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The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews
ATI Rage128 VR Owner Reports
Published: 11/5/99
(Last Updated: 11/2/2000)


(Note: This page contains older info from the year 1999-2000. However this forums thread has some more recent info, requests for features, comments from ATI's programmer, etc. that might be of interest. An even later thread with tips from spring 2002 is this one.)

To offload the front page news, this page lists Rage128 VR owner comments, tips, problem reportsand more. The first postings were from 'working' VR128 owner reports to serve as an aid in identifying configurations that have worked well. Listed below is a summary of compatibility problems reported and farther down are tips for 640x480 capture and video player crashing.

My Sawtooth G4/VR128 Experience (OS 8.6): To see my comments and test results from installing a VR128 in my G4/450 (sawtooth) system, see my Nov 12th news page.

Tips/Problem Notes:

  • G4/500 Radeon Owner Problem Report: On 11/2/2000 a new dual G4/500 owner with ATI Radeon AGP card reported conflicts with the VR128 card installed. (The VR128 also does not support deep sleep mode)

  • Firewire WebCam Extensions Conflict: (from the 11/24/200 main site news page)
    " Mike,
    just thought I would let you know about a problem I have with the ADS Pyro Webcam I just bought. There is actually nothing wrong with the cam or software itself but if you have an ATI Xclaim VR 128 like I do in my Beige G3, when you try to start Xclaim Video Player, you get a message that says there is no ATI Video hardware installed. Removing the Pyro Webcam's Firewire driver takes care of this problem although obviously now you cannot use the Webcam.

    I have emailed ADS about this and am waiting a reply. If I cannot get them both to work at the same time, meaning not having to keep switching extensions on and off, I will try OrangeMicro's new Firewire Cam to see how it works.

    [I asked for more specifics like his Firewire card brand, etc.-Mike]
    Rocket Fire FireWire/USB Card. I switched it out with the Ratoc just to see if it would make a difference but it didn't.

    [Using only apple drivers for the card?-Mike]
    Yes.

    [What OS version?-Mike]
    9.0.4

    [I asked if he tried disabling any VR128 extensions, esp. any related to capture]
    As a matter of fact, I tried all of them and combinations of them and no go. The only one it conflicts with is the ATI Video Digitizer Extension of course. But without that ATI extension, I cannot get anything into the Xclaim Video Player.

    I actually use the Apple Cam that I have had for a few years plugged into the s-video in on the ATI outboard tuner box that comes with the Xclaim VR 128 and it actually looks a little better than this ADS camera. I like the wide angle lens of the ADS better though. The Apple will not do 640x480 but it does do 30fps at 320x240...
    Mark. "

    One option would be to make an extensions set just for the Firewire camera and use it when you needed to use the camera. (Update - The OS X section of the FAQ here has this info and links to Firewire webcam drivers for OS X.)

  • Extensions not Compatible: Connectix Quickcam extensions cause problems with the ATI video player. (This may be address in an update, reported in late 1999.)

  • Game/Video Player Crashing Tip: I've not seen this here on my G4/450 sawtooth system (no crashes at all) but a reader sent a tip that disabling the ATI 2d graphics accelerator worked on his older mac. (A common tip on L2cache slot/603e macs is to disable the 2d accelerator extension)

  • Audio Capture Problems: Not sure if this read tip is a fix for everyone that has seen this problem with an ATI Rage128 VR card but here's a reader tip that might help:

    "6500 w/ Sonnet L2/G3 350

    As noted by some, the audio capture can be a problem. Right after installation of software and hardware of my VR 128, I could not get any sound out of my ATI Video Player/Recorder, neither on display or capture. Upon scrolling through ATI's troubleshooting pagess, I ran across a tip for what to do if the audio cuts out. ATI said this happens in some models.

    The fix: Quit the Xclaim Video Player, TRASH to XclaimVR preferences in your System (Preferences) folder, relaunch the Xclaim Video Player.

    After spending an hour or two messing with every type of connection, this simple action solved my problem. Upon launching the software, beautiful sound came forth!
    Hope this helps,
    Brent "

    Also see past posts like this owner report. If anyone has a workaround or solution for this - please contact me. Some say audio problems happen only after running the video player application. OS 8.1 owners see this Apple Audio Update Tip. The latest reader comments on audio capture were added 2/2/2000.

  • Reducing capture rate in Premiere helped with recording audio according to one reader (dropping rates to 3MB/sec or less).

