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Thread: Newbe Setup / 9800SE All-in-Wonder / Your Comments

  1. #1

    Default Newbe Setup / 9800SE All-in-Wonder / Your Comments

    Hi all, I need some advice on whether I should buy an ATI RADEON 9800SE All-in-Wonder Graphics Card

    Basically I want to transfer all my videos (home and retail) to VCD and was wondering if this card is any good. Ive heard of cheep USB products (around £30) which can do this but ive heard USB doesnít work properly and last time I spent £30 on a TV card it was useless. So bad that I put off transferring my videos to VCD for about 7 years.

    The reason I havenít asked what the best card out there is because I need to upgrade my Graphics Adapter anyway and this product seemed to fit my needs. However as with most products if you buy a 2-in-1 product it usually has drawbacks. Can someone please tell me if this product meets the requirements outlined below? If it doesnít can someone recommend something that does?

    1. It must work with PAL
    2. It must capture video without any dropped frames
    3. It must not be buggy and prone to faults
    4. It must be able to reproduce what is on the video with out any
    degradation (ok, ill allow some as its analogue)
    5. It must not have audio sync problems
    6. It must be fairly cheep

    Ideally It should be able Capture A video and compress it at the same time (is this called Hardware Encoding or Real-time editing, perhaps some one can clear this up?)

    Ideally I want to capture video from a VCR and simultaneously watch the captured videoís output on a TV. I donít want to watch output straight from the VCR.

    Ideally I want to capture video from the VCR and at the same time watch another video stored on my hard drive

    Ideally I want to be able to play videos in any program (for example Media Player, or Media Jukebox) but instead of the output being on the computer screen it is output to a TV. I know you could probably get a special program like the above mentioned which has this special feature but I really want this to work with any program. Iím not sure how you would go about doing this, Some kinda driver?

    What I want is have a rack next to my TV that has VCR, DVD, Satellite, etc, which also has a computer with a monitor. I can then select a video that I watch regularly (stored on the HDD) and it is output to the TV.

    So are my expectations way off? If they are what do I buy? Should I use Firewire? (I dont have a DV cam)

    Before my brother moved to New Zealand, he told me I should by a SGI computer, as thatís what he used and that would do what I wanted out of the box. Please donít tell me do that cus Ive checked the prices and last time I checked a basic model was about $10,000, and thatís way way too much. The maximum I want to spend is about £200 but if itís worth it I could possibly spend a maximum of about £500, but for that price I want something extremely good.


    My current System Setup:
    --------------------------------------------------
    1x AMD Athlon 1800 (Is this way to slow)
    1x 512MB DDR RAM (Is this way to low)
    1x NVIDIA tnt2 32MB Graphics Adapter
    1x 16x SCSI-2 CD Writer (New LG GSA-4 60B Dual Layer DVD Writer coming soon)
    1x IDE DVD Drive
    1x ATA133 80GB Maxtor IDE HDD (System)
    Cheap Sil SATA Raid controller (this Sucks can anyone recommend something good)
    2x Maxtor Diamond Plus 10 300GB HDDS (1 Empty, 1 a third full). NOT In a raid Setup
    1x 650W PSU
    Lots of Fans

    Any help much apreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    766

    Default

    the 9800 AIW will do this just fine.

    I don't know what software comes with it, but i'd assume that it works with IUvcr, which will be great for what you want.

    One thing though...

    Why VCD? If you plan on playing back via a computer, you're better saving the videos as xvid, as this will allow better quality in less space.

    You say you want to capture and compress at the same time. This will never give the best results. Can i persuade you to capture onto those big ol' hard drives of yours, then encode? This will take longer, but if you set it going then go to bed, you won't notice it.

    Don't spend 10k on a SGI box, though.

    I'd look at upgrading that cpu, and adding another half gig, but that's not particularly necessary. What you've got will get you there, but not as quick as you could get there, given a little spending. Depends how deep your pockets are.

    Having said that, if you WERE going to stretch to £500, you'd be able to replace that cpu and motherboard, and build a nice A64 rig that would be flying.
    AMD Athlon 1700 (@2200mhz from 1466 sod the noise!) - 768mb pc3200 - 200GB Maxtor - Pioneer 106 - GF4 Ti4200 - twinhan/visionplus pci dvb-t - random pci analogue tv tuner - A7v600-x (to replace the a7n8x-d that died...) - random 17\" CRT
    Sony STR-DE425 & Eltax c205s;
    xBox w/20GB HDD- executer 2.3b;
    xBox - standard;
    Konica/Minolta dimage z10 w/2x512mb SD;
    iRiver h340;
    A silly amount of Cat-5 and usb cables

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi thanks for the quick reply.

    I want to be able to encode to mpeg for VCD because some of the stuff I wonít watch very often. But stuff like Family Guy episodes I will leave on the computer. If I convert uncompressed video to xvid then I decide I want to put that film on a VCD is the conversion to mpeg easy and good quality. I understand its not going to be as good as if I did it straight from uncompressed.

    How much space would an uncompressed 3 and a half our film take up. And what resolution would I need. I know VHS is something like 240 lines but PALís resolution is 720 x 576. If I captured at (whatever x 240) would this cause problems as the resolution is being changed from x240 to x576 and then back to x240 again.

    Someone told me this:
    Store brought VHS tapes have a higher resolution than home recorded ones. Is this really true?

    IF I encode video to mpeg or any format and store it for later use, then I decide later to edit it while itís in that format, will this card handle this? Ive heard somewhere that I need encoding hardware, because otherwise it is relies on the CPU more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    766

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mR_Slug
    Hi thanks for the quick reply.

