As you might or might not know I have this hobby of capturing falcon and ST stuff and uploading them to youtube with mixed results as far as quality goes. For that reason I have bought an Easycap DC60 USB 2.0 capture device from somewhere in China, in all likelyhood a clone of the original device now called EzCap.
The device I bought feature the STK1160 chipset which doesn’t allow capture of PAL 60. And though this isn’t much of a problem for capturing from an ST(E) since most software works on 50Hz ,this isn’t always the case for the falcon or for newer demos. Otherwise the DC60 allows capturing from either composite video or s-video and in stereo in resolutions up to 720×576 and in 25 or 30 fps(PAL/NTSC). It also comes bundled with video editing software and drivers.
The first problem I witnessed with the device was installing appropriate drivers for it since it does have problems with windows 7. I believe that now they have been included in the windows update service but I am not quite sure. After a few hours of fighting with it I started capturing using the debut capture software which is a pretty cool program that works very well with the Easycap. Unfortunately I noticed that there was frame drop when recording and having deinterlacing on, probably something to do with my 3.06GHz Hyperthreading processor and IDE hard drive. So I went to the best in my view pieces of software for this kind of work. DScaler and Virtual dub.
Dscaler is a free software solution for viewing video from a capture source that has some excellent and fast deinterlacing algorithms. Unfortunately you can only record the interlaced video and since hard drive space is a commodity I don’t want to waste, I am using the Hufyuv codec.
Virtual Dub is used for post processing and mainly for 3 things. Removing of unwanted video segments and cropping, deinterlacing and compressing video and audio.
So the process is somewhat like this:
1. Record the video in full size from dscaler using the YUV format since it’s faster.
2. Load the video in Virtual Dub and select the following. Full processing mode in the video and audio menus so as to compress the video and audio parts of the video to mp4 and mp3 respectively (of course you can use your favourite codecs).
3. Go to the filters option in the video menu and select the method to deinterlace. After that you’ll see the cropping button being selectable. Pressing it will allow you to crop the video image.
4. Save as avi.
Now, I’ve found the deinterlace methods already in Vdub to be somewhat lacking for our purposes, perhaps because the atari outputs such a strange signal. However since Vdub is such a nice program, you can find various loadable filters. As such I’ve found the Smart Deinterlace filter that provides very good results. There are various options but I found that the combination of:
-Frame only differencing
- Edge directed interpolate
- Compare color channels
- Motion threshold 15
to be more than adequate. After that you can upload the final video on youtube or wherever else you want. The above method can be used with any other capture device as well.
1. Dscaler: http://deinterlace.sourceforge.net/
2. VirtualDub: http://www.virtualdub.org/
3. Smart deinterlace filter: http://neuron2.net/smart/smart.html
Tags: Low Res Issue #4