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  #1  
12-01-2017, 04:58 AM
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I noticed ATI released the All-In-Wonder (tuner/capture/graphics) combo cards

And

They generally released corresponding TV-Wonder (tuner/capture) cards

The difference, especially in the later Higher Performance Gamer cards was massive.

The AIW cards tended to have huge heatsinks, gpu fans and require PCI-X connectors direct to the power supply.

The TVW cards were smaller, less complicated and generally no fans, no PCI-X connectors.

It seems after the 9000 series the TVW cards were mostly released by Visiontek or Diamond Multimedia while the AIW were released direct from ATI/AMD

Obviously.. the board components were rearranged and the circuits probably redesigned for cost savings and in light of the lesser needs of a TVW versus a AIW.

That leads me to consider the longevity and appropriateness of using a dedicated TVW card instead of an AIW for better stability.. and I was thinking perhaps they would behave differently during capture since the AGC would get a second design shot at getting it right and not Crush the light and darks in a video stream. They would have less onboard sources of interference, and the capture chip could be moved further from the other card slots to spread out from noisier things like GPUs.

I can't seperate the reports of problems out based on the threads I have read.. but it seems the words Visiontek and Diamond come up less frequently.. which leads me to believe they mostly refer to AIW cards.

We aren't as concerned with high performance playback as good quality capture on a toolbox used primarily for capture or preview.

For what its worth I also found on Wikipedia a page indicating different AIW cards were targeted "specifically" for a specific version of DirectX.

the 7000 series for example were targeted at DirectX 7.0 (2000)
the 8000 series for example were targeted at DirectX 8.0 (XP SP1)
the 9000 series for example were targeted at DirectX 8/9 (XP SP2)
the X100 series for example were targeted at DirectX 9/10 (Vista)
the H750 series for example were targeted at DirectX 11 (Win7)

this was a surprise to me

ATI Processing Unit API support

it looks like their series name was taken from they're original DX targets and adjusted based on events beyond their control

the "other" odd thing is the ATI MMC version seems to track this numbering scheme as well, possibly since ATI MMC is a DirectX application it had to be created knowing what DirectX APIs would be available to it

later versions of DirectX were "promised" to always maintain backwards compatibility by "absorbing" and supporting previous Interfaces.. of course that contract was broken fairly quickly.. later versions of DirectX "reimagined" the Interfaces and immedately began "deprecating" or removing older APIs.. programs don't work so well when you make their prerequisites go away

As far as I know there were

ATI MMC 7.x
ATI MMC 8.x
ATI MMC 9.x

Then Pinnacle and other third parties once ATI gave up on creating in-house applications to support their hardware

Last edited by jwillis84; 12-01-2017 at 05:09 AM.
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  #2  
12-01-2017, 05:26 AM
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Look at the chipsets.
- AIW = Theatre Rage/100 or 200
- TVW = not Theatre

The answer is no.

AIW = quality
TVWonder = not quality

Not the same at all, and the TVW cards were notorious for various issues (AGC especially).

You're looking to deep, and missing what's on the surface.

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  #3  
12-01-2017, 05:32 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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The AIW line never used AGC.

The AGP cards were less problematic than the PCIe's, which were rather shoddy and clunky in comparison.

I don't understand the problem with your DirectX chart. It doesn't seem to indicate individual capture performance factors. For example, my 7500 AIW in my opinion has cleaner color in its captures than my later 9600XT. Obviously something requiring a later version of DirectX won't be compatible with earlier DirectX boards -- is this the first time this has happened with anyone else's hardware or software? When is the last time you were able to install a new Windows 10 OS on a machine built in 1998?

The poor-cousin TV Wonders were not as competent at capture as the AGP's, at least that's what I heard and read. I never used the TVWs myself, they always looked undersized and cheap.

