CPU and Video Capture...

I have an Athlon 1.4 with 256MB of PC2100 ram... I also have a AIW Radeon 8500 DV and what is supposed to be a 7200 rpm hd (though i'm not completely sure). When trying to capture with the Radeon, .avi at low resolution (320x240) is somewhat jittery, and .avi at high resolution (740x480) is distorted beyond use. I was wondering if this was an issue w/ my processor, the speed of my hd, the amount of RAM i have, or perhaps the Radeon? I'm assuming it has something to do with RAM or the processor, but considering both arent that bad, i'm kinda confused...

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34 answers Last reply
More about video capture
  1. What os are you using? If your using XP then you should have at least another 128MB of ram, you might as well go for 512. 256 is the minimum for XP. It's possible that you are starting to swap and that is very slow even with a fast drive. When your running the program open the Task Manager and see where your ram is at.

    Post your systems specs up...all of it. It'll make it easier.

    Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
  2. Heres what i believe i have:

    Micron PC:
    -Athlon 1.4
    -Windows ME :-(
    -256 MB DDR RAM (PC2100)
    -SBL Value
    -80 gig HD (about 24 gigs left...) which is apparently 7200 RPM
    -ATI All In Wonder Radeon 8500 DV

    And if it matters i'm getting all my video from composite in. But I dont think its the video card because when i make 740x480 wmv's its jittery as well.

    Whats this use of Task Manager to see where my ram is at, and how is it used?

    Thats all that should matter, i think. Anyone know?

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  3. Ahh WinME. Well you cant look at the task manager or anything like that. That is only a process for NT based Machines. It's possible that your system cannot quite keep up but you have plenty under the hood. I dont use ATI for caputuring so I suggest you head over to <A HREF="http://www.rage3d.com/board/forumdisplay.php?s=0345a38d6691ca80e72d348b6e5122e8&forumid=24" target="_new">Rage 3d AIW Forum</A> and speak with those guys over there. It's a radeon specific websight if they cant get you working then nobody can.

    Good Luck

    Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
  4. Given that spec, my money is on the 2 things,

    The OS - Me sucks. Get a real OS like Win2K or XP. Don't upgrade unless you really have to - do a fresh install, but make sure you have all your data backed up and safe, and all your installation disks available.

    Try defragmenting your hard-drive, there could be issues with this.


    The drivers on the 8500 are still a little, uh - how do we put this? Oh yeah, crap. It may just be a feature that doesn't work properly yet....

    -* <font color=red> !! S O L D !! </font color=red> *-
    To the gentleman in the pink Tutu
  5. I would say you don’t have the correct chipset drivers and your disks DMA is not enabled correctly. This causes buffer overflow and thus the amount of data needed to sustain the video compression codec is not reached. Your CPU/drive is definitely up to the task. I’d figure out what chipset you have and get the latest drivers.
  6. i thought that it might be your drive (assuming that dma is on). i cap with a matrox g400 and when i hit more than halfway on my maxtor 80gigger, i start to lose more frames than at the start (i dont lose any at the start). could you try moving your data off that drive and defragging it?
  7. first of all, defrag your hd. For video capture it's probably a good idea to have a hd that is dedicated to video, not one that is mixed with application files and system files. Since your hd is 3/4 full that also can slow down data access.

    Get more ram, 256mb more (512mb total) at least

    Ditch winME, I'm surprised it even is able to keep working long enough to capture a movie :)

    Assuming your video card has drivers for win2k or winXP that work properly it would be a good idea to upgrade. Make sure you have the latest drivers.

    Make sure all other apps are closed when you record the video.

    Your processor is fast enough to handle this task, and should be fine unless you OC it.

    <i>Hi I am from Canada, I don't use amd cause they melt my igloo eh.</i>
  8. k, i'll add 256 ram and see how that works out, And then heres what i WANT to do...

    I want to get another HD and use it solely for Win XP and video editing. Then i want to use the hd i have now for all the other stuff i have like games/etc with WinME (perhaps down-grading it to Win98SE?) because i've heard xp is incompatable with a lot of software of long ago...

    I was just wondering if this was in any way possible, and if so, how could i choose which OS starts up when i turn on my comp?

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  9. you can dual boot win9x with winXP.. if you get a new hd, don't use it for anything except video, if you have windows installed on it it might start using the same hd for the swap file and that can be trouble. Most games work well with winXP, at least newer ones.

    <i>Hi I am from Canada, I don't use amd cause they melt my igloo eh.</i>
  10. yea but in addition i dont like XP in general...

