Quantcast Diamond VC500, VirtualDub connection issues? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
01-21-2020, 10:17 AM
wyattladd wyattladd is offline
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Hello,

Last week, I received the Diamond VC500 and began installation of that software, and VirtualDub and Huffyuv files. I had a terrible time of it. I think I'm still missing something - a driver somewhere, perhaps? By the way, I'm using a Sony CCD-TRV98 to play Hi8 tapes for capture - TBC is turned on. I have a Windows 10 computer.

I downloaded the VD and Huffyuv files from here:
VirtualDub with Filters Pre-loaded + HuffYUV [DOWNLOADS]
I downloaded WinRAR to unRAR the files.

I followed this thread's recommend settings:
Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide]

There just seem to be a few differences from what I'm reading in the VD settings thread. Maybe this is due to my using VC500 vs. what is being used for the Settings Guide, or it's maybe it's just my computer? For example:

Cap pin and Capture filters are greyed out.
Video levels - mine says "No video levels are available with this capture driver"
Audio - the only thing listed is "0 Wave Mapper"
Audio input - No audio input
Audio Source - No audio sources

Last week, I was able to see video on the VD window. Today, I am not. I've tried switching back and forth between the Microsoft WDM device and the Conexant device. MWDM seems to work for me, but today, there is no video showing in VD but I am able to see the Histogram output. I've been through the Settings Guide again today to make sure that my settings match.

Also, I've never really heard audio come out of the computer while I'm trying to preview. I can hear it from the Sony, but not the computer. I can see the levels, though.

Seems like maybe I saw on the Diamond website that there may be new drivers available for Win 10 - should I try downloading that?

I have a 64-bit system, and frankly in all my downloading troubles, I don't know which VD version I downloaded (I can't figure out how to tell which is downloaded), so maybe that's a problem?

Hopefully it's something simple that I just missed. The good news is from what little I have seen during a preview, the video looks much better than what occurred with the Elgato that I had!

Thank you.
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  #2  
01-21-2020, 01:22 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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There are a couple people on these forums that use the VC500 regular.

They should chime in soon.

I own a VC500, but realize its updated (hardware wise) frequently, and only the device driver disk that comes with the VC500 can be reliably trusted to get it to work. Device drivers on the website for the model are "versioned" quite often for the hardware, and do not say which hardware they are for.. in general (they will not work).

Start by first making sure your device driver is installed.

Open the device manager in windows by opening the windows folder explorer and right clicking on the [This Computer] icon and picking [Manage]

Then navigate down the tree to [Device Manager]

Look right and click on the [Sound, video and game controllers] node and look for something that says VC500 or looks like it might represent your capture device.. if you see nothing. Then the device driver your trying to install is not the correct one for your "version" of the VC500. There have been about eight versions of the VC500 for Windows and they have separate models also called VC500 (for Mac Only). It is very easy to get these all mixed up and not have the right device driver for the specific version you have. They are not labeled any differently on the outside.. they all say VC500 and they all come in the same plastic shell.

Assuming you can confirm the device drive is installed.

Then you can open VirtualDub.

The VirtualDub 1.9.11 is the "reference" version.

The 32 bit or the 64 bit version will work, but the 64 bit version will not work with 32 bit plugins, most of the plugins ever created for VirtualDub are 32 bit. Most people do not use the 64 bit version.

USB capture devices (only) work in [Preview] mode. VirtualDub will start up in [Overlay] mode.. you should not see any picture. It should be a totally black box, or no box at all.. either is fine.

So after starting VirtualDub first make sure you are in [Capture] mode, look to the top row, find [File] and click on that, look down, find [Capture AVI] and click on that.. a new window will open.. this is "Capture Mode".

Ignore what is in the big center, look up and click on [Device], find your VC500 device and click on that.

Ignore what is in the big center (even if a picture flickers and then goes black), look up, and click on [Video] it will have a check mark next to [Overlay], click next to the word [Preview]

The center will usually flicker and then a picture will appear. If it does not the crossbar for the VC500 is pointed at the Video input your not plugged into. Either switch the connection from S-Video to Composite or vice versa and a picture will appear.