MMC was not the strong performance points of the AGP line. Their strong point was lossless capture using client software designed for that purpose, such as VirtualDub. If MMC was the only way you ever captured, you're selling the AIWs short. My Toshiba DVD recorders did a much better job of direct-to-DVD capture, even at 9200 kbps max -- but for typical lossy MPEG recording it's unfair to compare a small self-contained circuit board to a 5-lb. set top machine with Zoran chips in a case big enough to contain and power up half a dozen ATI cards.

I can't say anything about gaming. I've always been too busy for games.
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  #4  
12-01-2017, 05:56 AM
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The PCIe was shoddy, more like a hotty. As in it'd melt if not cooled with huge heatsink and fan. The drivers are a pain, and MMC 9.1 has no dropped frame reporting. Sometimes you get 704 left-shifted to 720, so 16 pixels on a side (not centered), based on drivers/model. The card still works well for AVI, and still better than everything for MPEG (software, not hardware), even without reporting (which most other non-ATI don't do either).

The TV Wonder was the Best Buy version of an ATI, while ATI was mostly only available in non-retail stores (Newegg, special order, etc). My first ATI AIW was from a Compaq special order P4 2ghz in 2001.

Zoran chips were nice for clean sources, and I still use my RCA.
LSI for tapes.
Those were indeed better than ATI for DVD-spec. ATI MMC still best for 15mbps BD spec.

Games? My tablet has solitaire. I think I played it twice 6 months ago. If I play anything, it'll be Street Fighter II on a Raspberry Pi. But no time for that. I played a lot of NES and SNES when younger.

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  #5  
12-01-2017, 09:55 AM
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Well I lack a lot of real world experience

But I started by looking at images of the TVW cards from their boxes, then mistakenly acquired a few and started looking closely at them to understand this Visiontek vs Diamond thing and realized they did have Theatre chips and the ATI logos stamped on their boards.. and Purple boards.. which I "think" means they were comissioned by ATI itself..even though they were sold under different brand names.

The All-In-Wonder was a concept of "All you need" and a do everything card for a premium price because it did everything.. specializing in one task was not a goal.. so maybe it didn't do everything well?

The earliest VE and LE editions were cheap and weird, sometimes did not have the Theatre chips.. the later ones fell into a pattern.. AIW - had the escalating GPU chip size, slightly reduced in speed to control heat. TVW was basically the same board reworked without the GPU chip but parts were rearranged in a custom pattern.

I can tell its not a popular idea.. so I'll keep it private for now and pursue it in my own time.

Its pointless to discuss without hard evidence. I do apologize.

As for the DX thing.. the dates for releases seemed to line up pretty good with windows versions except for XP and Vista. And Direct X was pushed to redesign its APIs between windows versions to bring something special and unique to each major release.. or why waste a crisis like a new windows release?

Vista should have been released in 2004 but it was late and came out nearly 4 years later in 2008.. ATI looks like it was trying to strike a 2 year cadence for new product release.. and then that didn't happen.. the 8000 and 9000 got stretched over multiple DirectX releases.. and the lull may have led to the 9000's unusual length in stability.. DirectX 9.0 went on and on and on. ATI was sold in 2005 and the break lead to the X10 generation which looks like AMD reorganized their product priorities and the boards started getting big and hot, PCI-express was introduced

I simplified the chart and I thought up a lot more detail, but its been reduced to the barest (possibilities).

Again.. I can tell its not a popular wind mill to poke at

Thanks for the input.. I'll put aside the theorizing for now

addendum:

I've got nothing for or against the ATI MMC suite, it was merely the default demo app, with keen insight into all the capabilities of the card for which it was partnered. I did note that it gets harder to cross install an ATI MMC version from one generation card to the other. There are "tests" the installer for ATI MMC runs to make sure specific ATI hardware is installed, or it won't install. Sometimes it works, sometimes you have to "trick it", but once its installed it will enumerate and work with capture and video hardware from other manufacturers.

MPEG vs Uncompressed capture - I now understand the case for (both) and its a complex issue, simplifying it depends on the situation and goal per project, sometimes other factors. ATI MMC is one path to MPEG capture, but not the only path. VirtualDub is also a path to MPEG and Uncompressed, but more often Uncompressed capture -- but I see those as layers above the drivers, both require the driver layer to work.

