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AMCap Frequently Asked Questions

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1. I captured a video using AMCap but when I try to process it in RegiStax I get a "Failed to decompress AVI frame" message. Is it possible to capture uncompressed video with AMCap?

    This message is not directly related to AMCap. By default AMCap captures uncompressed video. This message usually means that the .avi file is too large and exceeds 1GB in size. In RegiStax, try to uncheck as many frames as needed from the end of the list and try again or use Windows Movie Maker or another video editor to trim the file. Please visit the RegiStax website if you need further assistance with this program.

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2. I cannot get my webcam to work. When I enable preview, I get either a green or a black screen or one of the following messages "Sorry, you have no video capture hardware." or "Unable to add the video capture source to the filtergraph". How do I get my webcam to work?

    As usual, there may be a lot of reasons including the worse one, a failing device. On the other hand, you can often fix such an issue with one or more of the following steps:

  • first off make sure that your computer and Windows meet the requirements of your webcam (see the user manual or the manufacturer's website).
  • if your capture device features many inputs make sure that the correct input is selected in the Options > Crossbar Video Input menu.
  • otherwise, unplug your webcam, reboot your system, plug your webcam and try again.
  • unplug all other USB devices connected to your PC and try again. If that works, plug back the USB devices one by one to identify which one is conflicting.
  • unplug your webcam and fully uninstall the current drivers from Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs icon. Reboot your system then try to reinstall the drivers. Only plug the webcam after installation is complete and possibly rebooting (but if told to do otherwise.)
  • check whether new drivers are available for your webcam on the manufacturer's website and possibly install them.
  • try my Webcam Diagnostics assistant and see what errors (if any) are reported.
  • Vista RTM users only: you may have to apply a Microsoft Hotfix described in article ID 939331 in case your system stops responding.

For issues related to preview, you may also try to:

  • install the latest DirectX runtime from Windows Update
  • install the latest version of the drivers of your graphic card available on the manufacturer's website

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3. When I make captures there is no sound recorded. How do I enable audio capture?

Here are the most common options and features to configure:

In AMCap:

  • click the Devices menu and make sure a sound card or a webcam microphone is ticked
  • in Capture menu, tick Capture Audio

In the system:

  • double-click the Volume icon near the clock on the taskbar (the icon looks like a speaker, it may be hidden in that case you have to enabled it from the Control Panel)
  • in Volume Control applet, click Options > Properties menu
  • select the Mixer device if you have many
  • click Recording
  • make sure Microphone or Line In (or any other audio input from which you want to capture) is ticked
  • click OK
  • in Recording Control applet, tick the Select box of the audio input from which you want to capture audio
  • adjust the Volume level of that input

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4. The preview is mirrored or flipped. How do I fix this?

This is either due to the chosen Color Space / Compression or an issue with the driver of the video capture source. You can try the following steps:

  • click Options > Video Capture Pin... and choose another Color Space / Compression
  • Try to reinstall the drivers of your video capture source (possibly your graphic card)
  • install the latest version of the drivers of the video capture source from the manufacturer's website

Alternatively, you may use the View > Flip View menu.

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5. There is no sound at all during the preview. How do I fix this?

First make sure that the right audio device is ticked in the Devices menu.

If a Devices > Capture audio from video source menu is available, click it otherwise click the Options > Audio Capture Filter... menu and follow these steps:

  • Under Pin Line, select the appropriate input (if there are many) then tick Enable
  • Adjust the volume with the Pin Line Input Mix slider
  • Click OK to apply the new settings

Note: you can also adjust the audio properties from the Volume applet (in the notification area, formerly the system tray) Options > Properties menu > Recording option (see FAQ #3).

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6. When I enable video preview, I get an error "0x80070057"? What does that mean?

The error code simply means invalid parameter. It does not give much clue about what actually fails. This can be due to the capture driver or the graphic drivers or an incompatibility in the current settings. Try these few steps:

  • first restart your system and make a new test, if the problem persists try the other steps below.
  • clear Options > MPEG-2 if your capture source is not MPEG-2.
  • select the Default video renderer in Capture > Setup... menu > Options tab.