  • Green 'X' in the ATI Desktop Video extension during startup: The latest tip is for OS 9.04 users:

    "Remember the whole "ATI VR 128 desktop video extension not loading" thing from a few months back? Well the problem reappeared after upgrading to 9.04. I tried the usual workarounds (rename Appleshare and Apple Guide extensions to load last) but without success. Just for fun I tried the reverse: making the video extension load last. It worked. Don't know if anyone else is having this problem but just thought I'd share.
    --
    Scott A. Scholtens
    Digital Imaging Specialist"

    Another tip for Conflict Catcher Users:

    "Mike,
    I don't know exactly why the ATI Desktop Video extension doesn't like to load, but I've noticed that having Conflict Catcher installed always seems to solve the problem no matter what other extensions are installed. If I remove Conflict Catcher, the extension won't load. It's an expensive solution if you don't own it already, but it's a simple solution for those who already own it but may have stopped using it for some reason. In my case, I didn't install it with my last clean install because I never really ever take advantage of its features. However, I was forced to install it again when my ATI extension wasn't loading. Now everything is fine again...
    Sincerely,
    Peter Lin "

    Previous reader comment on this issue noted the Appleshare extension must be enabled to prevent this. Previous reader comments say adding a ~ (tilde) in front of the extension name solves this. However my G4/OS 9 system does not have a problem with the extension loading. Also see previous tips like this workaround from ATI and a later reader tip about reinstalling OpenGL 1.1.2.

  • Video Player: Many owners reported resizing the window results in crashes. This reader tip might help.

  • TV Tuner: Make sure you're using the correct cables (see manual)

  • OpenGL 1.1.1 (or later) is required with the VR's 4.02 installer drivers (OpenGL 1.1.1 is only currently available as part of OS 9, but was installed on new G4s and iMacs with OS 8.6. OpenGL 1.1.2 is part of the Descent 3 Demo BTW, but read my latest 3D Card Roundup for image quality issues with ATI cards after the update.)

  • Audio Problems: Several owners reported audio problems (stuttering/dropouts) in Quake2, MP3 (less common) and other apps. Two readers said it happens only after running the ATI video player app. (a restart is required to restore audio quality). For Catalyst based macs (PowerCenter/Pro, etc.) - install the ATI sound catalyst fix (or PCI timing update) if you haven't already. See my PowerCenter Pro review or FAQ Audio section for other tips.


Reader Reports G4/500 Radeon and VR128 Graphics Cards Don't Mix: -

" Worthless on a G4/500 with Radeon! Exhibits most of the previously mentioned problems with extensions not loading, video digitizer not being found. Does not support sleep mode for pci bus, so I can't put the computer to sleep. If I leave the computer on, with no activity for a while, it crashes. If I do a simple restart, the computer will not boot (just a black screen). In order to get the thing to boot with this card installed, I have to first disconnect the second monitor, successfully start, shutdown, re-attach the second monitor and restart again. I have tried calling ATI tech support...no answer, I've sent multiple emails and "problem reports". The only response I've seen is an automated response saying that they received my report, but are very busy right now....here are the links to the FAQs (which I've memorized by now). Unfortunately, dwelling in "Macdom" doesn't leave me with many other choices. I think I'll try a Formac card and see how that goes.

Thanks for hearing my vent...I've lost a lot of time on this,
Jack S. "

As far as I know only the retail Radeon cards support deep sleep - I don't think even the Formac Prof. 3 does with the latest firmware updates, but I could be wrong. (The FAQ's Apple G4 section has a note on this.) Even the Voodoo5 does not allow deep sleep here. Most PCI cards I suspect don't support it either (the 2930 Adaptec card with the latest rom does, but not sure on Initio or ATTO SCSI cards). (See the Video articles page for reviews of the OEM/BTO Radeon and Retail Radeon AGP graphics cards.)


Desktop Video Extension Loading Tip:

I've never had so many different 'solutions' to any problem as this one and not all tips work for all systems and you may not have the problem. However here are the reader comments and tips on this issue. Included below is ATI's comments and suggestions on the problem.

This reader notes that if the Appleshare extension is disabled the 'X' appears in the extension:

"Another solution for the Green X problem: Just installed the ATI XClaim VR and had the 'green X'. Played around with turning extensions off/on and found that AppleShare extension must be on in order for the ATI Desktop Video Extension to load. Tried turning ONLY AppleShare off and on and this turned the green X on and off each time.
--David Sand "

A G4/450 system owner sent this tip that worked for him:

"Mike,
I seemed to of corrected the problem [of the video extension green x loading problem] by reinstalling OpenGL 1.1.2. Go Figure!