    So you're saying I should buy a 80 gig (?) hd EXCLUSIVELY for vid editing? Also, how fast do you suggest the 80 gig hd to be? And should I put XP on my original drive? How can i do this without it conflicting with ME?

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  11. I'm saying it might be a good idea to get a hd exclusively for video, deffinately something 7200rpm. If you can't afford that, I suggest you clean up the hd you have now and defrag it. If you want to have both xp and me on a drive, make 2 partitions using software such as partition magic, which can make a partition out of free space.

    <i>Hi I am from Canada, I don't use amd cause they melt my igloo eh.</i>
  12. Hm... i cleaned up my drive (well to 38 gigs...) two weeks ago and defragged it, but i still had the same problem.... i'll look into getting the new drive and xp...

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  13. I’ve done video on crappy 10gig 5200rpm slow drives and yes at one point on a ME system with 128megs. For standard DV codec you need about 3.3mbs transfer. If you don’t have DMA active you aren’t doing video. Basically without DMA your CPU has to move data from memory to the drive controller and during a real time event like video capture, even the fastest systems don’t have a chance. Have you updated your southbridge driver? A 7200rpm drive is most likely less than 2 years old and should at least run in PIO mode 4 or 5, DMA mode 2, and UDMA mode 4.
  14. OMG I am about to agree with Intel_inside on something ( oh the humanity!). 7,200 is highly recommended, DMA enabled is a must, Make sure there is NOTHING running in the sys-tray (bottom right of the desktop). Close out those little icons in the bottom right. They will interupt the video capture.
    Finally, your video capture program may have some issues. Try getting a trial version of something and seeing if it can capture video better. Configuring a capture program can sometimes be more difficult than a space shuttle launch.
    Also go to some video editing sites that have forums. Those guys may be more knowledgable about the subject.

    Benchmarks are like sex, everybody loves doing it, everybody thinks they are good at it.
  15. There are many 5200rpm drives that can easily sustain the necessary transfer rate to do video capture. A 4200rpm drive can be fast enough if set up correctly. Although it is better to have a dedicated raid or high end drive, it isn’t at all necessary. Larger drives have a higher density and the higher the density the faster the data transfer rate. I’m telling you it isn’t that big a deal. My 30gig 5400rpm laptop drive can sustain sequential writes up to 10mbs. More than 3 times the amount of data transfer needed to capture a DV codec stream. Before you go out and buy a ton of equipment and a new os, you should realize the major benefit of high end drives is just a speed up in your render times during the final processing of a video edit.
  16. I am capturing on my old Athlon 1.3 (@ 1.53) with a Matrox G450 256MB PC133 RAM and win2k and most importantly an 8.4GB WD Caviar 5400rpm UDMA66 HDD. never drop a frame EVER. I'm positive that it is the Radeon. should proabably ask the guys there... Good Luck

    "The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a beer bottle, they're on TV."
  17. I'm with Schmide on this one, and so is Matrox (I have purchased and set up two Marvel G200-TV cards). 3.3MB/sec is sufficient for vid capture. DMA is a good thing to have, but may not be necessary; most hard drives hit a ceiling of about 5MB/sec while in PIO mode. It's still sufficient trasfer rate, but it will suck up almost all your CPU cycles.

    <i>If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does it still cost four figures to fix?
  18. You're talking about full screen AVI capture? MPEG-2, MPEG-1, WMV, and the ATI-VCR all work fine at full screen (720x480), its just that Premiere isnt compatable with MPEG-2, and when i'm editing MPEG-1's, I have to render everything every five seconds. So its just the AVI's that i'm having problems with, esp high resolution.

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  19. Are you editing in DV codec and doing your final render into mpeg(1)(2)(4)? Without dedicated hardware I don’t think any system will work in mpeg2 mode.
  20. Well... I'm getting the video from ATI-TV, which is composite/s-video, so i'm assuming its not DV codec. It will capture in in MPEG1,2, and ATI's own codec, which i'm pretty sure is MPEG4. Everythings fine in terms of MPEG except that Adobe Premiere does not work with MPEG2s, and I don't like using other programs. I think the Radeon is considered to be an MPEG2 decoder.

    Final render is .WMV, because it isnt jittery like AVI, but in my most recent project, i sent it out to .WMV w/out trying AVI because of time restraints, but now i guess i could try and see if it would have worked otherwise.

