Quantcast Minimum PC spec for capture with compression? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
09-09-2018, 02:17 PM
discmeister discmeister is offline
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Hi all,

Am considering buying an older PC that can sit in a quiet corner of the study and churn away doing compression/AVISynth work.

Part of this, though, will be bringing in capture via VirtualDub and I'd probably want to do Lagarith or HuffYUV compression on the fly during this.

Is there a recommended minimum spec of processor/RAM for this type of work?

Regards to all,

Discy
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  #2  
09-09-2018, 03:00 PM
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The thread title alluded to something like an MPEG capture box. But after reading the post, that's not actually what you're after, is it?

Am I correct that you'll be capturing elsewhere, and then transferring* the captures to this new "compression box" (not really) for Avisynth processing?
*eSATA is fastest, just swap over the drive.

You'd load the Huffyuv AVI into Avisynth, run the script in VirtualDub, and then save out Lagarith lossless. (Other software besides VirtualDub can accept AVS, such as Hybrid, if doing any x264 output.)

How long per day will you be encoding this way? That would somewhat determine what CPU and cooler (thus case) is needed to keep that corner of the room quiet, as well as cool, and not fail early. Anything from an i3 to i7 is fine, I've built both kinds of systems, and can give you a detailed parts list to shop from or do further research.

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  #3  
09-10-2018, 07:50 AM
discmeister discmeister is offline
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Hi there,

To be honest, I'd like to use this PC for the raw capture - either with Huffyuv or Lagarith compression - and then also for the AVIsynth work.

Total active time per day will be between eight and 10 hours, I would estimate. WIth the majority of that being AVISynth retouching.

The purpose of this would be to not tie up my main PC, which I want to use for a spot of gaming. So that being the case, would there be an issue with running an older processor in the 'vid capture/retouch deck PC'?
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  #4  
09-10-2018, 10:30 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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sofar it is not yet known which capture device is going to be used, this could be important, also for the "age" of the used pc, other then "old"
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  #5  
09-10-2018, 12:05 PM
discmeister discmeister is offline
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Hello. It's an ATI USB 600. So I'm guessing I need at least USB 2.0?
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  #6  
09-10-2018, 01:07 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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I just googled for the manual for it,

Yes it is a USB device from some years ago,

Intel or AMD
Min. Intel 2.0 Celeron, Pentium Intel Duo, AMD 3800+ or higher
512MB
480MB available hard disk space
USB 2.0

is needed according the quote i took from that, I don't know how "old" your available pc is, you should just try it,
most of the time these USB TV sticks did not perform well in those times, but that was also some time ago, just try it, also first with the software that came with it if it will run on the version Microsoft Windows on the "old" pc, a newer version of Windows might not run, because each new version of windows needed better hardware, you might also want to tell the specs of the "old" pc.
If this device does work, you could still have audio sync issues, a know issue for these devices.

btw. 480MB hard disk space should indicate that compression is taken place allready before it is written to the harddrive,
uncompressed takes much more space.

Last edited by Eric-Jan; 09-10-2018 at 01:23 PM.
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  #7  
09-10-2018, 06:39 PM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
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buy a canopus card seriously (or similar). Little to no audio desync, little to no pc resources used during capture and you could use avisynth while capturing. I don't know what you plan to record though (analog vhs, hi8, digital Tv, games ?)
lossless capture require more time & tweaking, software can crash on you for whatever reason, i've been there so i know.
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  #8  
09-10-2018, 06:42 PM
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What's budget for this? With that, I should have enough info to show you a good build.

The ATI 600 USB is obviously USB.
And no to DV boxes, downgrade from good lossless capturing.

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  #9  
09-11-2018, 03:20 AM
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Ideally the base machine would be a used Dell or Lenovo desktop affair - they're widely available here in the UK with 4GB RAM and hard disk sizes of around 250Gb, for anything between 35 and 100. Then I'd plan to replace drives etc - probably an SSD for OS and then a nice big HDD.