One side of effect of the reinstall was the Xclaim video player complained about not being able to find the ATI Video Digitizer extension even though it was still in the extension folder. Not sure if this fixed this problem but all I did was drag the extension out to the desktop and then drag it back in. This got the player working again.

I've got through several restarts and everything seems to still work. So maybe this is yet another work around for this troubled card. I agree with you that for what you get and what capability this card adds its a great value. Its just too bad it does not work reliability across all systems.
-Walt."

A tip from ATI sent from a reader:

"Just got this from ATI and thought this might help a few of your readers. It solved my problem.

Green X on the ATI Desktop Video extension

This issue affects the Xclaim VR 128 with CD release 420.

A green X may intermittently appear on the ATI Desktop Video extension during boot up, resulting in the ATI Desktop Video control module not appearing on the Control Strip.

WORKAROUND:
Have the Apple Guide extension load after the ATI Desktop Video extension.

- Open the System Folder
- Under Extensions, find the Apple Guide extension
- Click the Apple Guide extension and rename it, adding an underscore ( _ ) to the beginning of Apple Guide
- Close the System Folder and restart

yours truly,
Steve Newlands"

I thought they had removed the dependency on the Apple Guide extension entirely (it was a requirement with the first Rage 128 orion installer, removed by 4.01 I believe).

Another reader wrote that enabling Virtual Memory solved the 'green x' issue for him.


Higher Res Capture Tips: Although officially only 320x240 movie capture is supported, Travis Hicks sent a tip (two mails actually) about capture sizes of almost 640x480 :

"Mike,
Here is the recording info I promised...

A few days ago I received an ATI VR 128 card from Outpost.com, and I thought I would share my findings.

First, I had no trouble with resizing the Xclaim Video Player window, as some of your readers reported. Everything worked fine, and I could resize to any size.

Second, I noticed that the Xclaim Video Player does not allow you to record a movie at 640x480, giving an error message and resizing the window down to 320x240. I was determined to record at 640x480, so I opened up Adobe Premiere.

I went to the capture movie section of Adobe Premiere and noticed that I could not resize the window to 640x480. I set my sound input settings to 44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo, with no compression. When setting my video input settings I noticed three new compressors; ATI Best Quality, ATI High Quality, and ATI Med Quality. I set it to ATI Best Quality and left the frame rate blank so it would record at its best ability. Next, I went to the recording settings, where I said to record at 640x480. I recorded for about a minute, then stopped to examine what it had captured.

The movie I captured was 640x480, but was actually two 320x240 signals, each stretched to 640x240, laid on top of each other, making a 640x480 image. This was completely useless, so I continued trying (if you are wondering, the captured movie was between 29.9x and 31.x fps).

I thought I would try again, so I went back to the video input settings. There I noticed that the three ATI compressors were gone, replaced by a new compressor called "ATI HAVOC Quality".

After selecting this compressor, I was able to resize the window to 640x480 without having to force it to record at that size in the recording settings. I started to record, everything was going good, and I stopped after a bit. Not only was it a nice quality 640x480, but it was 30 fps! For the record, I would like to point out that I did NOT have the option set to force the movie to a certain frame rate, it was a legitimate 30 fps. Funny thing is, Premiere was not able to play it back at 30 fps (although Movie Player could).

So, thanks to this unusual appearing HAVOC codec, I was able to get some very nice looking video. Feel free to share this information with your readers.
Cheers,
Travis J. Hicks"

He later wrote:

"Mike, I just sent you the info on capturing at 640x480 (which I found a way to do using Adobe Premiere). I hope it is useful to your readers.

I checked it out, and ATI's Xclaim Video Player does allow you to record at 639x479, (I got 29.59 fps). As far as showing up as 320x240, that did not happen for me. Movie player reported it as 636x476 (which is the size of the movie). I also tried to record at 639x479 using post-compression, which also worked, and again recorded at 636x476.

Cheers, Travis J. Hicks "

More on VR128 640x480 Capture:

"Hi Again, Mike
Here's a few screen captures showing the ATI XclaimVR's HAVOC compressor. After capturing in Premiere 5.1c with the HAVOC compressor & saving the resulting 22 MB file (7.9 seconds @ 22 fps -640 X 480) i tried playing from Premiere's monitor window, which crashed my machine at about 2 seconds into the movie.

Then I changed the creator/file type with Snitch to use the Quicktime Movie player and it plays perfectly... no stuttering at all; the only problem is still the original problem - NO AUDIO!

