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  1. Member
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    If it isn't considered stealing this thread can someone describe what the TBC in the Colussus HD PVR are can do? I was hoping it could perhaps stabilize the picture and sound on old VHS tapes.
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    All I can tell you is that I have used it to record some old TV recordings made in the mid-1980s to VHS that when played back on my best VCR have what I guess you could describe as a bent picture in the top 20% of the image. I don't know the technical term for this but hopefully you know what I mean. I canot fix this problem with tracking on my VCR. The tapes play perfectly with no image problems when connected to my Colossus with the TBC turned on. I have also successfully recorded some commercial VHS tapes from Disney of some things they still haven't put out on DVD (believe it or not). I have no way to test, but I can only assume that these tapes have Macrovision on them.
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    jman98: Thank you for writing down your experience with the VHS tapes. The TBC is definitely a real incentive to buy the Collossus HD-PVR.
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  4. what you think here colossus can beat aiw for vhs tapes?
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    (sigh)

    Well, after a few weeks of experimenting with the Colossus, it now looks as though I can't capture component 1080i video on my system. The resulting captured files have frequent video freezes and audio dropouts.

    I've been experimenting with things like the "Video Encoder" and "Enable Hardware Acceleration" settings, which seem to make no different. The only time I see an improvement in captured video quality is when the source video is 720 X 480i.

    1080i is like watching stop-motion with sound that's out of sync. Pretty bad.

    Has anyone else had this experience using the Colossus for component 1080i capturing?

    Here are my system specs:

    System Specs

    PC: Dell Dimension 8400 P4 3.2 GHz 4GB RAM approx 1TB free HDD space
    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
    WinTV: 2.6 (latest upgrade, previous was 2.5cd, same capture results)
    Colossus Driver: 1.5.30151.0
    Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro - Driver 8.970.100.3000 (latest Win7)
    Sound card: HT Omega Striker 7 - Driver 7.12.8.1749 (latest Win7)


    PS: At the moment, I don't have HDMI cables long enough to give that a try. But with my system, would that really make any difference? If the CPU/Graphics horsepower of my PC for this kind of capturing is too low, it would seem that trying to capture 1080p via HDMI would produce results even worse than those for component 1080i.

    Over in the Hauppauge forums, where I have yet to receive a response for a similar post, they make a big deal out of attaching those "extended logging" files. I figured I should probably do that here too, just in case.

    If anyone has any ideas about what I can do to improve the performance of the Hauppauge Colossus on a system like the one summarized above, I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks for your time,
    Alan Mintaka
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  6. P4 is too weak. Hauppauge says you need at least a dual core CPU.
    Last edited by jagabo; 16th Oct 2012 at 20:11.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    P4 is too weak. Hauppauge says you need at least a dual core CPU.
    Gag, I missed that. I wonder if I can do a dual core upgrade on an 8400? Probably not (sounds too easy, if not too expensive to justify, rather than just buy a new PC). I'll toss it around the Dell forums.

    I see it now on the Hauppauge website finally. Too bad I didn't read the fine print first, though I've made worse mistakes when impulse buying.

    Thanks for pointing it out,
    Alan Mintaka
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  8. Member
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    The odds of you being able to upgrade are close to zero. The chance that the motherboard would support a dual core or better CPU are almost non-existent. Your PC is ANCIENT. It would not have been my recommendation to try to run Win 7 on something that old either but I guess it's been working OK for you. At least you have plenty of memory.

