Forum Forum (
-   Capture, Record, Transfer (
-   -   AIW AGP WinXP vs. ATI 600 or VC500 OS X differences? (

thefrog1394 01-12-2021 01:18 PM

AIW AGP WinXP vs. ATI 600 or VC500 OS X differences?
I know the common wisdom on here is that Windows XP > OS X and that an AGP AIW card is better than the USB dongles. But, what am I looking at in terms of actual differences?

In either case, I will be using a JVC S7600U with TBC. I'll pair this with either a Panasonic DMR-ES10 or a Datavideo TBC-1000 ($$$).

Mac would be a 2010 iMac with 10.14 installed. I have a 256GB SSD installed which will be nice for capture. The Diamond VC500 is appealing due to being able to buy it on Prime for $33.
- Is VC5000 worse than the ATI 600 USB (which seems hard to find with the s-video dongle)? If so, in what way?
- I am assuming VC500 will work with Videoglide. Is this an accurate assumption?

Alternatively, I'd use an AIW in an old AGP desktop and Windows XP
- I understand this is the recommended setup here. What am I actually gaining over the USB? I.e. less dropped frames? Better color?


Ended up here b/c I was trying to capture from my JVC VHS deck through firewire (Sony Digital8 cam with AV->DV) and was ending up with a frame-dropped mess. I'm not sure if it's a broken firewire port on the camcorder or what, but once I started looking into it, I started getting a bit hesitant to push my tapes through the DV conversion step.

The tapes are family videos and consist of
- VHS copies from a Hi8 camcorder from the early 90s
- A few original Hi8 tapes
- VHS-C tapes from the mid-90s through early 00s


hodgey 01-12-2021 03:47 PM

I don't think the standard VC500 will work with videoglide. There are separate VC500 MAC dongles that use a different (empia) chipset that are designed around working on macos. There are at least 2 variants of them, older ones with a SAA7113 video decoder which are okay-ish, and newer ones with all-in-one empia chips which don't give as good quality. The newer version was also limited to 640x480 in videoglide when I tested, while the older one could capture the full 720x576i for PAL and presumably 720x480 for NTSC. So that is something to be vary about with this software. Both of those were some years old though, so I don't know if the current one works better, but I wouldn't gamble on it. The ATi 600 USB may also work with videoglide since it's based around an empia USB chipset, but it's not something I've personally tested.

The normal VC500 has been reported to be doing some undesirable automatic gain adjustment which is the main drawback of those. Otherwise the amount of difference between that and the ATI ones may not be that massive when coming from a stable source like a TBC, there have been some varying opinions on that here though.

thefrog1394 01-12-2021 04:13 PM

Ah, so this (also $33 prime) is likely what I'd want for Mac. Interesting that they have a 64-bit driver that allows for quicktime capture. If this has the same Empia chipset as the ATI 600 it should be similar quality, no?

And Empia vs AIW AGP. What kind of differences are we talking about?


EDIT: Oh wait, there's two versions of the empia usb capture devices. So presumably that new one wouldn't be as good. So assuming I find an old ATI USB 600 (i.e. this), how would that compare vs AIW AGP?

hodgey 01-12-2021 04:39 PM

There are a number of different designes that use empia usb chips, the ATi USB is different from both the VC500MAC models I mentioned, it uses a video chip from texas instruments, the empia chip only deals with communicating with the video chip and the USB interface. The internal AIW cards are completely different again.

I think there are some comparisons floating around on the forums somewhere.

jwillis84 01-12-2021 07:11 PM

Another option for 4:2:2 with current drivers for Windows and MacOS is the Honestech Vidboxes.

They do their own drivers and capture application software out of Austin, Texas.

I've been playing around with some of their boxes from the NW03, NW06 an NW07 which appear to be a step by step upgrade from one Empia chip generation to the next.

Its still early days.. I haven't taken apart very many of them.. but their device drivers actually enumerate the audio portion of the device in the standard Windows Recording devices.. which many of the older or lesser quality Empia capture devices do not do.

These are simple boxes, they do not have time base correctors like the NEC chips in the Dell boxes.. and they do not capture to DV25, they capture to raw interleaved 4:2:2 .AVI files.

So if your capturing from a VCR.. you will need a TBC and probably a Frame synchronizer to avoid field and frame dropping and lip sync loss. Cleaning up the signal first is entirely up to you... its due diligence.