For original OEM out of box testing, ATI MMC is the most convenient and probably the closest to what the engineers tested with before the hardware left the factory.

Last edited by jwillis84; 12-01-2017 at 10:46 AM.
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  #6  
12-01-2017, 03:02 PM
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It's not a matter of popularity.

The "TV Wonder" cards were not using Rage Theatre (aka Theatre 100) or Theatre 200 chips. That's the key ingredient as for why ATI AIW cards were so good. The cheaper non-AIW ATI cards, like the pre-Radeon AIW, were using cheap Brooktree (BT) later Conexant chips. Those were cheap chips found on all sorts of low-end cards, like AVermedia, and had issues with interlace and aspect. It was terrible. It was the PCI equivalent of a modern Chinese EZcrap USB card.

Latter ATI Theatre 550/etc chips were entirely different from the 100/200.

I've yet to have gotten ATI MMC to capture with a non-AIW card. It will just show video for a few.

Diamond and VisionTek was just a rebadger, for the most part. A few ATI models were exclusive to those brands, and I believe those were the 9600's (XT, etc). Otherwise, no difference between it and ATI direct purchase. Some models may have only been rebadged, and sold by ATI direct to OEMs like Dell -- maybe the 9200?

As far as DirectX overlap with models ... maybe. But even if true, it really didn't matter much. Older cards had DirectX requirement upped for the new drivers/MMC.

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  #7  
12-04-2017, 02:35 AM
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I see ten years ago this was discussed to death on this board.

The 7000 series from 2002 is really rare today.
The 8000 series from 2003 is even more rare.
The 9000 series would seem to be mostly all that's left.

until 2004 the T200 chip didn't appear in a product other than AGP products until the TV Wonder USB2.0
until 2005 the T550 wasn't even released, but they also started sharing with Color, Visiontek and Diamond

i guess they went with the three partners since the Walmart 9200 value editions experiment didn't go so well

I do respect the conversations about the 7000, 8000, 9000 series but i was thinking about the later (junk) cards

the T550 chip was the first with the embedded PCI and PCI-express support embedded in the same chip, with a single chip they could fashion PCI versions or PCI express versions, it also had the embedded hardware MPEG2 support on the same chip.. Color (for asia), Diamond (for world) and Visiontek (for BestBuy) came up with slightly different boxes or colors of board but in general released the same cards with perhaps a more or less expensive VRAM chip

the TV Wonders from T550 on (except for the USB 600) were all theater based.. even the Sapphire Theatrix

the early TVW VE, PRO and PCI were all connexant. and went with mono (VE), stereo (PRO), stereo (PCI) audio decoding from the card.. the real value being with or without a Remote (an whether bundled with a Remote, Remote Plus or Remote II) .. until everyone got an iPhone.. handheld remotes were like tail fins on 60's cars, or spoilers on 70's cars (bigger the better)

i was fascinated by the history of what was going on.. most of my curiosity has been settled now

wikipedia ended at the X1000 series and there was .. nothing more.. i was curious about the T200, T550, T600, T650, T750 .. there was so much story left until the demise of ATI at the hands of AMD.. it was the last chapter of a long book

you pointed out Creative Labs threw their hat in the ring with the Prosumer [Audigy 2 ZS - Video Editor(VE)] (a combo sound card and capture system on a USB connected box).. i followed up on that too.. and found its successor the [Video Blaster Editor(VBE)] .. basically they used the LSI chipset for DVR conversion straight from DV/VHS capture to DVD in a usb box combined with a sound card. It was a system of two CPUs in a box running VxWorks with the Texas Instruments tvp5150 video capture encoder (the "same" chip used in the [ATI TV Wonder USB 600] dongle).. the drivers I pulled apart from their website had a SPARC "kernel" which it uploads to the box each time it is booted.. the Windows computer sends it commands over the USB bus and it performs "tasks" and returns streams from its inputs or forwards them to its outputs .. the later VBE was a "usb video capture" box only.. slightly cheaper and came with Adobe Primere Elements instead of Ulead VisualStudio SE.. the forums were livid with people who wanted a generic Windows Capture card on a USB cord.. but its more a "usb networked computer".. people really didn't like it (what they did was modify Ulead VS and Adobe PE to accept non-windows DirectX input from the usb channel using commands to replace calls to well known interfaces) Creative did not want to follow up with a harder to write generic windows driver