[Clip from his full screenshot showing QT movie player and the Video track info:]

QT Havoc Video track ID

Kevin Schumacher "

See below for a report of his attempts and audio settings.

More on the VR128 'Havoc' Codec: Another reader said he saw the same sudden appearance of the 'Havoc' Codec as reported previously by Travis Hicks on my VR128 Feedback page:

"RE:ATI HAVOC codec

I pulled out a recent MacAddict mag CD and installed Videoshop 3.0 and used that to try to do video capture. Same results as mentioned on your page by Travis Hicks:

[Rather than repeat them here, see above for Travis' comments-Mike]

Same here, first recording was 2 signals, 640x240 laid on top of each other. Second recording in same session was 640x480 which plays just fine with the apple movie player. I got 27.8 fps, but was displaying on my voodoo3 card while recording which I'm sure effected the fps rate. It was only at the second recording session that the ATI Good, Better, Best codecs changed to ATI HAVOC.

The reported ATI info is here (Its the 4.2 universal installer from my VR 128 and the OpenGL 1.1.2 beta from Descent):

=== ATI SOFTWARE ====================
ATI 3D Accelerator Version: 5.6.9
ATI Desktop Video Version: 1.5
ATI Desktop Video Extension Version: 1.5
ATI Displays Control Panel Version: 2.7.1
ATI Extension Version: 2.7
ATI Graphics Accelerator Version: 4.7.1
ATI Mac2TV Monitor Version: 2.7
ATI Mac2TV Startup Version: Not Installed.
ATI MPEG Accelerator Version: Not Installed.
ATI Offscreen Mem Manager Version: 2.0.7
ATI Rage 128 3D Accelerator 5.6.9
ATI Resource Manager Not Installed.
ATI Sound Catalyst Version: Not Installed.
ATI Tuner Version: Not Installed.
ATI Video Accelerator Version: 4.3.3
ATI Video Digitizer Version: 4.2.8
ATI Video Memory Manager Version: Not Installed.
ATI YUV Accelerator Version: Not Installed.
Brian Scott Oplinger "

Brian's also noted he installed the OpenGL 1.1.2f6 beta from the first Descent 3 Demo. Note - the Final OpenGL 1.1.2 installer does not contain the 'Offscreen Memory Manager'. In Game tests I did not see where that affected performance. And note as I mentioned earlier - the final OpenGL 1.1.2 installer will not overwrite beta 1.1.2 installed extensions. You'll need to manually disabled them before running the updater when it is available.


Audio Tip for VR128 Owners Running OS 8.1: A Beige G3 owner notes the (old) Audio Tuneup 2.0 software for specific Macs like the Beige, 4400, 5400 solved his VR128 loss of audio problems. (Note this update is not needed for OS 8.5 and later according to the Apple TIL linked below.)

"I'm cured!!! Just got the ATI 128 VR w/TV today. When moving from the Xclaim Video Player to any other app, or vice versa, I was losing sound settings (reverting to none). Found a tip to Apple's AudioTuneUp 2.0. If you have OS 8.1 you probably will need it. Get it at

http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n10176

Installed it, and no more loss of audio input settings! Everything is working fine. I was able to capture video at 320x240 at ~30fps. Have not tried larger windows. I drive a PowerMac G3/233, 288MB, OS 8.1, QT 4 Pro, QD3D 1.6.
Justin Bonaparte"


Reader Workaround for Game & Video player crashing: This 6500 owner w/L2 cache slot G3 upgrade reported a workaround on his system for his ATI VR128 graphics card problems:

"Hello,
I have a PM 6500/275 with a Crescendo 400Mhz G3 upgrade running OS 8.5.1. I've had problems with my Xclaim VR 128 card, it crashes when I play games or have Xclaim Video Player running. I've tested a few things and it doesn't look like it's a problem relating to my G3 upgrade at all, since it still happens when the Crescendo extension isn't loaded...
But, in the ATI menu, if I just un-check "ATI Graphics Acceleration" it never freezes and there is no loss of performance or features in 3D games, just 2D acceleration is slow (scrolling, moving windows, etc,) but when I'm not playing games or in Xclaim Video Player I turn graphics acceleration back on again and it doesn't freeze (it hasn't so far).

