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  #1  
12-25-2015, 05:24 PM
VideoTechMan VideoTechMan is offline
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Merry Christmas Everyone!

With that said, I became my own Santa and for starters, I finally renewed my Premium membership. Secondly, I ordered more hardware from fleabay to build an second XP-based capture box.

My first box was built around an AMD system; the 'new' box will be based on Intel. I still have my old P4 CPU that i've bought since new and sitting in the dead MSI 865PE Neo2 board that I have. May as well put the CPU back to work!

I ordered the Intel D875PBZ 478-Socket board--already have existing DDR memory that will work for this board.

Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card for audio. Though I have the M-Audio 2496 PCI card, I read that it has some issues with A/V sync, so it will remain in my audio-only PC I use for all audio work.

Lastly ordered the ATI AIW 9600 Pro AGP 256MB card for the video capture, and made sure that it included all the necessary cables.

I think what my plan is to have both of the capture boxes running, and switch between them using the Trendnet KVM switch I bought several years ago, and have never used. I also found an original OEM genuine CD copy of Windows XP which includes SP2. I don't remember what system this disc came with, as I've built many PC's over the years, and can't find the product key for it, but that won't be an issue.

Both of these systems will be capture boxes for all analog/SD material. I have a separate i7 3930K machine for everything HD, separate box for all audio work and composition, and one more for general office/internet use. I will network all of the machines together so that I can copy files between each other and only the office PC will have internet use.

I need to look into finding a decent mid-tower case; the one I have is very flimsy with the power buttons falling out of place.
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  #2  
12-26-2015, 06:02 AM
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I was my own Santa, too. I bought myself a new Smurf blanket to use in my recliner.

The single-core AMD days were rocky, but the dual/quad AMD days were decent. My backup capture system uses an AMD dual-core with a PCIe ATI AIW card. Intel has always been fine. My main capture box is based on an Intel Core 2 Duo with the AGP 9600 card.

Single-core allows AVI and DVD MPEG-2 capture.
Dual/quad-core allows Blu-ray MPEG-2 capture (15mbps). It usually drops frames on single-core boards.

The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card is probably the best one for AGP pairing. Some others work fine, but that's the safest choice -- especially if you're not overly experienced in levels and distortion (as seen with many cards).

If that's the same Trendnet VGA/USB/audio KVM that I have, it's excellent. (However, I now use Starview DVI KVMs.)

Excellent ATI card.

On capture systems, I install Firefox as the default browser, with NoScript, Flashblock and Adblock, just in case something auto-launches a browser. Capturing systems should never really go online. If you have them networked, and have the knowledge to create a non-WAN-accessible subnet, then you should be fine. It's just that most people lack that knowledge.

I'm not a fan of mid-tower cases, because smaller boxes mean more heat. I prefer the larger Antec Three Hundred cases. The older "One" case was slimmer than the new Two, which is made for the i7 generation's huge heatsinks. Heat is a major consideration in states where it can reach 100+ (F) in the summer. Anything I can do to reduce heat, and thus reduce AC, is welcomed.

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  #3  
12-26-2015, 12:48 PM
VideoTechMan VideoTechMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I was my own Santa, too. I bought myself a new Smurf blanket to use in my recliner.

Nothing wrong with that! As an aside, how have you been doing nowadays? I remember when you had your health challenge a few years back. Glad to see you're posting regularly again!

The single-core AMD days were rocky, but the dual/quad AMD days were decent. My backup capture system uses an AMD dual-core with a PCIe ATI AIW card. Intel has always been fine. My main capture box is based on an Intel Core 2 Duo with the AGP 9600 card.

Single-core allows AVI and DVD MPEG-2 capture.
Dual/quad-core allows Blu-ray MPEG-2 capture (15mbps). It usually drops frames on single-core boards.

I've always used Intel for all of my builds, even going as far back as the Pentium II days. AMD was just a cheaper option for many which worked quite well, but when it comes to serious video work, many in the video industry usually preferred Intel based setups. When I get the Intel box built, the current AMD system I have will be the backup/secondary capture box.

The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card is probably the best one for AGP pairing. Some others work fine, but that's the safest choice -- especially if you're not overly experienced in levels and distortion (as seen with many cards).