the follow up to Creative Labs is they got out of the video capture business.. but a co-competitor called "Dazzle" had already beat them to the same market with their Dazzle USB 2.0 brought to CeBit in 2004.. but Dazzle was bought out by Pinnacle.. who later released the same box with an F.A. Porsche designed box called the 700-USB (or MovieBox).. which AVID later bought and still supports to this day in both Pinnacle Studio and AVID media composer.. obviously LSI is gone.. so no one makes those chips anymore.. but.. the hardware is still being sold and swapped around and is highly regarded (its the same model the Creative Labs were using.. outsource all the encode and decode to an external "computer" at the end of a USB cable).. Dazzle started with an Apple DV/firewire bridge product.. (almost) got into this distributed computer encode/decode model.. but backed down after the purchase and just released cheap.. early USB (no firewire/DV) capture gadgets.. they look nice today.. but it was a long road

meanwhile to all of this.. ATI did dabble in the capture card on a USB cable model.. the

[USB TV Wonder 1.0] - 2002
[USB TV Wonder 2.0] - 2004
[USB TV Wonder 600] - 2007
[USB TV Wonder 650] - 2008

the weird one was the 600.. it used the Texas instrument chip.. to good reviews

the (also) weird one was the 650.. they released both a Windows and Apple Mac version (OSX 10.4) which worked with Rosetta when the Apple Mac transitioned to Intel processors using ATI tvPortal (kind of ATI MMC for a Mac)

.. but they're all gone now.. only fragments and pieces left..

there is more to be found out.. like how or (if) an AGC problem could lurk and linger in a product line for nearly 10 years and not be addressed.. or why they never quite licked the user setup and use experience

I'm still waiting on parts though.. thinking about it occupys time
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  #8  
12-04-2017, 03:17 AM
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Few quick thoughts...

ATI was terrible with MPEG hardware encoding. ATI was terrible with MPEG encoding, period. The Theatre Rage/100 chipsets were a hybrid software+hardware encoding based on Ligos, not an internal ATI machination...

(Aside: Go back to the 90s, and Ligos was a key player in MPEG, long before Canopus software, MainConcept, etc. Panasonic and Ligos were competitors in the MPEG space. Even TMPGEnc didn't yet exist. Intervideo was pretty crappy on the player side, Cyberlink was somewhat better, and the ATI DVD player was lousy. This is before the likes of ffmpeg, ffdshow, VLC, MPC, etc.)

... So when ATI decided to revamp the Rage/100 chip, the better 200, some unused code was present. The AGP AIW cards continued with the hybrid use, while full hardware encoding was dormant until the AIW PCIe X series. And that's because it sucked. It had all sorts of limitations and issues. Audio encoding was also on the chip -- and was just as bad.

Fast forward to the Theatre 550, and not much changed from the hidden 200 features. It just got worse. And every new card after the 550? Worse -- except for the 600 USB, which had some interesting chips used properly. ATI was already in a downturn in some areas when AMD bought them -- and dumped all those products. Or at least nothing in the pipeline, which is why we did see some ATI after the AMD buyout for a year or so.

ATI could never quite reach the level of Canopus and Matrox in the 90s/2000s, but the AIW came close. And in some important ways, better. Canopus/Matrox was too into lossy DV and MPEG, and overlooked lossless/uncompressed. They also made the mistake of tying hardware to NLEs, much like the Creative box.

I have little doubt that ATI MMC would have allowed other cards to use it, but it was a closed system. Partially due to being easier, I'm sure, and probably partially to wanting an edge over competition that used junkware (AverMedia, etc).

