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01-20-2020, 07:42 AM
soucevit soucevit is offline
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Hi,

I have question(s) as I am starting to build VHS capture rig.

Which AIW card is best AIW card? (Mr. Regular pun sure intended)

Currently I have locally two options:

1. PCI ATi All-In-Wonder Pro 4MB (internet says they have 8MB) listed as "rare for collectors" with not much description. I had to identify it by this picture:http://www.vgamuseum.info/images/pal...other200_0.jpg Price is firm 2200CZK(100USD) Advantage is I can connect it right up in my PC install Windows 7 and start playing with it.

2. AGP ATI All in Wonder 7500 64MB. Price here is more affordable 920CZK(40USD). But I have to buy board with AGP slot and maybe some more components to make separate PC for capture. So it can easily ofset me to the same price area.

Both cards are with some signs of use. Dusty. Fan on the stronger one does not look good. And there are no connection cables. This does not bother me while I found one video in cable in my stash. Replacing cooler and fan would be good idea anyway. I will get 1 week to test any of them. While they are local pickup so there is no shipping.

So what you think? Which one is worth taking? And what is best way to test these, so I do not waste my week of warranty with nonsense? I can for example capture signal from DVD player and then compare it to original. VHS players I have are quite poor quality and I will have better one in aprox. three weeks.

Thanks.
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  #2  
01-20-2020, 08:58 AM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Ideally, neither. They use the original Rage Theatre chip instead of the improved Theatre 200 of later cards.

You need ATI's dongles or cables to adapt to the proprietary connector on their cards, unless you build your own.
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  #3  
01-20-2020, 09:38 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soucevit View Post
1. PCI ATi All-In-Wonder Pro 4MB (internet says they have 8MB) listed as "rare for collectors"
Do NOT buy this card. It is ancient, completely useless. The seller is clueless.

Quote:
2. AGP ATI All in Wonder 7500 64MB.
This card is fine. Not as good as latter Theatre 200, but Rage/100 is fine.

Quote:
some signs of use. Dusty. Fan on the stronger one does not look good.
The real worry is not how it looks, but how it was used in the past. Did it overheat? Are all the board chips still fine? Dust, however, needs to be cleaned off. I've seen "dust" that was actually moisture-adhered muck, and it would short out board pins. You must be careful getting used items.

You're not buying, you're gambling.

Quote:
And there are no connection cables. This does not bother me
That should bother you. ATI AIW cards are useless without the proper connecting wires. The AGP 7500 generally only requires the purple breakout/dongle, but audio input must be sorted (either ATI loopback cable, internal AUX cable, or bypass Line In).

Quote:
I will get 1 week to test any of them. While they are local pickup so there is no shipping.
You'll need it.

Quote:
And what is best way to test these, so I do not waste my week of warranty with nonsense? I can for example capture signal from DVD player and then compare it to original. VHS players I have are quite poor quality and I will have better one in aprox. three weeks.
The capture quality is almost never an issue (PEBKAC error, not hardware error). The real worry is whether the card will install, use ATI MMC and VirtualDub to capture video, and be stable. I've seen the entire range of ATI AIW failures, from DOA to buggy/unstable to flawless. Capture cards are not anywhere near as bad as TBCs and VCRs, but still at least 25% or more of cards out there are fubar.

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  #4  
01-20-2020, 09:39 AM
soucevit soucevit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
Ideally, neither. They use the original Rage Theatre chip instead of the improved Theatre 200 of later cards.

You need ATI's dongles or cables to adapt to the proprietary connector on their cards, unless you build your own.
Thanks for answer. I will look for other options. Cable is no problem. I can make my own if needed and I found this cable with correct P/N in original bag in my cable stash. I only unpacked it to check pin-out to internet. If it ends being unused i can provide it to somebody in need :-)
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  #5  
01-20-2020, 02:21 PM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soucevit View Post
Advantage is I can connect it right up in my PC install Windows 7 and start playing with it.
Remember, the AIW cards all require Windows XP (SP2 recommended) for their capture functions to work, even the rare PCI card with the Rage Theater on it.