Alternatively, look up and click on [Video] again, look for [Video source], [Crossbar],[Crossbar 2] .. one of those menus will let you pick the Video Input to point the crossbar at your connected video source.. you will have to sort that out yourself.. different hardware versions of the VC500 will make the correct choice all over the map.. it depends on when the VC500 was made and the device drivers that came with it that work with that model.

Capturing sound, is different from Capturing video

Capturing sound, is different from Playing back captured sound (at the same time as you are Capturing sound)

Sound is not played back when capturing (by default) you should hear [NO Sound]

Playing back sound while capturing video and sound over the USB cable is [BAD]. They will separate and not stay in sync. One will lag and one will lead and get further and further apart.

So Sound is [Silent] by default when you start VirtualDub.

To hear sound while capturing, look up and click on [Audio]

Click next to the words [Enable audio playback], then you should hear sound

If you mess around with the sound input at the bottom and do not leave it on [0 Capture device] you will get [No Sound]

VirtualDub is smart and will default to the same sound input as the video capture device. The other choices are there for completeness, but generally never work.

These are the basics.. and there is a lot more to cover.

But I think your frustrated and these are the fastest path to what you asked to do.

Its not as simple as what has been outlined, there are many other steps to take to get to your ultimate goal.

Video capture is very time sensitive.

Large resolution desktops delay the time spent executing the video capture.

Change the display resolution of your desktop to 1280x1024 if you have a high performance video card, or 800x600 if your capturing using a laptop.

Running at full screen resolution or wide screen while capturing is not an option.

It makes a very big difference between dropping frames or not, keeping audio and video in sync.. and whether a picture appears or remains solid black in the capture window.

Also, reduce the color depth of your display from the new default of 32 bit to 16 bit if you have further trouble, many plugins do not work in 32 bit color.

VirtualDub will get a speed boost by running it in 16 bit color depth.

The audio and video captured while in lower desktop resolutions and lower color depths will still be at the maximum picture quality of the VC500 when played back.

You just cannot run your PC in maximum "gamer mode" while capturing sound and video.

Its not a matter of cpu, memory, hard disk speed or video card speed.

Its a fundamental physics problem with the bus timings of the PC.. to "be" a PC some things cannot be changed, no matter how much money is thrown at the problem.

Last edited by jwillis84; 01-21-2020 at 01:38 PM.
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  #3  
01-21-2020, 10:51 PM
wyattladd wyattladd is offline
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Additional observations:

I just opened up VDub again. I am able to see video using Microsoft WDM option, no audio. But it looks very finely pixelated. This same thing happened morning when I tried so I went through and reset all the settings from the VDub Settings Guide and that's when video disappeared.

(Does VDub not save the previous settings from a past session?)

Device Drivers:
I had an exclamation point on a device when I started installing software/files last week, but ended up getting rid of it somehow. Attaching a picture of the device manager. Under Sound, I think the VC500 is both USB 2.0 Audio and USB 2.0 video.
I also had to do something under the USB section, but I can't remember what it was.

I also will add that I purchased the VC500 off of eBay and the copyright on the box says 2011. So not sure if there are more "current" versions of drivers than on the CD I have? Would contacting Diamond help?

Actually, I think I may be finding out that the VC500 I purchased might not work with Windows 10 due to its age based on a FAQ that is posted on Diamond Multimedia site. I'll contact them to find out for sure.

VDub Version:
Is there a way to tell which version of VDub I'm using? Seems like I might have originally tried 64-bit and then read some threads and then tried 32-bit. But I can't find how to know which I'm using. I made a shortcut on the desktop and it points to this file location to start VDub. Is this right?:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\VirtualDub 1.9.11 + Filters\VirtualDub.exe"

Audio:
Reading the response better. I didn't know it's normal to not hear the sound and I shouldn't try to hear it at the same time while capturing. Thank you.

Display:
Not for sure I understand about the display. Mine is currently set on 1600 x 900. Attaching a pic of my video card info.

VDub Capture:
I tried to go through your steps. Sometimes an option is greyed out and I can't select it.

Display:
I didn't understand about the color depth of the display. I found something in the Display settings that says: Bit depth: 8-bit. Is that what you're referencing?

Thank you for your help. I just wish all this were more intuitive.


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  #4  
01-22-2020, 06:35 AM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Additional observations:

(Does VDub not save the previous settings from a past session?)
It does have the option to save settings, but its a little hard to make it remember them.

