Capture Devices? : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

I know Im asking lots of questions, but Im posting answers too, so be gentle ;)

My next one is: My dad wants to capture stuff at DVD quality, which is essentially 704x576 x 25fps ('Full PAL').

Does anyone know 'cheap' hardware that can do this, and maybe even sell it to me? ;)

Now I have been looking around, but the only two products that scream in my face they can do it are Miro's DC30 and any Matrox product with the 'Rainbow Runner' addon. (Marvel G200, Milennium + RR etc). Now I'm fairly sure that the DC30 can do it but it's pricey. I would like to know if anyone with a Matrox MJPEG gear has ever tried, or can try for me perhaps, if they can capture 25/30 frames per second, without any mentionable frameloss, at double VCD resolution (i.e. vertical resolution somewhere in the 700's).

My theory is that if the card can do it internally, it should be able to output this data stream to the computer. My uncompressed 320x240 cap card can output 5500K/sec steady to my computer without any frame droppage, so at that rate, every frame can be (5500/25)=220 kilobyte, and I know that a 800x600 jpeg file at this size is next to perfect. Or is my reasoning flawed?

-- M.Artenbaum (, September 23, 1999


Good day Marten

What does your dad want to output to?

If he is going to tape the DC30 will or the RR might provide that class of definition but you will be hard pushed to get that level onto a VCD. Even going to tape has its problems and I wonder about the purchase of any analogue based card these days unless that is dictated by the source material.

I do not think any of the dv based cards will accept an analogue input from say an ordinary vcr, most require dv inputs that no consumer vcr has dv outputs at this time. If all of your source material is from a dv camera then that will change what you can select from.

As my posting on the comparison of encoders indicates there are problems in achieving acceptable vcd's with an analogue based card, at least thats the case in PAL, cannot comment on NTSC. The DC30 has an option not to capture in square pixels so it probably is more suited to vcd's than the earlier capture cards were/are.

Be very carefull with your purchase because it may limit what you can do. I would like to have a DvRaptor card but I still have a lot of analogue source material to process which cannot be handled by the card unless I tranfer it to dv first by using my dv camera and that is not on from a wear point of view.

-- Ross McL (rmclennan@, September 23, 1999.

Hello Ross,

(my name isn't Marten btw, it's Michael. :) )

Well, my dad essentially wants to write high-definition data to CD, or DVD later, when they are affordable. His goal isnt so much putting movie-length stuff on there, but if he can fit like 15 minutes of high-definition stuff on one normal cdrom, and play that with a DVD player anyway, then he would be happy, but temporarily storing it on a cdrom, to later write it to DVD with a future dvd-rw purchase is doable too. The VCD format is too limited for him (even though I heard that a lot of DVD players accept oversize and over-bitrate mpeg-1 streams)

About your DVraptor note: Well I heard Canopus stopped producing a PAL capable card, i.e. only NTSC which is useless in europe.

However, Sony (for example) sells a DVwidget, which is simply a analog-to-DV convertor for some $300 I believe. We've been looking into that as well.

-- M.Artenbaum (, September 24, 1999.

Hi Marten DO NOT USE THE MIRO DC 30+ repeat DO NOT USE THE MIRO DC 30+ i PAYED #500 FOR MINE AND IT DOES NOT DO WHAT THE SPEC SHEET SAID, bECAUSE OF CAPTURE LIMITATIONS i CAN ONLY WORK for 8 mins at a time If you are going for full DVD quality, You capture time will be only 4 min as it captures in AVI then converts to MPEG 1 or 2, And the bundled copy of adobe 5.0 only has mpeg export out so you un-edited movie will be full Avi and 15/20 mins will easily wastew most of you space even on a huge drive... I am thouroghly dissapointed and am looking to buy either the ATI all nin wonder with real time mpeg 2 capture on a Pentium 3 or the snazzi by dazzle.... Hope I helped... M

-- MoRphiuS (, September 29, 1999.

Hi Guys

Sorry Michael about the name but its difficult when the email address or signature does no include your "handle".

People in NLE are quite used to squeezing Dc30+ etc cards into submission and I have at least 5 years of NLE experience with miro analogue cards doing just that. It all comes back to selecting the equipment and programs to do the job, understanding the restrictions and getting around them with the correct choices.

If the end product is only mpeg-1 vcd's or qulaity mpeg-2 and premiere 5.1 is in the chain then I will suggest that the only answer lies in capturing vision using the capture program AV_IO which effectively has no limit in the length of capture and ta boot gives total lip sync all the way thro'. Its only 25 bucks.

My video hhd limits me to capturing 52 minutes of vision at 3M/s which can be done in one run. Using premiere as the edit base you can then load it all onto the timeline and carry out the edit - select what you want, add titles and transitions etc etc. You can then use the Digigami MegaPEG plugin for adobe premier so that you can encode directly from the timeline into the mpeg-1 vcd format or in the high quality mpeg-2 format at the equivalent broadcast quality image given by LSX (but at a much faster transfer rate from a full size capture frame without have to first resize). If you do not want to get that involved then you will have additional problems to overcome.

Most stand alone encoders that require avi or mov files as inputs are limited to a 2G maximum input file size and that will restrict the time to well below the total capabilities of the media to store the output file. I do not think there is an encoder that will batch several source files into one output - cannot understand why not, (why do they all assume we want the same number of files out)?

So in short, based on experience, the DC30 or DC30+ series of cards are not no no's at all, as the poster above indicates, its all a matter of developing the necessary get arounds by using the correct program choices to go with the cards. You sometimes get what you pay for - there are no short cuts and this and other sites are full of us that made wrong choices to start with. Yes I wish I had a DC30 series card as it includes the options for CCIR 601 and square pixel captures and frankly I am not really convinced the dv era is the way to go whilst you have a choice and a lot of analogue material to process.


-- Ross McL (, September 30, 1999.

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