The 640x480 capture frame is a standard, 720x480 is over sampling outside the overscan region its not doing you any favors.. in fact I often have to shift or step down to 640x480 to avoid catching some of the backdoor of the sync region.. that causes the video frame to go monochrome because it misses the color burst. But some like to catch all they can. 720x480 is not going to Up sample the resolution.. it is what it is.

lordsmurf 01-12-2021 07:58 PM

AIW uses Theatre chip, far superior to anything else USB. The values are almost always spot-on, no over/under exposure issues. It allows capture of illegal super-black/white values (for restoration, CC). No weird glitches like you get with cheap USB cards.

ATI 600 uses TI chip for video, overall excellent at luma/chroma values, capture legal range.

VC500 has AGC issues in Windows, and Mac version is nothing special.

The best hardware and software for capture is in Windows. Mac is fine for many things, just not video capture, wrong tool for the task. Don't bang nails with screwdrivers, whack screws with a hammer. It may "work", but it's ugly.

720x480 = 704x480 NTSC + 16 pixel pillars ... usually. Not always.

Remember to always check the marketplace subforum, when shopping for capture cards. Don't just run to eBay/wherever, and buy unvetted gear.

jwillis84 01-13-2021 08:09 PM

I must say I'm all kinds of Impressed by the USB 2.0 VidBox hardware from Honestech on a Mac.

I tested one of their NW07 boxes with the provided software CD disc on a Mac Mini OSX 10.6.8

They separated the Device Driver (called a 'Digitizer' in the vernacular of OSX back then) from the Capture Application software which they wrote.

A reminder the hardware is made in china, but under direction and specs of Austin, Texas.. and they write their software in the States.

Hauppauge (China/NJ) and AverMedia (Taiwan) were my previous obsessions since they tended to write better device drivers for Windows or OSX.

But Honestech apparently is still in business and still delivering 4:2:2 USB capture boxes. They kind of threw me off for a long time because they looked cheap and dull.. they standardized on the same white box with a solid base form factor and just kept updating the circuit board inside, from one Empia chipset to the next.

But what really makes them interesting is their device drivers do not favor strictly their capture software. They've done a good job of writing them to the strict specs of the operating system they were meant to run on.

In the case of the OSX 10.6.8 device driver.. it smoothly installed itself without me clumsily dragging stuff around and requested Admin permissions. Then instead of installing their custom Capture application.. I fired up my own copy of VideoGlide.. prior to the device driver install.. VideoGlide said "No digitizer" which it should.. after.. it had no problems and present a dialog list with the Vidbox NW07.

But unbelievably!

Going into Settings / Sound and looking for both a separate Input and Output source.. the NW07 was listed.. and fully operational.

A lot of device drivers are half-way barely working flaky things which twist you in all sorts of uncomfortable ways.

This worked exactly like it was supposed to.. I was amazed.

It also didn't default to 4:1:1 or 4:2:0 but to 4:2:2 (by default!)

I had a similar experience with VidBox NW03 and NW05 on XP, Win7, Win8, Win8.1 and Win10

The proc amp settings are very decent as well.

I've got all the capture gear I need.. and I've looked a lot of legacy gear over.. after a while you just want something that works that you don't have to fight with.. for 4:2:2 RAW YUV capture these VideBoxs are pretty impressive.. and I tend to favor PCIe or PCI cards (AGP is a type of PCI card.. and I have a lot of those too).

They seem to have learned to buffer the device driver streams as they enter the driver instead of minimally shunting the data straight to the Capture App which rarely has the buffers to sustain if something goes wrong like frame drop.

I'm not saying they won't frame drop.. or de-sync the lip sync.. that's a fundamental nuisance of capturing without a Time Base or Frame Synchronizer.. but if the signal is good.. and the Capture is less than a couple hours.. these look real nice.


I have not tested with all the Vintages of MacOS up thru Catalina and such.. so there could be other issues.

But for now.. these guys really seem to make a nice box.. if comical looking.

And comparing them to Elgato or the former Pinnacle Video Capture for Mac devices.. these are genuine 4:2:2 .. not GO 007 SB hardware compression devices.

Its funny to have to say that.. but it makes a world of difference.

The Grass Valley and Elgato capture devices grab a majority of attention on the Mac platform from 2010 to 2020.

I do have a rare Black Magic USB 2.0 capture stick as well.. and that is poorly supported on multiple OS X versions and no longer made.. its not as good as the Videboxs in my current opinion.

