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Capturing video output from P1 comp

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    Capturing video output from P1 comp

    Alright, I've always wanted to record video output from my Pentium I computer (it has a typical matrox millennium PCI GPU (VGA): although the lesser mystique cards were seemingly better for 3D graphics...). Anyways, I wanted to record some DOS games and various other footage... what would be the best way about doing this?
    I can always install a different video card if needed: quite frankly, it could use something more advanced (it was made before AGP existed).
    My friend suggested porting the VGA to S-Video, and then capturing it with that. Not sure how that would work... or the necessary cables/modules needed.

    My workstation, which will be recording the input, has two DVI ports (currently occupied), and an S-Video port... 8 USB ports, parallel, two serial, two firewire and all the typical ports you'd expect in a modern computer.

    Cheers.

    #2
    I'm going to bump this thread. I too want to do the same thing. I was planning on using a s-vga => s-video converter and recording the result on a 2nd computer. Now if there was an easier way, I'm certainly all ears.

    I was looking at the products here:
    http://www.i-cubeinc.com/epiphan_sys...e_grabbers.asp

    and the ethernet model would be "perfect" for what I want, but the $2000 price tag... I think they have a decimal place off or something... seriously.
    Last edited by luckybob; April 12, 2011, 12:48 AM.
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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      #3
      There were several outboard VGA to Svideo/composite converter products out there. They were usually used for connecting a PC to a television set for presentations (before the advent of cheap PC projectors). That would probably be the easiest. They'll only do 640x480 though.

      -Ian

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        #4
        You are looking for a scan converter. It will take the VGA input and allow you to convert it to either S-Vide or RCA which you could feed into a VCR or some other recorder.

        If the S-Video on you machine is on the graphics card it is most likely an output so would be useless for this. You'll need some sort of video capture card to do this (not typical on modern machines), which card you get will dictate what kind of scan converter you will need.

        Also, keep in mind that S-video and Composite (RCA) signals are practically the same when it comes to quality.

        IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
        IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
        Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

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          #5
          Originally posted by lutiana View Post
          Also, keep in mind that S-video and Composite (RCA) signals are practically the same when it comes to quality.
          True in both are 480i formats, however S-video will give you MUCH less dot-crawl and MUCH less color bleed, because is splits Chrominance from Luminance, where these are combined in Composite. In a VHS or Laserdisc player the source recording is in "composite" domain, so there you WONT get a benefit from S-video over Composite, but from SVHS (which introduced S-Video), DVD, HD-DVD, Bluray, or a PC you will see a noticeable difference between S-video and Composite.

          Most VGA "Scan Converters" and most "Video Capture" cards/USB dongles will have both S and Composite, so why not spend the $0.50 more on the s-video cable over the composite cable.

          I have a pinnacle DVC-100 USB capture device, it has S and Composite, plus audio capture, and only ran me like $30, Works on Windows 98 up through my current Windows 7-64 system. I use it mostly for converting VHS home movies to DVD, but funny enough I was using it last nigh to capture composite from the CGA card in my Compaq Portable II.

          With my DVC-100 and a VGA Scan converter I could capture from any modern PC, just note most CHEAP scan converters will only do 640x480, but if you spend the money some will convert as high as 1024x768 down to s-video/composite, though with ANY scan converter you loose a lot of resolution, so small text will be unreadable. 18 or 20 point font is about minimum readable on most scan converters.
          My Vintage computer/blog site
          Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

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            #6
            I've replied to similar but yeah that's sometimes a hard solution since you'll probably need to buy some sort of capture device or converter. AVGN outputs his stuff to his dvd recorder (probably a VCR/DVD combo) and then rips it from the DVD to get his game play footage but that's for consoles that are already outputting to RF/RCA, etc.

            Depending on your selection of thrift shops or goodwills there were some capture devices for usb but I'm not sure about their quality (I'm talking legacy hardware 12 years old so the expected quality was also probably lower). There are also some programs to record your video memory I think but I'm not sure those could keep up speed wise.
            Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800

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              #7
              Originally posted by RWallmow View Post
              True in both are 480i formats, however S-video will give you MUCH less dot-crawl and MUCH less color bleed, because is splits Chrominance from Luminance, where these are combined in Composite. In a VHS or Laserdisc player the source recording is in "composite" domain, so there you WONT get a benefit from S-video over Composite, but from SVHS (which introduced S-Video), DVD, HD-DVD, Bluray, or a PC you will see a noticeable difference between S-video and Composite.
              VHS and Betamax are component formats, chrominance and luminance are stored seperately on the tape using the "color under" method. Laserdisc however is a true composite format.

              If you want the best quality capture, RGB capture cards exist. They aren't all that common or cheap though. YPbPr component capture cards are more common now, but you will need a RGB to YPbPr transcoder and possibly have to run the machine at a standard HDTV resolution (720x480 usually). Some capture cards won't handle 640x480 as it isn't a standard in the video world.

