I sometimes obtain VHS tapes (home videos and such) as well as acquire tapes that I often want to convert to digital format. In in the past, I used a remoteless VCR and Phillips DVD Recorder then would rip the DVD. The DVD's player remote has since failed and instead of replacing the remote and wasting DVD's, I'd really like to capture straight to the PC then simple convert to whatever format I need (MP4 or otherwise)
The card I have is a AverMedia TV98 with a BT878 chipset. I am currently running this on a PIII 933 Mhz system which has 512 MB RAMBUS Memory and a 120 GB HDD. It has a Sound Blaster Live! I use for line-in. It is running Windows XP SP3. I have tried using the TV98 drivers from AverMedia as well as the btwincap drivers with the same results from both. I do have a Quad Core/8 GB/Win 7 system I can put this card into, but I'm not sure if there is even drivers for it at that point.
The TV98's default software does have recording, but it records in RAW format... a 1 minute video uses around 1.6 GB. I have used Virtual VCR with some success, but unless I turn on compression, the results are the same. The compression codecs are very limited, many of which I have never heard of and unsure of which to use. It also does not offer any type of preview (even when toggled on) so I am unable to monitor what I am doing. I have tried VirtualDub but it will not even find the device, with either driver installed. I've tried FlyDS but it does not find the device and the software is simple a hot mess.
I simply wish to capture some video, then I can use my main system (AMD FX-8350) for converting and whatnot. I'd really like to keep from buying a new capture card if at all possible as this isn't something I'd be doing very often and I paid big bucks for this card back in the day and it does have all the features I want (S-VIDEO, etc).
Thanks in advance for any assistance you might be able to provide.
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Thread: BT878 Capturing Issues
Funny but I have that exact card working on one of my computers right now. I used the drivers from this site that go back to 2002
The download file name is "848wdm_iu.zip". I know the drivers say 848 but they work. I can't recall for sure since it's been a while but the last time I did the install I couldn't get a good combo of the 4 drivers so I left the Avertv audio and video capture drivers installed and just manually updated the crossbar and tvtuner by pointing to the extracted inf files and selecting the drivers myself from the list.
There's another link to newer drivers by someone name Edwardo at the bottom of the page in the above link. I've never tried those but maybe if you have issues with the way I did it you could try those. On closer inspection I recall using Edwardo's drivers too but I found them a different way. I had to do a manual install and it took a while to get the tuner and crossbar right so the last time I re-installed I went back to what I posted in the pic above.
btw) Virtualdub or any program that recognizes wdm drivers should work with these drivers. When you capture remember to choose the "Conexant" device to get the wdm drivers. You can use xvid compression I think it's available stand alone or within ffdshow (Old rust showing here) or get the free pre-HD divx codecs.
Last edited by gll99; 14th May 2014 at 01:18.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Excellent I just tried your "fix" and I seem to be having more luck with VirtualDub now. I think the PIII 933 CPU is going to be limiting me though as just watching the preview is putting my CPU at 75% or so. I think I'm either going to have to find me a used dual core system, or maybe dual boot Windows XP/7 on the Quad Core I have. Thanks for the suggestion!
I keep the card on one of the 2core E2180 computer I picked up used for $100 each a few years ago with licensed XP pro. I few days ago I got a E8400 system for $120. The case it came in alone sells for near that much. I only use the TV98 to preview tv in the corner of the desktop and to capture closed captions using a graph. I get the capture video/audio from a Hauppauge HDPVR2 but it doesn't capture the CC so I use a graph when I want both by sending the HD feed to the PVR2 and the analog signal to the Avermedia device.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Just something to think about...
By the way, except for verifying that you can get a video signal and aren't capturing nothing, I find video preview to be pretty useless and it wouldn't be a show stopper if that never works very well for you.
Thanks for all the suggestions and insight. At this time, I am in no position to buy a new capture device, perhaps eventually. I am also a vintage computer collector, I love vintage hardware and have many PII and PIII systems I use for various tasks as well as even a couple of PI systems, so using a piece of old hardware for a task, such as this, somehow enlightens me.
