Webcasting Video Capture Cards that Work

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
bwuehler
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Postby bwuehler » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:16 pm

WARNING

According to the church's recommended list of video capture cards the Osprey 230 is "... the top recommended choice for capturing video and audio for Meetinghouse Webcast Software." Based on this recommendation I ordered one. However, what the church's site doesn't warn you about is that it requires a PCI-X connection. This is NOT PCIe (PCI Express). And it's not backwards compatible with standard PCI. Most desktop PCs don't come with PCI-X slots. It's more commonly found in servers, etc. So if you're considering the Osprey 230 check to make sure you have PCI-X slots available.

Fortunately for me CDW is awesome and is refunding the entire purchase price including what i paid for shipping. I called the card manufacturer and they made some recommendations. I ordered the Osprey 240e which uses a PCIe slot. It's still a little pricey but it's supposed to essentially be the same thing as the Osprey 230 only with a PCIe interface. The Osprey 260e is also the same thing as the 240e but uses a different chipset. The manufacturer said they can no longer acquire the chipset they used on the 240e. But the functionality between the 240e and the 260e is identical. The only reason I went with the 240e instead of the 260e is because the 260e was on back order and a couple of weeks from being filled and I'm in a bit of a time crunch. The only problem this may cause is if my local stake decided to move it to a new computer after the new Windows OS comes out. ViewCast won't be updating the drivers for the 240e. I don't see this being an issue because I'll be installing it on a system and that system won't change for many years to come. If we do change the hardware we'll just have to make sure we us Win7 or WinXP. Plus we got a better price on the 240e because CDW is trying to get rid of them. :)

I'll give a full review once I get it up and running.

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:28 pm

bwuehler wrote:WARNING
According to the church's recommended list of video capture cards the Osprey 230 is "... the top recommended choice for capturing video and audio for Meetinghouse Webcast Software." Based on this recommendation I ordered one. However, what the church's site doesn't warn you about is that it requires a PCI-X connection. This is NOT PCIe (PCI Express). And it's not backwards compatible with standard PCI. Most desktop PCs don't come with PCI-X slots. It's more commonly found in servers, etc. So if you're considering the Osprey 230 check to make sure you have PCI-X slots available.


That has now been noted on the Wiki page.

Aaron Z

bwuehler
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Postby bwuehler » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:58 am

Sorry for the delayed update... The Osprey 240e worked beautifully! The Meetinghouse software recognized the input device immediately. It was almost seamless. The only problem we had was with the video display drivers for the video card (not the capture card). It was causing some flickering on the video stream. After updating the drivers everything was fine.

For this setup I was using a desktop computer with WinXP Pro. and 4Gb of RAM. The processor wasn't as good as it should have been but it did the job. Also, I recommend getting a decent video card to work in conjunction with the capture card. If you are using onboard video it might be ok, but when you start adding multiple video sources it'll really put a strain on your system.

For testing I also installed the Osprey 240e card into a Windows 7 workstation and the setup was just as easy and seamless.

Last note, we looked into the best way to manage multiple video streams. While the software has it's own source switching feature, we've decided that the best way is going to be to get a video source switch control board. Something specifically designed to accept multiple inputs then feed one output into the Osprey capture card. Thus reducing the processing strain on the workstation. That might take us some time, but I'll try to get more info up about that when we get to it.

sammythesm
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Multi-input capture cards

Postby sammythesm » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:29 am

I was actually moving the opposite direction than the previous poster (bwuehler) - am looking for solutions that will allow me to use (more cost effectively) the multi-channel/video switching capabilities of the webcasting software. Buying 3 Osprey 230s sure gets pricey, though. Osprey has a 4 channel capture card, Osprey 460e:

http://www.viewcast.com/products/osprey-cards/osprey-460e

But at $900, it's no cheapie!

I also found this Hauppauge ImpactVCB card (model 188) with 4 channels of video (no audio). Seems like the perfect thing for webcaseting - can use the single system audio for the audio capture - and only $50 on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EYV6SQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_impactvcb.html

I can't seem to find anything which claims compatibility with the MS Expression Encoder though, but for $50 I may just buy it and try it out!

Anyone had further experience with Hauppauge or this particular line of cards (posting in this thread because it was begun with a discussion of Hauppauge)

Thanks

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:36 am

With their PCI-Express cards, they say that:
The HVR 1850 or the HVR 1250 will work but you can only use the composite or
Svideo input and it will be video only, no audio.

If you contact them from their website (http://hauppauge.com/site/contact/contact_us.html) they should respond with an answer fairly quickly.