There are a ton of USB 4:2:0 hardware capture for PC and Mac, and IEEE1394 4:1:1 hardware capture for PC and Mac .. but those both sacrifice Color or Chroma resolution to make smaller files.. spectacular.. if that is what you want to do.

For USB 4:2:2 until now.. the choices have been.. challenging. I'm kind of excited.

Honestech is here in Texas, just 60 minutes away from me .. kind of near the new Tesla Gigafactory. I'm wondering if I could pay them a visit to find out more about their company.

I didn't mention the VC500 capture devices.. made by the Empia company itself apparently.. their device drivers.. ugh! are so specific and annoying. I wish they made a premium model with support.

And I didn't mention the Grabster lines out of Germany.. those are well engineered.. but the software favors PAL and Euro standards just enough to effect the defaults when firing up the Capture applications.. so that's annoying.

So yeah.. the Vidboxs seem North America centric.. and might not appeal to everyone.

bookemdano 01-14-2021 12:34 AM

Loving all of your Mac content jwillis84! I'm following in your footsteps as I've already picked up an Io LA, an Io HD and now an NW07 to play around with. Fortunately, I have several old Macs and installers going back to 10.5 at my disposal.

Bummer that VideoGlide didn't get updated for use post-Mojave. Although I guess that's due to it being dependent upon Quicktime 7 which Apple left in the dust with 10.15. Oh well, Mojave is still supported and very usable (for the time being anyway).

Did you find any qualitative differences between the NW03, NW06 and NW07 (beside the fact that apparently only the NW07 has macOS drivers)? I know they use different Empia chip generations, but not sure if newer is necessarily better/worse or if you found the quality and features were all comparable.

Thanks for doing all this legwork and posting about these old, but still very usable tools for SD capture on the Mac. Very helpful!

jwillis84 01-14-2021 08:15 PM

I haven't had my collection of NW03, (correction NW06) and NW07 for very long.

It was only out of boredom I picked one up and saw how good it was... and then tried getting hold of all the others. I am totally guessing each increment of the numeral is a generation of Empia chip.. but 2003 was about the time frame in which these first started coming out.. 2006 would make sense.. and 2007 would make sense to coincide with OS X 10.6.8

The NW07 even works out of the box with Quicktime 7 Pro on 10.6.8 so you don't need a Capture App.. it records straight to yuvs 4:2:2 .mov files

imovie doesn't recognize it.. but that expects a webcam anyway.

Recording with Quicktime is more than acceptable.

They still make Vidboxs even current year, ten years later.. so I'm curious about those too.. but mostly I'm curious about their device driver staff and quality assurance testing over in Austin.

Its very easy to outsource that back to Asia and start getting very poor quality drivers.

Hauppauge and Aver have struggled with this for a long time. They both release updates.. Aver more than Hauppauge.. but the Vidboxs seem to have (at least back then) had the absolutely best drivers I've ever seen.


To clarify.. once Quicktime has performed the Capture, iMovie has no problems importing the .MOV file that was captured. It indexes, thumbnails and permits scrumming back and forth through the file like a champ.

The 4:2:2 file is Huge.. GB in size.. but iMovie doesn't even blink.

I just LOVE not having to put up with flakey unstable stuff .. it just works.. it doens't crash or hang or drop frames (at least with my signal) and the colors look spot on. Everything works like it is suppose to work.. On a MAC !!

bookemdano 01-15-2021 09:49 AM

Awesome! Looking forward to receiving my NW07 and will test it on Mojave and Catalina. I also have a 2007 Mac mini running Snow Leopard (currently testing the AJA Io devices) I can test it on.

Have you tried capturing with VLC?

jwillis84 01-16-2021 03:11 AM

Tested NW07 on OS X 10.7.5 "Lion"

Results: (Excellent, but with initial problems)

I got a reported "flickering" that other people reported with this hardware on 10.7.5 initially.

I think it is because I initially chose not to install the Vidbox capture application.

At first I only installed the Vidbox driver and tried using EchoFX VideoGlide, and the video "flickered".

I tried switching from USB port to USB port and hunting for something in the OS settings to help and found nothing.

Then I installed the Vidbox Capture Application, and that flickered too.. but it has a large number of options declared by profile where you select a project type on startup. Being a control freak.. I bailed on that and went back to VideoGlide.

