Help & Manual for » FERRO - Digital Video «
· Hardware requirements
· Multimedia files playback
· Subtitles editor
· Programme scheduler
· Capture information
· Keyboard shortcuts
::. Introduction .::
The FERRO - Digital Video is designed for capturing video and audio data and for playback multimedia files. Thanks to Direct-X libraries used to
render video streams the higest possibble video playback smoothness has been achieved.
The smoothness is much more reliable than other plugin-players for Windows Media Players. Smooth screen zoomings allow to more precise watching of small,
sometimes even invisible details when watched in normal-screen playback.
The program allows movie watching with subtitles, which are before showing on the screen filtered (antialiased). This makes very unique effect almost identical to this watched in the cinema.
Ferro has such mechanisms that automatically change the length of particular movie dialogues to make sure each and every subtitle is read.
Having TV CARD or other capturing device (VIDEO CARD od USB CAMERA) You can write audio - video data to hard disk. The program supports almost 90 popular TV Tuners. It supports older 16-bit Video drivers
for Windows as well as fast, 32-bit WDM versions.
Very important option is broadcast scheduler, thanks to whom we are able to schedule similar to traditional Videorecorder automatic recording of chosen broadcast. Cooperation with TV Program application by RAKS
allows adding new positions to scheduler with just one-click of a mouse without manual settings of such things like time of a broadcast start, length or name of it.
Right now it is possible as well to record radio broadcasts with mp3 or DivX audio compression.
::. Hardware requirements .::
- Processor: Pentium 150 MHz
- Memory: 32 MB of RAM
- Gfx Card: any with at least 2MB of RAM
- Audio Card: any
- OS: Windows 9x/NT/2000/ME/XP
- Libraries: DirectX 8 or newer
- Recording: Any capture device supporting VfW or WDM,
ex.: TV Card, Video Card, USB Camera, PVR, PAR...
::. Multimedia files playback .::
Loading multimedia files can be done in many ways:
FERRO supports following multimedia files:
- by opening main menu and choosing File|Open,
- by choosing the file from playlist,
- by associating chosen type of file (Properties|Associate) and then double-click on chosen file in Explorator.
- by typing the file name as an parameter during executing the program from command line.
- Microsoft Windows Media formats: .avi, .asf, .asx, rmi, .wav, .wma, .wax
- Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG): .mpg, .mpeg, .m1v, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .mpe
- Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI): .mid, .rmi
- Apple QuickTime(R), Macintosh(R) AIFF Resource: .qt, .aif, .aifc, .aiff, .mov
- UNIX formats: .au, .snd
This panel which is situated in a bottom area of main window includes: PLAY, STOP, NEXT, PREV buttons. Suitable to their names
they are: turning on, stopping, fast forwarding, rewinding functions. When You click NEXT or PREV the program fast forwards or rewinds
the media file to the next or previous key-frame. If during those actions the SHIFT button is pressed FERRO will be changing the playback
position frame by frame.
Remaining playback functions
Control keys description is in Keyboard shortcuts
- Original size - this command scales the window to nominal (default) media file size
- Change resolution - during entering Full Window Size FERRO will change the resolution to its most suitable value to actually watched video file so that
the picture quality improves and CPU Usage decreases
- Zoom In, Zoom Out - smooth zooming in and out of video file
- PanScan - stretches the picture so that black (panoramic-like) spaces at the top and bottom of the screen are cut
- Turn Off the computer after playback - if this is chosen the program will turn off the PC after media file playback is finished. Before closing
the system the confirm dialog window is shown which enables cancelling this option
::. Playlist .::
Playlist allows faster access to last opened, saved or favourite files. Adding new positions is made automatically after opening or saving a file. It happens
as well when You drag-&-drop selected files or folders in the area of program. Playlist includes 3 contents: Last - to store last used files,
Favourites and Others. The access to more than one content at once it's available when You hold pressed the CTRL button and then You choose
desired content. Managing the playlist is very similar to the file maintenance in Windows Explorator. Available are: Drag-&-Drop allowing moving, copying
features from one content to another or exchange the places of features over one content.
Concise menu (right click of a mouse) offers among others:
- erasing selected, unavailable or repeating features
- sorting in increasing or decreasing order
- hiding the list
To start playing the files in loop select one or more features in the playlist and then choose Repeat from main menu. When You choose Random before,
media files are going to be played in randomize order.
