How to capture video output of an old Advantest spectrum analyzer

Advantest R4131CNThe video ouput on older Avantest Spectrum analyzers (and maybe other brands too), is a bit out of standards. It is some kind of NTSC and good old CRT monitors will view this just fine. Digital devices like capture devices are more strict. This is a way to capture the analog video output on your PC.

For capturing, I use the UTV007 Easycap. See my Article about that here. The software I use, was Virtualdub.

When I use Virtualdub’s capture mode, I can see a very decent picture after I did some tricks. Maybe this will work for you too. This is what I did:

In the capture mode of Virtualdub, you have to choose in menu “Devices” the device “OEM Device”, as this is how the EasyCap with UTV007 chipset presents itself. In menu “Video”, the following settings were necessary for me to get some picture on my computer:

– Video Source: Composite

– Capture Filter: NTSC_M (or M_J)

– Choose Preview mode, not Overlay (type “P”). Preview acceleration is optional if you want to use the filter chain. I choose Progressive Both Fields most of the times. In this mode, you can take screen-shots to the clipboard with ALT-Printscrn.

– Video Levels: Everything in the middle at 128, except for saturation (0) if you see color distortion. Maybe you want to tune the other sliders for some more contrast etc.

This is what I got:

Virtualdub Capture of Advantest R4131 and similar Spectrum Analyser

Pretty good, isn’t it? The bottom is a bit ugly. Maybe you want to use Cropping under menu video to crop out that part. Noise reduction under menu Video can delete some of the noise, if you still experience distortion.

When you have a working situation, you can choose Device -> device settings to save current display mode as default.

What are your experiences?

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