How to capture industrial video at high quality

This article will explain how to capture high quality industrial video from VGA, DVI or HDMI™ sources using a DVI2PCIe capture card. DVI2PCIe is an internal video grabber / capture card installed in a PCIe slot of your workstation. This solution ranks among the most professional video capture cards and is ideal for industrial video capture.

 

DVI2PCIe GIF diagram

Capture Hardware Required

You will need the following hardware before you start:

  • A Capture Computer with a PCIe slot to host the DVI2PCIe card In this example the Capture Computer will be a PC. Epiphan frame grabbers and associated drivers and software are also available for MAC and Linux. The PC is used to record video content, monitor and direct the recording process via the Epiphan Capture Tool interface. Third party tools can also be used to capture, record and stream video captured by DVI2PCIe.
  • DVI2PCIe Сard A DVI2PCIe card is installed in one the PC’s PCIe slots. It captures VGA, DVI, HDMI video signal from an external source and transfers the images to the software applications via the PCIe bus.
  • DVI, HDMI or VGA Video Source A video source that will be captured and recorded using DVI2PCIe and the capture tool.
  • DVI, VGA. HDMI, RGB Cables and Adapters The DVI2PCIe card has a DVI-I dual-link input. This common DVI connector supports multiple video sources with the use of adapters and cables. The DVI2PCIe card ships with DVI, VGA to DVI and HDMI to DVI cables or adapters.

In this example a VGA cable connects a VGA output to the DVI port of the DVI2PCIe card. Once you have installed the DVI2PCIe card into an open slot of the Capture Computer, proceed with the following instructions

Step 1: Download DVI2PCIe application and drivers

  1. Open a web browser and go to www.epiphan.com.
  2. Browse to the support page
  3. Select the DVI2PCIe product to download the software and documentation.
  4. Depending on the OS type installed on your PC click the appropriate command.
  5. In the “File Download” window click “Open”.
    DVI2PCIe download
  6. Select a folder to save an application. The archive’s name (vga2usb) is a common name for Epiphan software that works with all Epiphan frame grabbers. DVI2PCIe download
  7. Click “Save”.
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  8. Click “Open Folder”.
    DVI2PCIe download
  9. Click “Next”. Then select destination for extracting the archive and click “Next”. The files are extracted from the archive.
    DVI2PCIe download
  10. Click “Finish”. The folder with the extracted files is displayed.
    DVI2PCIe download
  11. Double-click the setup file in the folder.
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  12. Now you are ready to start the installation. Click “Next” and continue with the installation

Step 2: Connect and switch on hardware

Next, connect the PCIe frame grabber hardware to your video source.

  1. Use the VGA to DVI cable to connect your VGA source to the DVI In port of the card. If you want to capture DVI or HDMI or other video types, use the appropriate adapters or cables
  2. If needed, power up both the computer and the VGA source. Your PC detects the installed card.
  3. If this is the first time install the Start the New Hardware Wizard may appear. The software is installed automatically.
  4. You can change the video sources and/or cables to experiment capturing various display and camera sources. There is no need to turn off the computer while changing the video source.

Step 3: Industrial Video Capture

The following steps will guide you through the process of configuring various recording options.

  1. Click on Start>All Programs>VGA2USB. The Epiphan Capture application starts.
  2. Select “Options” from the “Tools” menu in the Epiphan Capture application. Select the “Recording” tab.
  3. Specify that you are capturing video signal: set “Record as” to “Video” and click the “Select Codec…” button. For this example, Epiphan recommends using ffvfw MPEG-4 Codec for signal capture. (You may need to download this free codec from the internet.)
    DVI2PCIe download
  4. Now start video on your VGA video source that you want to capture. The Epiphan Capture Tool will automatically detect video settings and then display the captured image. The top of the window will identify the Frame Grabber card installed and various parameters of the video source being captured. (see below )
  5. Click the “Record” button.
    DVI2PCIe download
  6. Select the location for the recorded video file on your PC and click “Save”. The VGA signal capture recording will not start unless you click “Save”.
  7. To stop recording, click the “Record” button again.
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The Result

Navigate to the directory where the video file was saved and open it in a media player. Once you become comfortable with the tool, you can change video sources, or options such as codecs to determine what settings best suit your applications.