I don't often talk about the Pinnacle/Dazzle card. Most earlier ones were terrible, some were a poor man's Canopus/Matrox card. But the latter 510-USB and derivatives had some unique quality for AVI capturing, namely the ability to audio preview while capturing (without aid of system soundcard). I've not had time to write about it yet, but it is planned for the glossary. These were, and still are, expensive cards compared to ATIs.

If you're looking into good legacy cards, Hauppage PVR 250/350 is worth a look.

I used a Matrox RT.Mac in Final Cut Pro years ago, and never did get my at-the-time dream card: the Matrox RT.X100 (costly $1k+ beast then, but useless now anyway and available for far less).

Osprey was a Matrox competitor, but suffered an even worse fate.

For years, I also suggested Aja cards, but some have also aged poorly due to NLE attachment.

ATI has a choice to go big (Canopus, Matrox, etc) or go home (cheap $20 Chinese USB crap), but floundered in the middle and ultimately perished. The one good product was the AIW, followed closely by the ATI 600, but that's it. The rest are forgettable.

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  #9  
12-04-2017, 03:46 AM
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I've avoided looking into the Hauppauge cards until now... mostly since I got the feeling people didn't regard them as well.. "good" compared to the competition.

But I do have a Hauppauge PVR-350 from long ago.

Sounds like it maybe worth digging into.

Today I use a Silicon Dust HomeRun network tuner with EyeTV for timeshifting shows.

Wouldn't it be "neat" if the HomeRun included Composite and S-video inputs (and) offered Lossless capture?

- I wonder if there is a mod that could be done...
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12-04-2017, 04:16 AM
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Added thoughts on other cards...

I took a bunch of tests this weekend, as I worked on the glossary. This is more in depth that I usually do, and I'll be reporting quite a few things that others never have (anywhere that I've seen: VH, Doom9, AVS, etc).

Few conclusions:

- The VC500 also gets rave reviews by members here -- but I'm not sure why. Default levels are way off. When tweaked, coming from VHS, nothing that makes it better than ATI/etc (aka other good USB cards). I understand it may have a chroma capture aspect that is only visible on Laserdisc captures, which I don't do.

- The ATI 600 USB is often accused of crushing blacks -- but again, not sure why. I have tests that show it's transparent to AIW 7500 VE and 9600, and values look perfect. I want to run those through software scopes. I've already done the waveform analysis. There are variants of the card, as it did have an unusually long shelf life for ATI, with at least 2 driver CDs, so perhaps a certain variant has a problem? The worst problem I saw was the default brightness should be 107, not 110, to match an ATI AIW at default (which are spot on). Other aspects could also be at play, such as workflow signal path (hating TBC, VCR, etc), which I've seen happen over the years.

^ Performed while setting up new dFAQ project workflow.

For Mac, there is a specific version of the ElGato card that is nice, but I'm not sure which is is. A peer had one in 2005, and could keep pace with my AIW quality output.

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12-04-2017, 10:04 AM
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The Mac Elgato card sounds interesting.. but i guess its a usb thing.. i don't know their history

I use Silicon Dust HomeRun just to get away from compatibility problems.. but then it has a massive overheat problem and a tiny fan that locks up. I bolted an a/v cabinet fan on top of its tortise "like" shell and its not given me a lick of problems since.. doesn't mean I don't look at other Mac solutions.. but so many for that time were DV based.. since DV appears dying or dead.. everything seems [file or stream] based.. thus why I landed on the HomeRun (stream based).

