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K101 12-05-2020 09:55 AM

Capture equipment recommendations to finalize workflow?

I lurked here for a while last year, and I've nearly completed my workflow kit this year. I am down to the final pieces and need some input.

I have around 250 tapes of home videos across various formats including VHS, VHS-C, Video8, Hi8, and miniDV.

My equipment currently includes the following:

-Windows 10 laptop with Thunderbolt 3 and appropriate Apple adapters to FireWire.
-Sony HDR-FX1 (I will probably switch this out for a smaller device for convenience)

-Sony CCD-TRV108

-JVC C-P7U VHS-C to S-VHS cassette adapter
-JVC HR-S9900U

-DataVideo TBC-1000
-CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
-16TB of external HDDs

I also have an Elgato Game Capture HD and a few basic VCRs that I used for the most important tapes before I bought all of this equipment just so that I could have something digitized of my tapes even if it wasn't the best quality just in case anything happened to them.

Obviously, the one thing missing from my workflow is a capture card and computer to run it.

With that said, I know that I will have to build an XP machine. The parts I choose will be heavily dependent on the answer to my next question. Why are the PCI-e All-in-Wonder cards generally not recommended? The answer I saw was that it was because they do not have VideoSoap, but is that really needed? Also, on the box of the AIW X600 Pro, it mentions that it does have VideoSoap despite this being one of the PCI-e cards that supposedly uses a newer version of MMC without it.

Are there any other differences between the PCI-e, PCI, and AGP cards?

I want to get this right the first time so that I don't have to go back and buy more equipment later or replay 250 tapes because I did something wrong. Is there anything else with my workflow that I'm missing?

Descriptive and technical responses are greatly appreciated to expand my understanding.

ehbowen 12-06-2020 01:03 AM

Just speaking for myself, I'm very pleased with the results I've gotten from a PCIe AIW X1800 capture card and ASUS Xonar DGX sound card in a homebuilt tower computer when I capture with VirtualDub and VDub2 under WinXP. The machine has much more power than my other AGP capture unit; the PCIe computer just loafs along at 15-20% CPU usage and very seldom drops a frame.

If you can find a good X1800 capture card (make SURE it's complete with all cables, although I've managed to find a suitable Video-In/Video-Out replacement cable on, give it a try...PCIe WinXP computers are readily available and cheap.

K101 12-06-2020 12:13 PM

@ehbowen Thanks for the response.

As far as I have heard, all of the PCIe cards are the same. Is this correct? If so, I'll just stick to whichever card I can find complete.

Do you know what other differences there are between the PCIe and other types of cards (either in software, hardware, or performance)?

My preference is to use a PCIe card since I would be able to use a more powerful computer like you said. Preferably, I would go with something from the 2nd Gen Core-i series that has manufacturer support for USB 3.0 on Windows XP.

Also, aside from the XP computer, capture card, and sound card, is there anything else that you noticed that I might need or that would improve my captures?

ehbowen 12-07-2020 03:10 PM


Originally Posted by K101 (Post 73222)
@ehbowen Thanks for the response.
Also, aside from the XP computer, capture card, and sound card, is there anything else that you noticed that I might need or that would improve my captures?

I would recommend that if the computer doesn't already have SATA on the motherboard (most if not all PCIe computers do but many AGP computers do not) that you install a SATA expansion card and then an internal hot-swap drive bay in a 5-1/4" expansion bay. Failing that, run one of the SATA ports to outside the chassis and use an external eSATA HDD dock. Do the same on the (hopefully much more modern) PC which you plan to use for editing and post-processing. Makes it easy to sneakernet the (very large!) lossless capture files from one machine to the other. Oh, and invest in a quantity lot of 2TB hard disk drives...remember, WinXP can't handle anything larger.

K101 12-09-2020 10:52 AM

@ehbowen I've picked up a motherboard that should work fine. It has an eSATA port on the back panel as well as plenty of hot plug capable SATA connections. I will pick up a hot-swap bay for convenience as well as the drives for it.