I've read alot about the TB cards when the company was around..have never used one until now having ordered one. Years ago I used to record vinyl and such using the built-in MB audio. Ick....definitely learned my lesson on that one. Now that I have much better gear and hardware, I can do it correctly the first time with much better results, which is what the EMU-1616m and the Delta 2496 cards will serve as.

If that's the same Trendnet VGA/USB/audio KVM that I have, it's excellent. (However, I now use Starview DVI KVMs.)

Yep, its the same one...2-port switch.

Excellent ATI card.

On capture systems, I install Firefox as the default browser, with NoScript, Flashblock and Adblock, just in case something auto-launches a browser. Capturing systems should never really go online. If you have them networked, and have the knowledge to create a non-WAN-accessible subnet, then you should be fine. It's just that most people lack that knowledge.

I agree. When building dedicated boxes, especially with DAW's and video editing machines, its always best to keep them offline to eliminate any chance of crap getting into them. I also fully disable Windows Updates and anything else that wants to use the internet, as well as deleting programs and disabling services that I never use (basically optimizing). As of lately though, I have been studying and learning more about networking and creating different subnets. When I set up my router, I created a different subnet from the all-too common 192.168.x.x ones. I also been working on a router program called pfSense in which I can run a small PC that just handles routing. As for the networking I have two 24-bay industrial servers that formerly served in datacenters I bought from an liquidator a few years back. I installed Server 2008 R2 on one of them and the other runs unRAID for media storage. My studio is upstairs while the servers are downstairs. The idea for me was when I am done capturing a tape and not going to be working on it right away or for finished video for archiving, it will go to the server for storage until needed again.

I'm not a fan of mid-tower cases, because smaller boxes mean more heat. I prefer the larger Antec Three Hundred cases. The older "One" case was slimmer than the new Two, which is made for the i7 generation's huge heatsinks. Heat is a major consideration in states where it can reach 100+ (F) in the summer. Anything I can do to reduce heat, and thus reduce AC, is welcomed.
I actually do have an Antec 300 case, that's currently being used as my DAW. It's a pretty nice case, simple and not too fancy and not a gamer oriented case. Now that I think of it, just may get another Antec 300 case! Didn't know why I haven't thought of that while browsing cases last night. I have debated the thought of getting a case from Case Labs where they have a case that can hold two PC systems in one, with all the space one would ever need. Costs up near $1K though but would never need to buy another case,plus the fact they are made here in the USA! But for now I work with what I have. I have a Coolermaster HAF 922 that serves as the higher end editing rig with an i7 3930K for all HD based needs.

I do have one thought though....I pretty much have the capturing the S/VHS and Hi-8 sources covered, however I am looking into what capture card I need to look into for component since I have two BetacamSP decks. Black Magic would be ideal, but most of their cards are PCIe based, unless I just use my i7 rig for component based source captures. I LOVE being technical!
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01-03-2016, 04:58 AM
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Until 2012, my health had been excellent. (At worst, I needed to shed a few pounds, but who doesn't?) Then without warning, in 2012 my body was wrecked by undiagnosed MS. I continued to decline in 2013. It was almost 2014 when I was finally diagnosed, and began treatment. In 2015, my health has been up-and-down (mostly up). In 2016, I'm hoping to overcome my last few issues. Some new treatments are in Phase IIIb right now, and may be FDA approved by 2017-2018, so I'm looking forward to those.

I used Pro Audio Spectrum (PAS) in the 90s. Nice cards. They made SoundBlaster sound like poo! It's too bad that they had financial scandal issues, and disappear by the end of that decade. They really were superior cards. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is the closet I ever came to the PAS. Actually, the TBSC is better!

I'm now using "Windows 10 Firewall Control" freeware. It has nothing to do with Windows 10. It's a Windows firewall add-on that sits in the systray and blocks all communication by default -- something that the Windows firewall does not do. I then allow or disallow per program. It's a lot like Little Snitch for Mac, but for Windows. It's easy to use. (Tip: You can mute the alarm sound by opening the WAV and muting it in Sound Forge or Audacity. The sound still plays, but that sound is now nothing!)

If you like being technical, you should see some of the things I do.