Loading the file happens after double-click or pressing ENTER on desired feature.
::. Subtitles .::
The FERRO uses new technology of showing subtitles on the screen. It makes subtitles look nice and very smooth almost as if You were watching the movie in the cinema. This
unique effect has been achieved thanks to using font edges anti-aliasing and smoothing algorithm which makes user even more satisfied because of very low CPU usage. The program
divides dialogue rows to make them fit into watched area regardless of monitor size or used resolution. In window mode the font size is automatically accommodated to main application
FERRO supports all common used subtitle formats. Program automatically loads subtitle file when media (movie) file is loaded under one condition: these two names must match each other
and must be in the same folder. For example:
To load subtitles manually, after loading the movie You should choose File|Add Subtitles and mark proper subtitle file.
The program offers choosing any of system installed font, changing its colour and style. This command is available in window mode (Properties|Subtitles|Font) as well as in full
screen mode (Subtitles|Font). A size of chosen font concerns full screen mode. In window mode the size automatically accommodates to application main window size.
Subtitles editor is available in Properties|Subtitles|Editor. Here You can erase, change or add new dialogues as well as set up time correction and length of subtitles showing.
Worth the mention are subtitles stretching and compress functions, which are designed to smoothly speed up or slow down dialogues showing - helpful especially when subtitles
starts losing synchrinization with the movie.
Options in the shown windows are as follows:
Here are the commands designed to synchronize subtitles with movie:
- Frames/Time - allows subtitles format change
- A field to type in the number of frames or seconds - look next: Stretch, Compress, Ealier, Later
- Stretch - usage: if during watching the subtitles are being shown ealier and ealier. To fix it: in edit field described in point 2 type in the difference between subtitles and video motion picture
in the last movie dialogue. Click 'Stretch'
- Compress - usage: if during watching the subtitles are being shown later and later. To fix it: in edit field described in point 2 type in the difference between subtitles and video motion picture
in the last movie dialogue. Click 'Compress'
- Ealier - usage: if during whole movie the subtitles are being shown later and later. Effect: subtitles are going to be moved backward according to value typed in into edit field
- Later - usage: if during whole movie the subtitles are being shown ealier and ealier. Effect: subtitles are going to be moved forward according to value typed in into edit field
- Sort - sorts subtitles according to frames/time in increasing order
::. Programme scheduler .::
FERRO Programme scheduler similar to this in classic videorecorder allows automatic recording of programmed broadcasts.
Scheduling broadcast is very simple. Just fill in the fields: broadcast, date, time, length and then click Add button. In specified deadline time FERRO will automatically set the suitable TV station and then
record desired broadcast.
Precisely one minute before planned deadline the info dialog box is shown indicating aproaching recording action. You may cancel this schedule.
The names of saved files are formatted as follows: YYMMDDstation_nameHHMMSS which means: date, TV station name and a broadcast start hour to make searching for particular file easier.
Programme scheduler apart from described above offers providing day of a week in which recording has to be done. For example You may set the scheduler for desired weekday so it will automatically record for You favourite TV series
every week without a need of programming it eachtime. During adding new positions You don't need to check or worry that some provided schedules maight collide one another because it's FERRO's job to check such situations and
send appropriate alert to user.
::. Tuner .::
The tuner engine supports about 90 types of TV Cards. It includes a tune indicator to make manual broadcast search easier. Tuner also includes an option of automatic band scanning.
How to preset TV Channels You receive ?
In Properties content You choose a TV Card type, Tuner model then click Accept button and Save settings. Then You go to Tuning content. Now You search for available TV Channels or using a horizontal slide control You search the band manually.
After You found all channels click "Save settings" from "Properties" content again.
Tuner initialization method
Concerning the fact that FERRO supports great amount of TV Cards and that it works under all Windows versions few tuner initializations methods have been used. Optimal method is selected automatically concerning PC hardware and software configuration. Regardless of the fact
sometimes it may be required to choose manual method. Available options are described below:
Below are listed frequently happening problems concerning TV Tuner tuning and how to solve them:
- WDM Mode - it's applicable to Cards with drivers of type Windows Driver Model (.SYS)
- VFW Mode - it's applicable to Cards with 16-bit drivers of type Video For Windows (.VXD). Such drivers You may meet in Windows 95, 98, ME.