    I've had no problems doing 1080i TV captures with my Colossus, but I have a 6 core AMD CPU.
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  9. Member SHS's Avatar
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    The problem not the P4 but it dosen't help any way the real problem is with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro which no Hardware Acceleration for H264 that is weak part you have.
    If the you have 16x PCI Express just go get a better video card check your power supply
    ATI HD 6450 with a minimum of a 300 Watt power supply
    or
    ATI HD 6670 with a minimum of a 400 Watt power supply
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  10. Member
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    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    The problem not the P4 but it dosen't help any way the real problem is with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro which no Hardware Acceleration for H264 that is weak part you have.
    If the you have 16x PCI Express just go get a better video card check your power supply
    ATI HD 6450 with a minimum of a 300 Watt power supply
    or
    ATI HD 6670 with a minimum of a 400 Watt power supply
    How does the video card affect the quality of captured video? I could understand why the preview during capture would look erratic and the playback would stutter on this machine, but these video and audio dropouts are in the capture files themselves, and are not just artifacts of preview or playback. I can see the dropouts in video editors that I use to examine the files. The audio waveforms are not continuous; the video tracks contain many blank and frozen frames.

    Thus, no matter how fast the graphics card is, the files captured by the Colossus will show the same dropouts on any other PC. I guess the question here is: why should the graphics card affect the quality of any audio/video signals captured by the Colossus? The hardware inputs are directly to the Colossus (component video, analog audio) and do not include any pass-through of the ATI card.
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  11. Lone soldier Cauptain's Avatar
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    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.



    Claudio
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  12. Member SHS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.

    Claudio
    Hog wash
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  13. Member SHS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BOMOON View Post
    How does the video card affect the quality of captured video? I could understand why the preview during capture would look erratic and the playback would stutter on this machine, but these video and audio dropouts are in the capture files themselves, and are not just artifacts of preview or playback. I can see the dropouts in video editors that I use to examine the files. The audio waveforms are not continuous; the video tracks contain many blank and frozen frames.

    Thus, no matter how fast the graphics card is, the files captured by the Colossus will show the same dropouts on any other PC. I guess the question here is: why should the graphics card affect the quality of any audio/video signals captured by the Colossus? The hardware inputs are directly to the Colossus (component video, analog audio) and do not include any pass-through of the ATI card.
    It should only affect the playback not quality of captured video how ever I heard that odd thing can happing you could try not using Arcsoft try out WinTV7 or Capture4ME see if it dose the same thing if it is then there few possable bad capture hardware that why if can try a diff system just be sure or it your Dell motherbaord PCI Express after all dell is well know for cutting corners with there product and if that is the case you my want look at USB model HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition I had older HD PVR hook up to dell 520e that slower then your above.
    Last edited by SHS; 17th Oct 2012 at 04:34.
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  14. Member
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    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.

    Claudio
    Hog wash
    This is correct. Although the chip on the card is capable of doing MPEG-2 encoding, I'm not aware of any software that supports it. This card only does H.264 video capturing.
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.
    Claudio
    Hog wash
    This is correct. Although the chip on the card is capable of doing MPEG-2 encoding, I'm not aware of any software that supports it. This card only does H.264 video capturing.
    Yes, I can verify that the Colossus always captures in H264 format on this Dell Dimension 8400 (P4). Evidently it doesn't have the horsepower to capture at 1080i, but 720 X 480 seems to work fine. Thus, while H264 capturing is limited to the lower resolutions, it's not impossible.

    I'm looking at deals on dual and quad-core systems with PCIe x1 slots (for the Colossus). Unfortunately I'm a long ways away from being able to afford a new high-performace PC. It looks as though I'll be stuck with low-res captures for the time being. Essentially, I'm not much better off than I was with the Canopus SD captures.

    I know how SHS feels about Dell, as well as a lot of other people ion this forum, but those stripped-down XPS 8500 i7 systems look OK in terms of Bang for the Buck. I've been posting questions in the Dell forum vis a vis expansion slots and other concerns. Unfortunately I haven't done any serious shopping for PCs since I bought my 8300 and 8400 PCs. At the time, they were cutting-edge technology in terms of the P4 and clock. It's a steep learning curve, even more than usual for me.
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  16. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BOMOON View Post

    I'm looking at deals on dual and quad-core systems with PCIe x1 slots (for the Colossus). Unfortunately I'm a long ways away from being able to afford a new high-performace PC. It looks as though I'll be stuck with low-res captures for the time being. Essentially, I'm not much better off than I was with the Canopus SD captures.
    You can't place one of those in a PCIe x16 slot -- say if you had two of these slots, but weren't ever planning to go the Crossfire SLI route ?

