Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by pc_whocares, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. pc_whocares

    pc_whocares Guest

    Wikkipedia notes that many ATI cards have S-video in and out, also
    known as VIVO


    I'd really like to get a PCIe video card for my new Pavilion computer
    that can

    --> simultaneously output to two monitors and SVIDEO out for a TV

    --> have SVIDEO in

    All of the Radeon 3600 series cards seem to have this connector, but
    no mention is made of this capability:

    I'd like to know of any cards that fit this capability. I'm not a
    gamer. Picture quality on all ports is more important that gaming


    pc_whocares, Jul 27, 2008
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  2. pc_whocares

    ushere Guest

    afaik, s video connectors on most cards are OUT only.
    ushere, Jul 28, 2008
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  3. pc_whocares

    pcmacd Guest

    Wikipedia noted otherwise. And, they do show the VIVO connector on
    most of the ATI cards.
    pcmacd, Jul 28, 2008
  4. pc_whocares

    ushere Guest

    i live and learn, sorry. i wonder however what quality these cards offer?
    ushere, Jul 28, 2008
  5. pc_whocares

    Paul Guest

    If a card had VIVO, it would tend to show in the documentation.
    The word "VIVO" would be prominently displayed, as it costs
    money to provide.

    A dead giveaway, would be a picture of the box contents for the
    video card, showing a VIVO "hydra" cable. Not just any cable
    is VIVO, as VIVO has more connectors than say a component output
    cable or component plus s-video plus composite (all of which are
    outputs only). Some VIVO cards had a mini breakout box, instead
    of the "hydra" cable.

    I tried a search on the site, using their "Advanced" search
    engine on the desktop video cards page. Two cards were returned, when
    VIVO was entered as a criterion. The two cards are obsolete and haven't been
    in stock for some time.

    This is my understanding of the hardware for a VIVO card. I've broken
    the diagram down into two pieces, to make it easier to understand
    what happened to VIVO. The upper section is for input. The lower
    section covers output.

    analog digital
    Video_In -------- Capture_chip ------- GPU

    * S-video, composite, component
    GPU datapath ---* * DVI/VGA
    GPU datapath ---* * DVI/VGA

    Output Crossbar

    I'll describe the output side first. The GPUs tend to be dual head,
    meaning they have two datapaths. The datapaths can be connected to
    the outputs, as a function of what is detected as being connected
    to the faceplate. You could drive a DVI monitor and a composite
    connection to a TV set, for example, and that would use up the two
    datapaths. You cannot drive three output options at the same time.

    Rather than trust my drawing, you can look at an example here. This
    document is rather slow to render, so be really really patient.
    Go to PDF page 8 and see the figure "AVIVO display engine". The
    figure will render just below the third paragraph.

    That diagram doesn't explain everything, so the diagram is still
    not enough to satisfy all questions. There are five items shown
    on the right on page 8. The S-video, composite, component YPrPb
    all come from the Xileon, so you cannot drive two independent video
    screens from those at the same time. You could do DVI/DVI or
    DVI/VGA or DVI/composite or VGA/composite, or DVI/YPrPb as examples.
    Generally one of the outputs at least, has to be a DVI or VGA.

    The DVC port does offer intriguing options, as you can connect an
    external chip and take digital data from that port, and drive another
    display type. But video card makers are not adventurous, as they'd have
    to write a driver to make it worthwhile. And video card makers add no
    value to the product, so this is outside their skill set. (For many
    companies in the industry, it is a "copy/paste" business.)

    The video input path on the GPU, takes the form of a digital interface
    of some kind. It could be parallel in form, or even serial. There
    aren't datasheets for GPUs as a rule, so there is no way to be sure
    what is used. A separate chip is connected to that digital interface,
    to allow analog video to be input.

    In the article here, the ATI Theatre chip is what converts analog
    video input signals, into a form where they can be connected to a
    digital input port on the GPU.

    There is an example here, of an Nvidia reference card, with the
    capture chip present. The Philips SAA7115 can be seen towards the
    lower left corner of the board, and handles video inputs like
    composite or S-video.

    SAA7115 is mentioned here as well, as supporting the "VI" part
    of VIVO.