I don't know if other people have this problem or if there's a fix to it, or why it happens, but this seems like an acceptable workaround for me.
Clint Noble"


Video Player Resize Crash Tip:

"Hi Mike,
Here is a follow up to my first VR128 report. I have had the following issues with my VR128: sound skipping and bomb on video player resize. I found that the video player hasn't bombed on resize if I don't have the remote control window open. For some reason this [the remote control] triggers a bomb.

I am also having sound skipping problems, but interestingly enough this doesn't happen in all programs. All Quake programs seem to have it, but others don't. I've had no problems with mp3's playing, but I'm using the demo of C&G's SoundJam MP (highly recommended). I am toying with the idea of networking and background tasks possibly causing the sound problems, so I will be trouble shooting that soon.

My system:
PowerBase w/Powerlogix PowerForce G3/220 @ 264
128 mb RAM
OS 8.6
Quicktime 4.0.3
openGL 1.1.1
Virtual Memory is OFF
Thanks,
Jeremy Young "


VR128 Audio Capture Problems: Here's Kevin's previous post regarding inability to capture audio:

"...The bad news, I haven't been able to record sound from ANY input. I've tried video (with sound) captures at several sizes up to 636 X 476 with all the cables properly connected and the sound input (from the Monitors & Sound control panel) set to Sound In (since the XclaimTV's cable is routed to the microphone input on my 7500/G3) ...all I get is 1/4 second of sound, and then silence...even though I can clearly hear the sound playing through my speakers on the computer as the videotape in the VCR plays.

Same thing happens when I try to ONLY capture sound from other sources like a music CD playing on the internal CDROM drive with the Sound Input set the CD, all I get is 1/4 of a second of sound. I've also tried capturing from the TV window while it's playing whatever's on a TV channel, the picture records nicely but the audio's not there. I have a feeling that something is switching the Sound Input port without my knowledge, which explains why I get 1/4 second of sound, and then nothing...

I've tried turning off all non-essential extensions & control panels, didn't help. I even tried turning off UltraSCSI and ratchetting down the speed of data transfers to 10 Mhz... also didn't help.

I've e-mailed to ATI Tech support re: this problem, till then no audio captures!
Kevin Schumacher"

"


More reader comments on Audio capture (recd 2/1/2000)

"I was able to record audio and video with these settings in the Xclaim Video Player.

AUDIO
Sample - this is the most important - if it ain't set to this, audio capture doesn't work right - with this, I was able to record as much audio as I wanted.

Rate - 11.025kHz
Size - 8 bits
Mono

Second most important - Sound Volume

The Speaker On/Off while recording setting seems broken. But, pay attention to this, along with the Sample rate, I found I had to turn the Volume and Gain way down.

Volume - 15 (13 is softest, with it cutting off to nothing at 12)
Gain - 50 (lowest setting)

Sound volume on playback is seems perfect, louder than the volume recorded at.

Compression
None or IMA 4:1 (Qualcomm PureVoice set at lowest compression gives surprisingly good results)

Source
I removed my PlainTalk mike with the mike pass-thru on the back of the VR Tuner - I found that with the Sound Source set to Sound In I was getting sound from the mike as well as the digitizer.

VIDEO
Quality - Best
Frame Rate - 30
Window Size - Quarter Size (80 x 60) - only size that worked for me!
Default Compression - Cinepak

David Handy, "

See the other comments here (above) on using the 'ATI Havoc' codec which can allow 640x480 capture rates, using the procedure on this page.


Reports from VR128 Owners without Problems: Listed here to help identify which configurations work well (sometimes with caveats).


"I've got a PowerMac 8600/300 w/160MB RAM running OS8.5.1 and OS9 (on a second drive). I must say I've been rather impressed with this card. It's worked more or less flawlessly under 8.5.1. There are, however a couple of bugs.

Marathon
Closing a game, my monitor will not return to it's original size (1024x768) from 640x480 until I completely quit the game.

There also seems to be a few peculiarities as far as the position of the junk on my desktop is concerned. Only under certain apps, the files only on one hard drive will spontaneously move when the screen changes resolutions.

Apple Video Player
This has been rendered useless. The play is extremely slow and choppy now, even trying to use the AV ports my 8600 came with.

Xclaim Video Player
Does something really weird with the sound after having used this app. All sound becomes somewhat muted and tinny. Don't know what the deal is here. Only solved by a restart.

