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Video Capture: Available On AMD, Sometimes On Nvidia

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January 22, 2007 10:13:00 AM

While your graphics card may come with a cable for video input, not all graphics cards have that capability. We will look at the current state of the video capture market, and where consumers find themselves today.
January 22, 2007 11:55:28 AM

What a gut-b*mb reading that 'because of the DRM issue..the freebie Windows Movie Maker will not capture video any longer.

While true composite hook-ups are not anything the same as the HD output it is also true that I cannot see that consistently when considering video (as video capture),the story goes forthright into scraping TV,or broadcast onto your storage space.

When we can chide the TV makers with better quality equipment,couldn't we also chide them (and us as well) that the TV-..tube..is much more than a receptionist to broadcasts leisure anymore. That equipment,along with the computer can give some very modern results to home video editing,movie making,. to a relevence that should be moreso recognized by those whom cater to that equipment.

Myself,I for one believe that the whole role of broadcast and media,is secondary to consideration in the performance of the new HD equipment. If only more could relevently estabolish the role of their own,is more than a mere servant of broadcast aquisition...

Howbeit,I think that it is really cool that you mentioned the HDMI should work ''both ways". Yet how many moons,err a solor orbits do we supress indifference on how we are accomadated at present for this role play.Dealing with the benifactors of a technology ? Hmm ?

Think that the use of the technology would mean altogether more than broadcast could ever do so.

I mean if you think anybody is watching TV now ? Or recording it ?

TV ? Home movies ? DVDs ?

I think that broadcast is afraid it will become irrelavant. As if everybodies communications should be restrained to a 'rocking chair'... I'm not complaining oh no.

So am I going to ask broadcast to 'fix my camera hookup to work my HD homework ? Am I going to ask the 'qualified DRM clearing house to 'standardize' my equipment for me ? Maybe I'll ask the local video shop for ways to get video onto a storage medium,and formated to an output to the big HD display.

I get the fact that Im asking the wrong person. Yes I get that fact. Yet Im asking the right person at the same time as well. Maybe I should get the fact that Im paying the wrong person for an answer - when I speak of DRM,copyrights,HDCP all that. Yet who does not recognize THAT reflection ? Maybe those who cannot create standards for themselves.

I hate the fact that the equipment we need to really access our roles is something of a cold boloney sandwich with mayo dropped from a helocopter onto our front porch balconeys. Aren't we supposed to be able to fight back ?

Think now,all those codecs are 'patented'? And we are only on the money for business ? Hands tied behind our backs,strapping tape across our lips,blindfolded - hey its only a user agreement.

We have this much fun in our living rooms you see.
January 22, 2007 12:34:43 PM

While regular TV at 640 by 480 is not worth having. Get a ATI HDTV Wonder or 2 or 3, install recent version of Linux, and setup mythtv, and you've got a HDTV PVR capable of recording 1080i. Plan lots of disk space if you intend for long term storage. 1 hour of 1080i can be 8.5GB of space, and taking out the ads general only saves you about 2GB per hour. I did it, and it works great because all local channels have a HDTV equal in my viewing area.
Related resources
January 22, 2007 12:35:40 PM

HDMI in? Uncompressed digital video is the dumbest thing to try to capture when the content is already available in compressed form. Yes it would be nice for the pirates to get hardware to capture it to avoid HDCP/DRM, but they already have found a solution.

Anyone who wants HDMI in has no clue about what they are doing. HD cameras have firewire or other various compressed outputs. In addition, they have no clue about how much hardware they'd have to use just to handle that bandwidth. 1920x1080 * 24 bits * 30 fps = 1.5Gbps (sustained 186MB/s write for a hard drive).

For HD recording, stick with the MPEG-2, H.264, or whatever other codec you like.

Now that I think about it, HDMI doesn't make sense period. I suppose it is cheaper for the TV monitor, but why have multiple decoders for one video display?
January 22, 2007 2:34:09 PM

Quote:
While regular TV at 640 by 480 is not worth having. Get a ATI HDTV Wonder or 2 or 3, install recent version of Linux, and setup mythtv, and you've got a HDTV PVR capable of recording 1080i. Plan lots of disk space if you intend for long term storage. 1 hour of 1080i can be 8.5GB of space, and taking out the ads general only saves you about 2GB per hour. I did it, and it works great because all local channels have a HDTV equal in my viewing area.