.. personally.. from 2017.. I love the SVID2USB from StarTech.. the Mac dmg application on the cdrom had both a kernel extension and application which treated it as a native digitizer.. also they had proper Windows DirectX and Twain32 drivers.. quite the complete kit.. (installer was awful though.. so normal for these products) proper operating system support gives me "goosebumps" after all this "half way" stuff - but that says nothing about IRE or crushed or blown levels.. it has the Empia chipset.. which is in so many cheap capture products

.. nobody ever wanted or wants to write a proper driver (my big gripe) its always some terrible kludge that "looks" like a driver

The new dFAQ will be great to read, there are so many cards and devices and real world experience to be had.. you could write a magazine for years just on video capture at SD and never quite cover every corner of the market

I would suggest that maybe the T550 variability had something to do with tolerances between that chip and the power supplies or grounding in the computer case of the time. The "great china electrolytic capacitor failure" of the time introduced a lot of premature or failing items -- it would take a long time to flush those from the market since the last thing people generally want to spend money on is a good power supply and people would do chicken dances or swear or pray to keep them going just a little bit longer -- I've learned a surge protector does nothing to clean up a noisy mains problem and installed apc line regulators just to protect the surge protectors.. and then proper UPS supplies to feed the new switching power supplies that won't work with the old style UPS supplies... older I get the more I wish I was solar only and off the public grid.

Last edited by jwillis84; 12-04-2017 at 10:17 AM.
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09-09-2019, 12:30 PM
Sleeper XPL Sleeper XPL is offline
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Hey Lord Smurf, bought a AIW, got a TV wonder USB 2.0 in it's place. Also need drivers for Windows XP X64.

Quote:
Look at the chipsets.
- AIW = Theatre Rage/100 or 200
- TVW = not Theatre

The answer is no.

AIW = quality
TVWonder = not quality

Not the same at all, and the TVW cards were notorious for various issues (AGC especially).

You're looking to deep, and missing what's on the surface.
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  #13  
09-09-2019, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper XPL View Post
Hey Lord Smurf, bought a AIW, got a TV wonder USB 2.0 in it's place. Also need drivers for Windows XP X64.
"TV Wonder" was the name that ATI gave to almost all their capture-only cards. So it depends on which exact "TV Wonder" you have.

You got a ATI AIW USB from me, and I've also replied to your PM.

The official name of the AIW USB is a TV Wonder as well. But again, not all TV Wonder are AIW (Theatre 100/Rage or 200 chipsets) -- in fact, only 1 is. That is a main reason that the ATI AIW USB and ATI 600 USB are never referred to as "TV Wonder" cards, because there are many TVW cards, all of them lousy, and that would actually cause more confusion than not.

Technically, AIW refers to TV Wonder + graphics, but since only* AIW had the Theatre Rage/100 and 200 chipsets, the AIW moniker also became synonymous with the chipsets. (* Almost only, since the AIW USB exists.)

Some TV Wonder cards have XPx64 drivers, but the Theatre-based AIW USB is XPx86 only like all other AIW cards.

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09-09-2019, 01:53 PM
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re-dacted..
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09-09-2019, 02:14 PM
Sleeper XPL Sleeper XPL is offline
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Thank you very much for the reply.
Where would I find the X86 drivers if using XP X64?

-- merged --

Sorry, XPx86
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09-09-2019, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
"
Technically, AIW refers to TV Wonder + graphics, but since only* AIW had the Theatre Rage/100 and 200 chipsets, the AIW moniker also became synonymous with the chipsets. (* Almost only, since the AIW USB exists.)
There was also a few models of ATI Radeon VIVO, similar to the Radeon AIW graphics cards but with no tuner. I think they had only or mostly Theatre Rage/100.
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  #17  
09-09-2019, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper XPL View Post
Thank you very much for the reply.

Where would I find the X86 drivers if using XP X86?
The downloads for the driver install and collateral capture software (ATI MMC) can be found attached to the following posts:

180-V01100-100
180-V01100-200

You have to download all of the files as a set and then "unrar" them into an .ISO file

You can use WinRAR or use 7Zip to right click on the first file and start the extraction for each set and it will reassemble the files into an .ISO cdrom image.

You only need one set or .ISO file if you know whether you will be using XP with SP1 or XP with SP2

-100 installs without error on XP+SP0 or XP+SP1
-200 installs without error on XP+SP2 or XP+SP3

Its generally recommended for various reasons to use XP+SP2 if you have a choice, since that was the cleanest and least loaded with security features, like firewall and changes made to detect and hamper malware.. which today is woefully inadequate and hampers the normal application software run on XP+SP3 for no benefit.

