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  #1  
03-26-2012, 10:07 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Despite searching, the most I can find on this subject is that the Theater 200 does additional MPEG compression assistance. Is the capture quality otherwise pretty much the same? I have been AIW shopping the past few days and the cards based on the original Theater chip seem more readily available. I do have my eye on a few AIW 9600 cards. The multi-monitor support is a nice addition, but the lack of DVI out is a small con. One thing I will miss is the razor sharp analog video output of my Matrox card. ATI cards were always blurry above 800x600 on their VGA outputs due to their crappy DACs.

Oddly enough I do own a card with the original Theater chip already, but its a Mac only ATI XClaimVR 128 (basically a Mac edition PCI All-in-Wonder 128).
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  #2  
03-31-2012, 02:14 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Posting the ATI Theater 200 datasheet here for reference. From what I can find, the Theater 200 adds an adaptive 2D comb filter to the composite input, a 12-bit ADC (vs 9-bit on the Rage Theater 100), and a sound decoder for TV audio standards (BTSC, NICAM, etc.).


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File Type: pdf T200 datasheet.pdf (356.6 KB, 45 downloads)
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04-01-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
Despite searching, the most I can find on this subject is that the Theater 200 does additional MPEG compression assistance.
Yes.

Quote:
Is the capture quality otherwise pretty much the same?
Yes.

Quote:
the original Theater chip seem more readily available.
Yes.

Quote:
Oddly enough I do own a card with the original Theater chip already, but its a Mac only ATI XClaimVR 128 (basically a Mac edition PCI All-in-Wonder 128).
Interesting! What was used to capture video? Does it only work in OS9?

Thanks for sharing.

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04-01-2012, 11:23 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Yes.
Interesting! What was used to capture video? Does it only work in OS9?

Thanks for sharing.
Yes, it only have MacOS 9 software. OS X does support its video out capabilities though. ATI provided its own ATI TV software for viewing and capturing video. The capture portion may have also been exposed via a Quicktime driver to get video into something like Final Cut Pro. The card itself had an arrangement similar to my Matrox card in that the TV tuner was in an outboard box with all the inputs and outputs. I have the box, but not the (relatively standard) 9-pin DIN cable that connects it to the computer. The manual states it can do 320x240 @ 30fps capture, but its likely a limit of the machines from that time period, not the capture chip.

Odd that it came in this beige PowerMac G3, the machine also came with Apple's "Wings" AV personality card that added video capture and output to the motherboard. Eventually I'll get samples up on the big videohelp capture comparison thread. I also have a few older Powermac 8600s that came with video capture and output built into the motherboard that I can try.

Last edited by NJRoadfan; 04-01-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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04-01-2012, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
Eventually I'll get samples up on the big videohelp capture comparison thread.
And maybe help start a new one here.

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04-01-2012, 11:52 AM
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Some digging in the archives comes up with some info on the original Rage Theater chip:
http://web.archive.org/web/200008161...e_theater.html

ATI was looking to get into the set top box market even back then: http://web.archive.org/web/200008310...wcase/set-top/

Remember ATI's vaporware "Video Wonder" with realtime MPEG2 encoding? http://www2.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/s...1011689&EDATE=

Which was panned by the common folk since ATI was "never serious" about video: http://www.forums.murc.ws/showthread.php?t=1904

Last edited by NJRoadfan; 04-01-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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