OS9
Doesn't like OS9 at all. No 2D acceleration (at least, not that I can tell). ATI's Desktop Video extension and control strip module won't load either. The only thing I've seen actually work is Macsoft's Unreal. PhotoShop 4 is slow, perusing fonts in ClarisWorks is slower than ever (slower than my built-in video under 8.5). I've emailed ATI about this problem with OS9,but have yet to hear from them. Anyone else tried OS9 yet? [see below-Mike]
Regards, Devin Kass "

As noted at the main site and by ATI in a tech note - OS 9 updates some extensions, not the full retail set. Disabling all ATI extensions under OS 9 and reinstalling the ATI drivers for your card should resolve this.


"Hello,
My Xclaim 128 VR works great!

I have a [Beige] PM/G3 266 64MB
I have an XLR8 USB PCI card installed
I also left in my old Xclaim VR IIc

Mac OS 9.0
QT 4.0.3
QD3D 1.6

Brent Hecht "



" I have a working 128 VR card. I have a G3 266 mini-tower. No other PCI cards.
I installed the drivers and the card with OS 8.5 and then later updated to 8.6 with no problems.
The only other video card on my computer was the built in ATI Rage Pro controller on the motherboard. I removed all other ATI extentions before I installed the new 128 extentions to ensure a clean install. I have QT version 4.0.3. and QD3D version 1.6

TV tuner works both in window and full screen with no problems. Video and audo input works. Video out works great also. 3D acceleration is excellent....ran Unreal at 1024x768 in 32-bit mode with no problems... -Sean Fortier "



"MACHINE: PowerBase 200 with G3 Powerlogix 220@264mhz
RAM: 128mb
OS: 8.6
QT: 4.0.3
PCI CARDS: Rage128VR (obviously), Asanté Ethernet, USB

I was unable to get openGL to run with Tomb Raider III demo, but I haven't tried any others yet. TV tuner works like a charm. I'll keep you posted when/if I run into any problems. Just want to say that this PowerBase is one of the most reliable pieces of hardware I've ever used...
-Jeremy"



" Hi Mike,
I installed my Xclaim VR 128 card into what's now a 7500/100 upgraded to a 376/183/1 Railgun G3Zif/carrier card, 368 MBs Ram, a Farallon 10/100 ethernet card hooked up to a Farallon 8 port hub, on-board ethernet feeding a Cox@home cable modem with a monster cable signal splitter going to the ATI Xclaim VR's TV box, and an Adaptec 2930UW PCI card w/two internal Quantum drives, & the standard Apple CDRom drive w/Apple drivers. External components are an APS 6416 CDRW, Polaroid Sprintscan 4000, and a Iomega Zip drive. I've also got a Seiko Label printer & Epson Photo printer on the serial ports, along with a Gravis Firebird joystick.

Quicktime 4.0.3
OpenGL 1.1.1
Mac OS 8.6.1
QuicDraw 1.6
XLR8 Mach Speed 1.4.1
Speed Doubler 8.1.2

ATI Desktop Video Extension
ATI Extension
ATI Graphics Accelerator
ATI Mac2TV Monitor
ATI Offscreen Mem Manager
ATI Rage 128 3D Accelerator
ATI Resource Manager
ATI Video Accelerator
ATI Video Digitizer
ATI Xclaim VR 128 Driver
(Video Startup 1.7.3 disabled)

The TV tuner works GREAT, good clean picture, no crashs, software controls are very good...I'm a happy camper. The video speed is OK to good w/Photoshop. I haven't tried video captures yet.

During the install, the Video Player app refused to see the ATI card, the fix was disabling both Connectix Quickcam (greyscale model) extensions (~QuickCamMic " ~QuickCamVideo)... after that the player app worked perfectly.

As pleased as I am with this ATI card, I'm hoping that 3DFX releases their 3500TV system...I'd buy one in a heartbeat for my Genesis machine, which is the best Mac I've ever owned.

I visit your site daily, great work! You're a wonderful assest to all us Mac users out here. Many thanks!
Kevin Schumacher "



"Hi Mike,
My VR finally arrived- ordered it last march. Thing works great. Here's some info:

Mac Model type specifics: B&W G3 500/200 (oc'ed 400/200)
* PCI Cards: Voodoo3 2000 in 66mhz slot, Grappler 906f scsi card
* OS 8.6, QT 4.01, QD3D 1.6

Some notes, the video capture won't work at 640 x 480 but reducing the window to anything under that captures 30fps with no dropped frames. I tried 639x479-duh- has to be 4:3 aspect ratio. The ati software configured the window at 636x476. This is much better than my old rage pro vr which would capture at 640x480 but only at 15 fps or so. I have an all-in-wonder 128 in my pc and it can't do anything like 30fps at 640x480, but i don't think it has the rage theater chip. The windows software also has an instant replay feature that the mac doesn't.

