Video Capture: Available On AMD, Sometimes On Nvidia

I Spent $600 On A Graphics Card But It Can't Capture Video?

Like many other columnists, I receive a fair amount of email from readers. Some tell me I have no clue about what I am writing, others are thankful for bringing up a topic, and some just have questions. Several emails have come to me asking about video capture, which moved me to take a look at one particular problem. Perusing the forums, I noticed that there isn't a lot of help for people asking questions about video capture on their high end consumer cards. Few people get the answers they are looking for, while others give up the pursuit as their thread drops off the first page. Our AVIVO versus PureVideo article triggered some more emails, and I soon started thinking about the "whole package" that consumers get when they buy graphics cards.

One message I received had a question asking about help with a driver for video capture. Fortunately, Nvidia has a Windows Driver Model (WDM) installer package that handles the audio and video capture hardware on some graphics cards. One message complained of getting an "error code 10" upon installing the WDM driver on the PC. This got me interested, as I was able to replicate it on one of the cards here.

Error code messages are all cataloged and many websites have listings. If you run into a situation where you cannot figure out what is happening with your systems, I would encourage you to look the error up yourself and gather as much information as possible. That particular message appears when one of the following happens (or a combination):

  1. An error with the hardware
  2. Insufficient power to operate the device
  3. An error in the driver installation

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. According to Nick Stam, Nvidia's Technical Marketing Director, "GeForce 6 and 7 could have the functionality but it does not mean that it is there." This led to an interesting discussion with Nvidia about cards that were sold with video in cables, but might not have had total VIVO capabilities.