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  #5  
01-03-2016, 06:16 AM
VideoTechMan VideoTechMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Until 2012, my health had been excellent. (At worst, I needed to shed a few pounds, but who doesn't?) Then without warning, in 2012 my body was wrecked by undiagnosed MS. I continued to decline in 2013. It was almost 2014 when I was finally diagnosed, and began treatment. In 2015, my health has been up-and-down (mostly up). In 2016, I'm hoping to overcome my last few issues. Some new treatments are in Phase IIIb right now, and may be FDA approved by 2017-2018, so I'm looking forward to those.

I used Pro Audio Spectrum (PAS) in the 90s. Nice cards. They made SoundBlaster sound like poo! It's too bad that they had financial scandal issues, and disappear by the end of that decade. They really were superior cards. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is the closet I ever came to the PAS. Actually, the TBSC is better!

I'm now using "Windows 10 Firewall Control" freeware. It has nothing to do with Windows 10. It's a Windows firewall add-on that sits in the systray and blocks all communication by default -- something that the Windows firewall does not do. I then allow or disallow per program. It's a lot like Little Snitch for Mac, but for Windows. It's easy to use. (Tip: You can mute the alarm sound by opening the WAV and muting it in Sound Forge or Audacity. The sound still plays, but that sound is now nothing!)

If you like being technical, you should see some of the things I do.
I'm glad that your health is getting better by the day. Just proves to show that we can never take life for granted, because we never know what can happen. Besides, there's lots to do in this day and age!

I think I remember the PAS cards back then. At that time I was playing with the first computer my mom had bought, was the IBM PS/2 machine, which had a 286 SX processor (oh..the memories lol). Sound was a really big deal in those days, where to get the best hardware was often very costly and required alot of setup know-how to get it going correctly.

Up until now, I never had a TBSC card. Kinda funny how some tend to discover these gems long after the companies go out of business. I've used mostly SB cards and they did okay for what it was intended for. Now I have one of TB's cards in one of my capture boxes that I got in last week.

I went and got the Antec 302 case, which has the USB 3.0 ports on the front. Its a pretty nice case too and cable management works pretty well. Of course, those ports are useless since I am using an older motherboard, and I went ahead and installed the SB Audigy ZS in that box. With the AIW 9600 Pro in that box and the 8500DV in the other, I should be able to get more done by switching in between them with the KVM switch. I decided to go ahead and wipe my other box (with the AMD board) and start with a fresh install of XP SP2. I stumbled on that disc while cleaning up the office that my mom used to use (she passed away spring of '14). I wasn't sure at first what drivers to use with the 8500DV card. but I found that the drivers and MMC I used for the 9600 worked fine for the 8500DV.

I'm going to try to have both boxes with the same install of the capture tools as possible. It usually depends on one's setup but at least a base set of software that is needed at minimum for video capture should be listed. Finish installing everything, then do a backup of the clean install.

As for component capture, I am considering looking into a Kona capture card that will go in my i7 rig. I'll see what fleabay has and see if I can get a deal on a good used one, just to get my feet wet in using those cards.

I'd be interested to see what tech stuff you enjoy doing! I'm still learning new things everyday and still am on a regular basis. Once I get into music composing, I will be learning alot more on setting audio levels and getting the best sound possible. I have a dedicated audio machine for that and doing vinyl transfers as well as cassette.
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01-03-2016, 06:51 AM
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If you're going to be working with audio, you need a mixer board for sure.

My first foray into audio was with the aforementioned Pro Audio ISA card with a SCSI CD-ROM attached. This was many moons ago. I forget what DOS tool I was using first, but I quickly adopted Sound Forge. (Version 2,.0, maybe?) I had a shiny new 486-class machine, but it wasn't Intel or AMD. I had a Cyrix 486!* I kept that thing in use, due to the audio card, until 1999. PAS was pumping out 16-bit 44.1kHz (recorded voice) when SoundBlaster was still making 8-bit Nintendo sounds.

* What's really odd is that now, some 20 years later, Wikipedia writers claim that Cyrix was a bad slow CPU that got bad reviews. But I was there. I used it. That's BS. The Cyrix 486 was faster on quite a few tasks, though slower or the same on others. Reviews at the time loved it. I hate revisionists. Their latter year 5x86 and 6x86 processors, by contrast, did suck, before they went out of business. And I went for Intel for my Pentium, P2, PIII and P4. I didn't go AMD until the late 2000s.

