Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

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Steven
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Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

Search function doesn't let me search for PCB because it's too short and gets excluded no matter what I do.

I borrowed a friend's Micomsoft XCAPTURE-MINI and BetsuBetsu v1.1 to try recording from my PCBs. I'm using these together with a Framemeister. Unfortunately, this setup is completely terrible and I hate it.

First, I can't seem to get audio recorded at all from PCBs, as when I plug anything into the 3.5mm audio out on the BetsuBetsu it's fine, but then if I plug the other end into anything, all audio stops working, but only if the RGB is plugged into the BetsuBetsu. I don't even get anything out of my Astro City's speakers and flipping the unlabeled, unknown switch next to the audio out does nothing.

I also tried recording using the XCAPTURE-MINI with my Sega Nomad + OSSC, and for some reason I get left side audio only.

Finally, the XCAPTURE-MINI itself can only do 720p at 60 FPS at best. 1080p results in 30 FPS captures. Obviously, the solution is to get something better.

Anyone have any advice, either for a better capture thingy or for the audio weirdness, or preferably both? Would greatly appreciate it.
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Sumez
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Sumez »

At a friend's place we've done tons of recordings with a setup similar to yours.
Betsubetsu into an OSSC, then the OSSC capture is recorded using an USB3HDCAP (which is based on a micomsoft product as well) - the latter isn't the best tool for the job. We got one back in the day to capture RGB video directly from the PCBs, but it generally works better going through the OSSC, since USB3HDCAP also supports HDMI, but I'm pretty sure there are much better and cheaper tools for just HDMI capture out there.

The audio could just plug directly into the computer doing the recording, really, it doesn't need to be processed through the awkward chain of apparatuses. IIRC betsubetsu lowers it so it's not amplified.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

The capture thingy I am using can't plug into a computer for anything aside from being powered through USB, unfortunately. It's essentially completely standalone and saves everything to an SD card.

I decided to try capturing some Kyuukyoku Tiger today and the video quality of the recordings seems quite poor. It also seems to have some sort of either file size limit or length limit, so if you record long enough it will arbitrarily make one recording into multiple files. I got about 17 minutes of footage at 720p with no audio before it made a different file.

At the least I am probably going to try to find a better capture device. I might also ditch the Framemeister and use something else if possible, preferably the RT5X that I already have to save money and also hopefully get a 1440p image if it doesn't hate the arcade refresh rates that it isn't designed for. I think the RT4K has better compatibility with PCBs, but I am not buying that right now. Given the horrible exchange rate, I can get a Tatsujin Ou or Same! Same! Same! PCB for less than the RT4K and I'd much rather have those PCBs at this point, especially since I don't have a 4K display.
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Sumez
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Sumez »

Steven wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 6:44 am The capture thingy I am using can't plug into a computer for anything aside from being powered through USB, unfortunately. It's essentially completely standalone and saves everything to an SD card.
Oh wow, yeah, if nothing else that would make troubleshooting extremely difficult. I'd say probably just get an ElGato or something equivalent but cheaper, but I'm actually not too familiar with HDMI capture. Definitely the weakest link in your setup.
I might also ditch the Framemeister and use something else if possible, preferably the RT5X that I already have to save money and also hopefully get a 1440p image if it doesn't hate the arcade refresh rates that it isn't designed for. I think the RT4K has better compatibility with PCBs, but I am not buying that right now.
I really want to upgrade to RTK5X too. But if you already got both an OSSC and a 5X as well, I don't understand why you're spending any time with the Framemeister at all.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

Sumez wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 8:34 am
Steven wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 6:44 am The capture thingy I am using can't plug into a computer for anything aside from being powered through USB, unfortunately. It's essentially completely standalone and saves everything to an SD card.
Oh wow, yeah, if nothing else that would make troubleshooting extremely difficult. I'd say probably just get an ElGato or something equivalent but cheaper, but I'm actually not too familiar with HDMI capture. Definitely the weakest link in your setup.
Yeah, it's kind of annoying, especially because I now have a mess of cables all over the floor in the middle of my rather small one-room apartment. There has got to be a better way to record from PCBs than this, especially because more modern capture devices will support 60 FPS capture at resolutions higher than 720p.
I might also ditch the Framemeister and use something else if possible, preferably the RT5X that I already have to save money and also hopefully get a 1440p image if it doesn't hate the arcade refresh rates that it isn't designed for. I think the RT4K has better compatibility with PCBs, but I am not buying that right now.
I really want to upgrade to RTK5X too. But if you already got both an OSSC and a 5X as well, I don't understand why you're spending any time with the Framemeister at all.
[/quote]
The only reason that I'm using the Framemeister is because the BetsuBetsu that I borrowed came with a cable that has the same DIN as the Framemeister. I'm kind of okay with the Framemeister right now because it's just a temporary (and borrowed) setup, but I'm interested in buying my own BetsuBetsu and stuff, and in that case I'll probably try some other scaler.

