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winfast drops frames in mpeg2 format


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#1
jackluyt

jackluyt

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Hi

I have a 'newbie' problem with Winfast card that no one locally can solve – persistent dropped frames while recording MPEG2 (not MPEG1).

I'm running an ASUS P4P7800 - VM Celeron 1.7 (genuine Intel) motherboard with 512 MB RAM, Windows XP Service pack II. Built-in Soundmax sound card. I just installed a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 video card to try to solve the problem – no joy.

I might mention that since I got this board, intermittently on boot-up the Floppy Disk Controller is not found, and no A: appears when Windows loads. When this happens, I can't print with my HP2230 printer - Windows gives error message Document Failed to Print.
This all suggests a faulty IDE controller? But perhaps it has no relevance to my problem...
... though any insight on this would be much appreciated!
(My computer shop tell me that if the motherboard had a serious fault, it wouldn't show video at all...)

In short I installed a Winfast TV2000 XP (model 1) card – the one with an external cable linking the card with soundcard. I wanted to capture old TCM movies from satellite and store them on DVD. Here's the problem:

To burn a movie, I use the following steps:

1. Capture movie via standard TV antenna cable from satellite or video machine, using the Winfast PVR program that came with the card. It is the only capture program I have with an on-off timer, convenient for taping movies that start at 4 a.m.
-)
2. Import the captured mpeg file into NeroVision, edit and write to hard disk.
3. Open the resulting hard disk .VOB etc files produced by Nero with DVDShrink and compress (if applicable) and burn onto DVD.

I don't have enough hard disk space available to capture as pure uncompressed AVI. This would be ideal, because with AVIs NeroVision assembles the simulated DVD on hard disk (step 2 above) much faster.
The card has various codecs for capture - but NeroVision only assembles / transcodes DVDs from MPEG2 format - give it any other compressed file and it first has to convert it to MPEG2 and then to VOB etc., in a VIDEO_TS folder it makes in its Temp folder.
I've even tried using the SDVD or VCD presets that come with Winfast PVR which use 480 x 576 size PAL instead of the 576 x 760 that the MPEG2 preset uses. I get a non-jerky recording with these and other lower-resolution presets - but then NeroVision takes hours to transcode....
In practice this makes a h*** of a difference:
NeroVision processes a standard 100 minute movie in pure MPEG2 format in just over an hour;
NeroVision processes a standard 100 minute movie in any other compressed format (MPEG1, DivX or XVid AVI, or even MPEG2 with the compression / screen resolution settings altered) in about 9 hours.

So obviously if I want to capture movies that won't keep my hard disk grinding for a total of 2hrs to capture + 9 hours to transcode + 1 hr to DVDShrink, I have to use the MPEG2 codec that comes with Winfast PVR.

Problem: All my MPEG2 captures are 'jerky'! There are little frame-jumps throughout the movie, when viewed on the desktop or burnt to DVD and viewed on my stand-alone DVD player. Audio is unaffected.
MPEG1 files don't jerk - but they take ages to transcode...
The input signal from TV or video doesn't jerk at all until one starts to record MPEG2. Then, watching the real-time preview on the Winfast PVR screen, or the saved MPG (I use VLC media player, inter alia), it jumps.

To fix this I have tried:

· running all 'safe' anti-spyware software I can find;
· removing all 'hacked codecs' like Angel Potion from my machine - to the best of my knowledge;
· temporarily unloading anything unloadable from the task bar, including the local server that runs my Dorlands Medical Dictionary, and disabling AVG anti-virus while recording;
· not using the computer at all while capturing;
· playing with BIOS settings on a trial-and-error basis
· Checking that the primary IDE device is set Ultra DMA (the two devices are currently set to Modes 6 and 5)
· Checking that hard drive caching is enabled
· Disabling the Sound Card before recording
· Changing the Windows display mode to 16 bit and running at 800 x 600 pixel screen resolution
· resizing the AVG window to it’s smallest and minimising it;
· finding an update for Winfast PVR that allows one to disable simultaneous screen-preview mode. At present there is no setting to turn off the on-screen video image while capturing. The Logotec website is very confused and I can't find any update.

These were all attempts to free up processor capacity.
When they didn't work I increased my RAM from 256 to 512, and then installed a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 video card.
None of this has helped the problem.

