MarvinD's picture

Summary: The DMA controller on 2 motherboards blew within a week of each other on our webcast computer. Since this computer had been running for a year without any problems, we were stumped. Thus, we need to eliminate any external ESD problems and replace the old Osprey card just in case it was the cause of the problem.

We also would like to run Linux (Ubuntu) using VLC for the encoder to gain more stability and flexibility. 

So, we are getting rid of the old Osprey 100 video capture card and buying a new Hauppauge 188 video capture card. Also, we are buying a surge protector for both the video and audio, moving the audio isolation transformer to just before the audio surge protector and are going to put a video balun just before the video surge protector.


better control of motherboard blew twice with the same cYour motherboard fries and you don't know why. The blame will be thrown upon the A/V inputs or capture card. What do you do?

USB capture device (dongle)

PCI card

Cards at Hauppauge... Are they playing with a full deck?

hauppage bt878 modelsBeware, the Hauppauge site will try to confuse you. It only shows a picture of two cards in the "ImpactVCB" page while the company actually sells three. The third card is a low profile card which will not fit in most computers. In retail stores, this model# 00166 card looks identical to the model# 00558 with the exception of the length of its card bracket. I copied the chart to the right from a page in the Hauppauge store to try to clarify things.

Confusing or not, Hauppauge seems to be the only large company with PCI cards which have access to both Windows and Linux drivers. Since the model# 00188 has BNC connectors, it seems the logical choice.

Note: Please comment if you know of a better card with both Windows and Linux drivers. I was not able search in depth due to time limitations. 

bt878 PCI Video Capture Cards - from Documentation/video4linux/CARDLIST.bttv
Model Spec Linux XP bttv# NTSC CE ~Cost Comment
ProVideo PV143 @store Yes No 105 640x480 Yes $44+ship  
Osprey 100   No Yes          
Hauppauge 00188 in 'Overview' Yes Yes 143 640x480 Yes $39|$39|etc.  Needs 'Direct Draw 3' support

Input Protection

Most companies will use a capacitor to remove input voltage bias, then hope ESD will be handled by the built in protection of the receiving chip. This bare minimum approach is not dependable enough to eliminate input ESD as the possible source of a motherboard failure. Since motherboards are expensive, we must go further.

Optical isolators would give the very best in ESD protection, but are expensive, complex, and require adjustment for analog signals. Surge protectors can do the job almost as well but fail to remove voltage bias. To cure any apprehension over bias voltage, a balun, transformer, or capacitor may be placed just before the surge protector.

Video Surge Protection - Google search "BNC surge protector"
Model Spec Lines Time ClampV OperV CE ~Cost Comment
Tripplite D10B2 pg|pdf 3 avalanche 7.5V ? No $10+ship no pigtail
Leviton 5350-BNC pdf-pg.46 2 ? 15V 8V No $10+ship no pigtail
Generic @ store ? <0.5ns ? 5.5V Yes $13+ship no pigtail
Generic @ store 2 ? 15V 5V Yes $29+ship has pigtail
Audio Surge Protection - Google search "woofer surge protector"
Model Spec Lines Time ClampV OperV CE ~Cost Comment
Panamax M2-SUB pdf1|pdf2 ? ? 8V ? No [email protected] Home Pg|Warranty
Monster SW 200 ? ? ? ? ? No $40   


Brooktree 878 chipset