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  #1  
08-18-2011, 01:58 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Quote:
This page http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/vid...rd-capture.htm has a bit of misleading info regarding AVI only capture cards. Perhaps the Brooktree/Conexant based capture cards are indeed of poor quality. However, I have had a Philips SAA7314 chip based card LifeView FlyVideo 3000 for a number of years. I've been using it to capture analog video from VHS and LaserDiscs in Huffyuv and then convert to DVD using TMPGEnc with AVISynth filters. The end result has always been outstanding. The DVD would end up having the DVD look, not the VHS look. The native resolution of the card is indeed 704x480/576 and not 720x480/576. And by the way, this same chip Philips SAA7314 was heavily used in pro cards such as Pinnacle DV500. So it can't be of a bad quality.
Hi, thanks for your input.

NOTE: We ask that all questions and technical feedback be asked on the forum, however, and not emails. We try to reserve email for business needs (conversion work, client media projects, advertising, etc). Just a note for the future, as we hope you'll continue to give your input to this community.

Back to topic...

We stand by that guide, as it represents more than a decade of testing and analysis, and quite a bit of input from pros, serious hobbyists, and newbies/amateurs. Those are "the rules", to some degree, on how capture cards work, for 3-digit or less price tags. However, there are always exceptions to rules.

Generally speaking, FlyVideo didn't have a good reputation back in the day, and much of that was likely down to the software available, and the drivers of the cards. That's always been the boondoggle for budget grade consumer cards -- poor software, poor drivers. Was your card different? Maybe. I'd like to hear more.

Quote:
The DVD would end up having the DVD look, not the VHS look.
I'd like a detailed explanation of what "DVD look" would entail, as compared to a "VHS look". We can probably put some tech terms on those some generic descriptions. It's always good to know the specifics, using science, on how/why something happens in the world of video.

Quote:
native resolution of the card is indeed 704x480/576
I don't doubt it, as 704x was popular on quite a few cards in the "old days" (pre-2003, before the whole "DVD thing" really took off like it did), but I'd like to know more about the reference or testing you did to reach this conclusion.

Quote:
pro cards such as Pinnacle DV500. So it can't be of a bad quality
Oh, I don't know. You won't find much love of Pinnacle in the professional community. Their products are notoriously crappy/disappointing quality, difficult to work with, and just stress-inducing in general. And that's a mighty old device, too -- from the era of the Pentium III computer, when Firewire was still new technology! It was new when Adobe Premiere 6.0 was new, and I was using Premiere 6 shortly before 9/11.

Again, thanks for you input.

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  #2  
08-18-2011, 05:10 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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FWIW, the same chip powers the input of the AVT-8710/CTB-100 TBC. Pinnacle used it a bit in their Mirovideo DC series of cards, but the entire line was plagued with poor drivers and support typical of Pinnacle. The DV series have the same analog capture hardware, they just added a firewire controller to the board. It also didn't help that they used the notorious Zoran MJPEG encoder chip which had poor support in 2000/XP. The same chip that brought headaches to Matrox Marvel G400TV (used a Samsung KS0127 for analog capture, very tolerant of timebase/sync errors!) and Iomega Buz (remember those? it also used the SAA7xxx!) users. Don't get me started on the headaches Pinnacle and Zoran caused me 11-12 years ago with their products.... just say no to both companies!

The Brooktree/Conexant chips were "eh" particularly when used with composite video due to the notch comb filter it uses. The bt848/878/829 really only became popular due to being dirt cheap and that it has drivers for just about every OS due to Bt being open with the technical information.
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08-18-2011, 10:42 PM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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Hi,

I am answering all questions sequentially.

No more emails. Understood.

Perhaps, indeed FlyVideo (LifeView) were not giving the best drivers. However, there exists the 3rd party software written by a Russian guy Andrey Zolotarev. He provided fly2000 capture software as well as Philips native drivers. Note that FlyVideo supplied their own drivers. Philips drivers are different. Please check out the link http://auzol.narod.ru/index_e.html. Unfortunately, Andrey has not been active since 2004. At least, I can't get in touch with him.

As far as DVD look goes - everything is subjective. When I watch some of my VHS to DVD transfers that I made a few years back, it doesn't look that the VHS is playing. It looks as if it is professionally made DVD.
All I can do is to upload the DVD I transferred, so you take a look and judge.