Try again. If the problem persists, visit the websites of the manufacturers of both your capture source and your display card and check if updated drivers are available. If some new drivers are available, restart your system and try to install them.

If you are not using the latest update of DirectX, you may also consider installing it from Windows or Microsoft Update.

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7. I get an error (possibly 0x80070057) when I click View > Flip View > Flip, Mirror or Rotate and the view is not flipped or mirrored? What can I do to flip the view?

The error code simply means invalid (or unsupported) parameter. The driver of your video source may not support flipping and mirroring, this is not a required feature. Try using a Video Mixing Renderer as the video renderer in Capture > Setup... menu, Options tab.

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8. What is VMR9 and what are the requirements?

VMR9 means Video Mixing Renderer version 9. It is an optimized and enhanced video renderer provided with DirectX 9.0 and later. If the option is grayed out in the View menu, you need to install the latest DirectX 9.0 runtime available from the Windows or Microsoft Update website.

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9. The files I captured do not play after a certain size on my Windows 98 system. What are the file size limits?

The file size limit does not only depend on the installed Windows system but also on the file system which is either FAT16, FAT32 or NTFS. The size may also be limited by the underlying capture technology. The common file size limits are like this:

File system File size limit
FAT16 (Windows 9x/ME) 2GB - 1 byte
FAT16 (Windows NT and later) 4GB - 1 byte
FAT32 4GB - 1 byte
NTFS 2TB - 1 byte

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10. Whenever I enable Preview, I get the following message: "Unable to add the sample grabber to the filtergraph. [0x80040154]". What does that mean and how do I fix it?

The error means that the Sample Grabber, a software component used to make the still captures, is not installed or registered in your system. This usually means that the version of DirectX installed on your PC is outdated. To fix this issue, go to the Windows or Microsoft Update website and install the latest version of DirectX.

You can also try my Webcam Diagnostics assistant and see if the error can be fixed.

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11. The preview is in black and white. How do I turn the color mode on?

There may be different reasons for a B/W display:

  • If you have a video capture card that supports different standards like PAL or NTSC, make sure that it is set to the correct mode for the input signal. To change it, go to Options > Video Capture Filter... and set the Video Standard (PAL in Europe, SECAM in France, NTSC in US and Japan, etc.)
  • If you changed many settings and you cannot remember which ones, you can simply delete the AMCap.ini file after closing the program. If B/W preview remains after the program is restarted, make sure that the brightness and contrast levels are correct. To do so, click the Options > Video Capture Filter... menu and adjust the brightness/contrast levels. If you have a Restore Factory Defaults button, just click it. Also if a Black and White checkbox is available, clear it if it is ticked.
  • Finally check whether the latest version of the drivers of your video capture source is installed in your system, some drivers simply don't restore or don't report the default settings correctly.

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12. I'd like to capture some video in PAL 60Hz at 30fps but AMCap does not allow me to set a frame rate above 25fps. Is there a workaround?

By default, PAL is a video standard at 50Hz and 25 frames per second (fps). To capture at 30 fps, you have to select PAL_60 in the Video Standard drop-down list from the Options > Video Capture Filter... menu. You can then go to Options > Video Capture Pin... and set Frame Rate to 30. If PAL_60 is not available in the list, the driver of your video capture source or the hardware itself may not support it.

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13. When the application starts, I get the following error: "Unable to register the application with the Still Image interface. [0x80040154]". I press OK and everything runs fine. How do I fix this?

You are most probably using a Windows version that does not support STI (e.g. Windows 2000 and older). To avoid the message at startup, clear Register for STI Events in Capture > Setup... menu,  Still Capture tab.

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14. What is the "capture file"? What file do I have to select?

The capture file is a single working file that is not fragmented and that will be used by the program and the underlying system (DirectShow) to temporarily store the captured video. After every capture, you can save the actual video by using the File > Save Capture Video... menu.

By default, the capture file is called capture.avi and is located in the root of your primary hard drive, in other words it usually is c:\capture.avi. This must be a new file, don't select an existing file otherwise it will be overwritten during the capture or the file allocation.