Within VideoGlide are explicit controls over USB port utilization from 1 to 100 percent, it was set at 90 percent by default. And the capture frame rate was set at "autodetect".. I explicitly set that to 29.97

And the "flickering" went completely away.. zero.. zilch.. no more flickering.

If I had to guess it was either I choose the wrong VidBox capture profile, or the conservative USB settings in VideoGlide, or the autodect of the frame rate were causing the problem. Whatever it was.. I've captured two hour long programs and the video "never" flickers.. its rock solid and silky smooth.

Lip sync issues are more a quality problem with the signal your capturing from.. I was capturing from a Tivo playback signal and lip sync after 1 hour recordings were "perfect" no de-sync I could detect.

The other "minor" issue.. which might depend on the playback program settings, is the Contrast seems a bit "low" with default settings. Raising it the tiniest bit makes it look really really good. I'm not talking a large change.. a very very minor tweak and it looks perfect.

The color saturation and hue appear spot on. I did not put a vector scope on it.. but it looks good.

Another foobar.. on my part.. was in Videoglide.. when making the capture.. it defaulted to the notebook microphone and not the NW07 audio device driver. Second time around I selected this before starting the capture and it worked perfectly. Audio was at 44.1 Khz Stereo Little Endian.

VideoGlide is a very tunable swiss army knife.. it truly is the equivalent if not more than VirtualDub for Mac OS X. I hope they continue to sell it online for years to come. But the website seemed somewhat sad with the changes making it inoperable on newer versions of OS X last year. If you haven't bought a copy yet.. you might consider getting one very soon before you can't buy it anymore.

jwillis84 01-16-2021 05:24 AM

Tested NW07 on OS X 10.14.6 "Mojave"

It worked by default with VideoGlide and the Vidbox device driver.

The settings were USB at 100 percent already, but I set the frame rate to 29.97 just to be sure and made sure auto detect was not turned on.

Rock solid capture, audio and video.

There were no problems.

Mojave was a turning point in the OS X line, its second to the last Intel OS X, and the last version before 32 bit apps and Quicktime were discontinued. Updates are still coming for it but its nearing end of life according to Apple.

I'm still sorting out the difference between NW03, NW06, NW07 and the later versions.. so I can't explicitly recommend one Vidbox model over another, except to say not all models are Mac compatible. It appears the NW07 was the "first" model explicitly supported by the Vidbox device driver for Mac. That is very important.

Its also notable the Vidbox support for Mac started in 2013, and continued at least until 2016 and very possibly 2018.

So while I do not have the 2016 or 2018 models to test with (they are not NW07) I can't say they are as good or worse.

I'm just happy this one model works from 10.6.8 thru 10.14.6 (that) is a very long line of OS X versions.

And unlike the Pinnacle Dazzle or some other brands.. VideoGlide does support it thru all those versions.

The Vidbox Application like VideoGlide is license key activated, and its what comes with the device.. but I don't know it as well as VideoGlide.

It doesn't appear you can tweak as much in the Vidbox application as in the VideoGlide application. I could be wrong about that.. it could just be my ignorance since I'm not as familiar with it.

hodgey 01-16-2021 06:21 AM

Is there any quality difference between the ones you have? the NW03 seems to have a SAA7113H + bridge like the older VC500MAC, while the NW07 has an all-in-one empia chip, don't know about the other ones. My subjective impression of the all-in-one empia ones I've tried was that the raw video quality was not quite as good as the one with a SAA7113H or the standard VC500 (though they were a bit better at raw vcr signals than the conexant-based cards).

Terratec made at least one of their grabster units with a TVP5150 so if that would work with videoglide that would be even better.


Originally Posted by jwillis84 (Post 74285)
The 640x480 capture frame is a standard, 720x480 is over sampling outside the overscan region its not doing you any favors.. .

Yeah it's fine on NTSC. What I meant was that it was restricted to that on PAL which is not ideal, since PAL has 576 visible lines, it presumably involves vertical scaling. Maybe the honestech devices don't suffer from that, as you say they seem to have put a lot more effort into drivers.

Now I wish there was just something similar to virtualdub and videoglide for capture that ran on linux since you can mess with chip registers all you want there, using command line ffmpeg is overly clunky.

jwillis84 01-16-2021 11:16 AM

I have not compared all of the USB capture devices for impressions or quality.

