• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ApochPiQ

Need me some video capture hardware

6 posts in this topic

Right, here's the deal. It has come time for my annual fixation with Making A Household Appliance The Geeky Way. My target this time around: PVR (a Tivo clone, for those of you who are initialism-challenged). For those with painfully short attention spans, you may skip to the marked location below, but be warned that if you reply with a question that is answered somewhere in the ramblings and incoherency below, I will hunt you down and expectorate upon you and your descendents for 40 generations, amen. I already have my video playback system set up (my Beast and my projector) so the box will not need to be capable of playing back the video stream directly. Essentially I'd like to play the video stream over my LAN if that is feasible; failing that, I'll have the PVR box record to a local hard drive and then spool it over to the playback machine via cron or some such. I've been looking at dropping the whole unit into this chassis: Sexiest PVR case EVER Basically, the hardware comes with a decent Pentium M processor and a PCI expansion slot, which is all I'm terribly interested in. I know from experience in dealing with Axiomtek that the unit can support a hard drive after-market, so that's taken care of as well. I'm planning on getting a video capture card that's not terribly anal about being cut apart, and moving the coax input manually so that I can arrange the ports as needed inside the NA-1301 chassis. I'm currently dialoguing with a contact at Axiomtek to make sure that I can fit a decent-sized PCI card into the unit in the first place, although from the description I'm hoping so. I'll try to line up a demo unit to play with and evaluate here in the next week or so. The unit has two USB ports, so I can hook up an IR-driven remote control system to it if I want. The little LCD readout on the front is just damn cool, and I'm hoping to find a way to rig it so it shows cool little facts about the machine while it's running. Anyways, I'm really hoping to get to put the box into that chassis, as IMO that would just be fricken cool. But failing that, suggestions on an alternative (and equally sexy) case would be appreciated. If you have a painfully short attention span, you may resume reading from this point. So, I need some recommendations for good video capture hardware, and good software to run on a Linux (or BSD) distro. Playback directly on the recording device is not needed, streaming across a LAN to another computer is desired, spooling the content off the recorder onto a file-server is my fallback choice if I can't do streaming. Bonus points if I can use the software/hardware to play live TV and get rid of my crappy VCR (which currently exists for the sole purpose of turning coax into RCA video/stereo audio).
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I don't have any experience with the topic but the folks over at Systm (Old TechTV People) made a pretty cool video on how make a home-brew PVR using MythTV, which runs over Linux. Seems like MythTV is the most popular way if using Linux. Hope that helps.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MythTV looks pretty potent... although I'm not entirely clear on whether or not I can use it to stream the video over to my Windows box. I'll dig a little further into it and maybe post on their support list to see if anyone has any thoughts.

Thanks for the link... hopefully that will be enough to get started with.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pinnacle makes some of the best consumer hardware. Failing that, there are many, many independent companies out there--I would do research carefully though, because unknowns have a tendency to be either fantastic or utter crap, especially when it comes to digital video hardware.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm currently looking at going with an ATi TVWonder Elite for the video capture and then using Unreal Media to stream the content over to my main playback machine. I doubt that my 100Mb LAN will be a speed bottleneck, but if it becomes a problem, the Axiomtek system and my main box are both Gigabit capable, so all I'd really need to do is upgrade my switch and that problem would go away.

The main remaining concerns are A) fitting the TVWonder into the Axiomtek chassis (probably nothing that a Dremel and a little solder can't take care of) and B) getting audio capture working correctly. I know the NA-1301 has no audio connectors, but the chipset used by the motherboard definitely has an AC97 component. Hopefully when I get the actual eval unit I'll be able to see if there's an audio lead on the motherboard itself that I can take advantage of, even if it means soldering in a connector for it by hand. If I can fit the TVWonder into the chassis and get the audio squared away I might just pull this thing off.

In the meantime, I'm looking for a backup case and baseline system that I can build this all into if the NA-1301 doesn't work out. Frankly though I'm thinking I might just pick up the TVWonder and drop it straight into the playback box, and forget having a separate PVR... even though it would be a lot cooler that way.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What exactly is that Axiomtek thingie? Is it basically a computer in a tiny form-factor to allow it to be used as a generic device (like a set-top box, DVD player, music player)?

Oh, and to address your question, if you don't go with Pinnacle as suggested, Hauppauge also makes some good capture cards with hardware compression for reasonable prices, usually much better than an AIW.

Are you looking to capture from a digital or analogue source?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Standard analog cable.

The NA-1301 is basically a 1U-form factor computer. It's geared towards network applications, but I've used Axiomtek hardware before and I know it can be pressed into service as just about anything you want it to do.

I've read up a lot on both Hauppauge's cards and the 550 chipset (which the TVWonder Elite uses) and there's essentially no contest in terms of quality and suitability for what I'm doing. Don't confuse the TVWonder with an AIW - I have no use for a dedicated video card in a glorified VCR [wink]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0