I know that sound cards can cause frame dropping – have disabled the on-board card without success. Have not borrowed another card to try – is it worth it?

The solutions that come to mind are:

1. Installing a second disk drive with enough capacity to use uncompressed AVI. But even the biggest and most expensive HDs would only hold a few full-length movies. Not really an option.
2. Using MPEG1 non-jerky for all movies - but this would entail either accepting 12 hour processing time per movie as above, or finding another DVD assembly / editing program that works faster than NeroVision. So far no joy.
3. Finding an alternative capture program that works with the Winfast card to use in place of Winfast PVR, in order to record non-jerky MPEG2. This hypothetical new program should allow one to switch off real-time screen preview. So far no joy. And no certainty that it would solve the problem.
I have other capture programs (Nero Vision, MyDVD and even VirtualDub) but for some reason, despite tweaking all settings, they all show a perfect TV image but, on hitting Capture, they say that my capture device isn't installed correctly, or another capture program is using it - even if I Unload Winfast PVR from the taskbar. (They do capture composite video signal. All my TV settings (PAL-I, etc.) are correct and the image in the capture window is perfect. Most odd.)
And none of these programs has an 'On' timer, like Winfast PVR.
VirtualDub does capture, but saves as compressed AVI which takes ages to transcode to DVD. My DVD player doesn't play DivX or XVid (though it will play normal AVI or DAT).
4. Burning all programs directly as MPEG2 to DVD.
But I like a proper menu-driven DVD
And I don't have an MPEG editor to crop start and end commercials from videos, and to shrink the movie if it exceeds 4.7 GB. DVDShrink won't shrink MPEGs, only VOBs.
5. Finding out what makes my MPEG2 recordings jerky and fix it! I've worked on that one for hours and tried all kinds of hardware / software solutions. Now I (and my local computer geeks) am / are stumped.

Any suggestions as to what to try now, and in what order?

Thanks so much....

Jack
Dr Jack Luyt
Worcester
SOUTH AFRICA
jackluyt@telkomsa.net
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#2
paynes

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Hi,

I have the same issue.
P4 1.6Ghz, 512mb RAM

I just want to use the Direct Burn feature or encode to HDD Vob file then burn to Disc.
However the MPEG 2 seems very jumpy and unwatchable.

I also think it would be a good idea to disable viewing while recording.

I have basically given up and put it down to the fact I need a faster CPU.

If anyone knows differently, I would love to hear about it.


On a lighter note, try downloading ImToo MPEG Encoder. I can encode a 60min MPEG-1 file to VOB in 90 mins.

Simon
Brisbane, Australia
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#3
jackluyt

jackluyt

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Hi Simon

I've been there so you have all my sympathy.

Since I fixed the problem I've given up direct burn - there are too many things to go wrong.

Read all the posts in this thread - there are a lot of things one has to sort out before capturing video - such as checking that your capture card isn't sharing an IRQ with any other hardware (if you are running Win XP, the only fix for this is trying to move the card to another PCI slot)

Another tip - disable all other resident programs, including antivirus software and screensaver. There is a freeware program called EndItAll that shows active TSRs and you can stop them. But I'm not sure if it is any better than using good old Ctrl-Alt-Del....

But the long and short of it is that one needs a faster processor - all my jumpy videos vanished after I bought a Prestcott 3.0 GB processor with hyperthreading enabled.

My encoding time also shrank (using NeroVision Express)- typical figures are MPEG1 from 9 hrs to 3; MPEG2 from 1 1/2 hours to 30 minutes

Does anyone out there know if there is a definite time / quality advantage upgrading to NeroVision 3?

Regards,

J
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#4
sbaens

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Hi there,

I have similar problem on an AMD 1800+ processor. First I used a nornal viewing card from hauppage (theater version), Now I am using Pinnacle USB 2.0 deluxe.
This one promisses that it records everything on every kind op PC.
So far this works, only when too many programs are running I get these frame drops. So I try to keep a clean system. With the hauppage card I used Showshifter to record the videos but the quality was not good enough, only VCD format was possible.

Now I can get the right files and I use avs video converter if changes are needed in the stream and videoredo to cut out commercials.
Both programs work fast and are not very expensive.

Still I am now looking at mythTV which runs on linux systems, maybe this is even better?
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