video capturing from a cd-i player

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rdjnl
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video capturing from a cd-i player

Post by rdjnl » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:43 pm

Does anyone has some experience with capturing video from a cd-i player? (And I don't mean filming the television screen with a video camera, or using cd-i emulator or something... ). I could use some help:


I recently bought a device with RCA and S-Video input connections which connects to my computer via USB.

I connected my cd-i player to it. I tried a few different freeware / shareware video capturing software tools and several cd-i games, but I couldn't get it to work... Until I tried 'The 7th Guest'.

The strange this is, I can't capture or preview the cd-i start up screen nor the bumpers, but when the actual game starts, it suddenly does work.

I wonder why. Is there anything special with this game? What other games are likely to work? Why don't they all work? What can i do, if anything, to get them all working? Why can't I capture the cd-i startup screen?



By the way, I also connected my Playstation 2, and capturing works.


Is there some difference in input signal or something?


Thanks in advance for any help,
Rdjnl

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cdifan
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Post by cdifan » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:02 am

Broadcast studio technicians have told me that the video output signal from a CD-i player (well, at least a 605) is nowhere near the PAL standard. To get it suitable for broadcasting required interposing a frame store. This is a device that "captures" video frames digitally and then encodes them back out into a video signal, usually used for frame rate conversions.

For your 7th guest issue, my guess would be that the DV cartridge has its own video generator that kicks in when MPEG starts playing. Does the same thing happen with other DV titles?

It could also be that the video output is switched to interlaced (this is normally off) which causes a subtle difference in the timing of the sync signals.

Also, white-book capable DV cartridges (all except the very oldest ones) will switch video timing when a video-cd (or something that seems like one) starts playing, but t7g doesn't trigger this unless they've used very low-level trickery (there is no API call to do the switching).

What player model and cartridge type are you using? It might vary between types, as they have different video connections: the large cartridge use an analog video signal, the small one uses a digital one.

I could dig up the schematics and check the location of the video switching for both types, but that is probably overkill...

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Post by XCLTempesT » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:52 am

what cdi-fan already said is indeed true. The home screen of a lot of CDi players doesn't output PAL 50 Hz .
I believe it is more or less PAL 60Hz. Any normal PAL TV can handle PAL-60, but a lot of capture cards/devices cannot. (sometimes because of software settings, and sometimes it is a hardware problem)
I would search the internet for "capturing PAL-60" , and see if that provides a solution.

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rdjnl
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Post by rdjnl » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:50 pm

Does the same thing happen with other DV titles?
I also tried Lost Eden and Mad Dog McCree, with no success.
What player model and cartridge type are you using?
I started with a CDI 470/20 with build in DVC, then tried a CDI 210/40 with a small DVC, and finally tried my CDI 370 because of its S-Video connection.
Any normal PAL TV can handle PAL-60, but a lot of capture cards/devices cannot.
I wasn't aware of this. I have to find out for my device.

I'm going to try again later. Thank you both for now.

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Post by tgn_rogue » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:20 pm

I know of one site that had a lot of stills from CDi games and other software, not sure if anyone can remember the name or URL of the site, ill have a look noww, but it was the owner of the site who told me to look into getting devices like the DVC 80/100 or something similar and he seemed to have some pretty decent sucsess in capturing images and some video from the CDi from what I remember of the site.

EDIT:

Just came across this interesting looking device while lookign up a new build for a Gaming PC and was wondering if this would be usefull to, or if anyone knows if it would be capable of being used to capture images or video from a CDi.

http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna/pr ... 3#Overview
Image

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rdjnl
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Post by rdjnl » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:13 pm

This device, tgn-rogue, is for converting a tv input signal into a vga input signal, so you can use a computer monitor (with vga) instead of a television.

The ad says " It works even if your computer isn't turned on!" because you only need a monitor to display the signal. There is no capturing.

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tgn_rogue
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Post by tgn_rogue » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:04 am

I was mainly wondering if this could be used to take the signal from a CD-i, via say a S-video connection for instance, and then using the output for the device create a more stable signal for a DVC or similar device for then captururing images/video as my previous results with a standard s-video conenction from CDi straight to my DVC80 were, sporadic and unreliable at times, anot not just on different games the same one, some times it ould capture fine others it would be a scrolling mess of pixels.

I should have worded it better originally to say just that rather than the vague one scentence edit.
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Post by gtdalby » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:17 am

Capture works fine with my CDi 450 and PCMCIA TV card.

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Post by XCLTempesT » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:01 pm

I just tested with a PAL CDI-450 player and a WinTV PVR 250 card (also european PAL).
I used the directshow capture device option in VLC player, it works fine (on all the games I tried including 7th Guest, also the cdi menu works perfectly).

It really depends on your capture card and software. It should be able to handle PAL 60 input.


I'm pretty sure that all (PAL) cdi players work perfectly using this capture method. But I could test if you want.

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Post by cdifan » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:54 pm

There are only three different video chipsets used by Philips players: VSR/VSC (used only in CD-i 180), VSD/VSC (used only in CD-i 605 and CD-i 205/910) and VDSC (Motorola MCD212, used in all other Philips players).

All non-Philips players that I've seen BIOSses of use the VDSC chip.

Except for the crystal frequency, the details of the VDSC video timing are not programmable and should thus be identical over all players using it. I don't know for sure about VSR/VSC and VSD/VSC (no datasheets!) but I suspect the same.

You've already tested against a CD-i 450 which uses the VDSC chip. The only remaining players to test against are the CD-i 180, CD-i 605 and CD-i 205 (the 910 is the NTSC version).

So for practical purposes your last statement is probably right.

It might be interesting to check the MCD212 datasheet for the detailed video timing specs; it can be found in the CD-i Technical Documentation / System section on the ICDIA site. More info about chipsets used in CD-i players can be found in various issues of The Interactive Engineer on ICDIA and on the Player Support and CD-i Types pages of the CD-i Emulator website.

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