My un-scientific impression is the NW07 is Very Very good.. after being exposed to all of them.

Driver complexity is directly proportional to the complexity of the network of chips on the other side of the bridge.

A single chip probably leads to a simpler and more stable driver.

The enemy of the "good" is the "perfect".

I place "its not Flakey" as a feature far above many other aspects.

bookemdano 01-16-2021 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by jwillis84 (Post 74395)
VideoGlide is a very tunable swiss army knife.. it truly is the equivalent if not more than VirtualDub for Mac OS X. I hope they continue to sell it online for years to come. But the website seemed somewhat sad with the changes making it inoperable on newer versions of OS X last year. If you haven't bought a copy yet.. you might consider getting one very soon before you can't buy it anymore.

Not a good sign, the SSL cert on their website expired 10 days ago. Granted, it happens, but SSL browser warnings aren't what you want on any e-commerce site. Hope they fix their cert (little excuse since they're free now via Letsencrypt in conjunction with an hour of configuration for the 90-day renewals).

I do think Mojave is going to be the next Snow Leopard, or even akin to Windows 7 in that it works very well for the most part and maintains compatibility with older HW and SW that are still very much in use. So EchoFX should keep their shingle out there and continue to sell VideoGlide for folks who want a good capture app and have or are willing to buy a used older Mac to do it.

jwillis84 01-16-2021 12:27 PM


Not a good sign, but they are being very transparent about it.

The purchase page is all but explicit that sales terms are the buyer "knows" Apple discontinued Quicktime and basically all Video Capture support that was not UVC "after" Mojave 10.14

jwillis84 01-17-2021 06:38 PM


I contacted EchoFX Support, and they responded.

I've asked them to visit the Digital FAQ and the Capture thread to see what interest there may still be for VideoGlide.

The initial News is not good, but could be completely expected.

They are planning to wind down sales and support for VideoGlide.

If you have ever thought about buying a serial number for activation.

You better do it soon.

Good news is after sales and support are gone (after they are gone), the serial numbers will continue to work to activate and enable the software.

They did a good job of balancing protection from pirates and hacking and ensuring the product would continue to work for years into the future.

I was stunned by their willingness to openly discuss this and Highly Impressed.

Its tragic that they will no longer be around.. they have always had stellar support and make some of the best software ever made for a Mac. Its just super well thought out.

I wish them well and hope they go on to produce other software for the Mac.

thefrog1394 01-18-2021 08:37 AM

Is the NW07 the VHS to DVD Conversion 7.0 package? They seem to sell both a universal "Video Conversion Suite" for PC & Mac and "Video Conversion for Mac". Any idea what the differences are? The "For Mac" product claims to only support MP4 capture which is concerning.

jwillis84 01-18-2021 07:19 PM

The NW07 is the 2013 version, it says Honestech VidBox for Mac on the box.

The NW07 may have been shipped in later packaging, but the only certain way to verify it is an NW07 is to look at the label on the back. Some sellers will considerately show the label on the back of the box in pictures.

This is still early days.

A couple things to be aware of.. this is early days. I'm busy with other projects and this only caught my attention sideways, so I have not disassembled them to check chips or collected any of the models in packages made after 2013.

More information may come later.

All I can vouch for at the moment is the 2013 model.

Honestech used to have a website on but apparently it has abandonned that and changed the company name to Vidbox with a website at

I do not know the history from 2013 to 2021, so its possible based on the website name/changes the company was acquired and the hardware changed.. I have no direct contact with the company.

It could be after 2013 they were acquired by some place in Asia and started doing things like VC500 with the Empia chips .. so I would be very careful throwing time and money at this until someone learns more.

VideoGlide is not affiliated with Honestech or Vidbox or Apple.. its a totally independent company with a history that's over 20 years old.

I reached out to them in these dark times.. and surprisingly, they answered me.

I was stunned.. most efforts don't turn up anything.

VideoGlide works very well with many different brands and models of video capture hardware, they work with the Apple Quicktime infrastructure.. much like VirtualDub works with the Directshow on Microsoft Windows.

It is unique.

VideoGlide has been it for the long haul and I really appreciate that.

latreche34 01-24-2021 03:11 PM

Could this company in Texas has any affiliation with the German Terratec that makes similar boxes?

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:32 PM

Site design, images and content © 2002-2021 The Digital FAQ,
Forum Software by vBulletin · Copyright © 2021 Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.