Quantcast Adjusting picture on AIW 2006 PCIe capture card - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
08-23-2012, 12:16 AM
JumperBaby JumperBaby is offline
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Hi,

First, you guys rock. Thanks for all the info on this site.

Secondly, my question:
After years of happiness capturing mpegs on an AGP AIW 9000 (using MMC 9.08) I decided to upgrade my computer. I did this mainly in order to take advantage of SATA3 and USB3.0 technology. I love the faster file transfers and computing power, but my new AIW 2006 pcie is driving me crazy.

My problem is this: Right now when I go to record a file under MMC 9.16 the output MPEG doesn't have any of the picture adjustments that I've made. Before hitting 'record' I will adjust the brightness, gamma, contrast (but not tint, because THERE IS NO TINT CONTROL, unlike MMC 9.08 ), however none of those adjustments show up in the output mpeg file. Instead the output mpeg file has the original dark, red, saturated picture that appears as the TV picture before I adjusted it.

Is this normal for 9.16? I know this is not how 9.08 behaved. Could it be a problem with my install? I've tried adjusting the settings both within MMC and as part of Catalyst Control Center. I've set it to capture with hardware MPEG encoding and software encoding. The problem persists.

I'm not trying to create awesome output files, I'm just trying to transfer old home VHS tapes into simple MPEGs for archival purposes. One and done. If I can't adjust the picture settings as part of the recording process I may ditch this card.

Any advice or spitballing is appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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  #2  
08-27-2012, 12:51 PM
JumperBaby JumperBaby is offline
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Okay, I've tried doing a fresh windows xp install, and I've adjusted every setting possible (hardware acceleration, catalyst control center avivo settings, hardware/software/avi capturing, using virtual dub), and the capture output just does not reflect any picture adjustments such as brightness/gamma/contrast/saturation/tint. I figure either I have overlooked something really simple, or the aiw 2006 pcie just does not support picture adjustment at the capture level, or maybe the card I have is just broken somehow or doesn't work all the way with windows XP.

So barring some miracle advice on this board, I'm going to pick up the TV Wonder 650 PCI to do captures. Before I buy I have a quick question, though:

Does the capture software (Catalyst Media Center, I believe) allow users to adjust TINT ("Tint" or "Hue" specifically) when you do an MPEG capture?

Thank you.
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  #3  
08-29-2012, 04:55 AM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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We have followed almost the same trajectory. I also switched to the AIW 2006 PCI but I never made it as far as you, because I was not impressed with the quality of the capture to begin with.

I switched to the 750hd, which I love, I have luckily had no issues with agc.

Just wanted to share haha, I don't capture to mpeg2 directly and I use virtual dub, but in that case it does allow you to make lasting color adjustments.
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  #4  
08-29-2012, 10:24 AM
JumperBaby JumperBaby is offline
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Thanks for the info on the 750hd, Robjv1.

It's so weird, I've tried capturing with virtualdub and avidemux and the color adjustments just don't stick. There must be something I'm missing here. I even installed the latest directx and .net 4.0 drivers, just to cover all bases, and nothing works. I'm not technically savvy enough to say for sure, but I'm thinking maybe I have a codec problem? My thinking is that it's a driver/software issue, not a hardware issue, but it's so weird that virtualdub doesn't keep the picture adjustments either.

The solution I'm looking at is picking up a TBC (the avt-8710) so I can adjust the picture at the source. My VCR already has a TBC in it (but no hue/brightness/etc. control), though, so what I really need is some kind of cheap box that adjusts brightness/contrast/hue/saturation s-vid signals without degrading. Don't know if that exists (outside of a TBC). Don't want to drop $200 on the AVT-8710, but at least the resale value on it is good.

Thanks again. I'm still working on this problem.
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  #5  
08-29-2012, 01:19 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumperBaby View Post
but my new AIW 2006 pcie is driving me crazy.
You may find the X1800 or X1900 more to your liking. I didn't much care for the 2006 card, either. The only issue here is that those are harder to find -- especially in complete and working condition. The PCI express cards were also even more finicky than the AGP and PCI model ATI All In Wonder Radeon cards. Great cards, once they work, but sometimes it was a chore to get them there. I've seen some motherboards outright reject the cards, or give I/O problems (hard drive writes caused dropped frames).

Quote:
My problem is this: Right now when I go to record a file under MMC 9.16 the output MPEG doesn't have any of the picture adjustments that I've made. Before hitting 'record' I will adjust the brightness, gamma, contrast (but not tint, because THERE IS NO TINT CONTROL, unlike MMC 9.08 ), however none of those adjustments show up in the output mpeg file. Instead the output mpeg file has the original dark, red, saturated picture that appears as the TV picture before I adjusted it.
This issue was present for the entire run of ATI AIW cards. It was due to a specific combination of hardware (the card), ATI MMC version, and ATI drivers. I never figured it out myself, though I did come across it a few times. The solution was to always attempt use of other drives and/or MMC, and that would correct it. It took patience and time to experiment.

