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Old 14th December 2008, 13:52   #1  |  Link
BlackSharkfr
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Capture codec for low CPU useage

Hello,
I doing some very special recordings using my TV capture card.

I play games in stereoscopic 3D and want to record some footage, usual computer recording softwares do not work (fraps, gamecam, etc...),
So i have to use my TV capture card and record my to-output as interlaced (field sequencial stereoscopic-3D)

It works but it requires the game to run at a perfectly steady framerate.
I managed to record a few old games, but since i play and record on the same PC, i can't record more recent games since the CPU useage is too high.

My capture card is a cheap Hauppauge win TV express PCI card.
Until now, i used DScaler with Lagarith codec, but even at a very low capture resolution (i went as low as 480x480), the cpu useage is still too high.

I am now looking for other codecs (either lossless or lossy codecs) that require less ressources for live capture, and are able to keep the interlacing.

I hope you can help me, thanks.
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Old 14th December 2008, 17:52   #2  |  Link
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I remember reading about MJPEG codec comparsions in the German Doom9 forum, and the PICVideo MJPEG codec consistently had the lowest CPU useage. I do not remember if they tested version 2 or 3 though.

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Old 14th December 2008, 20:44   #3  |  Link
easy2Bcheesy
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Surely Huffyuv is the obvious choice? It's definitely more light on the CPU than Lagarith.
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Old 14th December 2008, 22:33   #4  |  Link
LoRd_MuldeR
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Maybe even x264 in lossless mode can be used. Using fast settings, I can get it to encode at ~60 fps for SD content (720x576) easily
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Last edited by LoRd_MuldeR; 14th December 2008 at 22:37.
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Old 14th December 2008, 22:37   #5  |  Link
Dark Shikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoRd_MuldeR View Post
Maybe even x264 in lossless mode can be used. Using fast settings, I can get it to encode at ~60 fps for SD content (720x576).
HuffYUV is surely quite a bit faster than x264, even on subme0/1 + no cabac + no scenecut + no partitions.
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Old 14th December 2008, 22:41   #6  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shikari View Post
HuffYUV is surely quite a bit faster than x264, even on subme0/1 + no cabac + no scenecut + no partitions.
But if you find the slowest x264 settings that are still fast enough for realtime capture, it will certainly give a smaller file than HuffYUV.

Even with the 60 fps settings the file was smaller than HuffYUV (715 MB -vs- 830 MB). And I could have used slower settings for realtime capture.

If speed (CPU usage) is really the only thing that matters, then HuffYUV is the winner though...
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Last edited by LoRd_MuldeR; 14th December 2008 at 22:46.
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Old 14th December 2008, 23:44   #7  |  Link
BlackSharkfr
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My aim is realtime capture + as much room as possible for the game. (game + capture on the same PC with performance requirement on both)

Will try again with huffyuv, in case it is not enough, what lossy codec may i try ? i've seen FFdshow's MJPG but for some reason FFDshow doesn't like DScaler, i get very bad quality image if i use ffdshow, whatever the codec used, i don't know why.
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Old 15th December 2008, 00:10   #8  |  Link
LoRd_MuldeR
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I doubt there is any encoder that is much faster than HuffYUV, except uncompressed
But with uncompressed video your HDD will quickly become the bottleneck!

You could try x264 with absolute fastest settings. Try Subme=0, disable CABAC, uncheck all partitions and select "diamond" search.
It can be REALLY fast then. If you can live with lossy compression, try CQP mode with CQP > 0 (e.g. CQP = 22).

Also MPEG-1 may be worth a try, speed-wise at least...

And please define "bad quality" for ffdshow. The ffdshow VfW part should work just like any other VfW encoder.
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Last edited by LoRd_MuldeR; 15th December 2008 at 00:28.
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Old 15th December 2008, 01:07   #9  |  Link
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Using HuffYUV will result in a file that's much more edit-friendly than using x264.
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Old 15th December 2008, 01:19   #10  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squid_80 View Post
Using HuffYUV will result in a file that's much more edit-friendly than using x264.
Yes. But thanks to DGAVCSource() editing H.264 isn't a big problem either. At least for Avisynth-enabed tools.