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15. When I enabled the Windows Media 9 Series compression and I attempt to capture a video file, I always get the following error: "Cannot set output file [0x80040154]". What does that error mean and how do I fix it?

The error means that DirectShow is unable to locate the required Windows Media ASF Writer Filter. This component is not installed by default by the system and is only available as a redistributable component as part of the Windows Media Format installer. You can download the installer here or click Help > Redistributable Components > Windows Media Format in AMCap.

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16. While installing my webcam, a message popped up and told me that the drivers did not pass the Windows Logo testing and now AMCap says that no video capture source is installed. What's wrong and how do I possibly fix this issue?

Drivers that pass the Windows Logo testing are tested and then digitally signed by Microsoft, this ensures that the drivers meet the quality and stability requirements. Unsigned drivers don't usually mean that they are poor or unreliable, that just means that they were not tested by Microsoft. Because unstable drivers may lead the system to crash and give blue screens (BSOD), the newest 64-bit editions of Windows may require signed drivers to ensure overall stability.

In general, it is recommended that you visit the website of the manufacturer to get the latest signed drivers for your devices. Only install unsigned drivers if you don't have a better choice.

When installing unsigned drivers, a dialog box pops up with a message like this:

Hardware Installation

<your webcam driver>
has not passed Windows Logo testing to verify its compatibility with Windows XP (...)

This dialog has two buttons: Continue Anyway and STOP Installation. If you hit the STOP Installation button or press the Enter key, the drivers won't install, this is probably what happened in your case.

If the manufacturer does not have signed drivers, complete the following steps to make sure that your system is not configured to never install unsigned driver software by default:

  • Click Start
  • right-click My Computer
  • click Properties
  • click the Hardware tab
  • click the Driver Signing button
  • tick Warn and Make this action the system default
  • click OK twice to close the property pages

You will now be warned when installing unsigned drivers but this won't prevent you from installing them. Once you did this, run the drivers installation again. When the Hardware Installation dialog box pops up again, click Continue Anyway to complete the drivers installation.

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17. I always get the following error message when AMCap loads: "Unable to activate the high resolution still capture - Unspecified error [0x80004005]". Once I hit OK everything works fine though. What does that mean and how do I fix it?

This error usually means that the drivers of the webcam don't correctly handle the Still pin. The Still pin is a feature exposed by the drivers of a webcam to allow capture of high resolution still pictures from DirectShow applications.

You can work around this issue with the following steps:
  • click Capture > Setup... menu
  • click Still tab
  • clear the Use Still pin instead of Capture pin when available option
  • click OK

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18. I always get the following error message when I enable Preview for my webcam: "An error occurred during capture - The supplied user buffer is not valid for the requested operation. [0x800706F8/9422]". What does that mean and how do I fix it?

This error usually means that there are some internal issues with the current drivers of your webcam. Please visit the website of the manufacturer of your webcam and possibly download and install an updated version of the drivers. Otherwise contact the technical support of the manufacturer for further assistance.

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19. When I press one of the buttons of my scanner and a system dialog box pops up with a list of possible programs to launch for this action, AMCap is listed numerous times. This also happens in the Events tab of the properties of my scanner. How do I remove all those unwanted entries?

This is a known issue in AMCap version 9.11 and previous. This happens when the Register for STI events option is enabled in the Capture > Setup... menu, Still Capture tab. This option possibly allows AMCap to be automatically launched by the system when the hardware trigger of a STI-compatible webcam is pressed. This issue is fixed in AMCap version 9.12 and later. In the meantime, you can download and run STIClean to remove all the unwanted entries. Click here to download this fix.

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20. When AMCap is opened, I get this error message: "You have no video capture hardware. Video capture will not work properly" but I do have a webcam or video capture source. What does that mean?

This message usually means that there is an issue with the drivers of your video capture source or webcam and the device is not recognized by the system. Either the drivers for the device are not installed or they are not working properly.

Drivers are usually provided on a CD and have to be installed before the device is plugged (webcam). If you already installed the drivers, they possibly are not working properly or in the worst case, the device itself is not working. Go to the Device Manager and check the possible error code. You may also try my Webcam Diagnostics program and see if it reports anything.

