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Live Video Input- the eternal quest.

Neil Stratton

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Hi all-I know we have been over this before but it still remains a mystery to me.

I am mainly a designer who uses Watchout to deliver special visual projects. I occasionally do corporate work but have avoided it for a while now because of my issues with live camera capture.I used it a few times at first but was never happy with delay which came from a variety of sources, one of which was my Watchout system. I have read what I could find on the subject on the forum but still not clear about what settings make a real difference.

I have a project coming up where i must have a camera and a powerpoint pip on a single display of 1920 x 1080.

Because I have very little knowledge of video apart from creating and editing, I have a few questions i was hoping you could answer for me.

Firstly-we will have PAL cameras and WO will be driving a single projector. Usually i run at 60fps and create all my animation at 60fps or 30 fps. Because I have to capture a PAL source would I be better to run WO at 50fps?

I have two cards I can use- Osprey 230 and Intensity Pro.Which would you say would be the better card? I will only be taking composite or component for this project.

At the moment I cant see any real difference between the cards. I have attached screen shots of my settings for each card and was hoping someone might have a minute to take a look at them and suggest anything I could do to improve the delay time? I have to admit that most of the settings mean nothing to me. I work alone and so dont have any support technicians to advise me on this.

Thanks in advance!

Neil Stratton

















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Hi Neil,


Out of Osprey 230 and Intensity Pro, Intensity Pro is the better choice.

It's faster than the Osprey, but still slower than a progressive, digital capture card.


Most settings in the driver, can be left alone, WATCHOUT do not use them,

instead capture is done through the DirectShow API.

The main thing to use the cards own capture software for, is to see if the signal is

present at the cards input, before capture test in WATCHOUT.



"Because I have to capture a PAL source would I be better to run WO at 50fps?"


It might be, but setting WATCHOUT to 50Hz, without using an EDID on the output at 50 Hz,

will not help much.


Capturing interlaced, analog LIVE signals, will never be as good as a progressive, digital signal, HDMI or HDSDI.

1280x720p, HDMI or HDSDI is a good choice here, cards are not so expensive, not cameras either,

at least not HDMI-based ones. There are HDSDI-cameras from 4-5000 USD, an example is Canon XF-105.


1920x1080p (3G HDSDI) is still a bit out of reach for mere mortals, otherwise it's the best solution.


Even 1920x1080i, interlaced, digital (HDMI or HDSDI) is better than standard analog video, composite or component.

Interlacing artifacts & tearing can of course still be visible, especially in fast movements.



"anything I could do to improve the delay time?"


Not in the settings in WATCHOUT, no.


The delay in WATCHOUT from input of capture card to the output of the graphics card,

on a properly configured system, is approx. 2.2 frames, assuming a digital, progressive signal.

Osprey and Intensity with analog, interlaced signal, is slower.

I don't know by how much, though.


Using progressive, digital will of course help.


Any devices inserted in the chain between camera and capture card, will affect the delay,

for example a vision mixer.


Hope this helps,



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Yes thanks Jonas for your comprehensive reply.

Sending you a virtual beer!

The delay on the Intensity is pretty good to be fair.I just wanted to be sure I wasn't missing anything

I am going to try one other thing- pulling live camera in thorugh my Vision E1.Anyone tried this?

Many thanks


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I can see this is a topic many are interested in so thought I would provide a follow up.

I have tested the Osprey 230 cards many times and in their day they were a good solution. But as Jonas suggested keeping the workflow digital does help with latency.On its own the delay is fair but you have to get your frame delay as short as possible as there are typically many other devices adding their own delay to the complete system, namely vision mixers, switchers and projectors. The intensity Pro works well and is useful in having HDMI and analog interfaces.What is not easy in my environment is getting a camera to provide me with HDMI. So I have been testing the Black Magic Decklink SDI which is relatively cheap.I have to say the results are very good. It provides only one SDI input but a vision mixer in front allows for multi camera scenarios.But remember the mixer will add its own delay before it even gets to the Decklink.

And of course if you get your sound engineer a coffee then they can usually be persuaded to dial in some delay to redress the balance.My way of doing this is to tap a finger on a desk with a microphone beside it.It is too difficult trying to do it with speech. But if your rig is adding too many frames then adding the required delay will unsettle the speaker/ presenters.

Hope this helps

Neil Stratton

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