If uses a VfW encoder, which I think he does (DScaler), he'd need to extract the H.264 stream from the AVI container first though.
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Old 15th December 2008, 16:01   #11  |  Link
BlackSharkfr
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i have used ffdsow encoder many times in many different applications and it always worked well but for some reason i can't understand, when using Dscaler, the end video is screwed up,
The video still works but the resolution looks fake, there are some weird artifacts that look like interlacing (but aren't). In the end the video looks really bad, whatever the settings i choose inside ffdshow.
I have also had the same bug with other codecs in DScaler so i assume it's a DScaler issue and not an FFDShow issue.
It's just that lagarith works so i haven't used any other codecs so far.
Will try a new recording this evening.
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Old 15th December 2008, 16:22   #12  |  Link
mgh
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try using virtualdub or virtual vcr instead. dscaler is designed for watching tv, not so much for capture.
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Old 15th December 2008, 20:16   #13  |  Link
LoRd_MuldeR
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1. It may help to post a sample of the "screwed up" video.

2. Instead of Lagarith, you should give HuffYUV a try (either from ffdshow or the standalone version). HuffYUV significant faster than Lagarith!

I'd only prefer Lagarith over HuffYUV, if I need better compression and can handle slower encoding.
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Old 17th December 2008, 02:51   #14  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy2Bcheesy View Post
Surely Huffyuv is the obvious choice? It's definitely more light on the CPU than Lagarith.
Before I changed to AMD Phenom, Lagarith have a few drop frames on my AMD Athlon64, I believe HuffYUV still is the best choice for capture, especially the new patch version from Squid_80 (Thanks!).

Also surprisingly I found MediaPlayer Classic (old version, never tried the new one) have a very smooth capture ability, it help a lot when I need to convert my VHS and process with VirtualDub, my Canopus card didn't like other programs except the WinDVD creator but it lack lossless capture ability.
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Old 17th December 2008, 11:18   #15  |  Link
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Near-lossless edit codecs (e.g. Canopus HQ, Cineform) seem to be faster that HuffYUV, because they require far less disc access. That's my experience on my (slow!) machines anyway. YMMV.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 17th December 2008, 16:13   #16  |  Link
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Another point for maybe going the "x264 lossless with fast settings" way:
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=143540
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Old 17th December 2008, 16:39   #17  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoRd_MuldeR View Post
Another point for maybe going the "x264 lossless with fast settings" way:
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=143540
OP wants to keep the interlacing intact though. x264 may support lossless but it's limited to YV12 so the interlacing will be b0rked, unless I'm missing something.
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Old 17th December 2008, 16:50   #18  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squid_80 View Post
x264 may support lossless but it's limited to YV12 so the interlacing will be b0rked, unless I'm missing something.
I think x264 has a working interlaced mode, although it's not as optimized as it could be.

Also converting interlaced video from RGB to YUV should be possible, if done correctly. Right?
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Old 17th December 2008, 17:05   #19  |  Link
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Whether x264's interlaced mode is optimized or not won't matter in lossless mode, since it's lossless But even if the YV12 conversion handles interlacing properly it will still halve the chroma resolution vertically, and I'm not sure what effect that will have on "field sequential stereoscopic-3D" images.
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Old 17th December 2008, 17:09   #20  |  Link
LoRd_MuldeR
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But even if the YV12 conversion handles interlacing properly it will still halve the chroma resolution vertically, and I'm not sure what effect that will have on "field sequential stereoscopic-3D" images.
Okay. But the same would happen with any encoder that doesn't accept RGB32, no matter if lossy or lossless.

A proper HuffYUV version with RGB support would be fine. x264 won't be, as long as there's no full 4:4:4 support.

Not so sure about all the others mentioned...
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