I also found a PCIe AIW card complete in the box, so I will have all of the dongles and software discs to get started.

As for your recommendation on the sound card, I will probably pick up the Asus Xonar DG which appears to be the PCI version of the PCIe card you linked, so I assume it will have basically the same performance.

Thanks again!

lordsmurf 12-09-2020 11:02 AM

The Turtle Beach Stana Cruz is the best audio card to pair with an AIW.

I'm not really fond of the AIW PCIe cards, mostly due to MMC not working well, and slight offset. I prefer AGP and PCI cards. The PCIe lanes really do nothing for you, the card is a bear in terms of graphics on 2020. This is a capture system, and (almost) all of the 2000s AIW perform about the same in terms of the graphics RAM.

For AGP, Asrock boards are best, the SATA2 models.
For PCI (and PCIe), you have more choices.

I sometimes have complete/tested AIW and the Turtle Beach cards in the marketplace, and you can also PM me to ask.

This is all really good stuff, if working correctly:

-JVC C-P7U VHS-C to S-VHS cassette adapter
-JVC HR-S9900U

-DataVideo TBC-1000
-CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
-16TB of external HDDs
No opinion on that camera offhand, but I'm sure it's fine.

You're doing this all the right way. :)

K101 12-09-2020 12:17 PM

@lordsmurf Thanks for the detailed response and the vote of confidence. It is good to know that I haven't missed anything so far with the hardware.

Yeah. I wasn't selecting a PCIe AIW for its graphics performance. The only reason why I wanted PCIe was to take advantage of newer board features, but I understand how that could backfire. If it does, it won't be too big of an issue since I could use the PC for something else and then build out an AGP-based system.

What issues usually appear in PCIe systems running MMC?

If I remember correctly, MMC 9.02 is the last recommended version. Does the offset you mentioned only appear in versions after 9.02 which the PCIe cards have to use? Can this offset be corrected after capture?

Lastly, if I plan to use VirtualDub instead of MMC, does it matter that I'm using a PCIe card?

lordsmurf 12-09-2020 03:01 PM

There's no new board features. :question:

PCIe x1800/x1900 require ATI MMC 9.1x. It's not usable. No dropped frames counter. Unacceptable. You're flying blind.

Some other PCIe cards may have access to MMC 9.06/9.08, but drivers may still limit and force 9.1x. It gets muddy, and I've not been able to confirm this. Yet another reason why I want to collect every ATI AIW installer CD version, andpost those here in the forum.

PCIe cards are all fine with VirtualDub. It still has image offset (harder justified left or right, not centered). This is a quirk, not really flaw, aside from narrow needs/uses.

The PCIe hardware MPEG is terrible. Awful. Blocky.
The "software" uses the AIW hybrid -- but only in MMC, so not really something you can use.

- MMC for MPEG, up to broadcast range bitrates 4:2:0 (I wish 4:2:2, I keep looking for registry hacks, maybe possible?)
- VirtualDub for lossless AVI (Huffyuv best, least issues)

K101 12-09-2020 03:23 PM

I should have been more specific about the board features. If I use a late stage XP board, then I should be able to get access to SATA3 and PCIe 3.0. There is also a slight chance of getting USB 3.0 support on Windows XP with some of these boards. These are just nice-to-haves, and I know they aren't important for video capture.

It sounds like I should be fine with the PCIe card then since I only plan on using VirtualDub. I'll have to figure out how to center the video though. Thanks for answering my other questions about MMC.

Do you have a list of cards that you are missing the installation discs for?

lordsmurf 12-09-2020 03:43 PM

The MMC discs are not that organized yet. Whoever has one is urged to PM me with the ID of the disc. The ID is what the computer reads, name of disc in drive, not something physically printed. If I need it, you can upload to Google, Dropbox, iCloud, MS, or I can provide FTP space.

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