As a side note, USB2.0 has a bandwidth limit, its generally best to capture the audio with a separate sound card rather than the audio inputs on the "ATI AIW USB2.0" if you have that option. The benefit is that when or if the USB2.0 connection is overloaded, or the computer can't keep up with the USB2.0 traffic then the capture may have synchronization issues between video and sound. -- This is an "advanced" option though.. since you have to understand how to direct the capture software your using to take in the audio from the sound card inputs rather than hunt for it from the "ATI AIW USB2.0" -- simply turning off "playback" while capturing also works fine, both video and sound will be captured... "in-sync" to the capture file.

I have run into "silence" using the "ATI AIW USB2.0" even while trying to capture audio from the "ATI AIW USB2.0" -- because I had a separate sound card and Windows XP "defaulted" audio output to the sound card outputs.

Specifically, in my case, I had a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card, which has 2 speaker and 4 speaker modes. It defaults to 4 speaker mode. In four speaker mode you have front and rear speakers and two different jacks for them on the sound card. If your plugged into the "wrong jack" with headphones, or only have two speakers, not four speakers and one of the jacks is left unplugged.. the whole system can "by default" send the playback to the wrong jack.. and then you think there is something wrong with the "ATI AIW USB2.0" when there is really nothing wrong.. its simply that your headphones or speakers are plugged into the wrong jack!

To clarify that a bit: 4 speaker mode "simulates" 3D sound by mixing front speaker sources and rear speaker sources. For audio input from a two speaker "source" (video capture is treated as a two speaker source, at most.. also known as stereo) it defaults to either front speakers for playback, or rear speakers for playback, but not both. One Jack will always be "silent" in 4 speaker mode, regardless of whether the sound card is actually getting input from the ATI AIW USB2.0, or not getting input from the ATI AIW USB2.0.

You can use the 3D "mixer" controls to "make" the sound "appear" in 4 speaker mode regardless of the single jack your plugged into by pushing a control bar in the mixer application.. but this is an advanced feature that not a lot of people are familiar with at first. The easiest thing to do is plug into each jack for front or rear speakers.. until you hear the sound.

Also, specific to the capture program VirtualDub.. by default, to conserve USB2.0 bandwidth, it defaults to "not playback" captured audio.. so its silent to begin with, until you go to audio and check "on" playback.. but that is only useful for setting audio capture "levels".. if you leave that on while capturing.. it will cause the "synchronization" problems mentioned before.. the system won't be able to keep up with the USB2.0 traffic.

This all sounds complicated and maybe a little scary.. its not.. but it can trip up a lot of people who aren't "into" sound cards and USB video capture.. there are simply some extra steps you have to be wary to do.. or things might seem broken.. when they really are not broken.

NOTE: Not all sound cards, or motherboard sound card outputs have a 4, 5.1 or 6 speaker output. If yours only has "stereo output" and only one jack for headphones or speakers.. you will not have the potential problem I ran into. It used to be an expensive option to have anything beyond simple two speaker stereo output.. but now its more common to pick up a used card or motherboard that has 2/4/5.1/6 speaker output.. but not all of us hook up that many speakers.. so you have to be aware of the potential problem. Example > My "Capture" laptop only has one jack for audio output and "never" has this problem, but > My "Capture" desktop has the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz with 2 speaker or 4 speaker output, and thus two jacks for each set of speakers.

Last edited by jwillis84; 09-09-2019 at 10:31 PM.
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  #18  
09-09-2019, 10:46 PM
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That "no sound" issue was odd, something I've only read about twice now, and neither case was the same. It seems to be related to the computer in use, not the ATI AIW USB itself.

While external audio capture is possible, it may not be needed. And if done, be aware of sync.

I've run into so many screwy ATI AIW issues over the issues -- nay, screwy video capture issues, regardless of card -- that I can't even recall all of them. I tried my best to document everything in these forums, and sometimes VH, but it wasn't always the most pressing. Fixing the system is what mattered most. Many were so weird that I'd not read about them before, nor since.