    I'd like to put one of these into a Shuttle XPC -- some of which have x1 for the extra slot, some of which have the x16 instead -- since the models I have already sport dual or quad-core CPUs. (The good news is that if you keep an eye on eBay, used rigs like these can often be had fairly inexpensively.) Other than possible heat issues, my problem is that space is very tight in either configuration, with the extra slot being right up against the graphics card slot. Probably only something thin and low profile will comfortably inhabit that slot, and I don't know if the Colossus is going to qualify. I'm a bit hesitant to get one, just to find out the answer.

    [The same issue would apply for an HD Fury, or the Moone HD, if they take up a slot.]

    That said, I think a cube PC is likely the ideal form factor for anything in the HTPC category.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this gradually disappearing American art form.
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Originally Posted by BOMOON View Post
    I'm looking at deals on dual and quad-core systems with PCIe x1 slots (for the Colossus)...
    ...
    You can't place one of those in a PCIe x16 slot -- say if you had two of these slots, but weren't ever planning to go the Crossfire SLI route ?
    ...
    That said, I think a cube PC is likely the ideal form factor for anything in the HTPC category.
    I wouldn't know about using an x16 slot. The 8400 turned out to have one x1 slot, so I was able to use that for the Colossus. I didn't try to plug it into the spare x16 slot, though I think that the way the card is keyed would make it physically possible. I know nothing about whether or not the pinouts of the x1 can somehow map into the subset of pins in the x16.

    Dell has now responded that the XPS 8500 has:

    PCIe Mini (32 pin) - 1 slot
    PCIe x1 (36 pin) - 3 slots
    PCIe x16 (164 pin) - 1 slot

    That seems a little sparse in terms of PCI x16 slots. The product description for the base system includes an AMD Radeon HD 7570 1GB GDDR5 graphics card but doesn't say how it's connected to the card. If it uses any of those slots, there are even fewer spare resources.

    As far as the Colossus goes, there's plenty of room for it in one of those 3 x1 slots. My HT Omega Striker 7.1 card would go into the PCIe x16 slot, leaving me with 1 spare Mini PCIe and two spare PCIe x1 slots. It's not a very expansion-friendly MB.

    I'm a little put out by the lack of details in the system descriptions for the XPS 8500. They list a video card but don't say what the interface connection is? To find that out, I'd have to go to another website or forum posting. This kind of information should be in a product description, especially for a "high-performance" PC whose video card specs ought to be spelled out.
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  18. Originally Posted by BOMOON View Post
    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.
    Claudio
    Hog wash
    This is correct. Although the chip on the card is capable of doing MPEG-2 encoding, I'm not aware of any software that supports it. This card only does H.264 video capturing.
    Yes, I can verify that the Colossus always captures in H264 format on this Dell Dimension 8400 (P4). Evidently it doesn't have the horsepower to capture at 1080i
    Sorry, that was my mistake. The Colossus is a hardware h.264 encoder so you don't need much CPU power to capture from it. Basically, all the software is doing is taking compressed video and audio from the board and writing it to a file. The CPU is only used to decompress the video for display (unless you have a graphics card with hardware h.264 decoding, in which case the CPU is hardly doing anything). If your captured files really have problems it has nothing to do with CPU power.
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  19. Member
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Sorry, that was my mistake. The Colossus is a hardware h.264 encoder so you don't need much CPU power to capture from it. Basically, all the software is doing is taking compressed video and audio from the board and writing it to a file. The CPU is only used to decompress the video for display (unless you have a graphics card with hardware h.264 decoding, in which case the CPU is hardly doing anything). If your captured files really have problems it has nothing to do with CPU power.
    Could the writing operation be a problem? The card is writing to a hard drive, so maybe the way I have my HDD's configured is the issue?

