviews by owners gave it 3 out of
    5 stars, Not sure if this is a fair evaluation or not. It would be really
    good to see a direct comparison of the Plextor with the Hauppauge. The
    Plextor certainly has the Divx encoding capabilities and apparently does an
    excellent job for this purpose.

    The Plextor seems to be more versatile, but I question whether its'
    DVD-compliant encoding is as good as the Hauppauge. Maybe somebody here has
    had an opportunity to compare them and knows the answer. My comparisons of
    the Hauppauge units, which use the Conexant chip set, is that their mpeg2
    hardware encoder does as well as the custom hardware in my set-top Panasonic
    and Pioneer DVD recorders, and makes especially good mpeg2 video in real
    time at the medium to high bit rate encoding speeds from 3 to roughly 8
    Mbits/sec. The only way I have found to make better looking mpeg2 files is
    to convert analog video to digital (AVI) using a Sony DMC-DA2 Media
    Converter ($350 and now discontinued) and then render with a good software
    encoder like the CinemaCraft. This requires hours of time on my fastest
    Dell, and the results are not vastly superior to the directly captured
    mpeg2s with either my Hauppauges or my set-top recorders.

    Smarty

    "Morvin Stayner" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns961BA7C57BA42morvinmailcom@216.196.97.131...
    > "Smarty" <> wrote in
    > news::
    >
    >> FYI,
    >>
    >> The latest issue of Maximum PC magazine has a comparison of the USB2
    >> capture devices from Hauppauge, Plextor, ADS, and others. The
    >> Hauppauge gets their highest ranking.
    >>
    >> Smarty
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Fair enough, but did they compare it to Plextor's PX-AV100U, which
    > utilizes
    > the CPU for encoding/decoding or the PX-TV402U, which is a hardware
    > encoder/decoder and takes a major load off the CPU?
    >
    > Morvin
    Smarty, Mar 17, 2005
    #15
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