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12-25-2009, 02:24 AM
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Hello lordsmurf,

You seem to have a high regard for the old AIW Radeon AGP cards; is there anything that makes them better than the current Theater 650? Both have 12bit DACS. I need something that will work in Windows 7 64 and allow me to capture VHS into a lossless format. Any advice?

Thanks for your time,
TiVo and TiVo-like devices have slowly been killing consumer-level video capturing options for the past 3-4 years now. DVD recorders have all but disappeared, and capture cards have been dying off too.

The computer cards that exist now are more and more turning into TiVo-like devices. The recording options are far more limited, often favoring compression and "convenience" for quality. The ATI series is no different. After AMD bought out ATI, their video capturing products really tanked in quality.

For PVR "TV recording" the ATI cards are still decent. You can only record to MPEG now, not really any way to record to uncompressed or lossless AVI. So for advanced restoration work, they're really not useful anymore. For simple no-frills transferring (at average to low quality) of tapes, it works. For TV recordings, it's pretty much equal to old ATI cards. I used a USB ATI 600 card to record a Christmas special just tonight -- looks good! Custom settings were used, of course, not the crappy presets in Catalyst. (A guide is forthcoming in the new year.)

Don't worry about the 12-bit DAC. Counting bits is "measurebating" (a term I borrow from well-known photographe Ken Rockwell). It's measuring a number of the sake of measuring. In the gran scheme of things, bits alone does not make or break the quality of the device or recording. There are professional 8-bit, 9-bit and 10-bit cards that will look just as good or better.

Windows 7 may be a big problem. You're best building a dedicated capture system with Windows XP. Even Vista can be a pain in the butt. But you only need the "box" -- not another monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. Use a KVM! read more about KVMs at http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...trol-1615.html

I would hunt down an older ATI AIW AGP Radeon card, from the better generation when video capture was good and eays to find. I actually have a few for sale, if you're interested. All tested, all work well.

Hope this info helps shed more light on ATI cards.

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