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Need help with TV capture card


Larry
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I'm trying to get a new TV capture card working with my A8. (My goal is to get a good Atari display device using Win7 rather than XP.)

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TV-Tuner-Video-Capture-DVR-DVD-Maker-PCI-Card-Analog-NTSC-TV-PCIRC-Sabrent/282399603772?epid=1000476192&hash=item41c053fc3c:g:-6sAAOSwhQhYzCut

 

At least one person here said that this capture card was working well with their system, but I can't seem to get it to recognize the Atari S-video or composite signal. Anyone using this? Can you tell me what settings you are using?

 

I'm using this with Win7. The software installed without incident and everything seems to function properly, except no picture with the Atari.

 

-Larry

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Check settings for PAL/NTSC. Sometimes the included software is junk but you can usually try alternatives.

 

VirtualDub has a capture feature which should work with that type of card, so give that a try too.

 

I took my digital + analog tuner/cap card out some years back since I was barely using it. What little is worth recording from TV I just do with a set top box, and analog capture I don't really have need for any more.

 

An alternative though that I've been meaning to get into is a USB capture device. They're like 8 bucks on eBay and usually just do composite and SVideo but that's all you need really.

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I use an Hauppauge Clossus capture card for emptying my cable DVR. It's an HD card that capture via component so no HDCP problems, it even capture audio in 5.1 Dolby Digital via optical link. I've never used it for capturing my retro computers but I know that many on youtube use the similar gaming version of that card.

 

Yes, it's quite pricey but as everything else, you get what you pay for.

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Long shot, but if you have resolution options try lowering the vertical resolution to half (x240/x256 instead of x480/x576). Some capture devices get confused when they see the Atari's non-interlaced signal and won't capture anything at full resolution because they keep trying to pair even/odd fields. Since the Atari doesn't use interlacing it doesn't output different field types and the capture device never manages to get both an even and odd field to combine. Lowering to half vertical resolution may convince the device that it only needs one field polarity.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I've been working on this off-and-on for about a year, and I finally have had success!

 

It was not with the new capture card, but with a quite old Win-TV product that had "stealth" Vista drivers that worked (well enough) with Win-7. It is a PVR-150 and I'm using it with WinTV V6. V6 has the advantage of having adjustable picture attributes. AFAIK, versions 7 and up did away with being able to adjust color, brightness, etc. That seems like a very poor decision, IMO. The result of not having adjustments is that in many cases the picture is VERY dark and the colors are wrong. (Internet has plenty of complaints about this issue).

 

This means that I can update to Win7 and (probably) retire my old ATI All-in-Wonder card. It is still a really great capture system, but I've never been able to get it working with Win7. As much as I like XP, fewer and fewer things support it, and at the top of that list is that it has no TRIM for SSD's.

 

-Larry

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Update: Short-lived success. WinTV put in the infamous "viedo buffer" that causes a lag in response. Press a key -- and a second later the display responds. How about playing a game with that lag!

 

Back to the drawing board, and the All-in-Wonder still maintains its seat at the table.

 

-Larry

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I'm going to try several of these capture programs under Win7, and update this post as I evaluate them. This will probably take some time...

 

First, I'm using a genuine EZCAP TV with Debut free version (from NCH software). The genuine EXCAP cost about $25 from Amazon, when I purchased it a few years ago. At that time, most of the knockoffs would not work with Win7.

 

Pros: Very easy install and use under Win7. Very good picture quality. No lag at all. Picture size can be scaled.

Cons: Interface is OK, but clunky if all you want is the display for the Atari. Picture quality is definitely very good, but not as clean as the All in Wonder. It may well be that if I used the pay version, there might be improvements in filters, etc. to clean up the display. One other goody is that the included filters has a SEPIA filter that gives a look very similar to the old monochrome amber displays.

 

Note: Debut also looks pretty good with the S-video TV picture from satellite. In general all the displays (Atari or TV) look over-driven with Debut, and there does not seem to be much that can be done about that, at least with everything I've tried.

 

DScaler (1) used with WinTV PVR150 hardware and drivers.

 

Pros: Clean interface. No lag. Picture size can be scaled. Lots of options.

 

Cons: Cranky to set up. Inputs must be selected multiple times to get DScaler to recognize the video stream. Even if you get it setup and working, Video settings (brightness, etc.) have no effect. Picture is very dark. Not really very useful for the Atari.

 

Note: with S-video input from satellite TV, did much better! Much better picture than the WinTV software that I had originally installed. Ugly.

 

DScaler (2) used with EZCAP TV.

 

Pros and cons: virtually identical to those as presented with the PVR150 hardware. Fuzzy, dark picture. Cannot adjust the brightness, etc.

 

Debut and DScaler used with Hauppauge 885 (PCI) capture/tuner. The results are identical to the PVR150. Debut looks quite good, DScaler looks dark and ugly.

 

All for awhile...

 

-Larry

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A little followup...

 

The seller of the card was convinced that there was nothing wrong with the capture card and had me try several things. Using a DVD player, the card captured and displayed perfectly. Connected the Atari composite and... nothing. For grins, I took the Luminance and it displayed perfectly. Took Chroma -- nothing. So evidently it is the Chroma that causes the issue.

 

Wish that guy with this card that said it worked great would read this and write a post. Maybe this is one of those deals where there are different versions of the card from different makers as with the USB serial chips.

 

Anyway, I ended up back with my ATI All In Wonder with Win XP. sigh...

 

-Larry

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Weird. I've generally found with digital devices that the trouble was to be had thanks to progressive vs interlaced video.

First card I ever had was from the late 90s, it just dropped frames so had to be run at vertically halved res to function in any useful sense even with VHS as the source.

The only time I had colour related issues was if incorrectly set to NTSC for PAL video or the other way round.

 

The first HDD recorder I had was fairly useless for Atari stuff... from memory when I hooked composite from an ST to it, I got a rolling border coloured screen without any graphical content.

 

Next thing I might suggest is try some other "synthesized" type video like the output from a DVD player or set top digital tuner if you have either that does RF or composite, though in both cases they do output proper interlaced video.

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