- Direct Access - the software accesses directly to TV Card chipset
- in Properties content it's indicated: Can't initialize a tuner - You should make sure all required files are available for system and/or install FERRO again. You may also try to choose other tuner initialization method.
- FERRO does not react to frequency change or reacts with major dalay - chosen TV Tuner model is inappropriate. You should check remaining features in Tuner model field each time clicking Accept button.
- FERRO finds all channels but the picture is disturbed - chosen TV Tuner model is inappropriate. You should check remaining features in Tuner model field each time clicking Accept button.
- FERRO switches the channels but with no sound - chosen TV Tuner model is inappropriate. You should check remaining avaiable features in TV Card field each time clicking Accept button.
- Can't find any channel with automatic scanning, an arrow indicating signal level remains in '0' position - can't measure signal level arriving to TV Card. Use manual channel search instead.
- FERRO is hanging up during switching to record mode - set other Tuner initialization method.
Below we present a full TV Card list supported by FERRO:
|TV Card||TV Card||TV Card|
||AIMS VideoHighway Xtreme 98
||Arowana Power TV
||ATI TVWonder VE
|AverMedia TVPhone 98/VCR
|AverMedia TVCapture 95/98
||AVerMedia TVCapture98 VCR
||AverMedia TVCapture98 LG
||Boeder TV Card
|Chronos Video Shuttle II
||Chronos Video Shuttle II FM
||Dart TV Live
|FlyVideo 98 FM
|Genius Wonder ProII
||Genius Wonder ProII V2/FM
|Guillemot MaxiTV PCI2
||Guillemot MaxiTV Video 3
|Hauppauge WinTV Radio
||Hauppauge WinTV Theatre
|Inter Vision IV-560
||KNC ONE TVstation Pro
|Leadtek WinFast 2000
||Leadtek WinView 601 TV/FM
||Lenco MXR 9577
||Magic TView (BestBuy) CPH061
||Pinnacle Studio PCTV II
|PixelView SM OEM
||PixelView PlayTV Pak
|PixelView PlayTV Pro
||PixelView PlayTV Pro BT878+ w/FM
||PixelView PV-BT878P+ W/FM + NICAM
|PixelView PV-BT878P+ W/FM SM
||PixelView PV-BT878P+ W/FM SM Box
||PTV Personal TV Card
|STB TV PCI
||TerraTec TerraTV Radio+
||TV Vision PV-951
|TV Vision PV-951T
|Typhoon TV Tuner
||Zoltrix Genie TV
||Zoltrix TV Max
|Avacs Smart TV
||Kworld MPEG TV Station
|PixelView PlayTV HD
||PixelView PlayTV XP
::. Capture information .::
FERRO is able to record picture and sound from any capture device compatibiled with WDM or VFW standard (i.e. TV Cards, Video Cards, USB Cameras). Captured audio - video stuff can be put under
direct compression using system available codecs. The software offers video-stream turning off possibility what is especially useful during recording radio broadcasts. Going on - what is unique in FERRO,
it's a possibility of saving all capture settings, including video compressors settings what makes possible starting the recording immediately after the program is executed.
Available options description:
- Video Capture Device - makes possible the choice of capture device. No options available in this field means the PC isn't equiped with Capture Card or such device has been installed inapprpriate.
- Video Compressor - makes possible the choice of Video Compressor which is to be used during capturing the picture. Setting this option to 'NONE' will cause recorded video stream not to be put under compression.
- Audio Capture Device - makes possible the choice of Audio Card which has to be use to capture audio stream. No options available in this field means the PC isn't equiped with Audio Card or such device has been installed inappropriate.
- Audio Compressor - makes possible the choice of Audio Compressor which is to be used during capturing the sound. Setting this option to 'PCM' will cause recorded audio stream not to be put under compression.
- Video Format - makes possible prividing height, width and the number of captured frames per second. Majority of cards enables capturing picture only in 4:3 format. Setting other proportions may cause recorded data to be "stretched" or the
recording won't be possible at all. Some cards don't allow to display and to record at once in bigger resolutions (usually bigger than 320x240). Below are listed the most applied video formats:
160 x 120 - Digital Quarter PAL
320 x 240 - Digital Half PAL
640 x 480 - Digital Full PAL
The number of frames per second (FPS) should amount 25 FPS for PAL and 30 FPS for NTSC. Setting this value lower than 24 FPS will cause the motion picture to be displayed less smoothly.