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  21. Ive had a lot of experience with other AIW Cards......basically the AIW Pro 8MB AGP and the AIW 128 16 & 32MB Versions..pro and non........

    you'll notice having a screen resolution of 800x600 will capture better than it will at 1024x768 and up....for some reason it just is better........(never used the 8500 DV, but the older cards worked better at lower resolutions, and im not talking about PC2TV either)

    Secondly, I hope you have the absolute LATEST drivers off of ATI's website......
    ALSO I hope you have the latest Direct X installed CORRECTLY off of the MS Update Website.....

    and about Premiere......u said Premiere doesnt work with APEG2........so I would love to know what Version of Premiere your using, becasuye i'ev used version's 4.2 - 6.0...and as I can see, only 4.2 does NOT support Mpeg of any sort.....version 6.0 fulyl supports MPEG of all sorts......and i know ive used MPEG2 files that ive captured off of the ATI TV Player in Premiere 5.1.........

    Anyways....good luck...

    -MeTaL RoCkEr

    My <font color=red>Z28</font color=red> can take your <font color=blue>P4</font color=blue> off the line!
  22. K i'll try the 800x600 resolution..

    I'll check to get the latest drivers as well...

    And I DO have Premiere 6.0. It doesnt support the importing of MPEG2's, however.

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  23. Ok... first off.. I have done TONS of video capturing on my 1.33 AMD with 128 RAM under Win2k (an AIW Radeon 32mb)... no problems whatsoever. Only had issues at first because my hard drive was like, 90%+ fragmented... hehe... Also, most of my capping was done in the last 10 gigs of a 40 gig 7200rpm hard drive. I was capping with huffy, which took about 7 to 8 GIGS for an hour long show. I also was significantly taxing my CPU during my capping - and still do not drop frames.

    This leads me to believe that you have an issue with your data transfer rate to your hard drive? Perhaps you don't have your DMA and PIO settings correct. People have already mentioned that here so I won't go in to it.

    Here is an interesting note for you if you are doing AVI caps. I don't use ATI's TV Tuner to cap the source because I have found that when you convert it to divx afterwards, the audio will slowly get out of sync (this undoubtedly is due to the fact that ATI does their own thing with capturing... you need a special 'wrapper' to cap with any other program when you have an ATI card - information about this is at www.vcdhelp.com)

    Therefore, I capture using Virtual Dub and the Huffy codec with mp3 audio. I then encode that initial (large!) file down to low-motion divx (keeping the mp3 audio as is since it is already compressed).

    I have heard of people doing the opposite of this before although it is more CPU intensive. That is, they capture directly to low-motion divx, and uncompressed audio. They then compress the audio.

    You always have to balance the work you put on your machine when capping. If you try to cap to a very compressed format from source, your computer may not be able to handle it and will drop frames, etc. On the other hand, uncompressed formats take tons of hard drive space. My experience is that it is best to just get a huge high quality source cap file and then compress it afterwards. (my computer seems to be able to write that 8 GIG to my hard drive without a problem over an hour long show)
  24. Well... DMA and PIO settings have been mentioned here, but weren't discussed, so I'm not really sure what to do in terms of configuring them. Any pointers?

    And does Virtual Dub work with the AIW? I thought the only program that would work would be MMC...

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  25. Ok.. I'll give the DMA settings thing a whirl...

    First, in the BIOS you should check the settings for your hard drive(s)... I don't have the stuff memorized, but even the automatic detection settings are likely ok.... (if you don't get your issue resolved through doing the other stuff being discussed here though, revisit the BIOS settings issue and get someone to tell you the proper settings)

    Ok... in Windows, go to the Device Manager window. Fine your Primary and Seconday IDE channel in the list of hardware. For the Properties you should see Transfer Mode: DMA if available, and Current Transfer Mode: Ultra DMA Mode 5 for Primary Master (that will be your main hard drive) and for any other hard drives you have (a second hard drive should be on Primary Slave).

    If your hard drives are more than a couple years old, they may not support DMA Mode 5... but they likely do.

    Now, on to Virtual Dub:

    Yes, it can be used with an ATI AIW card! The key is that you need a 'wrapper' to do it. My card apparantly came with this wrapper as it just worked for me. Some people have to download it and install it themselves however. (if you go into vdub Capture mode and it says you don't have a capture device... then you need to get the software wrapper).

    You can find a link to the wrapper at www.vcdhelp.com in a tutorial on how to capture to divx using an ATI AIW card. It contain a link to the website with the wrapper. There are also links to Huffy and other wonderful things there (actually.. that site is the BIBLE of video capture)
  26. I don't think anybody mentioned this but you should check ATI MMC compatibility check. It should be in the Control Panel. This test should mention any weaknesses in your system that could prevent clean captures.

    I had a similar capture difficulties with my 8500DV the test found that my hard drive was too slow. Now I had set the proper BIOS settings and windows settings. I benchmarked my hard drive with HDTach and it confirmed that my hard drive was the problem. I tried many other things and went too far... Reinstalled everything and my drive performance was much better.