1. With VirtualDub open, and Capture AVI open
2. After making the changes to the current settings you want.
3. look up and click on [Device]
4. click on [Device settings]
5. The (pop up) box will have a check box labelled [Save current display mode as default]

"here is the tricky part"

6. click on the check box next to [Save current display mode as default], so its checked
7. click on [OK] to close the box

"that Saved the settings"

the next time VirtualDub is opened it will open with your settings that were saved

if you open that box again, it will not reflect that you checked it before, it will be empty again, it will be unchecked and waiting for you to "trigger" it again

(it is VERY not intuitive, but this is the behavior)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Device Drivers:
I had an exclamation point on a device when I started installing software/files last week, but ended up getting rid of it somehow. Attaching a picture of the device manager. Under Sound, I think the VC500 is both USB 2.0 Audio and USB 2.0 video.
Probably, you usually only have one USB video capture device connected at a time. Windows has trouble distinguishing between multiples.. its not designed to support multiples at the same time.. especially Win10.. its a step backwards in capabilities from older version of Windows.. makes things easier for Microsoft to develop. Worse for end users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
I also will add that I purchased the VC500 off of eBay and the copyright on the box says 2011. So not sure if there are more "current" versions of drivers than on the CD I have? Would contacting Diamond help?
There are no more current "for your device" they release new ones for each year and thats it, they never update them "per hardware" version.. its done, shipped and that's that. Contacting Diamond is probably a waste of time.. you can try, but most people get angry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Actually, I think I may be finding out that the VC500 I purchased might not work with Windows 10 due to its age based on a FAQ that is posted on Diamond Multimedia site. I'll contact them to find out for sure.
There are about a dozen USB video capture devices that "can" work with Win10.. but fundamentally its Win10 that they are fighting. The devices work as designed, but Win10 keeps updating and tightening security, and de-supporting hardware. They believe older hardware is a security risk, so they block its device drivers after a short period of time.. a year or two. This is by design.. your paying for Microsoft to block old hardware.. don't you feel protected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
VDub Version:
Is there a way to tell which version of VDub I'm using? Seems like I might have originally tried 64-bit and then read some threads and then tried 32-bit. But I can't find how to know which I'm using. I made a shortcut on the desktop and it points to this file location to start VDub. Is this right?:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\VirtualDub 1.9.11 + Filters\VirtualDub.exe"
If the program doesn't have "64" after the name its probably 32 bit. Some programs default to 64 bit but not VirtualDub.. its a member of the 32 bit club and only got recompiled for 64 bit on demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Display:
Not for sure I understand about the display. Mine is currently set on 1600 x 900. Attaching a pic of my video card info.
1600 x 900 will almost certainly give you capture problems, but some people learn better by trying it for themselves. Also in some cases stepping the resolution down skews the display so much they have to abandon that PC and use a different one. The problem is updating that many pixels while trying to capture all the data coming out of the USB port at the same time is simply not possible, it starts skipping and dropping data. You can't change the speed of the USB 2.0 port, its a standard, you can change the display resolution, its the only knob you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Display:
VDub Capture:
I tried to go through your steps. Sometimes an option is greyed out and I can't select it.
Completely normal, VirtualDub was written to support an infinity of different capture devices, not all options apply in every case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Display:
Display:
I didn't understand about the color depth of the display. I found something in the Display settings that says: Bit depth: 8-bit. Is that what you're referencing?
When you open the resolution changer, look for [Advanced] that should open the (real) non-Win10 display manager.. unless Win10 jumps in with the "cell phone" looking [Control Settings] manager thing.. which is basically kindergarten controls for finger painting.. win10 has a lot of useless stuff in it.

If you get the (real) Intel display manager, List modes or the Monitor colors will show the color depth.. it defaults to 32 bit these days.. but back in the day 16 bit was far more common. Things can look bad on screen when you switch to 16 bit but it dramatically speeds up your display and makes programs like VirtualDub run much smoother.

Its not super important you step the depth down to 16, but its a major difference. After capture you can easily step it back up for playback.

The goal is always to give your USB capture device a chance at maximum focus on capturing sound and video while its capturing.. and all other creature comforts are secondary.. while capturing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Thank you for your help. I just wish all this were more intuitive.
More intuitive.. costs.. picture quality.