Your solution only work for over-the-air ATSC signals. Many of us are unable to receive those signals and rely on cable, Direct TV, etc for HD content. These signals require a QAM tuner. The "HDhomerun" looks promising, but it still a work in progress from what I read. Currently, MS Windows XP Media Center Edition does not support QAM tuners either. So it is still rather difficult, if not impossible, to build a decent PC based HD PVR. Converting to Linux is an entirely different beast. For example, you cannot use XBOX360 as a front end, as I do.
January 22, 2007 2:40:50 PM

and.... the cable companies have a monopoly on those HD tuners so, in order for us Plebes to have one, we'll more than likely have to pay a rental fee from the Cable Co., just to put one in our box even if(when) they become available for "public" use.
January 22, 2007 6:29:01 PM

Quote:
While your graphics card may come with a cable for video input, not all graphics cards have that capability. We will look at the current state of the video capture market, and where consumers find themselves today.

Quote:
The frustration of this individual was in the fact that not all cards are created equal. While all ATI Radeon X1000 series cards have AVIVO, including video in, not all Nvidia based cards have video in.

AVIVO is ATI's X1k video enhancement technology, and does NOT need to be coupled with video input capability.

Yes, the acronym VIVO is similar, and yes, it causes customer confusion -- but articles stating this very thing do little to remedy the situation!
January 22, 2007 8:42:41 PM

Quote:
While regular TV at 640 by 480 is not worth having. Get a ATI HDTV Wonder or 2 or 3, install recent version of Linux, and setup mythtv, and you've got a HDTV PVR capable of recording 1080i. Plan lots of disk space if you intend for long term storage. 1 hour of 1080i can be 8.5GB of space, and taking out the ads general only saves you about 2GB per hour. I did it, and it works great because all local channels have a HDTV equal in my viewing area.


Your solution only work for over-the-air ATSC signals. Many of us are unable to receive those signals and rely on cable, Direct TV, etc for HD content. These signals require a QAM tuner. The "HDhomerun" looks promising, but it still a work in progress from what I read. Currently, MS Windows XP Media Center Edition does not support QAM tuners either. So it is still rather difficult, if not impossible, to build a decent PC based HD PVR. Converting to Linux is an entirely different beast. For example, you cannot use XBOX360 as a front end, as I do.

Linux support for HD and QAM is much better than Windows. You can get the (linux-only) PC-HDTV card for regular and HD TV including QAM. And it ignores the broadcast flag (DRM) too so you can save all HD programs.

Linux and MythTV are both free for download, and have way more functionality than Microsoft Media edition, and also just about any other commercial product.

Throw it on an old PC and subscribe to TVXML for a free tv listing service, then you have all in one the functionality of an HD TIVO, a DVD player and recorder to copy saved movies to DVD, a CD/MP3/OGG player, a games machine, online weather & TV & News listings and web-surfing all from your couch and without any monthly fee.

I made mine out of my old PC after I upgraded, and bought a nice home theater-style PC case for $50. It looks really professional and expensive.

It boggles my mind why this isn't way more popular. MythTv can be a pain to set up initially, but you do it once then you're done for ever. It seems people still prefer to buy a Tivo (or much worse, a windows media edition PC) and pay a monthly fee for much less functionality. Most people who come to my house and see my system usually can't believe how good it is and how it doesn't have a monthly fee.
January 22, 2007 8:53:54 PM

While not free, like MythTV, SageTV 4 and Beyond TV give you a long enough free trial period, that you can decide if they'll work for you. The latter two work under Windows XP, while MythTV only works under Linux, as Niz pointed out.
January 22, 2007 9:34:12 PM

I've really enjoyed Polkowski's recent articles. He is addressing topics that are rarely covered. This article about video-input is a perfect example.
January 22, 2007 10:09:16 PM

Quote:

Your solution only work for over-the-air ATSC signals. Many of us are unable to receive those signals and rely on cable, Direct TV, etc for HD content. These signals require a QAM tuner. The "HDhomerun" looks promising, but it still a work in progress from what I read. Currently, MS Windows XP Media Center Edition does not support QAM tuners either. So it is still rather difficult, if not impossible, to build a decent PC based HD PVR. Converting to Linux is an entirely different beast. For example, you cannot use XBOX360 as a front end, as I do.