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21. How do I enable the crosshair? The option always appears to be grayed out.

This feature is only available when a windowless video renderer is active. To select a windowless video renderer, click the Capture > Setup... menu, Options tab then select either the VMR7 windowless or the VMR9 windowless from the Video Renderer drop-down list.

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22. Is AMCap compatible with 64-bit systems?

Yes, AMCap is a native 32-bit application but it is compatible and will run on 64-bit systems.

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23. After a few minutes of capture I get the following error message: "An error occurred during capture - The sample start time is after the sample end time [0x80040228/10368]". What's wrong?

This error is usually due to a failing audio or video capture source driver. Please install the most recent version of the drivers if any are available or contact the technical support of the manufacturer.

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24. Audio always lags the video when I play back the captured video, how do I fix this?

Audio lagging video is usually due to the fact that the audio and video capture sources are separate and/or not synchronized by hardware. First make sure that the audio stream is set as the master stream in Capture > Setup... menu, Video Capture tab. When possible try to use the option Capture audio from the video source or use the MPEG-2 option if the capture source supports it.

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25. I cannot get deinterlacing to work, the menu is always grayed out. How do I enable the deinterlacing feature?

The deinterlacing menu options are only available if the configuration meets the following requirements:
  • the video capture source feeds an interlaced stream (e.g. a TV tuner or a DV camcorder).
  • if the MPEG-2 option is active, the installed MPEG-2 Video Decoder supports deinterlacing.
  • a Video Mixing Renderer is selected as the video renderer in Capture > Setup... menu, Options tab.

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26. I've got no sound when I use the TV tuner of my video capture card. How do I enable audio from the TV tuner?

  • if there is an entry for the audio input of the TV tuner in the Devices menu (under the separator), select it, otherwise see FAQ #5.
  • if the tuner card features multiple audio inputs, make sure that the TV tuner input is selected in the Options > Audio Inputs menu.
  • make sure the audio level of the tuner is high enough, see FAQ #3 and FAQ #5.
  • if none of these options helps, try the Options > MPEG2 menu. If the TV tuner card features MPEG2 support, this option should give the best results.

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27. I successfully installed AMCap in Windows 7 but when I use it, the parameters are not saved. How do I fix this issue?

This is a known issue that is due to the fact that the security is tighten in the Program Files folder and user data must be stored in a dedicated folder. This is fixed in version 9.21 and later.

To workaround this issue, please either install a newer version or follow the instructions below:

  • In Windows Explorer, open the %ProgramFiles%\Noel Danjou folder (or %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Noel Danjou in 64-bit systems)
  • Right-click the AMCap folder.
  • Click Properties.
  • In AMCap Properties, click the Security tab.
  • Click the Edit... button.
  • In the Group or user names list, click Users (<computer>\Users).
  • In Permissions for Users, tick Write.
  • Click OK twice to validate and close the properties.

Alternatively, you can install the program in a folder of your choice other than a predefined system folder.

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28. Whenever I try to use the overlay feature I get the following error message: "Unable to activate the overlay feature. No such interface supported [0x8004002 / 11982]". How can I get the overlay feature to work?

The overlay feature requires a video renderer that can mix video streams. The video renderer is implemented by the drivers of the graphic card installed in your system. You may have to select another video renderer (e.g. one of the Video Mixing Renderers), to do so:

  • click Capture > Setup... menu
  • click Options tab
  • select another renderer from the Video renderer drop-down list.
  • click OK

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29. I am trying to capture still images from the live video preview stream but everytime I press the Enter key (same as Capture > Still Capture > Snap) I get the following error: "Unable to make a still capture when the video renderer is in overlay mode... Catastrophic failure [0x8000FFFF / 3651]". How can I get the still capture to work?

This error happens if your webcam does not feature a Still pin (a device feature especially designed to capture still images) and the default video renderer is selected. To work around this issue, please select another video renderer (e.g. one of the Video Mixing Renderers (VMR)), to do so:

  • click Capture > Setup... menu
  • click Options tab
  • select a renderer from the Video renderer drop-down list (e.g. the VMR9 Windowless).
  • click OK