The Framemeister is actually the only part of the entire assembly that is actually mine and not borrowed, but it's nice to know that it does indeed work with these Toaplan boards, although I have heard that some of the later ones like Dogyuun!! are disliked by the OSSC or other scalers/line multipliers. First thing that needs to get upgraded is the capture device, though. That 720p limit is definitely not great. I suppose I might sell the RT5X if I ever get the 4K, but the OSSC is excellent for Dreamcast, so that is definitely staying.

It looks like the newer version of the BetsuBetsu uses a Mega Drive 2 DIN. That would actually be great for me since I already have the Mega Drive 2 HD Retrovision cable, so just getting the v2 would be helpful.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Sumez »

Steven wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 8:58 am The only reason that I'm using the Framemeister is because the BetsuBetsu that I borrowed came with a cable that has the same DIN as the Framemeister. I'm kind of okay with the Framemeister right now because it's just a temporary (and borrowed) setup, but I'm interested in buying my own BetsuBetsu and stuff, and in that case I'll probably try some other scaler.
Oh yeah I forgot about that, that's pretty annoying. I had to solder an adapter between the DIN plug and VGA d-sub connector to use the OSSC.
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VEGETA
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by VEGETA »

i searched and found this: https://www.beharbros.com/product-page/ ... eo-capture

claiming to be the best video recording device for retro gaming.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

Beharbros probably got the cheapest chips on the market and filed the markings off of them again like they did on the Akura lol. I'll consider it, but I'll also keep looking.

So this is the capture I am getting so far. No audio because ???

This is the raw file before rotation... and after Youtube's compression, I guess. I noticed that the bars in the energy meter are of uneven sizes, which means the scaling is incorrect. If this capture thingy wasn't borrowed, I would immediately smash it with a hammer, light it on fire, and then throw it in the trash just for this reason alone.
https://youtu.be/fTFDWGQo6p0

Here is what it looks like rotated. Unfortunately it's forcing me to put it as that stupid shorts bullshit due to the aspect ratio, but here it is. Not great, unfortunately.
https://youtube.com/shorts/bIll5xaZf0k?feature=share

I checked out some of the Elgato capture stuff and it looks okay as well. The prices are not too bad, either.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by beharius »

No, we don't sand its ICs. Prodigy is using the latest chip available on the market .Probably it's one of the first products using that chip. It's a competitive pricing as it's our first capture card and there are many cheap products available.
Generally we have to sand the chips as there are some lamers on the market who are copying others' products. AKURA is the first DC HDMI box and we had to sand its chips to protect its design although it's patent pending. It's not about hiding its quality. It uses expensive chips instead of the new all in one chips(hdmi/video+audio+mcu) that others are using on the cheaper alternatives. So instead of 1 IC we use 3 ICs. That is all about protection (as much as possible).
Last edited by beharius on Sat Apr 20, 2024 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Steven
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

If you say so.

How does it handle refresh rates in the 54~57Hz range?
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Sumez »

Other people copying good producs would be a pretty good thing though, not a negative. More options for consumers.
Definitely not "lamers".
SavagePencil
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by SavagePencil »

It's a confusing device. The advertising says it's a "4K HD Video Capture Card" and yet the manual indicates that it caps out at "Max. 1080p@60Hz." It's $50, which is probably a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of thing.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by NoAffinity »

Man, why all the hate on behar? I guess theres reasons.

But at $50 and ability to take in up to 4k, I've ordered one. Would love to not have to switch away from rt5x 1440p just to capture a score run.

Curious - what type of hardware compression is it doing? And any guides for avoiding unnecessary recompressing in obs for instance would be appreciated (or if anyone knows of guides already out there and can just share a link...).
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

SavagePencil wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 4:19 pm It's a confusing device. The advertising says it's a "4K HD Video Capture Card" and yet the manual indicates that it caps out at "Max. 1080p@60Hz." It's $50, which is probably a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of thing.
Now that I read it again, it seems it can accept 4K video input but the recording you will get is limited to 1080. This also means that I don't want it now because I want higher resolutions.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by orange808 »