"you cannot use XBOX360 as a front end" If you can surf the web with the XBOX you can use mythweb to point your brower to http://<ip address of myth box>/mythweb and all the scheduling and many other things can be done this way.

I don't know how much support for the "HDhomerun" device but I know some of its functionality is supported.

If you get a proper distro linux is not as hard you might think, try SUSE 10.2. Detects a lot of stuff automatically.
January 22, 2007 10:09:42 PM

Great article. I'd like to know which cards have it and which don't, like a definitive list..

~Ibrahim~
January 22, 2007 11:33:15 PM

As someone mentioned, this area needs to be explored a lot more in the press. Especially the lack of software that gives any amount of control to the user.

Examples could be cited ad nauseum but the bottom line is that making video software "easy to use" for idiots is causing it to be impossible to use for experienced users.

Major beefs:

User interfaces designed for TVs and not PC monitors. Fine, offer a TV interface but make it an option. On a PC, 10 times more info can be displayed in a programming grid, for example. Likewise for options menus.

And, for Pete's sake, make PVR versus VCR functionality an option. PVR has constant disk activity. This completely screws up any other disk operations, like copying files, when sequential disk access is turned random. Make all file operations apparent and locations configurable.

Give back full bitrate and GOP contol. ATI MMC has this feature but almost nothing else does and MMC requires AIW hardware.
January 23, 2007 1:07:52 AM

Quote:
HDMI in? Uncompressed digital video is the dumbest thing to try to capture when the content is already available in compressed form. Yes it would be nice for the pirates to get hardware to capture it to avoid HDCP/DRM, but they already have found a solution.

Anyone who wants HDMI in has no clue about what they are doing. HD cameras have firewire or other various compressed outputs. In addition, they have no clue about how much hardware they'd have to use just to handle that bandwidth. 1920x1080 * 24 bits * 30 fps = 1.5Gbps (sustained 186MB/s write for a hard drive).

For HD recording, stick with the MPEG-2, H.264, or whatever other codec you like.

Now that I think about it, HDMI doesn't make sense period. I suppose it is cheaper for the TV monitor, but why have multiple decoders for one video display?


Have you ever done it yourself icepop? You point out others as clueless. It is the future means of Video Editing as it is totally digital with no codec to interfere with before or during the video render to a Hi-Def codec. The ease at which the NL editing software has for other tasks and cpu usage greatly increases the editing process.

Hard drives are growing by leaps and bounds and a simple raid 0 array affords both speed and storage for uncompressed Hi-Def content. Example is the 3 western digital hard drives I set up for my Hi-Def editing...3 x 320gb in RAID 0 does the trick. That and the HD's were 99 bucks each at you know where, 300 bucks for almost a good terabyte of speed. Here is a link to a consumer card.....HDMI in / HDMI out....for a video enthusiast.

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/

HDMI has an incredible future with us consumers, soon the 1000 gig hard drives will be available to boot, affording even greater flexability.

Nice article by Darren and I think he should do a round-up of capture devices here at Tom's Hardware.

VQ
January 24, 2007 10:40:41 AM

This was a good article. My issue revolves around the little problem of content.

After doing the math and then looking at what cable and satellite actually offer in terms of content, it is actually cheaper to just buy the season DVD sets of the handful of programs that I actualy want to see, but sometimes miss due to scheduling. Firewire works fine for our lowly home videos, and sports events are social events to be seen with friends at the pub.
Why spend $400-600 on a video card every 2 years, not to mention the hassle of chasing the bleeding edge to watch Desperate House Wives?
January 24, 2007 2:52:22 PM

My two cents on HD capture/playback reading material:

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2886&p=1

I have a TV tuner card for capturing TV programs; it also has video capture capabilities so I can convert my analog home videos to digital. It allows time-phasing, advanced programming, and conversion to DVD. With Tivo costing $15/mo., plus the box, the tuner card has paid for itself even if it isn't hi-def (it was $130).
January 24, 2007 8:40:50 PM

Quote:
With Tivo costing $15/mo., plus the box, the tuner card has paid for itself even if it isn't hi-def (it was $130).


