This is my first post on Videohelp
I'd like to transfer VHS tapes to my PC, and burn them to DVD, after performing some basic editing. In doing so, I need a suitable video capture card.
The AIW 9600 AGP card is one option. It should work with my 1Ghz Pentium 3 PC, as the motherboard (Asus CUSL2-C) has a 4x/2x AGP slot on it.
A few days ago, I came across this card on eBay. However, although it is supplied with an input A/V breakout cable (for S-Video, Composite and L/R Audio), it isn't supplied with the A/V output cable that fits into the white connector (see attached image).
Since I haven't been able to find the A/V output cable anywhere, I was wondering if I could just install a second PCI graphics card, and ignore the video output on the AIW 9600 card ?
As a second option, would the ATI TV Wonder HD600 PCI card work (in XP Mode) on my Windows 7 (Intel Xeon) PC ?
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Last edited by Eagle_FL3D; 14th Apr 2018 at 08:12.
Thanks for your reply.
Although the AIW is incomplete (no A/V output cable), cannot I just use the included "purple" A/V input cable to capture the video (via a TBC), and then use a second (PCI) graphics card to display/monitor the video ?
Please also note that the software CD is provided.
Last edited by Eagle_FL3D; 15th Apr 2018 at 07:58.
Sorry for any misunderstanding on my part.
I was under the impression that two video cards (input/output) inside my PC would do the job, and that this is otherwise "standard practice" when using dedicated "capture-only" cards.
I can only assume that using an AIW in this way is unworkable, as it leads to lost frames, PC crashes etc.
I'll therefore look for a complete AIW package instead.
Last edited by Eagle_FL3D; 17th Apr 2018 at 01:20.
This will serve you well:
I've used this PCI card on both an XP and Win7 PCs for VCR captures, excellent quality (though macrovision susceptible). Still got it in service on an old computer I have sitting around connected to a JVC SR V10u. Note that this card's TV tuner section is obsolete: analog only. I also got the 650 pci-e card for its digital tuner; its capture quality is not as good IMO (which was disappointing).
Last edited by TheFamilyMan; 17th Apr 2018 at 16:00.Usually long gone and forgotten
...but I won't promise that Vista drivers will install correctly and function on an up-to-date Windows 7 installation at this point.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
BTW, I use the vista driver for my 550 card in Win7 home. No problems at all; using VirtualDub to capture. The 650 card I have is problematic for capturing. Half the time locking the video signal is dodgy, and when it does capture, it seems to have issues with dark to light scene transitions where it initially over blooms the brightness (perhaps it's defective...I really can't say either way). The TV Wonder 750 card may be your best bet at availability. Good luck with your efforts.
Edit: Probably any ATI TV Wonder card will do nicely (550, 600, 650, 750). The AIW cards are overkill; don't need AGP for video capture.
Last edited by TheFamilyMan; 19th Apr 2018 at 00:33.Usually long gone and forgotten
virtualdub, JVC vcr for playback, and the video is okay with me -- looks as good (using huffyuv codec) as playing back direct to TV (LG 41") from the VCR directly. But then my tapes are all pretty clean and stable so maybe not tripping the AGC issues you've encountered.
Have you got a recommendation for a better capture card, PCI, AGP, USB, new or vintage? Hardware architecture/drivers don't matter, I'm a computer tech and can configure a dedicated capture machine running any version of Windows.
EDIT: I payed about two bucks for my 550 card at Goodwill, I've got a few Dazzle DV capture devices I paid pennies for but they're much more of a hassle to get working, lots of audio issues with them. Last weekend I picked up a Dell Angel USB tuner/capture device for five bucks that I was sure would be garbage, and of course the tuner (NTSC) is useless but it turns out it captures pretty nicely to MPEG2 directly, can't use virtualdub uncompressed, but the drivers still auto-install for Windows 10 so not too bad.
Last edited by ozymango; 19th Apr 2018 at 12:13.
I'll concur with ozymango. All the captures I've done with my 550, mostly which were from playback directly connected to the camcorder which shot the footage, look as good as the source playback. In fact, I used it to redo most of the footage I captured earlier using a different card. On the other hand, AGC issues seem to explain my 650 card's behavior perfectly with its dark to light scene transition bloom "saturation ringing" problem when capturing anything. At least its digital OTA tuner looks great, which is the main reason I bought it.
Edit: Too bad VHS is so limited in its res. Watching those DVDs on my 4K 55" OLED is an exercise in tolerance, especially compared to contemporary full HD footage shot with my canon G20 (which looks like a dream on that TV). The phrase "better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick" comes to mind. How I do wish that this consumer full HD tech was around 20 years ago!