The desktop video doesn't work with a desktop picture in place, the picture covers the video. The video zoom feature has been removed from the player software. They fire their mac programmers or something? Haven't tried many games since the voodoo card works so much better.
Great site.
Jeff Judkins "



"Hey Mike,
My VR 128 is working fine, below are my specs. I'm also writing you another message about fps performance and recording at 640x480, but it is somewhat long, and I have not finished describing my efforts. I should send it later this afternoon.

Mac Model type specifics:
G4/400 (the original G4 400 w/Yikes board)
All the standard original hardware except an extra 4GB WD drive for LinuxPPC, and Apple's DVD option (computer was built-to-order at the Apple Store).

Any added non-standard hardware, any PCI Cards:
Just the 4GB drive used for LinuxPPC. I have two PCI cards; the original ATI card w/DVD option in the 66MHz slot, and the VR 128 in the 33MHz slot next to it. Nothing is connected to the original ATI card (I connect my monitor to it if I want to watch a DVD).

OS version, QT version, QD3D version:
Mac OS 9 w/Open GL 1.1.1
QT 4.0.3
QD3D 1.6

Note any 2nd video card and drivers:
The original ATI card w/DVD option. No monitor is connected, I just keep it so I can watch DVDs (Apple's DVD Player 2.0b2 is not compatable with Yikes G4s...or so Apple says...so I can't use software playback). I removed my drivers before installing the VR 128, so both cards are using the same drivers that were installed by the VR 128 CD.

Let me know if you need any more information.
Cheers,
Travis J. Hicks "



"Comments about VR128 - have had system running for 6 days

System:
StarMax 5500/200, 160 MB RAM, 6.2 Seagate IDE HD, 27.2 GB Maxtor HD, stock Teac CD, and an added 24x Toshiba CD. I use a cheap CNET Ethernet card to connect to Road Runner, cable modem. I am running OS 9 but I did have to downgrade Open Transport to 2.0.3 for the internet connection (thanks to thread in Macfixit forum).

I am running Quicktime Pro 4.0.2. What is QD3D? [Quickdraw 3D, v1.6 normally is part of Qt 4.0 if you do a complete install.-Mike] I also generally run without virtual memory activated.

Performance:
Video portions of Xclaim VR card seem great. I can even drive my Sony Mutiscan 500PS 21 inch monitor at 1920 x 1080, 72 Hz. I am running a second monitor, E-machine 16 inch, on the stock ATI card that came with the StarMax. I have not outputted the computer image to a TV screen, etc. I also have not hooked up a Camcorder to the TV tuner box.

As far as the TV tuner, the desktop "l;wall paper" image is exceptionally watchable. The controls of the desktop TV tuner on the control strip work fine. However, there is no indication of which station is presently activated. Programs all work fine on top of the desktop while the images change.

The video player activates a sizable window that carries the TV image. Image quality is great and the channel is digitally displayed in the upper right hand corner. The problems I am having are:

1. Controlling the image via the desktop remote control will freeze the system necessitating a restart. The use of keyboard commands prevents, though not eliminates, a lot of freezes.

2. With the video window running in the background, the entire system is generally unstable. For example, the cursor will freeze every few minutes while using the Excel spreadsheet.

4. The channel monitor freezes the system when it is activated.

3. Despite plugging the external microphone into the microphone input of the Xclaim TV tuner and not using the video player, I am unable to use OS 9 enhanced speech functions. According to specifications, I should be able to do this. (The speech system works fine when the microphone is directly plugged into the Starmax.) This is particularly disappointing.

Thanks,
Olin Balch "



"Hi, I have a powermac g3 233 beige with no other pci cards adddd. I am running on system 9.0, but the card also worked with me on 8.6
My QT version is 4.04
My QD3D version is 1.6

I have no problems with the xclaim vr except 2 small ones that seem to be just bugs or incompatibilies.

1) I can not open the xclaim video player when any other applications are open, if I do I get the eternal spinning ball of death.

2) I can not use the control strip module to play the tv right on my desktop under my icons if I have action gomac enabled-i have turned it off, i don't miss it that much. btw, it is version 2.01. I believe there is a newer version which will probably solve this problem but i don't feel inclined to download it.
Thanks, i love your site :)"


"Mac Model type specifics - Motorola StarMax 4000/160 w/ NewerTech G3 300 upgrade (overclocked to 320 Mhz).