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01-03-2016, 09:06 AM
VideoTechMan VideoTechMan is offline
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Yep i have the Mackie 1402 audio board so should work well for my needs for small studio use.

I remember the Cyrix CPU, many have said it to be a sucky processor before Intel came to town. I actually had a 5x86 processor that i had tested in the Packard Bell 486 we had but it didn't work all that great and wasn't any faster than the 486. Back then of course you had a second socket for the math co-processor. The first PC i built on my own was the Pentium II 400Mhz cpu which was cartridged shaped. Of course in those days those cpu's didnt require fan based coolers like they do now. My first exposure to DOS was version 5.0....think i may still have those diskettes somewhere. Now my true age is starting to show lol!

I remember using Sound Forge for a bit before i went to (pre-Adobe) Cool Edit Pro. I really wanted to go deep into audio then but didn't have the budget for the good gear like i do now.

I also have an HP tape drive, with one of the tapes i had backed up back in 1997....i wonder whether that backup is still on that tape lol but since the drivers doesn't work on XP i may not know unless i can do a vm of sorts where i can install Win 98.

As far as Intel and AMD goes, I've always went with Intel based PC'S. The one and only pre built system i bought was a Compaq machine. After that i built my own computers from then on. AMD was always good for a decent system for a lower price compared to the Intel chips. My second capture box has an Asrock AMD based board with a dual core that works pretty well. Nowadays many video editors prefers Intel based and some Mac setups. The early AMD chips didn't fare so well with their meltdown problems.
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01-03-2016, 09:49 AM
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You're making me feel old.

My first experience with using a computer was the Apple IIe (school) and a 286 (home). A friend had an 8088 that he didn't upgrade until 1992! The 286 had Windows 1.0 and DOS 4, and I still have the original boxes, complete with 5.25 disks and all written materials (warranty cards, etc). It's nostalgia in my closet. When we got a 386, it had a crappy 100mb tape drive that I hated, and it later broke as well.

I was really into digital audio, because digital video wasn't yet possible without a supercomputer (SGI, etc). I knew the day would come when I would add video to the audio. Until then, I married digital audio to analog video.

There was a time, in the early days of the internet, where pre-built systems were actually cheaper than buying parts separately. That's why most of our 80s and 90s systems came pre-built, usually from an OEM.

Did you ever go to Soft Warehouse? That place was a nerd toy store.

Cyrix, Dell, Compaq, Soft Warehouse, etc -- those were Texans.

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01-03-2016, 03:41 PM
VideoTechMan VideoTechMan is offline
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I actually remember the Apple IIe's....I was in 2nd grade when I used them; we used to do BASIC programming on those. Kinda wished I had of kept with programming, but oh well. I used to have a lot of fun doing that, I was typing away like a madman lol and managed to make some good programs. And of course the dot-matrix printers ruled in those days...full of noise. Surprisingly there's still a few of those printers in use today as well. I think I had the 5.25 disks of Microsoft Word.....can't remember the life of me what version it was, but pretty old nonetheless.

One of the things that got me interested into editing was when I used to watch those edited Looney Tunes cartoons back in the day. When I had my first computer assembled, I gotten Adobe Premiere 5.0.....VERY old lol. Unfortunately the gear I had was mostly consumer stuff, so couldn't do a whole lot.

I never heard of Soft Warehouse....but I do remember old stores like CompUSA and there used to be a Compaq store here where you could get deals on Compaq PC's. Most of my hangouts were Microcenter and some other mom-pop computer stores that I used to visit.

Talking ancient gear feels like early 20th century stuff...lol! Dialup, parallel port printers, 2400bps modems, you name it!
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01-04-2016, 07:28 AM
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Soft Warehouse became CompUSA after some buyouts in the 90s. I used to go to the original store in Addison in the 80s. Back then, I mostly cared about the computer games -- especially the Sierra games (King's Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest, Hoyle, etc), most of which I still have, original boxes, disks and all! Most were EGA graphics that I played on a 286 with a special Hercules graphics card.

Back then, Soft Warehouse had a lot more stuff. They didn't really dabble in hardware, and it was all about software. They didn't do hardware until the 90s. CompUSA got smaller and smaller over the years, eventually going out of business. They sold the brand name (one of their only assets), so what you see now online only is completely unrelated to the old company.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CompUSA

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