View Full Version : Video Capture and Editing: What Card?

David Hart
25th September 1999, 11:53
I am looking for a video card for video capture/editing as well as for 3D video gaming (although I do have a Monster II).

My equipment:
Pentium II 350, 128MB RAM, 17GB IDE HD, CDROM, CD Writer, Sony 8mm Camcorder without Firewire, Hi-Fi Stereo VCR.

I have been looking at the new offerings by ATI and Matrox. The options as I see them are:

Matrox Marvel G400-TV
Matrox Mellenium G400 and a RR add-on card
ATI Rage Fury Pro and a ATI Video Wonder

Which do you think is the best product and why?



26th September 1999, 13:46
Hi David,

I personally have never used an ATI card, but I know two people who have ATI All In Wonder cards. Neither of them has ever been able to successfully capture video, or get NetMeeting to work. Also, I have never really heard anyone say anything good about ATI cards in all the time I've been hanging around this message board.

Personally, I think the Marvel would be the way to go, because it only takes up one slot, vs. the G400/RR-G combination takes up two slots. The only problem is that, for some stupid reason, the Marvel only comes with Avid Cinema software, whereas the RR-G comes with Ulead MSP. I have only used Ulead MSP myself, but everything I hear about Avid Cinema is that it is too simplistic and anyone who is even marginally serious about video editing will quickly outgrow it.

Of course, if you are really serious about video editing, you will probably want to buy the full version of Ulead MSP anyway, in which case it may not matter all that much... but again, it kind of depends... If you have the limited version of Ulead MSP, then you can buy the upgrade to the full version for only $149. If you have Avid Cinema, then you would supposedly have to pay full price to buy the full version of Ulead MSP. However, it seems that they don't check too closely to see if you really have the limited edition of MSP before they'll sell you the full version at the upgrade price.

Does that help with your decision? Or just make it more confusing?


26th September 1999, 14:25

Most folks around here use Matrox products, although a couple have recently switched to Miro DC30+.

The main reason for the Matrox emphasis is that they have provided equipment for review whereas I have never been able to persuade Miro/Pinnacle, ATI etc to do the same. This makes it difficult for me to make personal recommendations, so we are reliant on those users of other kit who have drifted over here.

If anyone has other equipment and fancies trying their hand at writing an article I will be glad to read it with a view to publishing.



David Hart
26th September 1999, 16:33
So, is Ulead that much better than Avid?

Also, checking out the Miro cards, they seem to be for someone who wants to do a more professional job.



26th September 1999, 16:38

I personally recommend the G400 RR-G combo because 1) Ulead MSP is WAY better the Avid... it is much more powerful as a video/audio editor and offers many more features. 2) You can always upgrade that G400 to the G800 (hopefully).

I have had my rr-G since my G200... and I hope it will continue on because it really is a nice peice of hardware.


Brian Ellis
27th September 1999, 07:04

Is MSP that much better than Avid? Is a new Rolls Royce that much better than a rusty bicycle?

Brian (the terrible)

27th September 1999, 09:56
I would not rule out the ATI Video Wonder. I believe the previous "wonder" cards used software codecs, whereas the VW uses C-Cube's DVxplore chip for hardware MPEG-2 compression with dual streams, so you get real-time transitions. This is the latest and greatest affordable compression chip. I would wait to see reviews of the card to see whether or not the output edited video is really good, but it sounds extremely promising.

The card is supposed to work with any graphics adapter that can do video overlay, so you don't have to get the Rage Fury Pro, though that choice would presumably eliminate any potential for problems with the VW. I personally would try it with the G400.

Now, I am just hoping that Matrox has a similar DVxplore card in the works (i.e. comparable to the VW $199 US price tag). I have no doubt that Matrox would have the better picture quality.

27th September 1999, 10:02
One thing you have to watch with the DVxplore chipset: every feature is licensed separately.

This means you will have some very basic products based on this chipset with nowhere near the features of some other products using DVxplore.

Note that even though it's using the DVxplore chip the VW has no DV capability. Also there is no possibility of an IEEE-1394 upgrade for it according to ATI. In short you're stuck if MPEG-2 editing ends up not being what you need. This IS possible. Ask Pinnacle ;-)

Also I see no NT or Win2000 support.

I'd wait for a DVxplore card with both DV and MPEG-2 myself. Competition should assure that this happens.

Dr. Mordrid

[This message has been edited by DrMordrid (edited 09-27-1999).]

David Hart
27th September 1999, 13:46
So, what I should look for is a card with the following features?

Ulead Software
MPEG-2 Encoding
DVxplore chipset
Breakout Box

27th September 1999, 14:32
Hello David

I think the answer to your question depends on various factors. The main one I would say would be " what do I want to do with my video work ?"

If the answer to this question leans more to the hobbyist end of the scale then you should be looking at one of the cheaper alternatives and I would point you to the G400 Marvel. The reason being that I have had many a happy hour pottering about with my Matrox kit without spendin serious dosh.

If you are looking at more serious type editing then be prepared to spend some dosh. I cannot comment on the other types of card as I have only had experience of the Matrox boards and my current board which is a DC30+.

The DC30+ as far as I am concerned is a lovely bit of kit and the results are excellent.

Hope this helps