Okay guys, here’s the deal:
For more than a year and a half (maybe two) I have encountered DROPPED FRAMES using ROXIO Creator NXT (Versions 5 & 6, regular and Pro) to capture video.
This occurs routinely on two laptops:
‘MERLIN’ : a Dell Precision M6500 workstation (Intel i5-M540 2.53GHz 8GB) – vintage Jul 2009 (used from eBay Mar 2014)
‘SEACRUISE’ : an HP Envy 17 Notebook PC (Intel i7-6700HQ 2.60 GHz 16GB) – vintage Jul 2015 (refurb from eBay Jul 2018)
The result is around 3% - 6% dropped frames, uniformly across capture sessions ranging in length from 30 min to 12+ hours.
Two of my other systems show nearly zero dropped frames!
‘AVALON’ : An HP Envy TS 17 Notebook PC (Intel i7-4700MQ 2.40 GHz 16 GB) – vintage Nov 2013
‘ISSAC’ : A Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop running Windows XP – vintage May 2008
Pulled off the shelf and re-animated for this investigation and still able to run its original Creator 2011 Special Edition (MediaCapture13.exe file – Build 31B66A 701KB 7/16/2010 7:20 am).
All of my systems, except ISSAC, run the latest version of Windows 10 (Feature Update 1803) and have successfully updated themselves over several years; all are virus checked, drivers are updated, image backed up, etc.
I use Roxio USB dongles (two each of Model MU3192-E and Model MU3180-E) from various Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus packages and the Creator NXT MediaCapture15 program.
Capture quality is set to HQ (MPEG-2 720x480).
The following actions do not alter these results:
Trying different capture dongles on different systems
Trying different video sources: DVRs / VHS tapes
Software re-installations (from scratch and ‘repair’)
Running MediaCapture at different Windows task priorities: Normal, Above Normal or High.
Of special note, the USB dongle connection on ISSAC is via an Express Card USB 3.0 two-port adapter, and yet it has almost no dropped frames! All other dongle connections are native USB 3.0.
With one exception, noted next, files on all systems are to captured to their respective second, non-OS internal hard drive (‘PEGASUS’ to a separation partition).
MERLIN has a very small system drive (128 GB SSD) with very limited free space, so its captures are directed to an external hard drive (via another Express Card USB 3.0 two-port adapter). And yet, as recently as mid-February on MERLIN, there were three captures (from a DVR) that showed almost no dropped frames: Two files were approximately three hours each (total of four seconds dropped), and the third was a five hour capture with 20 seconds dropped. Otherwise, most captures on MERLIN (before and after) follow a more typical 5% drop pattern. Yet another unexplained anomaly.
But wait, there’s more:
At the end of Nov 2017, I bought a new Dell XPS 8930 desktop system (‘PEGASUS’) and I was shocked to discover that it immediately showed the DROPPED FRAMES anomaly! At the time, I decided to pursue this problem more aggressively, since (a) it occurred on a brand new high-powered desktop system and (b) was using the newest version: Creator NXT 6 Pro. Over following two months I tried almost every possible combination of video sources (DVR recordings & Live TV); different audio/video cables, different USB capture dongles on different systems, different USB ports. Creator was re-installed multiple times (incl. with absolute minimal software), drivers were checked, updated, removed, and re-installed. The dropped outcomes were unchanged; the results remained correlated with each system as cited above.
During that period, Jan-Feb 2018, I sent many copies of these results to ROXIO Technical Support and urged them to try duplicating and confirming my experience. I got nothing back and had to give up when my schedule was pressed with other, non-computer matters. Toward the end, I was shuffled around to other technicians, having to explain everything from scratch each time. There were no effective suggestions offered amid very long periods with no replies at all. During the Spring and Summer of 2018 I traveled quite a bit and I could only check-in a couple of time with Tech Support for status updates. I got no replies and gave up once again. Now, after a year away, I am trying to reopen this issue.
While traveling, I discovered a decades old, large LCD clock at my brother’s house, and hit upon a much simpler and more straight-forward way to demonstrate this problem, minimizing extraneous factors like video sources, cables, etc. Using the laptops’ the built-in webcams, I captured the displays of that digital clock using MediaCapture15 (MediaCature13 on ISSAC) with source set to CyberLink Webcam Splitter. Let’s see if the drop conditions still happens with these configurations!
Yes, they do! In one recent 12 hour capture session, the SEACRUISE file showed consistent dropping of 41-53 seconds worth of frames over each 15 minute clock interval (average drop was 5.35%). Occasionally, at interval boundaries, there was obvious skipping / jumping in the video display and in the audio (background from a live TV broadcast). In contrast, at the end of a six hour clock capture on 2/26/2019, the AVALON capture file differed from the clock by THREE SECONDS and at the end of a six hour clock capture on 2/27/2019, the ISSAC capture file was different from the clock by only 20 seconds.
For the re-opened support ticket, I have submitted the requested WinAudit and msinfo32 diagnostic files (again – this time for SEACRUISE) to ROXIO Tech Support but with very low expectations that anything substantive will happen. It has been a week already with no feedback. I also sent along an interval comparison spreadsheet, from that 12 hour clock capture run at High Priority, and screen shots showing the drift, over one four hour interval, of 5.42% between the displayed clock and the playback file progress bar. I can make these items available on the Users Forum if anybody is interested.
As I experienced more than a year ago, ROXIO Tech Support seems, once again, totally unwilling to try replicating my experiments on their equipment or perhaps, even more unwilling, to share their results.
I simply cannot understand ROXIO’s reluctance to investigate. I have reported a serious defect in their products, across multiple PC, and yet one that is not present in some other PCs. ROXIO continues to add capture capabilities to its newer software (3D, multiple camera) and yet my problem is at a more basic ‘Feature 101’ level: A simple webcam capture. This problem spans different Windows versions and PCs built across almost 10 years – including a brand new, state-of-the-art model – by two different major manufacturers (Dell and HP); and yet does not seem to be present in an 11 year old laptop running Windows XP using an eight year old release of ROXIO software. Has testing ever revealed this problem? When did this issue suddenly ‘re-appear’? How do they test ‘video capture’ anyway? That itself has to be called into question given my results. What systems (vendor, model, configuration) does ROXIO use in development, in testing? Maybe I should buy what they are using! Maybe nobody ‘out there’ in the user base actually uses Creator to capture their webcams or their parents’ 35 year old wedding videos! That might be one explanation for why I see no similar complaints for this on the Forum: Nobody uses it!
Seriously, an investigation suite would be : a laptop, a webcam and a digital clock! And how much effort can this be? Launch a 2:00 hour capture, 3:00 or more if you thrive on data, shower, feed the dog and go to a movie! It’s akin to watching paint dry; not exactly rocket science!
So I am hereby issuing a ROXIO Creator Users’ call-to-action!
Some of you, perhaps several of you: Please try what ROXIO will not: RUN THE CLOCK CAPTURE! REPORT BACK WHAT YOU FIND! The more different systems that are tried in this experiment, the better with be the chances of figuring out what is at the root of this persistent and vexing problem!
Good luck and thanks in advance for any ‘contributions’!