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  1. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: United States
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    Hi, I'm looking for an alternative to my Hauppauge Colossus. I've played around with it for over a year and a half and I absolutely hate it. Blocking, ringing, smudging at 720p 20mbit constant. It's very severe and difficult to even reduce these artifacts to something manageable. Tried every update to driver and software again and again over that period of time (some for the better and some for the worse) and simply come to the conclusion it isn't a very good card. Is the blackmagic intensity pro or the newer Avermedia Gamer Live/Lite any better in the quality department? Is there some alternative I am not considering? At this point, I greatly prefer the minor performance hit of PlayClaw, but would certainly like a fully hardware solution.

    Who's bright idea was it to make h264 the standard for capture hardware? It's not really designed for this usage and it certainly shows.

    Strictly PC usage on same PC. No passthrough needed, HDMI with audio support a plus. PCI-e.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
    Search Comp PM
    Some people are more susceptible to defects than others. Maybe you're one of the "lucky" people. I've got a Colossus and I'm very happy with it. Would you mind telling me what your source videos are? I use it for TV captures and the occasional VHS or laserdisc capture and it has totally met my needs. I do not do any gaming captures at all, so if this is what you do, I really have no frame of reference as to whether it's any good for that or not. Based on your reference to PlayClaw, I assume you're a gamer.

    May I ask why you are getting 720p output? I thought that all gaming systems output 1080p. Is there any chance that your real problem is that you have your game system convert 1080p to 720p and maybe that is where the problem is?
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  3. It sounds like you're going to want an HDMI capture device that captures uncompressed (or compressed with a lossless codec like UT Video codec or Lagarith) RGB or YUV 4:2:2. You can then later compress it with whatever lossy encoder you want.

    Or you can try something like the Elgato Gamecapture HD or Avermedia Live Gamer Portable which can capture h.264 at higher bitrates (30 Mb/s for the former, 60 Mb/s for the latter).
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by czerro View Post
    Hi, I'm looking for an alternative to my Hauppauge Colossus. I've played around with it for over a year and a half and I absolutely hate it. Blocking, ringing, smudging at 720p 20mbit constant. It's very severe and difficult to even reduce these artifacts to something manageable. Tried every update to driver and software again and again over that period of time (some for the better and some for the worse) and simply come to the conclusion it isn't a very good card. Is the blackmagic intensity pro or the newer Avermedia Gamer Live/Lite any better in the quality department? Is there some alternative I am not considering? At this point, I greatly prefer the minor performance hit of PlayClaw, but would certainly like a fully hardware solution.

    Who's bright idea was it to make h264 the standard for capture hardware? It's not really designed for this usage and it certainly shows.

    Strictly PC usage on same PC. No passthrough needed, HDMI with audio support a plus. PCI-e.
    I know nothing about the Avermedia Gamer HD Lite, except that it is new. Blackmagic's Intensity Pro outputs uncompressed video and uses software for encoding, so it can provide very high quality captures using light compression, or no compression, but the capture files would be enormous and you would need a RAID array or SSD to avoid dropped frames. However, it can only capture 2-channel audio, not 5.1 like the Colossus.

    For most users, H.264 offers some practical advantages over capturing uncompressed or lightly compressed HD video. A USB 2.0 connection provides enough bandwidth to carry an H.264 stream. Plus, capturing H.264 HD video doesn't require a RAID array or SSD and the files produced require less hard drive space to store than formats that are less compressed.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Some people are more susceptible to defects than others. Maybe you're one of the "lucky" people. I've got a Colossus and I'm very happy with it. Would you mind telling me what your source videos are? I use it for TV captures and the occasional VHS or laserdisc capture and it has totally met my needs. I do not do any gaming captures at all, so if this is what you do, I really have no frame of reference as to whether it's any good for that or not. Based on your reference to PlayClaw, I assume you're a gamer.

    May I ask why you are getting 720p output? I thought that all gaming systems output 1080p. Is there any chance that your real problem is that you have your game system convert 1080p to 720p and maybe that is where the problem is?
    1080i30 vs 720p60 on PC is kinda a no brainer for me. My monitor is 4:3 1280x1024 max res. 720p is the only 16:9 resolution that it reproduces. 720p60 maxed settings in game, NNEDI/AA other filtering in post returns something that is not really discernible from 1080p without the performance hit...except in post-processing time. With YT compression a 1080p video at 720p looks crisper, retains more detail and has less blocks than 720p at 720p. *Shrug*. That's YT and I can't help that, I just noticed it from a lot of testing over the last couple years.