The CPU on those machines is generally a Core 2 Duo or somesuch. Occasionally an i3.
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  #10  
09-11-2018, 03:30 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Profesional video makers use a lossy video codec they edit with, called ProRes422 ..... i use the LT version of that, on a MacBook Pro.....
VHS isn't that high in resolution... lower than SD

With an old pc and a USB capture device you are really making it hard on yourself.
DV or a digital camcorder (firewire) aren't that bad options,(find a Firewire PCI/ISA interface card, they are cheap) and files are easy to handle, professional quality you will never get from VHS tapes, just look what makes you happy, that's where it's at.
search on Youtube, you will find hands-on examples enough.
Or you should invest some money in it, if you got many tapes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by discmeister View Post
Ideally the base machine would be a used Dell or Lenovo desktop affair - they're widely available here in the UK with 4GB RAM and hard disk sizes of around 250Gb, for anything between 35 and 100. Then I'd plan to replace drives etc - probably an SSD for OS and then a nice big HDD.

The CPU on those machines is generally a Core 2 Duo or somesuch. Occasionally an i3.
You should check specs of all if it makes sense to use expensive SSD's, speedwise which includes the type through put "types" of the interface.

The transfer speed your capture needs to get rid of it to the storage device, speed is allways needed, to compress before storage, or when uncompressed to the storage. better use a (2ndhand) recent pc.
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  #11  
09-13-2018, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discmeister View Post
Ideally the base machine would be a used Dell or Lenovo desktop affair - they're widely available here in the UK with 4GB RAM and hard disk sizes of around 250Gb, for anything between 35 and 100. Then I'd plan to replace drives etc - probably an SSD for OS and then a nice big HDD.
The CPU on those machines is generally a Core 2 Duo or somesuch. Occasionally an i3.
Ouch. Yeah, that was lower than I thought you were after.

I was looking along the lines of i3 for budget, or i7 for power. Encoding and moving files on hardware that old is not fun. Too much of your funds go to a new Windows license or to the brand name of the computer (Dell/HP/etc), and the rest is for the computer parts.

As an example, I built a nice cool i3 last year, quiet, SSD 250gb for OS, 8gb RAM, good well-vented mid-tower case, quiet PSU, quiet CPU cooler, for about $250 USD.

It runs Linux. Now, for video, you will need Windows, but surely you already have a copy?

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  #12  
09-13-2018, 03:58 AM
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Hi there,

So I did a raid on my attic to see what I could find. I turned up an old Intel S1155 board that had been the basis for an HTPC a few years ago, a spare case, a 60Gb SSD.

The CPU in the board - which has 4Gb RAM - was an old G620. So I looked on the usual auction sites and I've ordered a used i5 2310 CPU. Throw in a sensible PSU, a fresh CPU cooler, a new DVD writer and a new 2Tb hard disk and my total spend is about 110.

I will need Windows but it's widely available on auction sites for not much money at all - people selling off licenses they stockpiled during Microsoft's 'free upgrade' process.

All being well, it should be up and running by next week. And then I can carry on the process that has been started and honed thanks to all the advice I've received here. The first DVDs were posted out to the VHS tape donors earlier this week.

Thanks again to all,

Discy
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  #13  
09-13-2018, 05:42 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themaster1 View Post
buy a canopus card seriously (or similar). Little to no audio desync, little to no pc resources used during capture and you could use avisynth while capturing. I don't know what you plan to record though (analog vhs, hi8, digital Tv, games ?)
lossless capture require more time & tweaking, software can crash on you for whatever reason, i've been there so i know.
Correct ! the easy way to go, some people won't agree, but if it works, it works for you, depending which Canopus you can set a dip switch (at the bottom) to lock audio so it is in sync, defeat MacroVision with the silver button, (30 seconds press) and generate a colorbar test image (2 or 3 seconds press) ADVC100 has composite in and out s-video in and out, audio in and out Firewire (4pin) also in and out, later models have different amount of connections but a Firewire connection (more pins/ other firewire version) that has also power to run the this device (no wall wrath needed)
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  #14  
09-13-2018, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
Correct !
to lock audio so it is in sync,
Actually, no, that's not at all correct. "Locking" audio in DV means something else entirely, and is only available in the pro DV formats. Consumer DV cannot be locked, and the Canopus marketing is complete BS. A DV box can drop frames like any other setup, as well as lose sync. These is zero "locking" of audio, in any sense of the word. The myth has been debunked over and over and over for 15 years now. And not just by me.