- Audio Format - makes possible providing audio sampling frequency, the number of bits used for writing samples values and the number of audio channels (mono/stereo). Below are listed the most applied audio formats:
11 025 kHz, 8 bits, mono - Phone quality
22 050 kHz, 8 bits, mono - Radio quality
44 100 kHz, 16 bits, stereo - CD quality
- Streams - here we can specify which of the streams is to be captured. Disabling the Preview feature allows to listen to radio broadcasts without displaying the picture what may increase capture performance.
- Streams synchronization - allows to provide the main stream on which the synchronization of picture and sound will be based. Synchronization based on audio stream is recommended. Attention! FERRO uses the clock of audio card for synchronization.
In case of cards whose audio performance is lower ("no name cards" or integrated on the mainboard) there always is possibility of gradually losing the synchronization.
- Broadcast lenght - defines the lenght of recording indicated in hours, minutes and seconds. Providing only zeros causes time limit to turn off. This field settings though are ignored when automatic recording with Programme Scheduler is activated.
- Destination folder - allows the choice of a folder into which all AVI files should be recorded. File names are given automatically basing on the recording start time.
- Accept - an acceptance of selected devices, compressors and audio and video formats.
- Save - saves all capture settings, including compressors properties.
Capture performance depends on the speed of hard disk, capture card, processor, chosen compressors and video format. If during recording the program "is losing frames" it means the system isn't able to write each frame with required speed. Before the recording process it's recommended
to choose the fastest hard disk available in the system and to make defragmentation of this hard disk. The sizes choice of recorded picture must be adapted properly to the performance of capture card. Older TV card models or cheaper ones usually don't allow to capture pictures bigger than
320 x 240. Losing of frames during recording is very often caused by too high processor occupancy during compression. It is ought to remember that not every of available compressor allow to compress "on-the-fly", and results achieved this way depend mainly on the speed of central unit.
Maximum processor occupancy during recording may also lead to loss of streams synchronization. In case of weaker PCs the situation can be improved a bit by decreasing of capture speed (FPS) and by turning off the preview stream.
Frequently happening problems
- No sound in recorded data - the reason may possibly be in no selecting audio field in Capture properties window or audio card input Line-In is turned off (Windows: "Loudness adjust"). If during watching TV no sound is also experienced You must check TV Card properties.
- [Windows 95, 98, ME] No picture, picture deformed, PC hangs up or PC works slowly after switching to Record Mode - the reason may possibly be in choosing different than RGB video format in capture device properties (concerns cards with VFW drivers). After switching to Record Mode first You should call capture
device properties window (' ^ ' button in Capture properties window) and then set the video format to RGB24, RGB32 or RGB16. If those are impossible to do in FERRO the video format can be switched using the software delivered by TV Card producer.
- No synchronization - see Streams synchronization
::. Keyboard shortcuts .::
|KEY SHORTCUT||ACTION IN PLAYBACK MODE||ACTION IN RECORD MODE|
| Alt + ENTER
|| Full screen mode / back from Full screen mode to default size.
|| Full screen mode / back from Full screen mode to default size.
| PAGE DOWN
|| Fast forward to next key frame
|| Next TV Station
| PAGE UP
|| Rewind to previous key frame
|| Previous TV Station
| PAGE DOWN + SHIFT
|| Fast forward to next frame
| PAGE UP + SHIFT
|| Rewind to previous frame
|| Rewind to the start
|| Fast forward to the end
| CTRL + >
|| Increase loudness
|| Increase loudness
| CTRL + <
|| Decrease loudness
|| Decrease loudness
| CTRL + S
|| Switch to Record mode
| CTRL + P
|| Switch to Playback mode
| NUM +
|| Enlarge the picture
| NUM -
|| Decrease the picture
| NUM 2,4,6,8
|| Move the picture
| NUM 7
|| Back to standard picture size
| CTRL + R
|| Sets original picture size
| CTRL + O
|| Open media file
| CTRL + N
|| Open subtitle file
| CTRL + L
|| Turn On / Off the Playlist
|| Turn On / Off the Playlist
| CTRL + I
|| File properties
|| Show help file
|| Show help file
| CTRL + F1
|| Information about
FERRO - Digital Video
| Information about
FERRO - Digital Video