              A side note about outboard scan converters. In NTSC land, most of the cheapie ones don't output a true NTSC signal with 29.97 frames per second (59.94hz refresh). They just pass the same 60hz clocked signal that the VGA port outputs, which will give most devices fits, particularly video capture cards.

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                #8
                I'm not sure I would call VHS a component format. It's still 4:2:0 color - YC with decimated chroma resolution. And during most of the VHS era, the recorders had to demodulate the chrome sub-carrier from a composite signal. 'Component Color', to me at least, means 4:4:4 - YUV or RGB with equal bandwidth per color channel. But I think we're getting off topic.

                Did any frame grabber software exists for P1 era windows? (eg. Fraps, etc)
                "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

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                  #9
                  There are a LOT of video cards that have "feature connectors", are there any cards that will use this and capture the video from that? even if all it does is translate the video ram to svideo that would work as a more "elegant" solution. Or is this a bunch of wishful thinking?
                  It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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                    #10
                    http://cgi.ebay.com/Signal-Converter...item2a105d610b

                    I own one of these to connect my netbook to tvs... 23 bux

                    It doesnt list it, but 320x200 and few other modes work also, well dosbox in those resolutions does. Your millage may vary lol.



                    ** edit

                    Just like to add it uses usb for power, so make sure to have some sort of adapter for usb handy. I suggest a ac to usb adapter for your purposes...
                    Also, like to suggest using a camcorder with firewire if you have one. That way you dont loose definition recording, or maybe dvd video recorder... *shrugs*
                    Last edited by twolazy; June 3, 2011, 05:39 AM.
                    '. \ / .'
                    '. .'``'. .'
                    ......:::::::`.....`::
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                      #11
                      I got a cheap one off of eBay that works nicely, I use it to convert the (S)VGA to composite (it can do svid too) and then put that into a VCR hooked up to my capture card..

                      Only cost like $20 - was recommended to me by phreakindee (Youtube, also he's on here). It's that uniquely shaped one that's a few inches long.. they're spammed all over eBay new from China.
                      More commonly known as "Yushatak" - www.yushatak.com
                      Focused on 486 and Pentium Machines
                      I collect All-In-One PCs and Keyboard PCs, especially Compaq.

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                        #12
                        Would like to share my VGA capturing experiences.

                        The cheapest option is S-Video hands down.

                        Now there are two options to being with:
                        1. Use a graphics card that has S-Video out
                        2. If your card doesn't have S-Video out buy a VGA to S-Video converter box


                        If your machine has an AGP port, then you can choose from a wide range of cards. ATI and Nvidia have various models with S-Video out.

                        Note that there are other things to consider: Some cards don't output via VGA if you are using the S-Video out. Some output on both ports.

                        The BIOS determines if the S-Video output signal is PAL or NTSC. PAL has a higher resolution, but runs at 50Hz, NTSC has a lower resolution but runs at 60Hz. I did some tests and in the end there is hardly any difference, I still lean towards NTSC because of the 60Hz.

                        In order to record the signal, you need a S-Video capture card. Most TV tuners have such an option, or you can purchase a capture card. The cheapest ones are USB and can capture S-Video or Composite. Avoid composite. S-Video is heaps better!

                        More expensive cards can capture S-Video, but also Component and/or HDMI.

                        Another thing to consider is that graphics cards that have S-Video output will give you a better recording compared to using a VGA to S-Video converter box!

                        I have the same VGA to S-Video box as has been posted here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Signal-Converter...item2a105d610b

                        For the S-Video capturing I bought a Compro USB S-Video capture device. It comes with a Cyberlink package which allows you to record the Video as MPEG2: http://www.comprousa.com/en/product/...c200_plus.html

                        It works in W7 64 bit as well. There are cheap USB capture cards on eBay and I'm sure they works just as well, I just wasn't sure if they came with 64 bit W7 drivers (this was last year), so I went with the Compro.

                        Here are some recordings:

                        640 x 480 Duke Nukem 3D off a Geforce MX440 which has a S-Video port:



                        320 x 200 games off a Geforce MX440 which has a S-Video port:



                        Recording through the VGA to S-Video converter Box in PAL mode (the box has DIP switches to change from PAL to NTSC):



                        Recording through the VGA to S-Video converter Box in NTSC mode (the box has DIP switches to change from PAL to NTSC):



                        Note:

                        S-Video signals are interlaced! So you need to use a deinterlacer before / while you encode your videos!

                        Another
                        Last edited by Mau1wurf1977; July 8, 2011, 03:45 PM.

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                          #13
                          It suprises me that there is nothing like FRAPS or similar that work on older systems. I would of assumed something would of existed.
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                            #14
                            Don't forget another method of input, svhs/firewire camcorders. I used to use one years ago as a lossless tv tuner... Bonus being they are cheap as dirt nowadays!
                            '. \ / .'
                            '. .'``'. .'
                            ......:::::::`.....`::
                            Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by twolazy View Post
                              Don't forget another method of input, svhs/firewire camcorders. I used to use one years ago as a lossless tv tuner... Bonus being they are cheap as dirt nowadays!
                              How would this work? Do these camcorders have VGA input?

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