    So first I would run the compatibility check, if the problem is the hard drive then as suggested earlier set bios settings correctly (UDMA 3, 4 or 5...) and finally windows settings (System icon in the control Panel -> IDE controller -> primary channel)
    If all fails, reinstall. Don't worry you get better at it the more times you do it.


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  27. Hm... when i go to the Device Manager, and then to my Hard Disk Controller, there isnt anything i can configure in terms of DMA or anything (maybe a result of WinME?).

    In any case, i tried using VirtualDub to cap some video, but there was an error: "BtViD: Failure loading VxD driver" and then it goes on to say "Error 418: Device is already in use" and then to "VirutalDub cannot connect to the desired capture driver. Trying all available drivers." and finally to "PANIC: VirtualDub cannot connect to any capture drivers!" and then it quits out. I was assuming it was the wrapper i needed, but it didnt do anything (but i didn't restart, which may have been necessary).

    Any ideas?

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  28. > Hm... when i go to the Device Manager, and then to my Hard Disk Controller, there isnt anything i can configure in terms of DMA or anything (maybe a result of WinME?).

    Well in w2k you find the setting in "IDE controller" but in win98 you can find it in "Disk drive" -> "Generic IDE drive". So the setting for DMA is found in different places whether you are running win98 or w2k. WinMe is probably more similar to win98. It should be a check box.

    And again you should try to run the ATI compatibility test, it tests CPU, RAM, hard drive, sound card to find out what might be causing your problem.

    Good Luck


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    It's a shame we have only one soul to sell...
  29. Hm.... DMA was enabled the whole time, and the ATI compatability check showed no problems (though it seemed to be a test for DVD capabilities).

    And i'm still having that problem with VirtualDub... is there another wrapper i should be using?

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  30. Are you using Virtual Dub while you have ATI's software open? Just curious.... That's all I can really think of off of the top of my head as to why you are getting those weird messages in vdub. You can't have another program open that is using your tuner.

    Also, if you are able to get in to Virtual Dub in capture mode, there are settings you can change. In either Preferences or Settings you will find a place to select your capture device. Make sure something is selected (if should only show the ATI device through the name of the wrapper you installed... I can't recall the name though.. it had "WDM" and a "0" in it I think(aren't I sharp before I have a coffee in the morning).

    Also, I'd recommend having huffy installed and selected as your compression. Using uncompressed AVI is nasty huge! Naturally I also have divx 3.11 installed (and divx 4, but I don't use it to handle divx 3.11 stuff) You can also compress the audio if you choose (mp3 is good and standard).

    Other quick and obvious suggestions. Make sure NOTHING else is running, and do a fresh reboot before testing it out.

    Also, check what you have as your Primary Slave device (if you have one). I have heard it can be bad to have a cd or dvd drive on your IDE Primary Slave as it can affect your Primary Master hard drives performance? If you have 2 hard drives, make them Primary Master and Primary Slave, and then put any dvd or cd/cdrw devices on the Secondary IDE chain (with a cdrw burner being the Secondary Master)

    I'll ask some peeps I know if they have had similar problems to yours....

    You did say that you CAN capture using ATI TV to high quality mpeg files right?? (that would seem to indicate that you can write to the hard drive fast enough?)

    Please confirm that... if that is the case... then maybe your drivers for avi compression formats are messed up or something?
  31. ATI's software isnt open, to my knowledge. And when theres the error message that says it cant use the capture device, the window's name is "Brooktree Capture Driver," if that has any relevence to anything.

    Yes, I can capture MPEG-2 files in real time w/ MMC 7.5 with very little or no loss of frames at 720x480, and even at ATI's ATI-VCR codec, which looks even better (IMO), which is some form of DiVX, i'm assuming.

    Maybe my drivers ARE messed up... I guess i'll do a reinstall. Anything important to do prior to that?

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  32. Well, I guess you should take a look at the forums over at www.rage3d.com. IMHO it's probably one of the best sources for information on capture problems, virtualDub, etc.

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  33. Hm... Well i put up a thread there, and people dont seem to want to help me. Oh well...

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  34. nope - you can happily capture DV AVI, edit in Premier and then export to MPEG2. If you use something like AVISYNTH and TMPGEnc you off and running.

    You do need a high end system to keep transcoding times down, but you can get good looking MPEG2 at a rate of about 10hrs/hour. Of course if you want real DVD MPEG2 you are up in the 24hrs/hour.

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    To the gentleman in the pink Tutu
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