Quantcast VC500 capture problems in Windows? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
06-24-2020, 05:01 AM
Nunkin Nunkin is offline
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I am working on Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. I have received the Diamond VC500, installed the drivers, Powerlink, EZCapture, and have VirtualDub 1.10.4 32bit installed. However I am having some problems capturing.

In all 3 software packages, the recording at best comes out as black and white, sometimes with a tinge of green and purple, but at worst has other problems such as skipping (only EZCapture), noise on the audio (VirtualDub and Powerlink), or only getting audio and the image just being a frozen black screen (all 3). I have tested another video capture device prior to this (https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0049B..._ckY8Eb9P65RMM) which gave colour, and sound quality was fine.

In all 3 software packages however, if I stop the video, I get the blue VCR screen and I can toggle into the menu with full colour functionality.

Has anyone had such issues or have thoughts on how I might solve this?

In VirtualDub I get a large green bar at the bottom of the preview pane, but I think that's due to my capture settings / resolution which I haven't bothered to fix as it's the least of my problems at the moment!
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  #2  
06-24-2020, 08:16 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Never use Powerlink or EZCapture.

I think your problem is with the workflow, not at the capture card. You're just seeing the problems there. From your other posts, it seems your PAL, and when you refer to B&W and green/pink-purple, that often goes back to connections like SCART.

False/legit anti-copy is another.

So what exactly is the source, what is the other equipment besides the VC500? That matters most.

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  #3  
06-24-2020, 08:34 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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I've had similar issues, sometimes a bit clunky to get it to change to the correct TV system (hence the green bar in virtualdub). Sometimes you have to use the bundled EzGrabber app to change the TV system to the right one before it works or reboot. Once things are working it's usually fine though.
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  #4  
07-07-2020, 03:50 PM
Nunkin Nunkin is offline
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Thank you both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I think your problem is with the workflow, not at the capture card. You're just seeing the problems there. From your other posts, it seems your PAL, and when you refer to B&W and green/pink-purple, that often goes back to connections like SCART.

False/legit anti-copy is another.

So what exactly is the source, what is the other equipment besides the VC500? That matters most.
Source:
So my situation is kind of complicated. I am indeed in the UK, however I used to live in the US and as such I only have NTSC recorded / bought VHS tapes and beta-tapes. The tapes have been well kept and from what I can see from the outputs

VCR:
About 10 years ago on advice of a friend, I bought a Samsung DVD V5600 for its region free + NTSC + PAL capabilities. I am using it directly with a VC500 (I know how disgusted you all are at this, no TBC, crappy VCR). At this point I just wanted to test the capture device out and see if I had a good quality capture device before figuring out the rest of the workflow.

Capture Device:
I tried this 'work-flow' off of a DVD in the same DVD/VCR, and it gave good quality sound and pretty good image quality (of course some loss due to resolution downscaling to 720p), so it seems the VC500 is good enough for me. Though I haven't tried it on a bright scene to test for AGC.

Could anyone confirm that testing through a DVD is a good or bad way to test the capture device? If not, why not? Aren't the RCA outputs all the same?

VirtualDub Settings:
I've used the settings recommended in sanlyn's guide.

Colour Issue:
I have tried both 1. directly plugging in the composite Red White Yellow cables into the VCR as well as 2. plugging them in through a SCART adapter, which have yielded the same results: Green/Purple. (S-Video isn't an option out of the VCR side of the machine.) However, sometimes after stopping and restarting the video or changing the video capture device in VirtualDub to Microsoft WDM then back to Conexant again, I could get a black and white image (see attachment "VirtualDub Capture in progress after switching input devices.jpg" vs "VirtualDub Capture in progress.jpg").

A couple of results are puzzling me though:
1. Previously I tried another video capture device with the same machine (Digital FAQ Discussion on it, Amazon Link) which DID give colour, although the image and contrast quality was blotchy / worse, while sound quality was good. I had to fiddle with the Colour settings on the VCR to NT4.33 vs NTPB to get there.
2. In Powerlink on the VC500, when I switched between NTSC_433 and NTSC_M in capture input settings, I would momentarily get a messed up image BUT with the colour looking right. So it seems like the colour is somewhere there in the signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunkin View Post
In all 3 software packages however, if I stop the video, I get the blue VCR screen and I can toggle into the menu with full colour functionality.
I discovered that the VCR's menu is in PAL format whereas my videos are NTSC - this is why I couldn't see the menu or vice versa, depending on my settings. When I turned the input to PAL, I could see the menu but not the video feed, and vice versa in POWERLINK ONLY. In VirtualDub, the image freezes on a messed up image of the bluescreen or the menu screen, depending on what I selected (see the two images attached called "VCR Menu.jpg" and "VirtualDub Video Stopped and VCR menu.jpg").

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Never use Powerlink or EZCapture.
Understood - VirtualDub is my go-to, I was just using the other software to make sure it's not a software issue, and I understand (and hodgey confirmed) that EZCapture is needed to set it up first - though I don't really understand how or why this is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
I've had similar issues, sometimes a bit clunky to get it to change to the correct TV system (hence the green bar in virtualdub). Sometimes you have to use the bundled EzGrabber app to change the TV system to the right one before it works or reboot. Once things are working it's usually fine though.
When you say 'change the TV system' what do you mean? NTSC_M vs PAL_B, etc? Can't I do that in VirtualDub directly? I seem to also be able to do that in Powerlink?

Future Workflow Thoughts:
1. VCR / Betamax NTSC player
- It's pretty hard to find the recommended VCRs and a good Betamax player like the SL-HF2100 which are still in working condition but I'm keeping an eye out. After import charges are talking about quite a lot of cash, so I'll probably have to wait for Christmas bonuses to pay for it.

