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CSAReview: Vidi Amiga 12 RT
G. O. Jones gi@gj-Cent.demon.co.uk
Vidi Amiga 12 RT
Full Colour Video Digitiser, Real Time capture (ie. no freeze frame
Address: Kirkton Campus, Livington, Scotland
Telephone: (44) 0506 414631
FAX: (44) 0506 414634
I paid around 139 UK pounds for mine, although the prices are much
SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
2MB RAM required. More is recommended.
Video hardware, NTSC, PAL or Secam.
AmigaDOS 1.3 or greater.
MACHINE USED FOR TESTING
Amiga 1200, 2 MB Chip RAM, 4 MB Fast RAM, 50Mhz 030 CPU.
Uses a custom script: an icon is dragged to the target directory and is
The Vidi 12RT hardware plugs into the Amiga parallel port. It is a
fairly large unit which causes some irritating problems. First, due to
its width, the serial port on the A1200 is obscured by the right hand
side of the case, meaning you will have to remove your modem or MIDI
interface each time you wish to use it. You can get around this problem
by making an extention cable. There is an order form with the unit for
this cable but I feel it should have been included free. The second
problem involves powering the unit. Due to its power requirements, you
need an external power supply. Yet again this is not included and so you
will need to purchase one.
The Digitiser has 3 inputs. The first 2 are standard composite video
inputs and the other is a Super VHS input (or YC). You can select which
input to use using the software so you don't need to fiddle with switches
on the unit itself. Big Box Amiga owners may have a problem plugging in
the digitiser as the parallel port is lower down than on the A1200. The
extention cable will come in handy for this problem too.
The software that comes with the digitiser consists of a Grabber, a
simple Image Processor and a basic Animation arranger. The Grabber page
has all the controls for grabbing images: you can alter the Hue,
Saturation, Brightness and Contrast of the images, select the input to be
used, and even set it to grab images in a loop with a time delay between
each grab. There is also a trigger function that will grab an image each
time a joystick button is pressed: handy for a simple security system.
The Image Processor contains the usual features found in most Amiga
graphics programs. You get Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Blur etc. These
functions are fairly useful, but a dedicated program will do this much
The Animation arranger allows you to arrange your stored frames into an
Animation. It displays thumbnails of the images which can be selected
and moved around, deleted etc. You can then save them as an IFF ANIM
file. The Vidi software doesn't seem to like palette changes or loop
frames so you may have to convert the Anim using another program before
it will work with certain programs.
64 Page manual, laser printed.
The manual is reasonable. It has example images, a tutorial, setup
instructions for the hardware, and most importantly a troubleshooting
Quality of grabbed images are good. S-VHS input, PAL/NTSC and SECAM are
DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS
The case obscures the serial port and won't connect to Big Box Amigas
without an extention cable. Needs external power supply. Software
doesn't use ASL filerequesters.
COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS
ProGrab from Gordon Harwoods seems to be better supported. It has a
PCMCIA option for A1200 owners for faster grabs.
There seems to be a bug in the Grab page. After selecting the Mix
function to convert to the image to a lower colour mode, returning back
to the Grab options resulted in a guru. There is a V2.0 of the software
but this isn't a free update.
Rombo have released PC versions of their Digitisers, however they still
sell their Amiga version and even still sell their Atari version. There
is a help hotline mentioned in the manual.
None mentioned in the manual.
Although the ProGrab 24 from Gordon Harwoods is more popular than the
Vidi, you can buy a Vidi 24RT for less than a ProGrab, which makes it a
good value. The Vidi 12RT's picture quality is good and the software is
useful. A1200 owners may want to consider the ProGrab and its PCMCIA
option, or the recently re-released Videomaster.
Copyright 1996 G. O. Jones.