In my service are the satlelite and cable companies are giving you a Tivo with a two year contract
January 25, 2007 8:19:44 AM

All this stuff about hdmi and shit gives me a headache .... but in short, does that mean that my two months old xfx 8800gtx can't even record the input from my analog sattelite receiver ? (haven't bothered unpacking it yet, just moved, so haven't tried)
January 26, 2007 9:19:24 PM

it it will not have VIVO as its an optional add-on chip for NVIDIA cards (unlike AMD/ATI cards )

unless you Box says it has VIVO then asume no video in (thats seems an little cheap skate scimping for an £300-£400 video card)
January 28, 2007 2:09:08 PM

okay im sorta confused with this whole ATI AVIVO, does this mean that every single x1000 card can do video in, cuz my old x1600 didn't come with the needed cables and never installed the WDM drivers for Video in, but my x1900gt does(to my surprise). can you guys clear this up for me?
January 29, 2007 10:58:53 PM

Quote:
okay im sorta confused with this whole ATI AVIVO, does this mean that every single x1000 card can do video in, cuz my old x1600 didn't come with the needed cables and never installed the WDM drivers for Video in, but my x1900gt does(to my surprise). can you guys clear this up for me?


no problem my friend.....here it is in a nutshell.....ATI's "AVIVO" is a video enhancement feature built into the catalyst driver. Do not get that confused with VIVO (video in video out).

ATI's AVIVO is to ATI what PureVideo is to Nvidia, both video playback enhancers and provide many benefits. Here is a link to a great article here at THG for you.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/09/avivo-vs-purevid...

I looked up your card by what you posted and you should be able to "capture video" if you hook up a source to the input. Give it a try and enjoy!

VQ
February 4, 2007 10:29:30 AM

Hello to everyone!

I would like to share my anger about Club3D, as my situation relies to Video-In capabilities.
2 weeks ago I ordered my Radeon x1950Pro on AGP, as I had no need to upgrade the whole PC to make it PCI-E ready. I ordered this particular card only because Club3D wrote in their homepage that it has VIVO, therefore this means a Video-In capabilities. A week ago I received my new card and installed it in my PC. I tested it with Adobe and some games and the results were better than I expected, so I decided to test out my new VIVO feature, but I found that there is no VIVO adapter included in the retail box, while on that box is said, that the card has VIVO capabilities and necessary software also is included and so on. Later I found that WDM Capture drives does not install as well. So the result was that there was no VIVO capabilities as Club3D wrote in every specifications sheet on their site and on the retail box. So I sent Club3D support several messages about this, to get some answers about this, but there was no answer from them for this whole week. Finally I found, that they will not answer as they did just what I thought that they could do - THEY REMOVED AND CHANGED IN EVERY PLACE POSSIBLE, THAT THIS CARD HAS NO VIVO!!!

So I was f***ked-up in the worst possible way, as only reason for choosing Club3D card was this non-existing VIVO feature.
The funny thing is that the PCI-E version of this card is identical, it only has no PCI-E-to-AGP bridge, but it has VIVO and the VIVO adapter in the retail box and it is working, as I had a chance to test it.

I have Club3D pdf spec sheets about this card before and after they removed everything about VIVO.

Maybe someone know if there is a chance to do something about it, as I found on several forums, that there were many people waiting for this AGP card with VIVO, so I am only one of many people who Club3D cheated?

At least spread the word, that Club3D is a one BIG cheater company who even don't apologize for their mistakes, but also does not reply to support requests and they just take out of every possible place information that was related to the case like it never was there to make their customers look like idiots.

At least I hope that I helped someone to no to spend 300$ for a hope to get VIVO that will not be there.

Regards to all of You,

Tom.
February 4, 2007 5:56:40 PM

Those bastards! They should've tested the VIVO before the slapped it on like that, a$$holes...