Both Windows and Mac adopted a video capture standard called DV (digital video) and that was super easy to use, Windows Movie Maker and Mac Quicktime (or iMovie) supported it natively.. its silky smooth, but those capture devices are very expensive and no longer made. Even their resale value is very high, usually more than their original cost on eBay.

DV uses a slightly compressed, highly reduced color space for capture.. so its not a free lunch.

VirtualDub does not work with DV (easily.. it can, but its difficult).. but you don't need it.. so much free software works with DV. But its not an easy option to use DV these days.. its mostly a fragment of history.

For example to use DV you need a firewire port on your PC.. and that's very rare these days.

USB came along after, and its harder to use.

Tiny keyfob dongles.. were designed to capture higher quality video, terrible sound quality and shove it over a slower USB 2.0 port. They work.. but you have to make sure the device drivers are flawless, the system is dumbed down so its dedicated to video capture only for the entire session.. and sound and video tends to separate and drift out of sync.. so you need to sync them back up later. It also produces a HUGE video file you will have to compress down afterwards.. for long term storage.

DV files were big, but not as big as USB 2.0 files.

There are alternative/better USB 2.0 capture devices than the VC500 for more or less money, but navigating them takes experience.. and they will always be more complicated than DV.

There is no "royal way" to geometry.. and there is no "royal way" to video capture.

Doing it this way is simply "hard".

My Dad for example had a DVD recorder, and played his VHS tapes into that, burning DVDs as he went. When the tape was done, the DVD was finalized and he was done with that tape.

They don't make DVD recorders anymore.

But they do sell DVD recorders on eBay, but their DVD burners do not always work anymore.

A couple years ago I learned they also made DVD recorders with hard drives, for storing the captured video to the hard drive, before choosing to burn it to DVDs.

I figured out how to read those hard drives and told a guy who wrote a program for data recovery, called Isobuster.

That now works very well, if you have a DVD recorder with a hard drive.. (And) its one of the recorders we figured out how to extract the video from.

That process is fairly easy.. and produces great looking, small video files.. but its not something that everyone is interested in doing.. its a little bit of work, and over kill for some people.

In my opinion though its easier than DV or USB 2.0 device and dongles and cards.

Last edited by jwillis84; 01-22-2020 at 07:01 AM.
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  #5  
01-22-2020, 07:58 AM
wyattladd wyattladd is offline
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I'll look more in detail at your response later.

But I want to jump to the end about the DVD/HDD recorder. I asked a question about it in this thread and someone told me it wasn't a good way to do captures. At least that's what I understood them to say. So I just threw a Magnavox MDR515 HDD/DVD recorder onto eBay because I thought the Diamond VC500 would be easier to control. And now I've got someone asking questions about it and may be interested in purchasing it.

Here's my original thread: Will my equipment work to get from Hi8 to Digital?

So, before I sell this thing on eBay, is there a good way to do a capture with it? And there's probably not a way to use anything like a histogram during capture if using this machine, right? If the HDD is the easier way to go, I just might reconsider and take my post off of eBay.

Thoughts?


Yikes! I just looked up Isobuster! You have to take the recorder apart to get to the hard drive? That seems extremely complicated. Isn't there any way to hook up the recorder to the computer?

Last edited by wyattladd; 01-22-2020 at 08:46 AM. Reason: asking another question
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  #6  
01-22-2020, 08:26 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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DVD recorder quality is heavily dependent on source. Some are great with flawless sources like satellite/cable TV or DV cameras, while horrible with VHS. Others are known for amazing VHS conversions, but the same models are slightly outperformed by the non-VHS models for the better DV/TV sources.

From Hi8, I'd hesitate to suggest just any DVD recorder. The noise profile of Hi8 will trick most DVD recorder encoders into creating more noise. And some will further drift the IRE and contrast levels, from any already off consumer camcorder source. The archival way is capture. But if you're fine with the visual loss, just want a "watching copy", then it will do just that.

I don't like VC500 cards, never endorse those. Some sub-models/versions of the cards appear to be fine, while others are headaches (AGC, install, dark color values, etc). If I had the time and funds to buy dozens on VC500, dissect them all, I could probably pinpoint it to specific chips -- assuming the company didn't obfuscate/sand the chips.

You need to do some recording testing before selling off anything on eBay. Don't make costly mistakes.

