Garbled audio when capturing video from VCR

I have a ATI Tv-Wonder VE and I am trying to capture video from my VCR to my computer. The problem is that the audio is garbled and distorted. I use the left and right audio outs on my vcr and plug them into the widget that came with the capture card, then plug it into my sound card(Soundblaster Audigy).I tried plugging into two different inputs on my sound card, the Line-In and the microphone, and both sound bad. I tried using coaxial cable to connect to the TV-In and ran the sound cable from the capture card to the Line-In, and still no luck. I have tried using many different capture programs( ATI, Virtual Dub, Nero) and I still have problems. I don’t think Macrovision is the problem because the video seems fine. I might try again later with my other, newer VCR but in the meantime, can anyone help me out?

You should definitely be using the Line-In and not the Microphone jack for capturing. Have you checked the volume controls on your computer? If the Line In volume is too high or too low you could be getting distortion.

Another thing you might try, if the VCR is hooked up to your TV and the TV has a headphone jack, try going from the headphone jack to the line-in on your sound card.

You didn’t say what kind of “widget” came with the capture card, but I’m assuming it’s just an adapter of some kind to change from the RCA style plugs on your VCR to the mini-jack on the soundcard. If this “widget” has any electronic components besides just being a plug adapter, try getting rid of that and going straight into the soundcard.

I tried adjusting the line in volume, but no luck. I’ll try another VCR and if that doesn’t work i’ll try the tv method you metioned.

To start at the beginning (I pulled the DC30 from this machine a couple of years ago, and haven’t done a/v capture since).

Who told you that the software could handle getting video from one device and audio from another?

Maybe this is an “Ex is out of the loop” thing, but that is the one thing that jumps out at me.

And no, it is not Macrovision - that just diddles the video gain signal - it does not mess with the audio (which is why the m/v killer boxes do not have audio inputs/outputs - only video)

I’m not sure I understand your question. I was never told this, but the TV Wonder claimed it can capture video from devices such as camcorders and VCRs. It doesn’t mention anything about sound, but one would assume that it can capture sound from external devices. It works fine when I capture a tv show, so I’m pretty sure it can handle audio, but it has problems with a VCR.

If the TV connection works, I withdraw the question - but I can’t imagine a direct TV signal working, but the one from a VCR not.

Did the documentation on the TV Wonder include a list of sound cards known to be compatible? By now they should all use the same algorithms, so just a wild guess.

I dont think it came with a list of compatible sound cards, but it works fine when it’s in TV mode, it’s just capturing from a VCR that gives me distortion.

In for a penny…

When it is in “TV mode”, how do you connect the audio and video? Exactly the same jacks, or do you use SVHS for one and composite for the other? When in “TV mode”, do you take the signal from the TV, a cable (analog or digital) box, an exterior antenna?
Is the mystery “widget” used in one, but not the other?

Are you using exactly the same options on the capture software?

  • Ex, who has just about run out of ideas…

I beleive that the widget is what Fat Bald Guy said, an adapted to change RCA plugs to the mini jack(Sorry, I should have described it in the OP). When I am in TV mode, my cable runs straight into the antenna in on the capture card. There is no cable box involved; the capture card acts as one. There is an audio out on the capture card that has a cable plugged into it that leads to the Line In on my sound card. When I watch or capture a TV show, the sound is fine. When I connect my VCR, I connect the Video Out to the Composite jack on the capture card. I plug the audio outs on the VCR to the aforementioned “widget”, which I then plug into the Line In (removing the cable that previously connected the capture card to the line in). AFAIK, I am using the same settings for each program, but I have been using the software that came with the capture card as a standard to test if the sound is working.

Bingo! (I hope)

When using it from TV, the capture card is processing the audio from the RF antenna signal - I have no idea how/why this would make a difference, but:

Try this - assuming your VCR has RF (‘antenna’) out terminal - connect a coax antenna cable to the VCR RF antenna and the capture card, then re-connect the jumper between the capture card and the sound card - that will most closely duplicate the setup with the TV.

If that doesn’t work, then what is coming in on your cable is not standard VHF/UHF - OR - your capture card (or its software) is set to de-code the cable signal - your VCR is, presumably, not encrypting the signal as does the cable.
If the RF connection doesn’t work, check the settings on the software - is there someplace to say “cable in” vs. “VCR/DVD in”?

“I dont think it came with a list of compatible sound cards, but it works fine when it’s in TV mode, it’s just capturing from a VCR that gives me distortion.”

Why not capture when it’s in TV mode if that works & skip the sound card connection?

ATI cards usually have crappy drivers & the docs are skimpy. However, ATItech does have excellent support, so try the website too.