LS and others will correct me if I'm wrong (I assume).

BW
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  #6  
01-20-2020, 02:34 PM
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Yes, XP required for capture.

Technically, there is a way to force-install the WDM/capture drivers on Windows Vista/7 x86 (32-bit), but who uses an x86 post-XP OS? Ignoring Vista (terrible version), the main benefit of 7 was the x64 architecture. Most programs required x64 during 7, including Adobe and other video apps. The force method also only uses VirtualDub, not ATI MMC. Technically MMC can install, but it's super buggy on Vista/7 x86. Also PCI/AGP only, no PCIe.

For best AIW experience, build an Intel Core 2 Duo system using Asrock AGP/SATA board, install XP.

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  #7  
02-20-2020, 09:51 AM
soucevit soucevit is offline
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Hello,

I have found AIW 2006 for sale which is PCIe. This helps, so I do not need to buy new MB and generally I have PC with WXP ready for it right up. But... well you guessed the question already I assume :-)
From what I read it was "cheap X1800" Was it cheap also in video capturing area, or is it same chipset drivers and just missing some features "nobody" needs?

Aside of this one I have found some AIW 9000, but all of them are without cables and they they look like they have been abused. I guess problem which is there all the time, while most of people treat them as old junk.

Thanks

Vit Soucek
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  #8  
02-20-2020, 01:18 PM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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Vit,

As discussed above, with all AIW cards, it is critical that you get the correct special connector cable(s) to make it work for capture. In some cases special connectors are required to simply connect it to a monitor at all!

For the PCIe cards, you need both the "domino" (or the equivalent older purple version) analog input connector block AND the intermediate connector, # 6110020700 in your case. The purple cable connects to the intermediate connector which connects to the actual AIW itself. If the PCIe 2006 card you are looking at includes both of these connectors, you can probably make it work with your current motherboard, but it might not be a sure thing (per lordsmurf's experiences).

Note too that some of the AIW 9000's (the low profile ones at least) also require a very specific cable to work at all (as do most of the 9600 series cards). These special cables are the hardest things to find in all cases.

Do a search on this site for "aiw 2006 pcie" using the top "Google custom search" box. It will pull up some useful threads on the pros and cons of the AIW 2006 PCIe version.

The 6110020700 connector is often easiest (and cheaper??) to find as part of the 0UJ443 package which also includes the "domino" connectors, etc.

After reading a LOT of posts and threads on this site I'd summarize what I've learned by saying that the PCIe cards are often not the preferred AIW's for a number of reasons, especially among the "old hands" on the forum. The biggest complaint is probably that the MMC versions the PCIe cards all require (MMC 9.1 and later) are not considered as useful as the older MMC versions for direst to MPEG-2 capture. However, using the PCIe cards for compressed or uncompressed avi capture generally seems to work well. One other weakness is that all of the PCIe cards appear to offset the captured image to the left, creating a black border on the right that is more than 10 pixels wide. This is eliminated in post capture processing, but it is one more step in the process. In addition, at least the faster GPU versions (X800, X1800, X1900) are "power hungry heat monsters" in the experience of some. I'm not sure whether the 2006 PCIe version is similar since it uses a less powerful GPU. Disregard most of the 2006 PCIe reviews from the time. The reviewers were disappointed for reasons that are irrelevant, even wrong for VHS capture.

In their favor, The PCIe cards appear to capture the entire image within the 720 pixel width. Some of the other AIW's that don't have the offset problem actually crop off some of the image. The cropping problem is probably driver dependent on the older AGP cards and can be fixed. I have an AIW 9700 that provides very different capture widths depending on which WDM driver I use. However, all of the PCIe drivers I've tried with both my X800 and X1800 give me the entire source image but also include a wide black band on the right within the 720 pixels. I wish there was a registry hack or something that could change this.

