I have a bunch of home movie videos I want to archive. I've elected to use the Matrox RT2500 video capture card.

Spec a machine

Having ordered the card from Dabs, I better think of a machine to put the thing into.

A specific machine seems to be required. Software and hardware installation seems onerous. Not to be done on a live machine!


Windows 2000. There were problems, but OK now. Apparently.

4 IDE devices

Assuming I don't get an expansion card for IDE, or use SCSI, there is a limit of 4 IDE devices.

OS hard drive - anything - just for the operating system.

Video storage hard drive. 80GB min. This should give 120 minutes of DV material or 3 hours of MPEG-2 material. 

Transfer rate > 4MB/sec Tom's Hardware used a IBM Deskstar 75GXP DTLA-307030 hard drive. The specs for these ATA/100 drives list 30 GB capacity, 2 MB cache and 7200 rpm. DMA-enabled hard disk.

Précis from Matrox: rotational speed of at least 5400 RPM. To be compatible with the dual stream operation of the RT2500, the storage device has to sustain at least 12 MB/sec data transfer rate.

CD reader / writer. For loading the OS initially. Writing "Super Video CD"

DVD reader

Motherboard, processor

Faster the better! Impact on Data format conversion, and special effects. "Athlon (1 GHz and up) or the Pentium 4 - time is money!"

The Celeron and K6 family of processors are not supported. Athlon-based systems that appear on their lists of supported motherboards and systems are supported.

See RT2500-compatible motherboards on Matrox's support page. 

Tom's hardware reviews motherboards. This page reviews MPEG 4 compression decompression. the i845 is not good, but the i850 is!


PCI cards, ancillary

Millennium G450 - has a direct connection. More likely to work.

Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live sound card. (The RT2500 only handles native DV and MPEG-2 formats.)

Network card

Mouse, Keyboard, monitor, TV

Dual monitor console. A future option with a second graphics card.



First Cut

Playback suffers from a "line slip" effect. I'll get a Matrox 550 card. 

Installing the G550 was a bit of a pain!

Notes for next time:

1, remove Matrox video capture software

2, remove RT2500 card and reboot

3, Set screen resolution to 640 by 480 with old existing card.

4 Replace video card with new Matrox G550

5 Get it running at 1152 by 864 pixels 

As an aside that's a odd set of figures:

1152 by 864?

22 * (32 * 25) by 31 * (32 * 25). 

Fair enough. That's the 3 by 4 ratio I'd expect.

 6 Install the RT2500 video capture card, and drivers...

7 Run up Premiere.... Look no line slip!


If you scrub around Matrox's site you'll find some useful links.

I found the following of use:

(I refuse to fix wandering links when doing my annual web site maintenance!)

Tom's Hardware RT2500