Quote:
I'm not trying to create awesome output files, I'm just trying to transfer old home VHS tapes into simple MPEGs for archival purposes. One and done. If I can't adjust the picture settings as part of the recording process I may ditch this card.
I would suggest capturing as 15Mbps high bitrate MPEG-2, and archiving to hard disk, Blu-ray, and downconverting (bitrate) down to DVD-Video. The ATI AIW card will help you to do this. If you need to adjust color, in may have to be done in software. I'd also alert you to the fact that your computer monitor may be off -- not calibrated to legal NTSC/PAL specs. So you'd be ruining the video, not correcting it. Be sure to take a few test captures, and then author to DVD+RW/DVD-RW, and play it on a TV DVD player, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JumperBaby View Post
I'm going to pick up the TV Wonder 650 PCI to do captures. Before I buy I have a quick question, though: Does the capture software (Catalyst Media Center, I believe) allow users to adjust TINT ("Tint" or "Hue" specifically) when you do an MPEG capture?
Not that I can recall. I've not opened CMC in a few weeks, but I'm pretty sure such advanced functions are nowhere to be found. CMC is very, very different (and very stripped down) compared to ATI MMC. It works fine, for several workflows, but it's no ATI MMC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JumperBaby View Post
I'm thinking maybe I have a codec problem?
It doesn't have anything to do with your codecs.

Quote:
what I really need is some kind of cheap box that adjusts brightness/contrast/hue/saturation s-vid signals without degrading. Don't know if that exists (outside of a TBC). Don't want to drop $200 on the AVT-8710, but at least the resale value on it is good.
Proc amps.

Quote:
Thanks again. I'm still working on this problem.
Welcome to the site. Keep in touch on how you progress. We'll give advice as is possible.

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  #6  
09-01-2012, 03:58 PM
JumperBaby JumperBaby is offline
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Thanks for the thorough response Lordsmurf. I've been processing your comments and working out what my options are. I figured I'd write down my thought processes on what I'm going to do in case it's helpful for anyone else to read about:

You mentioned that the problem I'm having might go away with the right combo of hardware, drivers, and MMC. I've tried different combos of hardware and drivers, but can't find different versions of MMC to install. Is there anyplace I can download MMC 9.10-9.15? I'll give those versions a shot if I find them.

I downloaded Catalyst Media Center and ran it to see how I like it. As you said, it's no MMC. Given the choice of CMC (or pretty much any other capture software) and MMC I'd prefer to stick with MMC because it's familiar to me, it's simple, and it's both intuitive and powerful.

With that decided my options appear to be: 1) Keep the 2006 pcie and buy an AVT-8710 to adjust the picture (cost $215 if I'm lucky). I'm familiar with the AVT-8710. It's a good little box. It will be nice to have the picture controls right at my fingertips. It's annoying to have to buy it, since I already have a TBC in my JVC SR-v101US vcr, but the AVT box itself is handy. Also, the AVT resale value is really good. In a few years, if I no longer need it, I'll be able to get most of my money back on it.

or

2) Ditch the All In Wonder 2006 pcie and hope the x1800 or x1900 work properly and keep the color adjustments when they record. If they don't work, then I'll buy the AVT-8710 anyway. To install the x1800 or x1900 I would need to upgrade my power supply to 450W (right now I have a 430W power supply), because that's the recommended psu wattage for those cards. The card itself sells on ebay for about $40. So the cost of this options is around $65-$70 if the Newegg and ebay gods smile on me. (I have the accessory parts and cables already.)

Even if the x1800 works, however, I will not be able to adjust the tint control from within MMC when I record my old tapes. Tint adjustment can be done through the Catalyst Control Center, but it's a juggle.

So, boiled down, I can spend $70 on an option that may work in the ballpark of how I'd like it to, or $215 on an option that will work very close to how I'd like it to.

Time to buy the AVT.

Thanks again. If there is any other advice that comes to mind that anyone thinks might help I'm still all ears.
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  #7  
09-14-2012, 03:39 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumperBaby View Post
Is there anyplace I can download MMC 9.10-9.15? I'll give those versions a shot if I find them.
You'll find 9.10 at this link: ATI All In Wonder Hacks, Drivers, Codecs and MMC (in post#78 of the thread)
And 9.14 and 9.16 are also in that thread, linked to in the same post.

I'm not readily aware of the existence of 9.11, 9.12, 9.13, or 9.15. (Update: I just checked Google. A few existed on installer discs.)

Some of the ATI Multimedia Center (ATI MMC) versions were:
  • Not released at all
  • Released online only
  • Released only on installer CDs/DVDs
  • Released both online and on installer CDs/DVDs
After AMD bought out ATI and essentially liquidated it for AMD's own graphics card desires, the ATI site was gutted of downloads and documentation. Pretty much everything prior to 2006 or so was discarded, and sites like this one are the only way to find help and drivers. (A lot of the "driver" sites and "file sharing" sites are filled with exploited garbage posing as ATI software, so be careful of random downloads.)

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