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09-26-2003, 08:34 AM
vmesquita vmesquita is offline
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Hello everyone!

I am testing the new MainConcept 1.4 realtime capture function and I am very impressed. I can capture fully DVD compilant streams in RealTime, and if you put it in High Priority, you can even browse the web with 0 dropped frames! I have a BT878 card on a Atlhon 2000+. I am capturing from VHS. And you can also do RealTime using the KVCD Matrix and you prefered GOP (I haven't tested this yet). I'll post more results later.

I have been using the capture->encodem path for a long time, because I really care about quality. This results I am talking about I used a clean VHS tape, I am not sure how it would behave with a bad one, altrough there's a noise reduction setting (that probably is not as good as Avisynth filtering)

Anyway, I am really amazed with the possibility to capture in background. I never managed to accomplish this using VirtualVCR and MJPEG, maybe because of the disk load.

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  #2  
09-29-2003, 07:47 AM
GFR GFR is offline
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Hi VMesquita,

I've tried to capture with MCE 1.4 with no success.

First, when I set the audio source the video goes off, unless I set the "preferred devices" in the control panel to something else, so that not even the windows mixer tries to use the sound card. I've got a Rage ATI AIW 128 and a SoundBlaster PCI64.

Then, when I set the tuner standard to PAL-M, I can't set 240/480 lines anymore, it forgets about the "M" and assumes I must use 576 lines cause I'm PAL.

When trying to capture, there are DOZENS of dropped frames a second!!!! Even with the VCD preset!!!

I have a REALLY slow system by today's standards (PIII 500MHz, Win98SE), but, I can capture at 352x480 with Huffyuv, 720x480 with MainConcept MJPEG Q=75, 720x480 MPEG-2 (I-only) with ATI built-in, and 352x480 MPEG-2 (I-only) with WinDVD Recorder, with no frame drops, so I guess there's something wrong with MCE. Even when I had a PII-300 I could capture at VCD resolution with the ATI and WINDVD-R, and at 352x480 with MC MJPEG. BTW the ATI MPEG-2 is awful even at high bitrates, but the WinDVD Recorder capture is very useable.

I've also tested Cyberlink PowerVCR for a while, it's nice but misteriously stopped working after some time.
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09-29-2003, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFR
First, when I set the audio source the video goes off, unless I set the "preferred devices" in the control panel to something else, so that not even the windows mixer tries to use the sound card. I've got a Rage ATI AIW 128 and a SoundBlaster PCI64.
Ok now that's really wired...
Quote:
Then, when I set the tuner standard to PAL-M, I can't set 240/480 lines anymore, it forgets about the "M" and assumes I must use 576 lines cause I'm PAL.
This is a very annoying bug. I posterd in MainConcept forum and mailed support and no answer so far. But you can use 640x480 with PAL-M. Of course it would be so much better to be able to use 704x480,720x480 or 352x480 according to what you want to do, but not everything is lost.
Quote:
When trying to capture, there are DOZENS of dropped frames a second!!!! Even with the VCD preset!!!

I have a REALLY slow system by today's standards (PIII 500MHz, Win98SE), but, I can capture at 352x480 with Huffyuv, 720x480 with MainConcept MJPEG Q=75, 720x480 MPEG-2 (I-only) with ATI built-in, and 352x480 MPEG-2 (I-only) with WinDVD Recorder, with no frame drops, so I guess there's something wrong with MCE. Even when I had a PII-300 I could capture at VCD resolution with the ATI and WINDVD-R, and at 352x480 with MC MJPEG. BTW the ATI MPEG-2 is awful even at high bitrates, but the WinDVD Recorder capture is very useable.

I've also tested Cyberlink PowerVCR for a while, it's nice but misteriously stopped working after some time.
Infortunatelly MainConcept really demands a lot from the machine. On my atlhon 2000+ I can capture at 352x480, but to reach 704x480 I have to disable some "half-pel search" or something, or I drop frames. In 704x480 CPU hits 98% this way, and I can't do 720x480 without loosing frames.

It's unfair to compare with MJPEG or MPEG2 with only I-frames (which BTW is basically the same thing), since it's much simpler compression. I didn't like the results from PowerVCR and WinDVR, and from ATI MMC (I used to have a All-in-Wonder Pro). ATI MMC has a "hardware" help that I still don't know exactly how it works.
But infortunatelly I found some annoying bugs that prevent me from using MainConcept 1.4 to capture: you can set resolution, but the bitrate setting don't work. You can set any value, but it always use the default of the template. Some other advance settings are also useless like GOP lenght. So the only use I found for it is doing 704x480 interlaced captures, using 1:40min per DVD disc. Sadly, I don't do that a lot.

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09-30-2003, 08:05 AM
GFR GFR is offline
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Quote:
Infortunatelly MainConcept really demands a lot from the machine. On my atlhon 2000+ I can capture at 352x480, but to reach 704x480 I have to disable some "half-pel search" or something, or I drop frames. In 704x480 CPU hits 98% this way, and I can't do 720x480 without loosing frames.

It's unfair to compare with MJPEG or MPEG2 with only I-frames (which BTW is basically the same thing), since it's much simpler compression. I didn't like the results from PowerVCR and WinDVR, and from ATI MMC (I used to have a All-in-Wonder Pro).
I've disabled half-pel, set to I-only and still can't capture at even 352x240!!!! (Even if it's ignoring the I-only setting and using the template's GOP, it's really bad).

Quote:
ATI MMC has a "hardware" help that I still don't know exactly how it works.
Badly

I think ATI uses Ligos' (LSX) algorythm with some slight hw acceleration. IIRC Ulead apps use the same algorythm (only it's 100% software).
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10-02-2003, 05:30 PM
vmesquita vmesquita is offline
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I have mailed Mainconcept about the PAL-M problem and they replied they'll fix it!

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