I do this, for this task, that the PIII system is going to limit me on capturing so I most likely will not have a choice but to buy a USB Capture Device for my main system. With that being said, any suggestions on a decent USB capture device?
Get a 2+Ghz AGP Pentium 4 system for cheap or free (they are out there) and throw in a ATI All-in-Wonder card ($25-30 on ebay in many cases). Storage is cheap, find a cheapo 1TB drive and capture lossless with HuffYUV. Intel 865 based systems have native SATA, or you can use a PCI add-on card.
The BT8X8 was popular because it was dirt cheap 10+ years ago. The quality of the composite input was horrible because of its use of a notch comb filter (hello dot crawl). Even the Easycrap does a better job!
If you want to stay with the PIII then accept the limitations. Any software that accesses the bt878 card drivers or provides capture functions is just basically using what the card has to offer. None will be a magic pill that suddenly makes the card somehow faster/better. Some capture tools are easier / better written than others but Virtualdub is as good as it gets for capture. I often use an older non-free program called WINVDR (not WinDVR not-free either but which also works). The areas you control are: not allowing anything to run concurrently with the capture, stopping video preview, the choice of codec, within codec limitation the image format / colorspace (RGB24, YUY2 etc..), video/audio compression ratios, frame rate, frame size (resolution up to the card and codec limits), interlaced vs progressive capture and video/audio bitrate. Early on before XVID, I recall using the old hacked mpeg4 divx codec when it became available, setting some oddball res better than 320x240 and less than 640x480 but keeping the 4:3 aspect ratio, capturing progressive as I recall was faster than preserving the interlace. After that wmv, rmvb and other codecs seemed much better/faster options on my slow P4. You may want to check for newer codecs on the tools page there must be better choices now than back then. You might also consider capturing to mpg which I recall was faster.
Last edited by gll99; 14th May 2014 at 15:24.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
It looks like if I am going to do what I want to do, then I will need to use a newer/faster system which I am OK with. In fact, I have a Quad Core with 8 GB Ram that has been sitting unused for close to a year now, as well as my primary system, an FX-8350.
So, if I were to upgrade, how about:
It seems affordable and has some decent reviews. How would this compare to my BT878 or a All-In-Wonder?
If yes to all 3 then aside from some flexibility of switching the device from pc to pc the capture won't be better through a usb device so save your money. The holdup is not the pci bus on the PIII it's the cpu, ram, older hdd etc that are too slow to give you max res and bitrates. If you are running win7 or 8 then you may need to find working drivers for the older pci card so that may or not be an issue. I bought the Hauppauge to capture from HD sources and the Hybrid-Kworld TV (plus sd analog input) mainly to capture HD ATSC OTA. The analog capture option was just an extra future proof feature. To capture from local sd analog sources I could have kept using the PCI BT-Tuner cards and wouldn't have bothered buying the other stuff. My next upgrade machine may not have PCI slots so the Kworld might come in handy if I need a separate analog capture device then.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
My FX-8350 currently doesn't have any free slots, thanks to the two R9's in crossfire. However, the Q6600 is pretty much an empty system so I can pretty much throw anything on it. If I were to have the BT878 card in it, I'll probably dual boot Windows XP and Windows 7. For now, I only wish to capture from VCR just so simply convert some VHS tapes to digital. In the future, I do want to be able to capture VGA/Component/HDMI Inputs, but that's for a project down the road and not anytime in the near future.
On a off-topic subject, I do have a Kworld ATSC USB adapter that I mistakenly bought thinking it was a hybrid which I've had some sad results from. I had a media center pc built and the driver would often crash and one day after a bad storm rolled through the area, the system would no longer power on (resetting cmos, removing memory, etc) which leads me to believe the motherboard was killed. A month later, I had another media center PC built and again, we had another storm roll through the area and now none of the USB ports work on that system, front, back, onboard (for media card reader, etc) work anymore. I've done the basic troubleshooting... resetting cmos, pulling memory, etc. The motherboard has no PS/2 ports so now I can't even get past BIOS because I can't set time/date and I've tried many different USB keyboard/mice on every USB port on that system. What's funny is, my cable modem and other computers have no issue which really makes me concerned the USB adapter fried these two systems.