Any added non-standard hardware, any PCI Cards - Yamaha 6416 Internal SCSI CDRW, Memorex DVD, Entrega 4 Port USB Card, Asante Fast 10/100 Card, Internal Quantum SCSI 1 GB Drive, internal IDE IBM 16.8 drive (startup drive)

OS 8.6, QT 4.0.3, QD3D Version 1.6.
Running VillageTronic MacMagic Voodoo Card w/ drivers.
Jade Hansen
Director of Operations
ShoqWave Multimedia Productions "



" Hello, Sterling again. A few updates to my last notes:

I tried all sorts of things to get a crash. It seems really stable. Here is what I found:

1. The VR fights with quicktime on the sound input port. Occasionally, you will loose sound. You have to go to the monitors and sound control panel and reselect sound manager source.

2. TV on the desktop is primitive. All the info from the Video player app is ignored. This means that the desktop tv ignores: Named channels (no way to tell what channel you are on), channels not in the list (encrypted channels that you had skipped like HBO show up), etc. The desktop TV is just channel up/down, volume.

3. I could change my monitor resolution all over the place without a crash or problem. My Sony multiscan 200SF took it all. Except the 120 MHz. Then the monitor just said: "Scan out of range". Handy hint. When you are trying new resolutions, don't use the control strip as you could be stuck in a bad resolution. Use the monitors and sound control panel. It will switch you back if you don't click OK.

So far, I have not been able to crash it.
Sterling
[His previous Mail follows-Mike]

Olin: Name the channels to have the name displayed when you change channels.

Well my Xclaim VR 128 seems to be working great!

Power Mac 7300/180 with Newer 250/125 G3.
MacOS 8.5.1, only VR as PCI Card, QT 4, QD3d (whatever comes with QT4), connected to cable TV as well as my VCR. Sony 17" 700 monitor, no adapter.

* Resolution switching: Have not played with it much. Programs have changed it for me, though, just fine. I should test this more.

* Quicktime acceleration looked good. I tried the Star Wars trailer and was at first dissapointed as it looked the same. Then I realized I was still using SW rendering. Once I changed to HW it looked great. How to get HW? I don't recall. It was something like make sure it was a non standard size window, or change the number of colors. No, wait, perhaps it was the Quicktime Control panel. I forget where I changed it. It was a pop-up in a panel.

* Television. Works great! No problems crashing. The thing I noticed mentioned from the deal-mac forum was that people were selecting the size from the menu. I only used keyboard commands. That is, command-1 to command-5. Works great. I also liked the <- -> channel control and ^v volume control. (Those are supposed to be arrow keys.) I can change channels real fast! Oh, Olin said the desktop TV worked good, but he could not determine the channel. Just name the channels. Then they are displayed when you change channels.

* VCR capture: I have only done still frame, yet. Works great. I captured quite a few off the old Star Trek. One thing to note, in order to capture a bunch of frames, increase the memory allocation for the video player a lot. A large pic is about 1 Mb. Why the heck did they not just save to a file? Also, captured pictures seemed better at a set resolution (Command-4), rather that full screen (command-5).

* Oh, picture saving hint: Make sure no pictures are selected. Do select all (command-a). Do a save (cmd-s). Do a save all here. After they are saved, do a delete in the pictures window. That seems to be the only time you can delete pictures. This also seems to be the best way to save multiple pictures.

* Games: Tomb Raider. What Can I say! It looks great! As does NR! Oh, wait, I can't admit I have that. I also tried Unreal, just the opener so far. It was a little jerky at large screen. I can live with it. It really looks good and is very playable.

* Video: As I said, I have not played with it. However, reposting this from the tidbits:
[Toby Sanchez] "As stated here by another a reader, ATI's Xclaim VR 128 will not record video at 640 x 480 resolution, but instead will cut the resolution to "Normal", or 320 x 240. As odd as it sounds, I have been able to the Xclaim VR 128 to record video @ up to 636 x 476 (or any resolution between 320 x 240 and 636 x 476), but it will NOT do 640 x 480. Wierd. Sounds like an intentional programming "feature" to me. BTW - The quality of the video sampling at 636 x 476 (millions of colors, 16 bit, 44khz stereo sound) is superb."

[Glenn Anderson] "Interesting, this works, but when I open the resulting video in Movie Player and get info on it, it says the video track is only 320x240, and the quality is significantly worse than what shows on-screen in Xclaim Video Player (I am recording from an SVHS source)." "



If you have a tip, comment or workaround regarding the VR128, please let me know.


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