My process from VHS is the following: capture in Huffyv at 704x... resolution. Use 3 AVISynth filters:
http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Dust/PixieDust - spacial vhs cleaning
http://avisynth.org.ru/fft3dfilter/fft3dfilter.html 3d cleaning based on time
http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/LimitedSharpen (convert to 352x... resolution)

I always do the end result DVD in half D1, i.e. 352x... resolution. That gives much better quality and bit rate per pixel. The effect of 8000mbs bit rate for half D1 would be as if I encoded 704x... at 16000mbs bit rate. As far as resolution itself - because VHS is not high resolution to begin with, 352x and 704x wouldn't make any difference as far as still image goes. But because I double bit rate per pixel, it gives far less pixelization during the motion. Thus better quality.

The LaserDisc conversion is a bit different. I am yet to find the best solution. If you want, I can go on what I am doing. One thing with LDs is that most of them have digital sound, so I feed toss link to my sound card and capture sound digitally at 44.1kHz.

As far as native resolution goes. The testing is quite simple. If I captured at 720x..., the end result would be stretched compared to the original. If I capture at 704x..., the end result would have the same aspect ratio.

I know how crappy Pinnacle was. But I have heard good things about DV500. And plus it was $500 value card.

At this point I have nothing to compare FlyVideo with other than BT which sucks. Actually I compared a capture of DV500 and FlyVideo (same VHS, same VCR - SECAM input - yes, not PAL, but SECAM) and I liked FlyVideo better. At least I could have control over the video gain and sharpness during the capture. I also was demonstrated Matrox RTX1000 or something. I didn't like result at all. I couldn't control gain (white peak). And plus it would capture to mpeg2, not to avi - so no editing flexibility. I am looking to buy Canopus ADVC300. If I buy it, I can compare with FlyVideo. The reason I am after Canopus is that my way of digitizing analog video is way too long. Audio and video is always out of sync and I always have to correct it, unless I record from LaserDisc which has digital sound. In that case it's all in sync.

Last edited by metaleonid; 08-18-2011 at 10:58 PM.
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  #4  
09-18-2011, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
I always do the end result DVD in half D1, i.e. 352x... resolution. That gives much better quality and bit rate per pixel. The effect of 8000mbs bit rate for half D1 would be as if I encoded 704x... at 16000mbs bit rate. As far as resolution itself - because VHS is not high resolution to begin with, 352x and 704x wouldn't make any difference as far as still image goes. But because I double bit rate per pixel, it gives far less pixelization during the motion. Thus better quality.
All correct.

Quote:
I am looking to buy Canopus ADVC300. If I buy it, I can compare with FlyVideo. The reason I am after Canopus is that my way of digitizing analog video is way too long. Audio and video is always out of sync and I always have to correct it,
This would be a waste of money. The only difference between the cheap ADVC-55 and the ADVC-300 is the so-called "TBC" (which doesn't do anything), the processing filters that mostly just butcher your quality (and have to be turned off), and the output option that most people won't even use.

It's only Amazon for less than $175: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0006ZSQL4
Compare that to the overpriced $415 ADVC-300 !!!

Even then, the ADVC-55 is overpriced. For less than half of that (maybe even one third of that), you could get an ATI 600 USB card.

Don't be fooled by the "audio sync" advertised by the Canopus cards. That's a misnomer. It does not sync audio any more than any other card will do. It's simply marketing a feature built into any capture processor. It refers to nothing more than an audio clock being sync'd to the video. However, it can still end up being drifted, or "out of sync" in layman's terms.

Most audio sync problems are related to simply using an inferior video capture card.

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  #5  
09-23-2011, 11:30 PM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
This would be a waste of money. The only difference between the cheap ADVC-55 and the ADVC-300 is the so-called "TBC" (which doesn't do anything), the processing filters that mostly just butcher your quality (and have to be turned off), and the output option that most people won't even use.
By the time I saw this post, I had already committed to buying ADVC300. (I bought it used off ebay. The unit didn't work for me. Returned it, and bought brand new one from B&H). But I do appreciate the advise.

I will see about audio sync when I do the actual capture.