    Something isn't adding up here. I can see where the capturing process is pretty IO intensive, and that the writing might actually be the slowest part given how the Colossus captures. But what to do about it.....?

    The fallback position for a low-tech brain like mine is to defragment the drives, so that the card doesn't have to go looking for free sectors scattered all over the platters. In the meantime, these are the specs for both of the hard drives I use for capturing:

    Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache

    Write caching is enabled for both drives.

    I have many other hard drives on this system. Could they be affecting IO throughput, even when I'm not using them for capturing?

    In addition to the two SATA III internals, I have two other internals plugged into one of those SATA/IDE adapter cards plugged into a PCIe slot. They're WD, 350gb each, 7200 RPM. However I use them only for backup. I also have 4 external USB hard drives, all used for storage of these huge multi-GB video files resulting from capturing and DVD-BluRay authoring.

    As far as the Colossus itself goes, I always capture with WinTV 7 and always have "Enable Hardware Acceleration" checked. But I'm a little vague about those "Video Encoder" settings. What do they actually do, and does the hardware acceleration setting affect which video encoder is used? At the moment the EVR encoder is selected.
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  20. Capturing from the Colossus isn't really even I/O intenstive. What's bitrates are you capturing at? Maybe 15 Mb/s? That's less than 2 MB/s. Any hard drive can keep up with that these days. Make sure you hard drives haven't fallen back to PIO mode (Device Manager -> IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, should show a DMA mode).

    How do you know your captured files are bad? Maybe you just have a playback problem? Can you upload a short sample? Have you tried disabling display of the video while capturing?

    The "Enable Hardware Acceleration" setting is to let the graphics card handle the h.264 decoding instead of the CPU. You might try disabling it and see what happens.
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  21. Lone soldier Cauptain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.

    Claudio
    Hog wash
    I spoke only about the processor and not the card.

    Hard to understand?

    Once again:
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.



    Claudio
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  22. Member
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    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.

    Claudio
    Hog wash
    I spoke only about the processor and not the card.

    Hard to understand?

    Once again:
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.



    Claudio

    Your original comment failed to make that point. That is YOUR problem, not OURS. Is THAT hard to understand?

    Your comment is also irrelevant since the Colossus has its own chip for encoding. And it's probably wrong too as I have no way to test but I think a P4 is powerful enough to do Divx/Xvid encoding on the fly depending on the resolution and bit rate.
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  23. Member SHS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BOMOON View Post
    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Originally Posted by BOMOON View Post
    I'm looking at deals on dual and quad-core systems with PCIe x1 slots (for the Colossus)...
    ...
    You can't place one of those in a PCIe x16 slot -- say if you had two of these slots, but weren't ever planning to go the Crossfire SLI route ?
    ...
    That said, I think a cube PC is likely the ideal form factor for anything in the HTPC category.
    I wouldn't know about using an x16 slot. The 8400 turned out to have one x1 slot, so I was able to use that for the Colossus. I didn't try to plug it into the spare x16 slot, though I think that the way the card is keyed would make it physically possible. I know nothing about whether or not the pinouts of the x1 can somehow map into the subset of pins in the x16.

    Dell has now responded that the XPS 8500 has:

    PCIe Mini (32 pin) - 1 slot
    PCIe x1 (36 pin) - 3 slots
    PCIe x16 (164 pin) - 1 slot

    That seems a little sparse in terms of PCI x16 slots. The product description for the base system includes an AMD Radeon HD 7570 1GB GDDR5 graphics card but doesn't say how it's connected to the card. If it uses any of those slots, there are even fewer spare resources.

