Quantcast Tuning a new ATI AIW capture card installation? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
06-09-2018, 09:32 AM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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I have two AIW cards that I acquired from devious sources (eBay) and installed in suitable systems. I verified that they had good display and were working, but Real Life intervened and I had to put them aside for a few weeks. Last night I tried using them in an actual capture for the first time, and I had some definite issues.

I read through the first four pages of the AIW Hacks/Drivers thread, and I intend to finish it later but I've got to run and do a video shoot. Right now I thought I'd ask a quick question and see if anyone can point me in the right direction.

System #1 is an AIW X1800 PCIe card, an eBay special, built into a homebrew tower computer with decent specs for 2010...ASUS P5QPL-AM motherboard, 4 GB RAM, Thermaltake 450W PSU...which was downgraded from its original Win7 to XP-SP3 (I noted from the other thread that SP3 has "security" issues but that they can be disabled; as this system is air-gapped then pointers on how to do that would be welcome). The AIW card came without cables and I thought it was a bust, but svideo.com came to the rescue with a replacement VIVO cable assembly which fits and works great. (Output is 2xDVI on card, no dongle needed).

System #1 has a great picture and good audio playback when displaying directly from the VCR input in VirtualDub...but when I went to go ahead and capture, lots of dropped frames (like half!) and an output which looks and sounds like something from Warner Brothers animation on a bad day. The sound was noticeably (like a second or more) off from the video. I note from this thread that using the integrated audio can sometimes cause problems; I have in my arsenal a new-in-box Xonar DGX PCIe x1 sound card which I bought for another project but never installed. Should this be my first resort to see if I can improve the situation?

System #2 is not nearly so bad; it's built around an AIW 8500DV card and a Dell Dimension 8250 tower computer. Still, it uses the integrated audio and I had 5 dropped frames in about 15 minutes of a videotape capture. That I can live with, but if there's a way to tune the system for top performance I'd like to know about it...and I don't mind looking for a PCI sound card if that's what it takes.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any help from the experts!

Last edited by ehbowen; 06-09-2018 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Add link to sound thread.
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  #2  
06-09-2018, 10:49 AM
house141 house141 is offline
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I am in no way an expert. But I have read and reread everything on this site in detail. I just built a Windows XP machine with an ATI 7500 card and a Turtle beach Santa Cruz sound card. The two biggest tips i can tell you are to make sure you follow the setting in the thread titles: Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide]
and make sure you turn off "enable audio playback" on virtual dub. This caused me a ton of dropped frames. Just follow every single step in that post. I went back through a second time when i was still getting dropped frames and found I had missed one setting and thats all it was. That's my biggest tip. And just read the posts by everyone on here that has already done it. I just followed what they did and bought the same hardware. Maybe I got lucky that it all worked.
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  #3  
06-09-2018, 08:25 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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The updated VDub Settings Guide referred to is here: Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide].

The guide also makes no apologies for mentioning that an external frame-level tbc is not a luxury when it comes to vhs capture, regardless of the capture software used.
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  #4  
06-09-2018, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
Last night I tried using them in an actual capture for the first time, and I had some definite issues.
Welcome to ATI AIW.

Quote:
run and do a video shoot.
Details? Sounds interesting.

Quote:
System #1 is an AIW X1800 PCIe card, an eBay special, built into a homebrew tower computer with decent specs for 2010...ASUS P5QPL-AM motherboard, 4 GB RAM, Thermaltake 450W PSU...which was downgraded from its original Win7 to XP-SP3 (I noted from the other thread that SP3 has "security" issues but that they can be disabled; as this system is air-gapped then pointers on how to do that would be welcome).
Essentially go into msconfig and disable most startup entries. Just be careful not to disable anything required, like for the sound card, mouse or motherboard. Same for services.msc, and disable any unneeded services -- especially anything related to MS Update, firewalls, anti-virus, any "security" (quoted because the idea that XP is secure is quaint and amusing, and was always the case).

Quote:
The AIW card came without cables and I thought it was a bust, but svideo.com came to the rescue with a replacement VIVO cable assembly which fits and works great. (Output is 2xDVI on card, no dongle needed).
Link that here, if you would. We can never have too many links to goodies like that.

Quote:
System #1 has a great picture and good audio playback when displaying directly from the VCR input in VirtualDub...but when I went to go ahead and capture, lots of dropped frames (like half!) and an output which looks and sounds like something from Warner Brothers animation on a bad day.
Verifying all framerates and resolutions everywhere is important. Not just in the menus, but on the lower right of the main capture window. It must be 29.97 and 720x480 for NTSC lossless capture.

Quote:
The sound was noticeably (like a second or more) off from the video. I note from this thread that using the integrated audio can sometimes cause problems; I have in my arsenal a new-in-box Xonar DGX PCIe x1 sound card which I bought for another project but never installed. Should this be my first resort to see if I can improve the situation?
I dislike PCIe audio simply because many are just integrated sound chips as found on motherboards. Since you have it, try it. The issue isn't just sync, but the quality of the audio, and normalization levels. You don't want loud tinny audio, which is sadly how many are tuned these days. Those are made and tuned for POS speakers, not reference or near-reference. That's the same reason that SoundBlaster was never liked, and Santa Cruz Turtle Beach was (during PCI era).