Steven wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 1:28 am
SavagePencil wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 4:19 pm It's a confusing device. The advertising says it's a "4K HD Video Capture Card" and yet the manual indicates that it caps out at "Max. 1080p@60Hz." It's $50, which is probably a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of thing.
Now that I read it again, it seems it can accept 4K video input but the recording you will get is limited to 1080. This also means that I don't want it now because I want higher resolutions.
May I ask why? I'm curious what purpose native 4k capture serves for recording arcade PCBs and distributing the video using streaming platforms.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

orange808 wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 2:19 am
Steven wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 1:28 am
SavagePencil wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 4:19 pm It's a confusing device. The advertising says it's a "4K HD Video Capture Card" and yet the manual indicates that it caps out at "Max. 1080p@60Hz." It's $50, which is probably a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of thing.
Now that I read it again, it seems it can accept 4K video input but the recording you will get is limited to 1080. This also means that I don't want it now because I want higher resolutions.
May I ask why? I'm curious what purpose native 4k capture serves for recording arcade PCBs and distributing the video using streaming platforms.
Reasons and stuff. Like I said, though, I don't have 4K anything anyway. I could do 1440, and that would be acceptable.

Besides, 1080 sucks because no fullscreen integer scale for common resolutions below it.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Sumez »

NoAffinity wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 9:44 pm But at $50 and ability to take in up to 4k, I've ordered one. Would love to not have to switch away from rt5x 1440p just to capture a score run.
I would too, but with no European distribution or alternatives, those $50 could very well easily turn into $150.

I'd much rather take an open source community driven equivalent.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Steven »

I don't suppose there is sufficient demand to make and attempt to sell a product that can plug into a JAMMA PCB and directly capture lossless footage and audio without having to send it to some external device for anything other than perhaps saving the file(s), but if there was that would be cool. Lossless video and audio take up a lot of space, but that's easy enough to solve.
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orange808
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by orange808 »

Steven wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 4:05 am Besides, 1080 sucks because no fullscreen integer scale for common resolutions below it.
Have you considered the fact that the streaming platform will perform processing and/ or compression on the material? More importantly, viewers will be using many different network connections and devices. The bitrate, resolution, refresh rate, and local video processing for end users are a complete black box. What streaming platform kicks out a clean stream of your source material? If you are planning to use scanlines and filters, it's not likely to display properly.

The refresh rate needs to be handled as well. The default end user target is still a flat 60Hz, but your PCB probably outputs something different.

And, why can't you upscale your intial video capture to 4k using your PC in post-production? I understand uploading an entire finished video at 4k and avoiding upscaling downstream, but why does the initial capture of the game need to be 4k?
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Sumez »

Steven wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 7:08 am I don't suppose there is sufficient demand to make and attempt to sell a product that can plug into a JAMMA PCB and directly capture lossless footage and audio without having to send it to some external device for anything other than perhaps saving the file(s), but if there was that would be cool. Lossless video and audio take up a lot of space, but that's easy enough to solve.
Processing analog video in a uniform matter is a pretty complex process, which I think the settings on something like an ossc alone only confirms.
Converters like that and retrotink alone is such a specialized field that there's no getting around having a dedicated box for at least that step.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by pegboy »

I've been using a framemeister and El gato HD capture (the original one) for like a decade now and it works with every pcb I've tried and all of my old consoles too.

Yes it tops out at 60fps 720p but why it the world you would need anything higher than that for old analog video sources? You can just upscale it later if you want 4k or whatever, that's what I do. You likely need to rotate the video in post anyway what's the drawback of upscaling it later?
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by SGGG2 »

The Elgato HD60 X works with the OSSC in every mode I've thrown at it so far in OBS. 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and 1080i passthrough.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by Sumez »

That looks great! But jesus it's expensive :P
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by SGGG2 »

Not really. The HD60 X is a mid tier card and the price reflects that, about half the price of the latest HDMI 2.1 4k60 offerings. It might be expensive compared to what's available for capturing retro devices, but OSSC compatibility is great, and lag is low (for a capture device) at 2 frames in OBS, if you want the option of playing through preview.

IIRC, the Datapath cards are 2 frames when set to unbuffered. There's someone on eBay selling them for cheap right now.
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by NoAffinity »

Behar discussion aside, I've used this magewell card for many years. Tops out at 1080p or 1600x1200. Overall, very good compatibility and works great with obs.

https://www.magewell.com/products/pro-capture-hdmi
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by SavagePencil »

@Steven: it may not be immediately useful and is decidedly OSSC (and Pro)-centric, but there is an audience here focused on using those devices to capture arcade games reliably: https://videogameperfection.com/forums/ ... n-support/
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Re: Recording from arcade PCBs and other analog game hardware

Post by NoAffinity »

I got my behar bros prodigy. Solid product. Limited testing so far, but initial results:
1) Flaky on usb 3.1 or 3.2 ports, but rock solid on 3.0
2) 1080p output looks great. On a 1080p canvas in obs, scanlines look perfect. This is not true for the output from my magewell card.

I'll be doing some more testing this weekend, but so far for $70 shipped, this is a great solution.
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