Aaron Z

abcampa
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Postby abcampa » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:27 pm

well i dont see the 240e on the osprey website. Anyone work with the 260e at $495?
http://www.viewcast.com/products/osprey-cards/osprey-260e

harddrive
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Postby harddrive » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:53 am

abcampa wrote:well i dont see the 240e on the osprey website. Anyone work with the 260e at $495?
http://www.viewcast.com/products/osprey-cards/osprey-260e


I have purchased that card and for the initial test it worked fine. I won't be really trying until the end of February, but it is recognized by the software and also by PVC.

heyring
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Postby heyring » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:06 pm

We have the 260e and will be using it for our 1st Stake Conference Broadcast in May. We have done initial testing and it seems to be a great choice. We do our multi camera mixing in a video mixer before going into the PC through the 260e.

quintonrhq
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Postby quintonrhq » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:03 pm

[font=Calibri][font=Calibri]With the encouragement of Kolsen, I picked up a Blackmagic DesignIntensity Pro editing card and installed it in two machines. ThisPCIe card is readily available at $185. The PC’s were:[/font][/font]

[font=Calibri][font=Calibri]1. Dual core AMD 64 3200+at 2Ghz with 2 GB RAM with the XP Sp 3 O/S 32 bit[/font][/font]

[font=Calibri][font=Calibri]2. i7-920 2.67Ghz with 6 GBRAM Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (CPU Rating 7.4)[/font][/font]

[font=Calibri][font=Calibri]Version 2.0 and 3.0 of the Webcast software were used with a Sony EVI-D70 camera in S-video mode.[/font][/font]
[font=Calibri][font=Calibri]All four combinations of Webcast software and computers were tested and were functional. It was somewhat surprising that the Intensity Pro (IP) software worked with the XP machine, both the latest IP version and the oldest version both played. The degree of CPU utilization was judged using Task Manager and noting the CPU usage percentage. It was found that the CPU load was little changed by doing an actual Webcast. The following comparisons used a steady video image not the still JPEG file.[/font]
[font=Calibri]Here are a few highlights of the measured values:

On the AMD PC at640x480x30fps version 2.0 used 80% of the CPU.

On the AMD PC at640x480x30fps version 3.0 used 97% of the CPU.

On the i7-920 PCat640x480x30fps version 2.0 used 9% of the CPU.

On the i7-920 PCat640x480x30fps version 3.0 used 18% of the CPU.

Using the i7-920 PC at different resolutions/data rates these were the CPU utilization rates:

Version 2.0 350Kbps 7%

Version 2.0 450Kbps 9%

Version 2.0 601Kbps 8%

Version 2.0 1,214Kbps 16%

Version 2.0 1,855Kbps 22%

Version 3.0 High 4:3 18%

Version 3.0 HD 3.6Mbps Up52%

Version 3.0 HD 1.7Mbps Up15%

This is not quite an apples to apples comparison since the profiles used in version 2.0 and 3.0 are somewhat different.

Just for fun, a webcast was run under versions 2.0 and 3.0 at the highest data rates from the i7-920 PC thru the Headquarters server and back to the AMD PC media player successfully. There were no drops as reported on version 2.0.

As a proxy for machine capability the website www.cpubenchmark.net provides CPU ratings. The Athlon chip is 530 and the i7-920 chip is 5,567.

Conclusions:

The Blackmagic card works with about the same CPU load as a PCI card we have used. The AMD PC is on the edge of performance failure. Version 3.0 needs more resources to run.





[/font]




[/font]

sammythesm
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Postby sammythesm » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:35 am

Great test data, quintonrhq. Last weekend my Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro arrived, so I did some initial tests as well, hoping to recommend this card. On paper it looks better than the Osprey 260e. It is cheaper, and has HDMI/HD capture capability. Seems like a no brainer to me - a cheaper, future proof solution!

My tests mostly focused on installation, configuration, then running long webcasts to ensure audio sync. I'm using an AMD x64 Dual Core with 4GB memory running the Webcast 3.0 software software in "high" 4:3 mode (640x480).

I was able to get the card to work with both Vista and Win 7, though Win 7 is highly recommended because it is less resource intensive than Vista (I needed all the CPU clock I could get). I did a 4.5 hour webcast and had NO audio sync issues or video drop issues. The CPU ran at about 95% - a little hot for comfort, but I think it will work.

One nice thing about this card is it also has output ports. So you can easily hook up a monitor (with composite, component, or HDMI) as a 'program' monitor.

I would definitely recommend this card for use, especially due to the HDMI interface, and if we get a few more users with good reviews, I'd propose we add it to the wiki as a recommended solution.

All the appropriate caveats: this is a PCIe x1 card. It is full-height, no half-height options... so if you have a thin PC, you will need a riser card interface or a new case.


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