~Ibrahim~
May 1, 2007 5:07:04 PM

Hi I'm new here, came across this article while searching google, so my apologies for bumping an old thread.

I have a Radeon x1900GT and it came with the s-video and component input cables. What software do I need to capture video from the inputs? I have Windows Vista and Windows Movie Maker doesn't give me an option. I also downloaded the Catalyst converter, but it's just that a converter. Would a program like Premiere work? Any free/cheap alternatives?
May 1, 2007 8:35:30 PM

Did the card not come with software?

~Ibrahim~
May 1, 2007 11:07:47 PM

Hmmmm, not that I remember. I can't find the CD, I just installed Vista, so I just downloaded the catalyst drivers.
May 2, 2007 12:03:03 AM

Ah...Interesting. Maybe something you could contact your AIB-partner about? (I.E. Sapphire, HiS, etc.)

I dearly wish I could help more, but I'm stuck with a $400 nVidia card that doesn't have VIVO.

~Ibrahim~
June 13, 2007 7:36:08 PM

Quote:
Hello to everyone!

.
.
.

I have Club3D pdf spec sheets about this card before and after they removed everything about VIVO.

Maybe someone know if there is a chance to do something about it, as I found on several forums, that there were many people waiting for this AGP card with VIVO, so I am only one of many people who Club3D cheated?

.
.
.

At least I hope that I helped someone to no to spend 300$ for a hope to get VIVO that will not be there.

Regards to all of You,

Tom.
Clever of you to have captured the PDF of the web pages before you ordered. If the hardware was shipped across state lines in the U.S., you probably can file a complaint with DOJ Consumer Fraud Division (that's not the exact name of it), but it is fraud and especially so in that they covered it up by changing the ads and then ignoring your complaint. There is no statute of limitations on fraud, so go after them!
June 14, 2007 4:14:03 AM

:evil: 
Quote:
Hello to everyone!

.
.
.

I have Club3D pdf spec sheets about this card before and after they removed everything about VIVO.

Maybe someone know if there is a chance to do something about it, as I found on several forums, that there were many people waiting for this AGP card with VIVO, so I am only one of many people who Club3D cheated?

I believe that Nvidia/DAMMIT/M$, would like everyone to move to PCI-E (more money)
I have a Sapphire 1950 pro agp and this is old news(not having AVIVO) as I use it primarily for gaming.But yes it makes me mad about the ommision.
even worse,Nvidia has disabled H.264 support on 6600-7*** agp series cards ,I had just found out about.Great!All I wanted to do was record standard def. anyway but still.
Now some cable providers are putting increasing amount of CGMS-A flags on some (and growing)channels so you can't record programs like you used to be able to through MCE 2005.WTF? I should have just rented a DVR through T.W.C. I've just about had it with M$'s B.S. and Nvidia's shit too. :twisted: OMG! what is this VEIL ( more restrictions) I have been hearing about?!!!

.
.

At least I hope that I helped someone to no to spend 300$ for a hope to get VIVO that will not be there.

Regards to all of You,

Tom.
Clever of you to have captured the PDF of the web pages before you ordered. If the hardware was shipped across state lines in the U.S., you probably can file a complaint with DOJ Consumer Fraud Division (that's not the exact name of it), but it is fraud and especially so in that they covered it up by changing the ads and then ignoring your complaint. There is no statute of limitations on fraud, so go after them!
Ha!Good Luck with that one .I doubt that they will do any thing but give it some lip service.
January 4, 2009 10:53:50 PM

Hello,

I also have several dozen analog videotapes that I'd like to convert to digital format.

My question is: would I get the best performance if I use a fairly late-generation high-end video card? Or are all the new capabilities, such as higher clock speed, greater on-board memory, etc, unnecessary for simple analog-to-digital video capture. (Since they're intended mainly for gaming, and I'm not a gamer).

Specifically, I'm thinking about purchasing an ATI Radeon X1950 xtx board, which is not the latest technology, but seems to be fairly recent. So the cost would be under $200.

However, do I need X1950-level performance at all? Maybe, for A to D conversion purposes, I would be just as well off using an earlier-generation graphics card from ATI, which would cost even less.

Thank you very much!

Leo K.

!