Frames dropping problem in video capture

Dear All, My configuration is given below. I am trying to convert analogue Hi8mm video casettes to digital MPEG2 video and after authoring place them on DVD-R s to be played on DVD Players. But I have a frames dropping problem. I have looked at every possible corner of Internet to find a remedy to this problem. I have done all the advices given. I have a separate disc dedicated to capture. It is alone on a IDE channel under UDMA 6. It is defragmented and nothing else is running on it. It is quite new and fast with 7200 RPM from Maxtor with sufficient cash. My system disk is also of the same make and it is running on a separate IDE channel. When capture is in progress I close down all applications including MacAfee and Zonealarm. I allow no overlay or preview of the picture. All the drivers including the BIOS are up-to-date. I have tried to capture using Ulead (MF and studio), Pinnacle, Premier, WinProducer, VirtualDub, VirtualVCR, MyDVD Deluxe, Windows Media Encoder, you name it. I make sure that there is no IRQ conflict. For this purpose I have changed the slot of the VIA PCI card. And yet I still get at 15% frame loss, sometimes much more. I have come to the end of all possibilities. Please feel free to write anything that you think will help me. My mind is open to all suggestions. Any help is welcome. Thanks a lot.

Win XP Home SP 1 (build 2600)
Mobo: ASUS P4S8X-X 133 megahertz
CPU: 2.40 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
RAM: 512 MB
Primary IDE master Maxtor 6Y080L0
Secondary IDE master SONY DVD RW DRU-510A DVD/CD-Writer, slave PLEXTOR CD-R PX-W4012A
Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller (VIA VT6420 SATA IDE) master Maxtor 6Y160L0, slave ST340823A
Display: NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X

What kind of capture card do you use?
PCI/USB, Brand, Model?
//Danne

Capture requires an absolutely continuous stream to the HD, which often requires great care. Nothing else can be running, no multitasking, plentifull CPU time. Other things which I’ve noticed that cause dropped frames are network activity, and really any program running at all will do it.

Plus also a poor quality Video Cassette player and poor quality leads can cause dropped frames as well. Also start the Video Cassette player before you hit the Record button with what ever software your using. Poor quailty of the original tape can also drop frames badly. For example, I have a tape the kids have watched 100’s of times and getting quite glitchy, I thought I would back it up to DVD before we loose it. But it was to late, I get 30-40% dropped frames and end result almost unwatchable, yet same equipment captures new or slightly worn tapes perfectly with 0% dropped frames.

Dear All, Thanks for your reactions. I am using my display adapter card for capturing that is “NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X” with VIVO capture drivers. As I said before I have practically nothing active on the machine except XP services when capturing is done. Still I have not found a solution until now. Help is greatly appreciated.

@ hwbee
Try to free up some space and use iuVCR along with Huffyuv compression. Unless nVidia wrote the drivers very poorly you should have no problems at all (runs fine at dvd res on a Duron 1200+). All you have to do when you’re is to do some editing and then recompress into desired format. Also try to update your drivers to see if that solves your problem.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/wdm_winxp-2k-Me-98se_2.20

@ ChickenMan
I’m not saying I’m doubting you but that just sounds odd. I’ve done a few tapes that looks like crap (“snow” and unstable pic) with no issues at all.
//Danne

Originally posted by hwbee
… I am using my display adapter card for capturing that is “NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X”…

Thats the very same Video Card that I have. Mine is the MSI brand. I have great sucess with the drivers that came on the cards CDROM, any I have downloaded from nVidia have not worked for me.

@diizzy, yep I have also captured many with snow & tracking problems sucessfully, but many have not. Why I dont know, maybe the tape has actually stretched rather than worn out.

Thanks again for various ideas and suggestions. I shall try to use iuVCR along with Huffyuv compression, but until now I have not succeeded in attaching these compression techniques to the capture software that I have. For example can I use them with VirtualDub or with VirtualVCR?
Secondly, it is encouraging to hear that somebody else is also using the same capture card that I have. I also agree that the VIVO drivers supplied by the vendor of the card (AOPEN) is better than what NVIDIA offers. The newer versions that I download from NVIDIA do not give any results at all.
Having said all this, the problem is still sitting there. Does anyone know of any tool which I can run to check whether the problem is with the system configuration or with the use of wrong settings of the capture software? Such a tool can at least show me the right direction to go.
Thanks to everyone.

VirtualDub uses an old standard called WFV which is outdated in 2000/XP and really slow. VirtualVCR makes use of WDM just as iuVCR but I have never got VVCR to work properly/reliable.
//Danne

To me also VirtualVCR looks as the solution. But it is dropping 50% of the frames. There is something fundamentally wrong, but where I can not spot it.

The disk used for capturing, is it the Maxtor 6Y160L0 on the VIA IDE controller? Because some PCI-RAID controllers lead to frame-drops on certain configurations.

You could try with all optical IDE-drives and the PCI-IDE card removed. Leave the System disk on primary IDE (master) and the capture disk on secondary IDE (master). If this is succesfull, you can add the other devices step by step.

I have dismantled the VIA card, disconnected the opticals and left only the two Maxtors on two IDE channels as masters. Alas no. Still there is nearly 40% frames lost.

From my point of new there are two possibilities:

  1. Your GFX shares an IRQ with another card (bad).
  2. The drivers for your capture device blows which makes it impossible to capture without frame loss.

If you preview the picture how much cpu does it utilize?
//Danne

Dear All. It looks as though I am getting closer to a solution. I have downloaded a driver using a link in the site DOOM9.
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=32575
and
http://download.capturix.com/vfwupd.exe .
After that suddenly the VirtualVCR started capturing with 0 frame drop. I must add this happens only on the disc which is on 1st IDE channel as master. On the other disc sitting on the VIA PCI IDE channel the problem continues. I am further investigating the issue hoping that I can find a solution to that also.
There is one glitch however. The video clip that I capture with VirtualVCR stops playing exactly one minute before the end of the clip. I tried with different players and different lengths, but the result is the same. Any suggestion is welcome.
I hope to be of help to others who have this frames dropping problem. As I develop the solution I shall write to the forum.
Thanks to all who helped and who will help.