Capturing VGA signal/video and save to AVI on another PC/laptop

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Mike McWhinney, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Hello,

    We have been looking at ways to record the video signal from a
    with a VGA port. We basically need something like a digital VCR.

    One idea that we had was to run a program like Camstudio or Camtasia
    on the computer which we want to capture the video. The problems found
    with this method were: only about 4 frames per second were captured
    where we would like to have ideally at least 15 fps. Also, the CPU
    processing required slowed down the laptop/notebook such that
    the laptop was no longer responsive.

    So now we are looking for a solution that will passively take the VGA
    output and convert it to a file that can be stored to AVI video.

    We have used the Archos AV120/AV140 along with a VGA to composite
    converter. The VGA->NTSC converter does degrade the quality of
    video somewhat. Also the Archos and the DVR100 module only
    captures about 320x200 video. This is decent for some applications,
    but some video screen has smaller font text which is very important
    to to be recorded as to be legible on playback.

    I have seen some devices which will take a composite signal
    and encode to MPEG2 or even MPEG4/Divx. This is essentially
    what the Archos did.

    we need a device which is portable (less than a couple lbs) and
    has the highest quality of recorded video, and does not signficantly
    slow down a host pc which receives the video.

    We would eventually like to record this captured video out to
    DVD+R with the least amount of effort.

    Are there any other "archos-like" video capture devices which capture
    higher resolutions?


    Mike McWhinney
    Mike McWhinney, Jan 26, 2004
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  2. Mike McWhinney

    Jukka Aho Guest

    I have no turnkey solution for you, but just wanted to point out
    that the DVI connector (on modern VGA cards) provides the output
    in digital format. In other words, fully digital, pixel-per-pixel
    VGA captures (with no loss whatsoever) should be _technically_
    possible this way.

    What I do not know is if there are any DVI capture devices
    currently available on the market, but given sufficient time,
    skill and resources, it should be possible to design and build
    one. There must be factory-made chips which allow you to decode
    the DVI digital signal, and then it just becomes an engineering
    problem: how to build a board which captures the data and pumps
    it trough some I/O bus to a storage device.

    (You would need someone with a degree in electrical engineering, or
    strong hobbyist background; that sort of type. There are people
    who actually design and build quite complicated electronics
    projects like these at home: <>,
    <> - these examples have
    no relation to video capturing, but I would believe the overall
    complexity of designing a DVI capture device is roughly in the
    same ballpark.)
    Jukka Aho, Jan 26, 2004
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