    As far as the Colossus goes, there's plenty of room for it in one of those 3 x1 slots. My HT Omega Striker 7.1 card would go into the PCIe x16 slot, leaving me with 1 spare Mini PCIe and two spare PCIe x1 slots. It's not a very expansion-friendly MB.

    I'm a little put out by the lack of details in the system descriptions for the XPS 8500. They list a video card but don't say what the interface connection is? To find that out, I'd have to go to another website or forum posting. This kind of information should be in a product description, especially for a "high-performance" PC whose video card specs ought to be spelled out.
    That XPS 8500 has 4 Slot the 5th (PCIe Mini) one is inside the case on motherboard it self it use for like let say a Wireless card and it same kind of slot that used with laptop
    AMD Radeon HD 7570 is all ready in PCIe x16 in that XPS 8500 1 slot the other slot be open
    That one of min reson why you want build own system becuase all OEM like Dell, HP are not very expansion-friendly
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  24. Member SHS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.

    Claudio
    Hog wash
    I spoke only about the processor and not the card.

    Hard to understand?

    Once again: P4 = MPEG2 capture only.



    Claudio

    Your original comment failed to make that point. That is YOUR problem, not OURS. Is THAT hard to understand?

    Your comment is also irrelevant since the Colossus has its own chip for encoding. And it's probably wrong too as I have no way to test but I think a P4 is powerful enough to do Divx/Xvid encoding on the fly depending on the resolution and bit rate.
    That rigth and even if had you quad cpu it dose always help it depending on the resolution and bit rate that that why some of day apps are starting make use of GPU Computing know as Nvidia's CUDA, AMD/ATI's Stream = Open Computing Language (OpenCL).
    In case with Hauppague there product there H264 Realtime Hardware Encoder just like the old MPEG2 Realtime Hardware Encoder PVR model.
    P4 can do anything it just can't do it Realtime just like even today latest Multi-core processor can do it real time with out help like with GPU Computing.
    Last edited by SHS; 18th Oct 2012 at 12:37.
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  25. Lone soldier Cauptain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    Originally Posted by SHS View Post
    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.

    Claudio
    Hog wash
    I spoke only about the processor and not the card.

    Hard to understand?

    Once again:
    P4 = MPEG2 capture only.



    Claudio

    Your original comment failed to make that point. That is YOUR problem, not OURS. Is THAT hard to understand?

    Your comment is also irrelevant since the Colossus has its own chip for encoding. And it's probably wrong too as I have no way to test but I think a P4 is powerful enough to do Divx/Xvid encoding on the fly depending on the resolution and bit rate.
    If you dont have need a better processor, was written on the site.

    They say it clearly "to play the recorded video you need a fast processor", implying that it is necessary to encode.

    Now if you want to keep believing that a P4 works, your problem, not me.

    Just test and see who is right.




    Claudio
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    Hey Guys,
    I didn't mean to touch off a flame war over P4 vs. MPEG-2 and H264 capturing. Let's cool it in that context, you've all had valuable things to say about capturing technology and I appreciate all the input. Remember, I'm the dumb stump in this thread.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Capturing from the Colossus isn't really even I/O intenstive. What's bitrates are you capturing at? Maybe 15 Mb/s? That's less than 2 MB/s. Any hard drive can keep up with that these days. Make sure you hard drives haven't fallen back to PIO mode (Device Manager -> IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, should show a DMA mode).

    How do you know your captured files are bad? Maybe you just have a playback problem? Can you upload a short sample? Have you tried disabling display of the video while capturing?

    The "Enable Hardware Acceleration" setting is to let the graphics card handle the h.264 decoding instead of the CPU. You might try disabling it and see what happens.
    Hey jagabo,

    Actually I've been capturing at 20Mbps CBR. I tried VBR (registry key AnalogBitRateMode=0) but didn't like the range of bitrates - I thought they were too extreme, as in min rate 6Mbps - max rate 20Mbps, and I could see a lot of motion artifacts and pixelation in the captured video.