I wrote this on another site about 6 months ago, a much longer answer:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf
It's nonsense. Back up for a second.

DV tapes -- tapes! -- recorded the audio and video onto digital tracks, and required precise 48000Hz bytes worth of data. The effect was "locked" audio, but that's still not was is referenced by the term/jargon "locked". Again, marketing BS muddied that. And none of this has anything to do with AVI files.

- Consumer DV isn't locked. It has clock resampling like any analog capture.
- Professional DV is locked. And whether the Canopus ADVC is "professional" is arguable. But let's just go with it, assume it is professional.

The "locked" feature still doesn't extend to your AVI files. The AVDC ingested, processed, and output audio no different than any other capture card. AVI timestamps control its own "locking", separate from whatever the raw DV stream does, and that's all software can touch. Perhaps some advanced DV ingest software can intercept timestamps from pro locked audio, but I don't believe that's the case.

So the "nonsense" part was the explicit or insinuated idea that non-DV capturing (AVI, etc) with non-"locked" audio was going to drift. Again, it was the marketing of the era. I guess you had to be there, some 15-20 years ago. (B&H photo was a mouthpiece of Canopus BS back in the day, as were some others. There are at least two posts on VH where I called B&H to the carpet for it, and at least one of those they responded to half-ass apologetically.)

This wasn't a secret, and others online have been saying it for the past 2 decades (example).

ADVC errors can happen purely in the hardware workflow, free of drops/skew caused by software. Again, it is purely an issue of timebase correction of the incoming analog signal. A Canopus ADVC box has no TBC. So in reality, it's no different than using any other capture card. The main difference is 4:1:1 crippled chroma compared to 4:2:2 of everything else, simply to achieve that 13gb/hour compression.

Again, we're talking about devices with tech created in the era of Pentium III computers, late 90s and earlier 2000s. The encoding was offloaded to hardware (so no CPU bottleneck), and the compression was the alternative to SDI/uncompressed. This all existed before lossless capture was really possible, due to CPU and space needs of the era. Lossless is 3x larger. Even then, 13gb/hour was huge, often outsizing the drives. I remember info/marketing that encouraged you to convert VHS to DV tapes, not even to computer files. In fact, when I worked for studios, I dealt with those "VHS/analog archived as DV" type tapes from the late 90s (and sadly, the early 00s). Thankfully everything I saw had been TBC'd during transfer.

Be careful about deferring to Adam Wilt's site. He's very pro-DV, and his information skews to the rosy side of reality. He also narrowing talks about shooting DV, not using it for analog conversion, not the same. You need to read him more carefully, namely that specs and reality don't also coincide. This is true of audio locking especially.

I think my annoyance has been the born-from-marketing attitude that a Canopus box is a magic box. It's not. It has many flaws. If you understand and acknowledge those, and can make it work for your workflow, then great. Feel free to use it. But don't act like it inhales poop and expels roses.

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  #15  
09-30-2018, 10:26 AM
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Hi all,

As outlined above, I've ended up with an i5-2310 - https://ark.intel.com/products/53445...up-to-3_20-GHz - and 4Gb RAM, with a 60Gb SSD and a 2Tb HDD.

The built-in graphics of the CPU are Intel HD 2000. Running W10 64-bit.

I've installed the ATI USB 600 drivers as I did on my main machine, which also runs W10 64-bit and worked correctly. However, while VirtualDub can see the ATI USB 600 as usual, when I actually try to put on some video, the preview at best shows a single frame and then freezes, or most times shows nothing at all - just a black screen. This is under 'Preview' but under 'Overlay' it doesn't even show the odd frame and freeze - it's permanently black.

I'm scratching my head about it a bit because, well, it seemed so straightforward on the regular PC. So I'm just wondering if there are known issues with Intel HD2000 showing video with DirectShow? Perhaps it could be a case of finding another cheap mobo with room for both my CPU and a passively-cooled graphics card of some sort, if that's a known problem? But I thought I'd check here before committing to that theory (and expense).

Regards to all,

Discy
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