Right now I just did test captures with various settings from my LaserDisc LD-S2 player using composite and S-Video output testing $450 value ADVC-300 and $40 value or so LifeView capture card. For ADVC-300 I used native DV avi codec with 720x480 resolution. For LifeView I used Huffyuv AVI with 704x480 resolution. The LaserDisc I used was Video Essentials. I am posting screenshots. Please discuss.

I'd also like to add that disregarding the price both cards have advantages. ADVC-300 has an audio sync advantage (if it works of course). The LifeView FlyVideo 3000 has an advantage of flexibility capturing sound digitally. I.e. I can run toss link of optical out of my LD player to my soundcard's input and capture audio losslessly at 44.1kHz. Something I will not be able to do with ADVC-300.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg FlyVideo SVideo.JPG (51.0 KB, 45 downloads)
File Type: jpg ADVC300 Composite Strong3D YC filter.JPG (54.9 KB, 38 downloads)
File Type: jpg ADVC300 Composite No Filter.JPG (55.0 KB, 26 downloads)
File Type: jpg ADVC300 SVideo.JPG (52.8 KB, 34 downloads)
File Type: jpg FlyVideo Composite YC2D default.JPG (52.5 KB, 28 downloads)
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  #6  
11-04-2011, 10:04 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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It's sometimes hard to get a good feel for quality of NR, when basing samples on test patterns. These all appear somewhat similar, in terms of detail and capture quality. Rainbows are missing on the ADVC captures, but I would think that has more to do with poor handle of color by DV conversion methods, as opposed to it being "cleaner" in an legitimate way. It's also somewhat difficult to 1:1 compare these since DV is bottom field interlacing, and the other capture card is undoubtedly top field.

Still interesting to look at, however.

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  #7  
12-06-2011, 03:43 PM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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I just stumbled on this discussion thread where the poster compares the images captured from Brooktree based card, ATI Rage Theatre card and Philips SAA7130 based card. Well, I guess the Philips one wins over ATI as far as details go. Even lordsmurf confirms it. Brooktree is out of contest 'cause it is a total outsider piece of garbage.

http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/1...hilips-SAA7130

Now keep in mind that most likely the computer that had Philips based card, didn't have native Philips drivers. Most likely it had the drivers that the manufacturer supplied it with. Philips native drivers give superior image quality than any manufacturer drivers for Philips SAA713x based cards.

--Leonid
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  #8  
12-06-2011, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaleonid View Post
Well, in the interest of transparency, there's four issues to consider:
  1. In 2004, I didn't have a fully calibrated IPS LCD monitor yet, as I do now, and have had since early 2005.
  2. The sample images are JPEG, thus subjected to a layer of compression.
  3. I mentioned the ATI and Philips were about the same. I see one little place where the Philips detail is better (the four "200" on the four vertical stacks of horizontal lines), but that could be from number of potential variables. These days, I would pretty much insist on video sample clips, not just still images, in order to make an accurate assessment on quality/detail.
  4. There's some faint halo/echo on the numbers inside the circle, on the Philips image. That generally points to artificial sharpening.
BrainStorm69 is also quoted as saying "Avermedia DVD EZMaker PCI (Philips SAA7130 using latest Avermedia drivers)", so your assessment of AVer drivers would be accurate. That was almost 8 years ago, so it's hard to say if native drivers were even available back then. At the time, that was still a new chipset. I had that same card, and it came with the BT8x8 chipset. BS69 probably had a later revision of the model.

It definitely not a bad card chipset.

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  #9  
12-06-2011, 07:49 PM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The sample images are JPEG, thus subjected to a layer of compression.
I agree. That's why if you go just a little down to post #3, you will see the links to bmp images. Now that shows that the image produced by Philips based card has much more details than that produced by ATI. ATI is in between BT and Philips and I'd say a bit closer to BT there.
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  #10  
12-06-2011, 09:24 PM
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Just to add in the images being discussed...

AverTv Stereo (BT878):

avertv-testpattern-01.jpg


ATI 7500 AIW (Rage Theater):

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Avermedia DVD EZMaker PCI (Philips SAA7130):

ati-testpattern-01.jpg



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  #11  
12-06-2011, 10:20 PM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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The images above are the jpeg ones. I was talking about the bitmap ones. See below from best to worst:

Original dvd screen shot:
source

DVD EZMaker PCI (Philips SAA7130):
SAA7130

ATI 7500 AIW (Rage Theatre):
ATI

AverTV Stereo (BT878):
BT878
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