Thanks hodgey, I forget about the VIVO cards. Though noting still not TVWonder.

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09-09-2019, 11:57 PM
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The "no sound" issue is odd.. and I didn't give up when it happened to me.. I threw ungodly amounts of time at it until it relented and gave up its secret. (In my case)

I think the abundance of cheaper used gear with such "high end" gamer features like 3D and Surround sound outputs have "swamped" us with choice.. and with choice must come understanding, or we forfeit the benefits of getting such high quality gear and "give up" .. assuming its used up or dead.

I've noticed (a lot) of high end used motherboards going up for sale with 6 channel, or 6 speaker audio output jacks.. and can only imagine how ludicrously "expensive" those must have been a few years ago. Now they go for 10 or 20 usd.. but with all that hardware comes complexity and befuddlement. These are "embedded" on the motherboard audio systems.. the single in and out audio jacks are lost in the confusing array of jack choices.

I long for the days when simple hardware I could afford was not so full of choices, and defaults that try to showcase their "Amazing 3D Helicopter Surreal Audio Sound".. before getting down to brass tacks.. and simply playing back, what it input on their (singular) output jack.

VHS barely got out of monophonic single channel audio and had eventually had stereo.. but nothing digital or multichannel that I know about.. and broadcasters certainly didn't broadcast in THX or Dolby 5.1 .. at least not unless it was on PBS in Simulcast for events like the Star Wars audio plays.

I have read a very few people complain about not finding equipment to transfer LaserDisc Digital or some other video format with Digital.. but not VHS.

I guess it was inevitable the Future would clash with the simplicity of the Past.

I truly don't know where I am on a Rule of Thumb for "when" to use External Audio capture with the ATI AIW USB2.0

I love the simplicity of capturing with the ATI AIW USB2.0 and nothing else, but you have to set your levels and turn off audio playback to get a good capture.. unless the motion is fairly sedate. If its "Fast and Furious".. better to capture the Sound from a dedicated Sound card and "splice" it in using the Video Capture application to source the Sound card.. coordination is a delicate balance. But Uncompressed is far better than performing MPEG or H.264 compression (at the same time) as capturing video to save disk space.. and it depends on the speed of the CPU and Hard drives.. the only way to know for sure is to try it out.. check the results.. then make your decision.

I could "Very Well" be overstating the Advanced option of External audio capture, many factors are in play.. shorter captures like 1-2 hours won't have as much time to "drift" out of sync.. longer captures may require the External option.

Professionals I assume never capture over 3 hours at a time. They probably break it up so that it will eventually fit on a DVD.

People archiving to hard disk or Blu-ray may capture longer, and have a tendency to see more sync problems.

But the majority of sync problems Begin and End with the signal and using a TBC.. as we all know.

Last edited by jwillis84; 09-10-2019 at 12:10 AM.
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09-10-2019, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
I've noticed (a lot) of high end used motherboards going up for sale with 6 channel, or 6 speaker audio output jacks.. and can only imagine how ludicrously "expensive" those must have been a few years ago. Now they go for 10 or 20 usd.. but with all that hardware comes complexity and befuddlement.
The irony is that a lot of the "fancy" features are crap. Many audio cards are tinny, or distort the audio. Creative is by far the worst offender, but many onboard soundcards have a bad reputation for good reasons (ie, it's true).

The company designs it, cut corners in manufacturing it, markets it as "the bestest ever!", and suckers with more money than sense buy it. Add in a few fake reviews for good measure, or to softball reviews like CNET, and the company claims "recommended as bestest by FakeSite!" Then when problems are discovered, the response is "you're still using that obsolete 3-month-old thing?; get the new whizbang, bestest ever, it will solve whatever ails you!" Rinse, repeat. Disgusting.

He doesn't know video, but I find Linus Tech Tips to be refreshing for general hardware coverage. He often comments on stuff like this, though he does get a bit too enamored by benchmarks at times.

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