2. TBCs
- Datavideo-1000 looks like the ideal but they seem pretty hard to come by, and I am not sure it's really worth it?
- I noticed this software TBC thread, and may try that before splashing out.
- Also took note of the domesday86 project and hodgey's work on it with great interest. With modern computing power I find it astounding that this process isn't simpler! Would love to hear more about it!

I know that good hardware is something you buy then can sell on, but it's still a lot of cash to splash out on, and being in the tiny UK market buying NTSC hardware seems pretty niche, especially with import taxes that are one-off and will be impossible to recover if I have to sell it back to the US market!



Thanks again in advance to everyone for helping me!!


Attached Images
File Type: jpg VirtualDub Capture in progress after switching input devices.jpg (70.7 KB, 4 downloads)
File Type: jpg VirtualDub Capture in progress.jpg (89.9 KB, 2 downloads)
File Type: png VirtualDub Video Stopped and VCR menu.PNG (111.0 KB, 3 downloads)
File Type: jpg VCR Menu.jpg (35.3 KB, 2 downloads)

Last edited by Nunkin; 07-07-2020 at 04:08 PM.
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  #5  
07-07-2020, 04:57 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunkin View Post
Thank you both.
Capture Device:

Could anyone confirm that testing through a DVD is a good or bad way to test the capture device? If not, why not? Aren't the RCA outputs all the same?
It's useful for gauging image quality, though if you're capturing directly from a VCR output, what you get will be affected by how well the capture card handles the unstable video signal too. While the image quality of the VC500 is good, it's not very good at handling unstable video, even when compared to other capture cards, and it does not have great Y/C separation with composite video either.

Quote:
When you say 'change the TV system' what do you mean? NTSC_M vs PAL_B, etc? Can't I do that in VirtualDub directly? I seem to also be able to do that in Powerlink?
You can, I just found that sometimes trying to change it in virtualdub didn't work, and I had to change it in ezgrabber first. As for color, PAL decks playing NTSC will output PAL60, sometimes with an option to use NTSC 4.43 (unless it's a proper multi-system deck.) I think the VC500 can accept either if it's set to the right TV standard.

I don't think the TBC-1000 supports PAL60 or NTSC-4.43, the AVT-8710 TBCs do support the latter (at least the borked black ones). To get the proper function out of those though you want to be using a proper NTSC deck with built-in TBC though (the built-in TBC does not work on NTSC playback in PAL SVHS decks outside of a handful of rare multi-system JVC ones).

My "budget" NTSC in PAL-land setup is to use PAL VCRs, passing the video through a newer pioneer or sony DVD/HDD recorder. The PAL ones can handle PAL60 and NTSC 4.43 input and output normal NTSC, and has some built in TBC-like functionality (not quite as good as the panasonic ones, but adequate for most tapes.). I've found it to give a pretty decent result for most tapes. The PAL Panasonic DVRs support NTSC too, but only standard NTSC, so one would need to use those with a NTSC or multi-system deck.
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  #6  
07-07-2020, 05:10 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Small quick suggestion

Try (not) capturing at 720x576 try anything else, 702x576 or 640x576

The 720 samples per line on some capture devices seems to "miss" the color burst and results in Monochrome or No Color capture.

I have seen this with a ton of different capture devices.

Capturing at slightly less than 720 is no big deal.. it just eliminates some of the black overscan anyway.
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  #7  
07-10-2020, 10:38 AM
Nunkin Nunkin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
Small quick suggestion

Try (not) capturing at 720x576 try anything else, 702x576 or 640x576

The 720 samples per line on some capture devices seems to "miss" the color burst and results in Monochrome or No Color capture.

I have seen this with a ton of different capture devices.

Capturing at slightly less than 720 is no big deal.. it just eliminates some of the black overscan anyway.
Thanks jwillis84!

Is this the menu where I make the adjustment? I keep getting this error - has anyone seen this error before?



Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
It's useful for gauging image quality, though if you're capturing directly from a VCR output, what you get will be affected by how well the capture card handles the unstable video signal too. While the image quality of the VC500 is good, it's not very good at handling unstable video, even when compared to other capture cards, and it does not have great Y/C separation with composite video either.
I guess this results in missing the colour burst per jwillis84's suggestion?

I changed settings around a bit and on PAL_M it seems to give a little colour for some odd reason, but still with the green/purple overlay on top of it. Took screenshot in VirtualVCR, but it worked in VirtualDub for a little bit before going back to B&W.



Attached Images
File Type: png Custom Format Menu.PNG (70.8 KB, 16 downloads)
File Type: png Some Colour on PAL_M.PNG (838.1 KB, 16 downloads)

Last edited by Nunkin; 07-10-2020 at 11:28 AM.
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  #8  
07-10-2020, 11:56 AM
Nunkin Nunkin is offline
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I've been able to recreate this in VirtualDub for a long consistent run using YUY2, PAL_M filter, and 720x480. At regular intervals the image flashes black and white before slowly fading back to this weird colour + green & red overlay mess on top scenario. Another two key settings seemed to be in the VCR itself - NICAM off and IPC off.

Does that help to diagnose the issue at all?
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  #9  
07-10-2020, 01:15 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I have no idea.

Potential:
- VCR issues with format
- no TBC
- capture card

Cheap equipment, missing suggest components = problems, almost always.

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  #10  
07-10-2020, 02:22 PM
Nunkin Nunkin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I have no idea.

Potential:
- VCR issues with format
- no TBC
- capture card

Cheap equipment, missing suggest components = problems, almost always.
Yup I'm kind of coming around to this conclusion... slowly.
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