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02-01-2019, 03:05 PM
fujrer fujrer is offline
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I've just discovered these two USB units. I've had no idea that there are USB machines with LSI chip apart from the DVD/HDD recorders. It seems to me strange they are not mentioned on forum. Virtually no experience from users.

Why are they so overlooked? The LSI DVD recorders do great job and are highly appreciated for mpeg capture. But these devices don't require additional steps with the DVDs and are more customizable. And of course the process of capturing itself is far more comfortable being done on a PC from the very start.

Is there any reason not to favour Audigy and Creative over ATI AIW or Hauppage when you capture to Mpeg?

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02-01-2019, 04:32 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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That thing is worthless. I've posted about it on the forum before. There is no way to connect to the capturing. It had proprietary software that was pre-XP. Lousy software at that, made no use of the LSI quality, extremely limited settings.

Do not get this.

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02-01-2019, 05:22 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Originally Posted by fujrer View Post
I've just discovered these two USB units. I've had no idea that there are USB machines with LSI chip apart from the DVD/HDD recorders.
Not a USB unit, but there were some nvidia NVTV PCI capture cards that also had LSI mpeg2 encoder chips on them. Seems to have used off-the shelf Philips chips for A/D conversion as opposed to their custom in-house chips of their ATI counterparts. Whether these cards were any good I don't know.
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02-01-2019, 06:21 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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I have both of those.

More appropriately they should be called standalone "codecs" I believe.

Each came with a specific api "plug-in" not a general purpose DirectShow/DirectX compatible "device driver/filter" so they were/are inaccessible from any application relying on Microsoft DirectX or VFW drivers.

In the case of the first device, the plug-in was bundled on the "driver disk" -- a true incorrect use of that term. And only worked with Ulead VideoStudio version 8 (Simple/Special/Standard) Edition and direct to Ulead DVD MovieFactory. Basically it put it in a directory where Ulead could "find" it when installed, tucked it away with a small .ini file to notify Ulead [I'm here.. use me..] which VideoStudio offered as a capture source, like it did for all Ulead api plugins. Ulead offered an SDK so third parties could write a "plug-in" to expose their device functions such as "do this" or "do that".. "capture video".. ect.. the idea was to make it easier on developers than making them write a whole device driver that had to be certified through Microsoft.

The work flow was dumbed down so the consumer thought of it as a "black box". The Audigy 2 ZS was bundled with their high end sound card at the end of a USB bridge. Each appeared as a separately addressable device.

Its sort of like a DVD recorder in a box, with the added complexity of having to manage a PC operating system and offloading the recordings direct to hard disk, or burn them direct to DVD.. any hiccups along the USB connection result in an aborted recording. Most people can't dedicate one PC to encoding a recording all at once.. so hilarity and crying ensue. (this was way "pre windows media center edition" and there was no tv tuner included, later PVR recording would basically do the same thing "simpler" and included a tv tuner and program guide to schedule recordings.. none of that.. with these devices)

Because its a black box, you have little control over the MPEG2 stream that is recorded, and no access to the YUV or raw video capture source. .. so.. yeah.. like a DVD recorder.. but more complicated.

The second box was the Video Editor, and its similar but was bundled with a plug-in for a minimal version of Adobe Premiere without the high end sound card in the same box. Same idea though, same limitations.

So these are "encoding" dongles tied to specific software.

You cannot, and never will be able to use VirtualDub with them.. even if a plugin for VirtualDub could "in theory" be written, no one is probably ever going to do it. And VirtualDub is rarely used for capturing already encoded video.

I still tinker with them.. you never know where inspiration will spring forth.. but they are mighty rare items these days.

Its far easier to find a DVD recorder dedicated to the task even on the used market today. And the user community around DVD recorders is much larger in size than the user community around these devices.

I dug deep and found both are based on the DominoFX "reference" design for their LSI chipsets, quite literally.. and they do have good noise filters but they were never designed for professional work.

The plugins that came with them are exclusively 32 bit and cannot run on 64 bit operating systems.. but I still tinker.

I have them, I know them.. and I would wave you off and say they are a sink hole of time.. truly "interesting" but not for getting anything actually done.

These were "expensive" very "Alpha" products which the company never supported well. The last whisper of "anything" about them in archive.org is that someone at creative or LSI released a standalone application for simply initiating and capturing a recording session.. again. by far.. not a DirectX driver.. which everyone was clamoring for.. But, this dumbed it down further so you could use them for Game capture without spinning up a whole editing suite simply to capture video. A couple years later LSI was acquired/out of business and Windows MCE 2005 arrived.

Mostly people who traded them after their prime were trading the ZS and mostly for the sound card over USB capabilty and ignoring the video capture capability completely. (warning will robinson: "There are 64 bit ZS drivers for the sound card, but (only) for the sound card portion" They show up on searching the creative website, but totally ignore the video "codec" portion of the box.)

As far as MPEG2 capture devices with more control over their stream parameters.. you can look at PVR MPEG2 encoding hardware.. but its usually got problems, or tailored towards a specific signal type, like cable or digital and just doesn't handle analog capture well. Elgato EyeTV bundled a number of MPEG2 capture/tv tuner boxes, and anything Windows MCE certified falls into this category.. but its usually "very, Very" limited in both picture quality and flexibility. We're really talking "low end" and "tone deaf" hardware.. Game capture boxes.. stuff like that. Tends to stutter, flake out or draw black bars or lines over your recordings.. frustration in a jiffy pop/souffle style/manner.. headache in a box.

Last edited by jwillis84; 02-01-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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