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Rimsala: 2017-09-02 05:41:11 am
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Hello, I've tried getting help from a few people who I know do capture card recording / speedruns / etc and none of them have been able to diagnose my situation so I'm hoping any of the fine folks here can lend a hand. I'll try to give you any pertinent information but just ask if you need more.

I'm trying to record PS1 gameplay, not only for speedruns, but just for any kind of gameplay. I've successfully recorded my SNES, N64 and PS2, but I'm having difficulty with the PS1. Here's a picture of normal footage

and here's what I encounter around 75% of the time

As you can see, it looks like the lines are getting split in a very weird way. The odd thing is that this seems to go in an out in between rounds, not recordings; that is, I can be playing a song, and either finish it or restart, and then play another song and, without having stopped the recording, the picture I'm getting has changed from one to the other. It never looks like this on my TV, by the way (I'm playing on a CRT). These are pictures from an interlaced recording; I have not deinterlaced this in any way, live or using AviSynth. Here's some information about my setup.

Capture card: Diamond VC500
Input: S-Video
Recording software: VirtualDub 1.9.7 or AmarecTV 2.31 with lagarith codec, both at 29.646431280978 FPS
Splitter: CE LABS AV 400SV distribution amplifier
Operating system: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Graphics card: GeForce GTX 950
RAM: 8GB (forget what speed, plenty though)
Hard drive writing to: 2TB 7200 RPM and otherwise good specs drive, F: path (not system drive). almost 600GB left

Again, I don't have this problem for any other consoles that I've tried. What could be causing this? It's a total crapshoot as to whether my video will look good or look terrible, and if I'm speedrunning, it's just about guaranteed I'll get both types of picture since it tends to change (seemingly between loading screens?).

I've constantly messed with the wires to make sure they're all snug and stuff like that. I really can't figure this out :/ I hope someone here can help me.

EDIT: Also, when I record with the 29.646431280978 FPS (PSX framerate, like using 30.0494069487205 for SNES) in AmarecTV, I get hundreds of dropped frames. The video appears smooth, but it reports frames that I guess are getting... removed? I don't know if this is normal or not. VirtualDub had a timing section where you could set something to correct any odd behavior when using unorthodox framerates, but I see no such thing for AmarecTV.
Thread title:  
The Dork Knight himself.
From what I can tell, the field order keeps getting messed up. For interlaced footage, the screen is broken up into odd/even lines (capture programs refer to this as top/bottom fields) with only one of them being displayed at a time. For some reason your capture card or your capture program is getting confused as to the order to display the fields. It's possible that the game itself is switching resolutions and depending on what frame the resolution change happens is causing the confusion. For some PSX era games, it would run at 480i on menus and 240p during actual gameplay.

To be certain, please provide a few things:
1. Screenshots of your capture/display settings in vdub and amarec (a zip file might be easier to post)
2. A source recording file with no processing (not even deinterlacing) that shows both normal video and the messed up video (numerous samples will suffice)

If the files are small enough you can attach them to a post (look for the paperclip icon just under the main text box) or just upload them to a safe external site and post the links.
Quote from honorableJay:
From what I can tell, the field order keeps getting messed up.

Ah, thank you for this. After reading your post I went to VirtualDub and used the "Swap Fields" option under the Video menu while in Record AVI mode, and when I hit record, the overlay changed to display the video correctly, and the recorded video was correct too. I did this while playing SaGa Frontier. I could not for the life of me get that game to switch between field orders, so I don't think SaGa Frontier varies the resolution at all.

For a game that does vary the resolution between menus, how will I solve my problem? Currently I'm in the money with SaGa Frontier by using the Swap Fields option, but for other games, when the resolution changes, I'll be screwed all over again, right?

Let me know if it will still help to post the VirtualDub settings, or a recorded video file. It looks to be the field order at this point, but what I can do about that is a mystery to me. And I've given up on AmarecTV completely for recording PSX. AmarecTV refuses not to drop frames constantly if I set the FPS to anything other than 29.97. I set the FPS in the other section to 999 like the SDA guide instructs, and I even downloaded v3.10, but it insists on dropping frames, so I give up on that.
The Dork Knight himself.
You'll probably just have to take it on a game by game basis. Always a good idea to run video tests on a game before doing anything serious just to work out any kinks. As for games that switch resolutions and how to handle it, you'll have to contact someone like Nate to get a definitive answer.