    I want to be able to encode to mpeg for VCD because some of the stuff I wonít watch very often. But stuff like Family Guy episodes I will leave on the computer. If I convert uncompressed video to xvid then I decide I want to put that film on a VCD is the conversion to mpeg easy and good quality. I understand its not going to be as good as if I did it straight from uncompressed.
    I still don't get why you'd convert to vcd. Xvid is a better archival format, assuming you only ever want to play it off the computer.

    Xvid will be of a sufficiently high quality that if you want to convert to vcd in the future for whatever reason, you can.


    How much space would an uncompressed 3 and a half our film take up. And what resolution would I need. I know VHS is something like 240 lines but PALís resolution is 720 x 576. If I captured at (whatever x 240) would this cause problems as the resolution is being changed from x240 to x576 and then back to x240 again.
    I'd capture with huffyuv, which is still compressed, but compressed losslessly. I'd capture at 640*480 (for vhs, that should be enough), with uncompressed wav audio so that you can crop and trim the video, and THEN encode it etc.

    Your capture would be taking up ROUGHLY 200MB/min, making your 3.5hour file 42GB.

    It'd then be best to do any filtering that needs done. Maybe you want to reduce noise, etc, but you'll probably just want to crop, deinterlace, resize.

    From here, you can start churning out your 512*384 xvid. If you adjust the bitrate so that you get roughly one tape's worth in 1.4GB, the quality should be way better, and about half the size, of VCD.

    This also means that you'll fit about 750hrs of footage on one of your 300GB drives.


    Someone told me this:
    Store brought VHS tapes have a higher resolution than home recorded ones. Is this really true?
    Vhs doesn't really have a resolution in the way that dvds do, but the machines factories use (used?) are better than the recording heads in a home vcr, so will record in a higher "resolution", yes. Still nowhere near 640*480, mind.


    IF I encode video to mpeg or any format and store it for later use, then I decide later to edit it while itís in that format, will this card handle this? I've heard somewhere that I need encoding hardware, because otherwise it is relies on the CPU more.
    Your video card will only be used when capturing. ALL of the encoding (or indeed re-encoding) work will be done by your processor. That's why i'm saying that if you can justify it to the mrs, get an A64 and motherboard. Your current setup will be capable, but it'll be slow. Having said that, the slow bits won't require you to do anything. It's a case of set up the encodes, and let it go. You can, of course, still browse the web etc while you're encoding.

    I definitely wouldn't recommend doing anything while you're capturing though.

    Xvid@512*384 would be a far better format to edit than vcd, as well.
    AMD Athlon 1700 (@2200mhz from 1466 sod the noise!) - 768mb pc3200 - 200GB Maxtor - Pioneer 106 - GF4 Ti4200 - twinhan/visionplus pci dvb-t - random pci analogue tv tuner - A7v600-x (to replace the a7n8x-d that died...) - random 17\" CRT
    Sony STR-DE425 & Eltax c205s;
    xBox w/20GB HDD- executer 2.3b;
    xBox - standard;
    Konica/Minolta dimage z10 w/2x512mb SD;
    iRiver h340;
    A silly amount of Cat-5 and usb cables

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi, video card finally arrived yesterday. Ive been playing around with Vdub and Tmpeg, and the results are pretty good, thanks mrlipring for your fast responses.

    However the VCR ive got is on its last legs and never was that great anyway. Ive looked around the net and have found many sources saying that you need a good VCR. Can anyone recommend one? From the info ive gathered, I think I need a studio quality VCR. Ive seen a couple in the paper and a few on eBay at fairly low prices. Most of the ones on eBay are SVHS, and I know if you play a VHS tape in a SVHS player it wonít magically turn into SVHS quality, but as you pointed out they are built better and have better heads.

    I also found out that about a 3rd of my factory videos have copy protection MACROVISION. I did a search on the forum and found a few posts. But it seems to be a gray area. I know you can by macrovision removers, but ive heard that you can buy time base correctors, which can sort out video timing issues on old tapes and as a ďby-productĒ they remove macrovision because itís basically is just noise. Do industrial VCRís ignore macrovision, Ive see some listed as having the option to switch off AGC, does this affect video quality in another way. Anyway I was hoping someone could clear up some of these things.

    If I do need a TBC to clean video what sort of features would an amateur need? I donít want to by the cheapest thing on the market, which turns out to be useless. Ive seen these devices in various forms i.e. separate box or a PCI card. Please understand I am fairly new to this device. Am I right in assuming that I should steer well clear from anything that isnít full frame and that as an amateur I probably wouldnít need advanced features such as ďDual Layer Chroma KeyingĒ? Again any advice is much welcome.

    I am not looking for the best brand new hardware that cost £900+ Instead I will probably look for second hand items. For example Ive found a VCR that got some praise on an outdated website which was the Panasonic AG-7330. There are 2 JVC BR-S610E VCRís on eBay at the moment. How much is something like this worth?

    Anyway any help appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    766

    Default

    Over to someone else, i'm afraid. I've never had the need to capture macrovision'd tapes. Have you tried them? They might work, or you might need a hacked dll to remove macrovision protection from your capture device.

    there's chat here:

    http://www.driverheaven.net/archive/...p/t-49444.html
    AMD Athlon 1700 (@2200mhz from 1466 sod the noise!) - 768mb pc3200 - 200GB Maxtor - Pioneer 106 - GF4 Ti4200 - twinhan/visionplus pci dvb-t - random pci analogue tv tuner - A7v600-x (to replace the a7n8x-d that died...) - random 17\" CRT
    Sony STR-DE425 & Eltax c205s;
    xBox w/20GB HDD- executer 2.3b;
    xBox - standard;
    Konica/Minolta dimage z10 w/2x512mb SD;
    iRiver h340;
    A silly amount of Cat-5 and usb cables

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