The other advantage of the PCIe cards is (as you know) that they work in more recent motherboards which include multiple SATA or even SATA2 ports, and support faster CPU's, etc. This may be the overriding factor in making your choice. Make sure that your motherboard can work with windows XP. The newest ones cannot.

If needed, the noise and heat issues with these cards can be addressed using "ATITools" to control (lower) the clock rates and modify the fan speeds of the cards. You don't need GPU speed to capture well. Interestingly, my 9700 has the noisiest fan with a distinct howl at it's single speed. Both the X800 and X1800 are actually quieter at default settings and both can easily be quieted more with ATITools alone. Quieting the 9700 required me to slow the GPU and memory via ATITools and then slow the fan with a separate fan speed control (since it is just a 2 wire 12V fan with no fan speed control built in). All 3 can be set up to work quietly and well for capture purposes.

BW
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  #9  
02-20-2020, 01:36 PM
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PCIe requires ATI MMC 9.1.x, which lacks dropped frames counter, therefore useless.

PCIe has image offset issue. Not a necessarily deal-breaker, but can be. The right or left overscan may leak into the image for non-edit/restoration captures, a direct capture/archive/watch project.

Asrock has AGP+PCIe boards with modern amenities like SATA2, USB3, new(ish) CPU slots, DDR3, etc. Too many people falsely assume that XP and/or AGP requires hardware from the 2000s, and it does not.

I often remove fans on ATI AIW cards, completely worthless buzzy POS. More effective is just adding heatsinks. Then aim a big 120mm case fan at it, if it still runs that hot (mostly the PCIe cards are hot, not AGP). ATI often had both fanless and fanned versions, with the fanless having large aluminum chunks on the card. I've never been able to figure out where those came from, but my assumption is corporate workstations.

Correct, cropping is a driver issue. Try another drive version.

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  #10  
02-21-2020, 02:12 AM
soucevit soucevit is offline
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Thanks for replies.

I will look for AGP ones like 9000 then. PCIe had only advantage of already having MB ready and bought new, so there is no trouble of possible abuse of components. it is late 2000s board with XP support, 775 socket and all the jazz.
I can source decent board with AGP and socket 775 that is no problem. Question was about advantage of doing so which there is.
The biggest problem of all this are cables. Most of cards are being sold as just the card and then unopened boxes for ridiculous amounts.

I will keep on looking and let you know If I am in doubt with something.

Thanks

Vit Soucek
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  #11  
02-24-2020, 01:48 PM
KubaVideo KubaVideo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
PCIe requires ATI MMC 9.1.x, which lacks dropped frames counter, therefore useless.
Is MMC required for uncompressed AVI capture? Can you use VirtualDub instead?
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  #12  
02-24-2020, 02:50 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf
Asrock has AGP+PCIe boards with modern amenities like SATA2, USB3, new(ish) CPU slots, DDR3, etc. Too many people falsely assume that XP and/or AGP requires hardware from the 2000s, and it does not.
Which Asrock AGP motherboards, or any manafacturer, have DDR3, SATA2, and USB3.0 support?
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  #13  
02-24-2020, 03:11 PM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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Originally Posted by KubaVideo View Post
Is MMC required for uncompressed AVI capture? Can you use VirtualDub instead?
No. VirtualDub works fine with just the correct display and WDM drivers. MMC provides direct MPEG-2 capture which some need or want and others do not.

For VirtualDub use the only issue with the PCIe cards I have is the image offset which seems embedded in the WDM drivers that work with the PCIe cards. It's a bit of a nuisance, but the captures seem very good otherwise, comparable to the other AIW's I've tried. I like the ability to use a more readily available PCIe motherboard with multiple SATA ports, etc. so I'm willing to deal with the offset. Besides, if the world economy collapses, I'll be able to salvage the copper from the X1800XL heat sink and buy food for another couple days

Interestingly, on other cards that use the same Theater 200 chip, different WDM drivers change or eliminate the offset. Sadly, my trials and searching has not lead to a similar fix for the 2 (previously unused) PCIe cards I have (X800XL and X1800XL).

BW
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