    Of course, maxing the bitrate as 20Mbps CBR gave me this "stuttering" issue. I did try backing off the bitrate to 15Mbps, and also changing the profile from "Best", "Better", "Good", "Fair", which gave me a range of CBR rates from 20Mbps to 9Mbps. Nothing fixed the "stutter". So I was stuck with CBR bitrates that gave me stutter, and VBR bitrates that gave me motion artifacts.

    Another thing I noticed in this mess was that when I updated to from WinTV 2.5cd to WinTV 2.6, the AnalogBitRateMode setting in the registry was ignored - all the captures used VBR even when AnalogBitRateMode was set to 1. I experimented with changing the registry keys, resetting the PC multiple times, etc. Only by reverting to the older version of WinTV 2.5cd was I able to get CBR bitrate captures.

    One more variable in a slew of variables.

    BTW I was able to verify that the problems are in the captured files by importing them into Vegas Pro 12 and Nero 11 Platinum. I could see the audio stuttering in the timeline waveforms. The video stuttering was evident in the sequences of identical frames in which nothing changes. There were also dropped frame here and there.

    I suppose you could argue that the video editors are having problems with the files that aren't in the files themselves. Unfortunately there's no way for me to know that with this toolset.

    One thing I haven't tried is disabling preview when capturing. I'll give that a shot.

    Per your suggestion I've attached a 1080i clip. WinTV was configured with the VMR9 encoder, hardware acceleration enabled, though those settings never made any difference in terms of the stuttering problem. This was one of the captures with WinTV 2.6, so even though AnalogBitRateMode was set to 1, it was captured at VBR from around 7Mbps to 20Mbps.

    Thanks once again to all who are responding to this thread,
    Alan Mintaka
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  28. Indeed, your captured video is jerky, missing frames, missing audio segments, etc.

    Even 20 Mb/s isn't much for any modern hard drive, any of which can sustain 10 to 100 times as much. Even though your computer is pretty old it shouldn't have problems with 20 Mb/s. Run a hard drive benchmark and see what you get.

    Have you tried recording without displaying the video yet?
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  29. Member
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Have you tried recording without displaying the video yet?
    No, because I can't find an option in WinTV to do that. I tried unchecking "Start Live TV automatically" in the options, but when I restarted WinTV the record button wasn't available. It didn't appear until I started Live TV, which of course started the video monitor going. Right-clicking in the display shows a popup menu with a "Live TV" option but this can only be used to turn it on, not off.

    I know it must be simple to do but in my stupidity I just don't see it in WinTV. Does merely minimizing WinTV to the taskbar do the trick?

    Scratch that last question, it didn't work. I tried minimizing both WinTV and ArcSoft Showbiz to the taskbar, but the captured files still show the problem.

    Since yesterday I also defragged and optimized both hard drives. Harkening back to your earlier suggestion about the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, both ATA channels show DMA enabled (it's called Ultra DMA5 on this machine). I have two additional IDE controllers on the adapter card used for the extra two hard drives, but the modes of those are a little harder to ascertain. I don't use those for capturing so it "shouldn't" matter.

    Anyway, how do I shut down video monitoring while capturing in WinTV or Arcsoft Showtime?

    UPDATE: since I first posted this message, I also tried setting the pause buffer to various values - 0, 1, 5, 10, 30 minutes - no changes in recording quality.

    I've been playing with program priorities in the Task Manager too, all the way to "High" for WinTV, HauppaugeTVServer, and CaptureColossus. The captured files are still lousy.
    Last edited by BOMOON; 19th Oct 2012 at 19:07.
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  30. It's been a while since I used my HD PVR (similar to the Colossus but without the HDMI input) and I don't have it or the software installed right now. I seem to recall Arcsoft's record module had an explicit "turn of display" setting. WinTV had what looked like a pause button on the little panel with the recording controls. It didn't pause the recording but turned off the display.
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