Quote:
System #2 is not nearly so bad; it's built around an AIW 8500DV card and a Dell Dimension 8250 tower computer. Still, it uses the integrated audio and I had 5 dropped frames in about 15 minutes of a videotape capture. That I can live with, but if there's a way to tune the system for top performance I'd like to know about it...and I don't mind looking for a PCI sound card if that's what it takes.
It comes back to disable anything that polls the system in intervals, mostly meaning to disable any startups and unneeded services. Consider using the free "Windows 8 Firewall" from Sphinx (the 8th firewall version, not a program made for Windows 8), which can be set to block all communication, as well as show you where the system is leaking WAN/LAN poll attempts.

Other that that, buy a sound card. We're talking under $25 here.
Buy this: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53...2/183110338826
For ATI AIW system, that is the best one to get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The updated VDub Settings Guide referred to is here: Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide].
The only thing I disagree with in that guide is disabling the frame inserts (which can be valuable information on signal integrity and system health), as well as disabling frame drops when too close together. I only do this when the system itself is causing these issues, which I find is rare. When the tape does it, it usually means the ES10 is required, as it has significant timing errors similar to tearing. Again, not something I see often.

Otherwise, great guide.

Something missing in there is also that some systems require DirectX be disabled.

Quote:
The guide also makes no apologies for mentioning that an external frame-level tbc is not a luxury when it comes to vhs capture, regardless of the capture software used.
He has two of my former units, so he's covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by house141 View Post
make sure you turn off "enable audio playback" on virtual dub. This caused me a ton of dropped frames.
Always worth repeating this.

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  #5  
06-10-2018, 12:35 AM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Welcome to ATI AIW.

Details? Sounds interesting.
Just making a video for my mother's real estate work, taping a testimonial from a past client. Encountered a couple of technical difficulties....

Quote:
Link that here, if you would. We can never have too many links to goodies like that.
The VIVO cable is here (Item #6110018100). While the description doesn't mention the X1800, after I described the connector and pin layout to them they told me to give this a try. Just four bucks...why not? And it worked like a charm.

Quote:
Verifying all framerates and resolutions everywhere is important. Not just in the menus, but on the lower right of the main capture window. It must be 29.97 and 720x480 for NTSC lossless capture.
720x480 (16:9) or 640x480 for 4:3 legacy video?

Quote:
I dislike PCIe audio simply because many are just integrated sound chips as found on motherboards. Since you have it, try it. The issue isn't just sync, but the quality of the audio, and normalization levels. You don't want loud tinny audio, which is sadly how many are tuned these days. Those are made and tuned for POS speakers, not reference or near-reference. That's the same reason that SoundBlaster was never liked, and Santa Cruz Turtle Beach was (during PCI era).

It comes back to disable anything that polls the system in intervals, mostly meaning to disable any startups and unneeded services. Consider using the free "Windows 8 Firewall" from Sphinx (the 8th firewall version, not a program made for Windows 8), which can be set to block all communication, as well as show you where the system is leaking WAN/LAN poll attempts.

Other that that, buy a sound card. We're talking under $25 here.
Buy this: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53...2/183110338826
For ATI AIW system, that is the best one to get.
I stopped by Fry's and found a PCI Xonar card before I saw your post. It seems to be working well, and one feature I really like about its control panel is that it's very easy to pipe the line-in from the VCR direct to the PC sound output without messing with audio playback in VDub.

Quote:
The only thing I disagree with in that guide is disabling the frame inserts (which can be valuable information on signal integrity and system health), as well as disabling frame drops when too close together. I only do this when the system itself is causing these issues, which I find is rare. When the tape does it, it usually means the ES10 is required, as it has significant timing errors similar to tearing. Again, not something I see often.

Otherwise, great guide.
Agreed. It helped me solve a couple of issues that I wasn't familiar with.

Quote:
Always worth repeating this.
And again. True confessions time: When I was capturing with the Tevion on the AGP XP machine, I had so many video/audio glitches if I left the audio playback on that I knew instantly that the system was struggling. On the PCIe machine with a much faster CPU, the video and audio playback was so flawless that I didn't realize that the machine had a problem...until I checked the dropped frames and then tried playing back the captured video. Call it a learning experience.
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  #6  
06-10-2018, 12:47 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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You can have audio preview in VirtualDub if you either
(1) split incoming audio to separate inputs,
(2) have an audio card with "what u hear" type technology,
(3) when Win Vista/7/8/10 allows the full-time piped/previewed input
(4) one of the few cards that actually allows it

720x480 4:3 lossless AVI from SD analog sources
Not HD
Not 640x480

I hate shooting video. Good luck with it. Problems are exponential compared to capturing. Different skills involved.

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  #7  
06-10-2018, 12:54 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
You can have audio preview in VirtualDub if you either
720x480 4:3 lossless AVI from SD analog sources
Not HD
Not 640x480
These settings work well with the X1800/PCIe machine; however, when I use them on the 8500/AGP machine I lose the video preview entirely. I get a black screen on "Preview" and unrecognizable hash on "Overlay. However, the captured video is good. Any suggestions?
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  #8  
06-15-2018, 08:39 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Try the MS device, not the ATI. See what happens. I have to use the MS WDM at times. The ATI is actually the hardware in use, but the connection is through the MS WDM for the preview.

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