    I don't understand your question though. The problem is that I am recording at 720p? If anything 720p would introduce less problems in the realm of artifacts. I have also tried using my tv as a 1080i monitor as ungainly as it is for my setup, and the artifacts are still there after a proper IVTC.

    As to the YT thing, you can test for yourself. Take a 720p source upload to YT. Upscale to 1080p with NNEDI3 in avisynth and upload to YT. Watching the source and the upscaled source from your PC will look identical. Watching your uploads on YT you can see that the 720p at 720p looks noticeably worse than the 1080p upscale at 720p YT playback. Weird.

    So, perhaps I am both picky and the fact that I am upscaling makes any flaws in the source a much more noticeable eyesore, but they are easily noted before upscaling. Ringing around text/borders on dark backgrounds, blocking where one should see a smooth gradient, smeary details. This is at 20mbit constant. I see this in a lot of YT uploads too (separate from YT compression issues) and want to avoid getting another card like this if an alternative exists.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks for the info. Again, I have no real way to tell if capturing your games at 720p is introducing flaws into the videos. It may simply be the Colossus is very bad for what you are using it for. And it seems like you are one of those "lucky" people who notice even the tiniest of flaws and I am not. I'm certainly not so bad that I'm going to tell you that VCD looks almost as good as DVD or BluRay (I actually know a guy who thinks that), but every now and then I see a post where some guy is going absolutely nuts from the most trivial of issues on his captures and it's not anything that most people would ever notice.

    I am curious - why on earth do you even care about recording game play anyway? Do you honestly watch those captures later? If so, why? I really do not understand why anyone would have any interest in doing that. To me it's as interesting as filming yourself watching TV. I can tell you that caring a lot about what YouTube does to your video uploads is nuts as there is really very little you can do about it. And why would you even care that your video game captures aren't being shown there in pristine quality anyway? I don't know, man. You gamers are just a different breed of cat. You get all bent out of shape about stuff that 99% of the world has no interest in seeing anyway. I can't think of anything more pointless than watching a video of somebody playing a game. If you'd like to provide a prospective on why you care enough to do this sort of thing and obsess about the quality, I'd like to read it.
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  7. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    I am curious - why on earth do you even care about recording game play anyway? Do you honestly watch those captures later? If so, why? I really do not understand why anyone would have any interest in doing that. To me it's as interesting as filming yourself watching TV. I can tell you that caring a lot about what YouTube does to your video uploads is nuts as there is really very little you can do about it. And why would you even care that your video game captures aren't being shown there in pristine quality anyway? I don't know, man. You gamers are just a different breed of cat. You get all bent out of shape about stuff that 99% of the world has no interest in seeing anyway. I can't think of anything more pointless than watching a video of somebody playing a game. If you'd like to provide a prospective on why you care enough to do this sort of thing and obsess about the quality, I'd like to read it.
    1000% agree.....
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  8. Lone soldier Cauptain's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: Brazil
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    I am curious - why on earth do you even care about recording game play anyway? Do you honestly watch those captures later? If so, why? I really do not understand why anyone would have any interest in doing that. To me it's as interesting as filming yourself watching TV. I can tell you that caring a lot about what YouTube does to your video uploads is nuts as there is really very little you can do about it. And why would you even care that your video game captures aren't being shown there in pristine quality anyway? I don't know, man. You gamers are just a different breed of cat. You get all bent out of shape about stuff that 99% of the world has no interest in seeing anyway. I can't think of anything more pointless than watching a video of somebody playing a game. If you'd like to provide a prospective on why you care enough to do this sort of thing and obsess about the quality, I'd like to read it.
    1 - Its funny.
    2 - Yes. Repeatedly.
    3 - As a player of fighting games, I learn from my mistakes and find out where I can improve.
    4 - Not spent in $2000, $3000 to get a reasonable picture. I want it to be something near to that real quality game.
    5 - Another thing are the frames in today's fighting games are quite decisive, then the more better quality in order to understand how the mechanics work/frame'move in the game.
    Claudio
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