Last edited by TheFamilyMan; 19th Apr 2018 at 18:52.Usually long gone and forgotten
Thanks for your comments lordsmurf, TheFamilyMan & ozymango
Originally posted by TheFamilyMan:
All the captures I've done with my 550, mostly which were from playback directly connected to the camcorder which shot the footage, look as good as the source playback.
Last edited by Eagle_FL3D; 21st Apr 2018 at 08:36.
- My sister Ann's brother
AGC can be easy to miss if you're not looking for it, not using calibrated monitors, and have no basis for comparison.
All ATI chipsets after Theatre 200 have AGC problems: 550, 650, 750. (The only reason that 600 USB card is good is because it's not actually using a homegrown ATI chipset, but a TI on an Empia bridge.)
What's really ironic is that the AGC feature on this card was supposed to prevent the very issues it creates:
Bright bursts in white or color levels occur due to fluctuating signal strength and cause video to suddenly brighten and then darken. The THEATER550 PRO prevents this problem from occurring by using a 12-bit analog to digital converter which converts and smoothes out the analog signal, along with Automatic Gain Control (AGC) circuitry.
Almost an identical marketing text was on 650 and 750: ATI's advertising claims regarding the ATI 650 AGC
I actually forget what all was wrong with the 550 card, being years since I last looked at one. Mostly what I remember was that it was huge departure from the Theatre Rage/2000 chipsets that gave ATI its then-deserved reputation. It was a PVR-style card, not meant to capture analog tapes.
Users on LDDB grumble about AGC far more than users of VH. It seems that LD is harder affected by AGC than even VHS.
Maybe I just got lucky with my 550 captured footage from a 8mm camcorder. Just watched at some of it the other night for grins; didn't notice any issues with brightness or color levels drifting about. And BTW, I am very picky about IQ. Blind? ...well, whatever.Usually long gone and forgotten
Thanks for the heads up on the ATI DVR cards. I do remember captures of a commercial VHS film or two where the hues seemed to slightly waiver about at a consistent rate; thought that was a macrovision related artifact. Since that sort of capture stuff was of background interest (and had not watched any of it in years), I'd forgotten about that experience. As for my capture chain, it was either a direct connect from the capture card to a VCR or my camcorder. The JVC VCR I used has built in TBC-like and stabilizer circuits that did wonders to stabilize the problematic old home video VHS tapes I had.Usually long gone and forgotten
Anyway my 550 card doesn't do that, even for scenes with high levels of contrast and/or sudden camera movements from light to dark. That being said, and while the card gives (I think) a very accurate capture of the source VHS, one thing all my testing has shown is that the resolution from VHS is really pretty awful. I mean I'm very glad to have these tapes as cherished mementos of people and places I'll never see again, but transferring them to digital really shows how far we've come with current technology.
Slightly related: Super 8mm film still stands up, though, I've been working on an 8mm/S8mm frame by frame digitizing system (totally home brew) and I'm at the proof-of-concept stage, capturing single frames of 8mm/S8mm film at 1280x1024 and while some of the footage (shot on my grandfather's Brownie 8mm camera) is fairly fuzzy and shaky, he later on got a Sankyo S8mm camera and the footage from that camera still looks hella nice when enlarged to HD dimensions.
AGC isn't really flickering, but instant brightening or dimming of a scene.
Flickering is just lack of TBC in most cases, either internal or external (or both). What were you using?
So maybe you did have AGC issues and just weren't aware of what to look for?
- My sister Ann's brother
Straight path from VCR to ATI 550 to PC (S-VHS connections) has no flickering, pulsing, whatever, the image is stable. If it makes a difference, the VCR I use for playback is a JVC HR-S4600U that behaves fine as far as I can tell, works great connected either to various capture devices or directly to the TV (within the limits of VHS resolution, anyway).
If you're asking if I'm using a TBC to test/check any of this, it's a bit complicated: I have a Deuce Pro 2210A video scaler pulled from a tech classroom that got upgraded, the Deuce Pro is a fairly high-end scaler that'll take an NTSC/PAL input (composite/S-VHS) and "scale" it to a bunch of different video resolutions, including 480p, HD 720p which you can then show on a monitor, projector, whatever display you've got -- I use mine to output my VHS deck to my HD TV, it's got noticeably better detail than the composite/S-VHS inputs, and being it's a scaler it completely digitizes the video signal before it gets sent out the VGA connector, it makes for rock-solid stability. Anyway my point is, the display on the TV from VHS > Deuce Pro > TV looks very good, and the capture from VHS > 550 > PC is a very close second; in any case there's no AGC issues using the 550 that would put me off using it to digitize VHS tapes.
I don't have any S-VHS tapes to try on my system, alas, so don't know if that might reveal any AGC issues with the card.