Recording problems (video cards)

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Problem: Audio/video is out of sync or frames are dropped/repeated


Check that all other programs are shut down during recording. Deactivate screen blanker and power management or at least give these functions a couple of hours' delay. If you have a permanent internet connection, you should definitely deactivate it to prevent your machine from downloading updates while recording. Also shut down your antivirus monitor. You won't need it while the internet access is closed. If your are using Zone Alarm or another firewall program, you must deactivate your internet connection. Under XP it is done by choosing Start/Network connections/Show network connections/Lan connection/Deactivate. If you want fast access to this function, make a shortcut by dragging the Lan connection icon to your desktop.

Most "invisible" programs can be found with System Configuration Utility: Start\Run\type "MSCONFIG.EXE". Go to the StartUp tab & untick any non-essential programmes that are invisibly dragging down your computer resources. You may find you close down some essential ones accidentally, but the process can be reversed. The folder Start/programs/startup also may have unnecessary programmes that access your hard disk. Microsoft Office Fast Find and Windows Scheduling Agent can be removed if you don't require their functions.

Check if there's a problem with the hard drive. Maybe it isn't fast enough. If there are problems with the hard drive, try defragmenting it. If it is slave on IDE channel 0, make it master of IDE channel 1 instead, the theory being that if the system & video hard drives are on separate controllers, the risk of stuttering is reduced. In Device Manager, check if DMA is on. If need be replace 40-pin IDE cables with 80-pin IDE cable. XP: If a formerly fast hard drive has become unreasonably slow and reverted to PIO mode and nothing else works, run REGEDIT. Go to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} It has subkeys like 0000, 0001, 0002, etc. Normally 0001 is the primary IDE channel, 0002 the secondary, but other numbers can occur under certain circumstances. Check the DriverDesc value to see which one it is. Delete MasterIdDataChecksum or SlaveIdDataChecksum, depending on whether the device in question is attached as master or slave, but it can't actually hurt to delete both. Reboot. The drive DMA capabilities will be redetected. Open Device Manager again and check whether the device is now actually using DMA mode. If so, congratulations, you've made it (at least until the next time Windows disables DMA).

Make sure that your TV card and your sound card do not share the same IRQ. Under XP the IRQ assigment is found by clicking Start/control panel/system/hardware/device manager/view/devices by type/IRQ. If your graphics/TV card shares its IRQ with the sound card, you have to move the sound card. Even under 2000/XP certain motherboards do not handle an IRQ conflict well, the result being audio sync problems and dropped frames.

Make sure that your sound card is not placed in the first PCI slot next to the AGP slot with the graphics card. Even if they don't share the same IRQ (but they probably do), this may cause a hardware conflict.

Win2000/XP: Raise priority by right clicking recording program (usually TitleVision2011.exe) in Task Manager process window and selecting "Set Priority". Don't exaggerate or the system might freeze. Start one notch above "normal".

Change Hardware Profile. Select Start/control panel/system/hardware/hardware profiles. This gives you the option to set up a new video recording configuration. Copy the original configuration, then name this copy as "Video Recording". In Device Manager you can close any hardware that is not necessary for Video Recording: Modem, scanner, network Interface cards, dial up adapter, internet connection sharing, USB devices and many others, but don't close essentials like your monitor, hard drives, keyboard etc! This will free up hardware resources for the task ahead and will remove many causes of conflicts. When you restart windows there will be 3 options: Original Configuration, Video Editing, None of the above. You can of course restart and use your original configuration for Internet and other uses.

Make two or more shorter recordings instead of one. The shorter the clip, the greater the chance of a succesful sync. We recommend splitting anything above one hour.

Make a new recording with another video codec. The PicVideo Lossless video codec rarely creates any sync problems, but then the files are huge – about 200,000 megabytes per minute – or 20 gigabytes for a 100 minute feature film, so make sure there's lots of free space on your hard drive – and check that the drive is formatted with NTFS, being able to handle files above 4 gigabytes. If you make huge files they will run slower with a jerky video output, so it is a good idea to recompress them with a program like VirtualDub.

Make a new recording with another VCR. Sometimes it does make a difference. And the VCR that is perfect for one job may not come up to another – and vice versa.

If a portion of a video tape is bad with a striped or jerky picture signal it may disrupt the sync all the way, so record those portions (typically at the beginning of the tape) and the rest of tape separately. And do make sure that the initial auto tracking of the VCR is over before starting the recording. If possible, let the tape run for half a minute before starting the recording.

Upgrade your computer. A fast CPU and lots of RAM will improve the chance of a good recording.

Get an external MPEG or DV encoder.