    Now, why did I go to all this trouble ? To point out, that
    they have to add a chip for the "VI" part of VIVO, and for
    the current generation, that option seems to have disappeared.
    If you went to Ebay, and looked at previous generations, you
    could find a card with the cables and with the capture chip
    in place. At least, by using the Newegg search engine,
    VIVO appears to be an obsolete concept.

    You can purchase separate video capture cards. For example,
    the ATI Theatre chip is available on standalone add-in cards
    for the PC. As are products from Hauppauge and the like.
    The cheapest start at $20 and go up. Software for them, is the
    weak link.

    At this point, you're probably ready to point out "but this
    card has a Mini-DIN connector on the faceplate". This page
    explains that Mini-DIN connectors have different numbers of
    pins on them. The "VIVO" version of Mini-DIN, has 9 pins
    according to this page. If you were to look in detail at
    the DIN on current generation cards, chances are there are
    not 9 pins on them, but some lesser number. The lesser number
    supports video output only, and not necessarily all output
    type are supported. For example, I don't have component
    output on my current video card, just S-video and composite.

    If there is a "wave of the future", this is as close as you'll
    get to an example. This card accepts HDMI input from the
    new video cameras. The Intensity Pro model (right hand column)
    supports analog formats as well. Since cards like this have
    to obey the objectives of the DMCA, the card cannot capture
    just anything you can connect to it. So expect stealing
    content with a card like this, to be difficult for a
    normal customer. Many devices have means of signaling
    "do not copy" on their output connector, and cards like this
    are supposed to play by the rules. What is really unfortunate,
    is there is a better version of the main chip on this card,
    but for those legal reasons, the designers couldn't put that
    chip on the card (because you might be tempted to steal
    high definition content with it).

    Paul, Jul 28, 2008
  6. pc_whocares

    pc_whocares Guest

    Whoa! Thanks!

    pc_whocares, Jul 28, 2008
  7. pc_whocares

    John Doe Guest


    Paul is from the homebuilt PC group.
    John Doe, Jul 28, 2008
  8. pc_whocares

    Ken Maltby Guest

    Actually, Paul is a major resource to a number of NGs,
    I always look for his posts at alt.comp.hardware.

    Ken Maltby, Jul 28, 2008
  9. pc_whocares

    Arny Krueger Guest

    This card accepts HDMI input from the
    Looking backwards we've had similar constraints in the audio realm.

    When audio DAT first came out, the thought of digital copying of copyrighted
    audio scared the producers completely to death.

    But there was a trap door - "Professional uses" of digitally copied audio
    were allowed.

    The boundary line between consumer uses and professional use was set by
    equipment price - copy-constrained "consumer" DAT and later on, CD-R
    machines cost about half as much as "professional" machines that had no such

    Eventually, the water got really muddy because computers cut out a niche for
    themselves as "professional" or unconstrained copiers, but for negligible
    additional cost.

    The final shoe that dropped for audio copying was when popular-priced
    digital audio players and recorders achieved technical performance that was
    such that there was no sonic penalty for copying operations that passed
    through the analog domain. Preventing digital copying affected only
    convenience, and not sound quality.

    The issue of DVD digital-domain video copying became practically moot when
    software that broke DVD video security locks became more-or-less freely
    downloadable. This happened pretty quickly after the DVD was introduced.
    Many are waiting for the same thing to happen with Blu Ray.

    OTA HD video digital domain reception, storage and copying hardware has been
    on the market for more than a year, and is pretty economical and usable.

    Cable and satellite companies are pushing digital domain time-shifting
    hardware, so tens if not 100s of thousands of digital domain copiers that
    lack only a slot for recordable media are now in the hands of consumers.

    Hauppauge is selling an analog-domain HD copier. I don't know how noticeable
    its artifacts are. Eventually technology will advance as far with video as
    it has with audio, and a quick bounce through the analog domain will not be
    a big quality issue.

    I hear that equipment for spoofing HDCP is being sold, so digital-domain
    copiers like those from Black Magic can probably be used with so-called
    copy-protected media.

    And finally, how long before a piece of software like DVD43.EXE will be
    available for Blu Ray?
    Arny Krueger, Jul 28, 2008
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