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  #7  
01-22-2020, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
I'll look more in detail at your response later.

But I want to jump to the end about the DVD/HDD recorder. I asked a question about it in this thread and someone told me it wasn't a good way to do captures. At least that's what I understood them to say. So I just threw a Magnavox MDR515 HDD/DVD recorder onto eBay because I thought the Diamond VC500 would be easier to control. And now I've got someone asking questions about it and may be interested in purchasing it.

Here's my original thread: Will my equipment work to get from Hi8 to Digital?

So, before I sell this thing on eBay, is there a good way to do a capture with it? And there's probably not a way to use anything like a histogram during capture if using this machine, right? If the HDD is the easier way to go, I just might reconsider and take my post off of eBay.

Thoughts?

Yikes! I just looked up Isobuster! You have to take the recorder apart to get to the hard drive? That seems extremely complicated. Isn't there any way to hook up the recorder to the computer?
Yes. it is complicated.

No. there is not a straight forward way of connecting a DVR to a PC for capture directly. It has to be taken apart.. to get at the hard drive.

If you go down the road of using a DVR recorder for capture, you do have to take the recorder apart to hookup the hard drive to a PC and copy off the recordings to the PC.

Like I said.. some people don't want to go that route.

I do agree completely its not the right path for everyone. And I (super agree) the only way to know for sure if that is the right path for you is to try it.

The Magnavox 515 is a model (I personally) would try.. because that is a very pricey model to get back.. they sell rather quickly for a lot of money. Do your research and look at old sales.

I will not try to "sell" anyone on the idea DVR recorder capture is the perfect solution for everything.. but that was one of their original design criteria.. convert VHS tape to DVD media.. (skipping) the burn a DVD disc makes it even easier.

Ugh..

I am loathe to bring this up.. but a few points in their favor.

1. you don't have to take them apart in the beginning.. you can get hundreds of hours of recording on hard disk before you have to take them apart to do a (dump) of all the recordings to a PC

2. they are standalone, they do not monopolize your PC while the capture is being made

3. you can see what is being captured at the same time it is being captured, and stop or correct problems so you waste very little time

4. all of the signal correction equipment, like a TBC or Proc-amp for correcting color problems can be placed between the outputs of a VCR and the inputs to a DVR recorder

(Like LordSmurf said..) if you already have the gear.. its best to perform a test "before" putting the gear (515) up for sale on eBay. You may never be able to get a chance at doing that again.

I completely agree the VC500 is not the easiest or best to use.. there are simpler and harder to use capture dongles available from other manufactuers.. but almost none new.. and almost certainly none less expensive.

The least expensive option you have is the 515, give it a try and see what you think. Connect the VCR to the DVR and record some footage.

If nothing else play the recording back on your TV or video display device.. pulling the video off the hard drive and onto a PC will be at least as good if not better since it will be no worse than what you get in playback.. there is no generation loss once it is digital copying it from one place to another.

Your in a unique position to try "this"

Not everyone already has a DVR recorder that costs them nothing to try and capture video with.

Make the most of your opportunity.

(Also) why you should not do this

1. playback of test capture recording doesn't look good to you, or you want to pursue other options

2. you prefer the results using the VC500

3. you have some reason that absolutely demands the best possible image capture bar none.. and if this is the case .. the VC500 is probably the wrong approach to begin with.. and you should seek to outsource the project

it you still want to sell the 515 (after) your done.. you can still do that and recoup costs.. which if you already have one.. are zero.. so there is no downside to trying.

i tend to think after your current experience with the VC500.. you might like the 515 results.. but I could be wrong.. its usually less frustrating.. you connect everyting up, press play on the VCR and press record on the DVR.. and that's it.. until you need to get the recordings to your PC

Last edited by jwillis84; 01-22-2020 at 03:04 PM.
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  #8  
01-22-2020, 03:51 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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I don't know if this is your issue, but I've had some issues with virtualdub on windows on some computers, something, possibly graphics drivers, break the video overlay. (Also breaks the bundled arcsoft software). You may be able to make it work by by switching to "preview" or "display with filters" in virtualdub, and setting "save display mode as default" in the menus. (Don't remember the exact naming)

Alternatively, you can give AmarecTV a try, it's a bit more clunky than virtualdub but doesn't suffer from the same problem.
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