Movie Machine Pro
AppearanceFull length ISA card, 16 bit slot only
2 jumpers (only need changing if installing more than one Movie Machine Pro in a system)
HardwareIf this is the only MMPro card in the system (most likely) then just check the jumpers are in position and insert the card as normal. In this instance there was a problem with the card hitting the CPU heatsink. Another full length card had to be removed and the MMPro inserted into the vacated slot (although the Viglen has 4 ISA slots, only one can accept a full length card).
Before proceeding to monitor/VGA card/MMPro connection the Windows display had to be set to 800x600 @ 75Hz (normally 1024x768 @ 90Hz). See summary for explanation.
SoftwareThis card could take quite a bit of setting up if optimising for moving video capture (memory mapping, UMB and port I/O options need to be traded off). On our system û with a known 64K UMB problem and 32MB RAM û port I/O was selected (speed not being a high priority for still image capture). Even so we ran into a problem with the system 'hanging'. On contacting FAST they thought it was a driver problem and sent an updated version of the software.
New software installed û the autoscan (of IRQ's) did not find the network adapter card (at IRQ 10), but the first attempt at port I/O based setup worked fine.
Capture timesImage freezing was instantaneous, so the file saving time becomes a critical factor and this depends on the performance of the system as well as the program. Example times for set-up used:
ObservationsThe software appears very versatile, allowing on-screen adjustment of colour, sharpness, noise filter, hue and bandpass (all of which affect the saved as well as the displayed image).
There seems to be no easy way of setting up the display for correct pixel aspect ratio. The size of the saved image appears to depend on the size of the displayed image with no override at the saving stage û choosing 'Full', 'Half' or 'Quarter' options under the 'Size' menu gives preset image sizes but the aspect ratio is not correct when brought into an image editing package.
Because the initial captured images were not very good, some trial images were taken with the various filter settings. This was to establish whether there was a direct relationship with the effect as displayed on-screen and the saved image and also to see if the filters would improve the quality of the captured images. The effect of the pre-filter and sharpness (set at 1 out of a range of 0-3) seemed very similar and both gave a slightly better image. Using both together and/or increasing levels of sharpness offered little discernible improvement (slightly sharper but with more fringing/ringing). Therefore the rest of the images were grabbed with just the pre-filter in.
The software does not remember the last used file type or directory, which means they have to be set for each save. This is tedious.
One disconcerting problem was that part of the video image would overlay part of the Movie TVs (the still image capture module) dialog boxes.
If we were using this card on a long-term basis one feature that could prove useful would be the hue control. This allows video input colour casts to be removed (or at least minimised) for both the displayed and saved images.