Captivator Pro - Answers

Chuck Elliot (
Thu, 04 May 1995 10:10:03 -0400

I think I have the lowdown on this one now:

Videologic make two cards for the PC - Captivator & Captivator Pro/TV.
The former of these works with Cuseeme, while the Pro/TV
does not (at this time).

The reason for this is as follows:
Version 1.1 of VfW (I don't know about other versions) runs in
one of 2 modes - Preview mode (where the image is displayed
from the frame buffer) and Overlay mode (where the image is
displayed direct from the input signal). The original Captivator
supports Preview and Overlay modes of operation but the Pro/TV
(for some reason!) only supports Overlay mode.

Since Cuseeme uses overlay mode, it expects to get its input
from the frame buffer but Pro/TV will only supply direct from
signal. Therefore all you see is a kind of test image.

I am told by Videologic that the setting is hardware-based and so
cannot be solved by using different drivers.

It's a pity about this because the Pro/TV is otherwise a very nice card.

It's possible that Cuseeme could be redesigned to support Overlay mode
(it sounds like a more efficient way of doing things anyway) so if any of
you have any technical details on VfW Overlay mode operation, I'm sure
that Rich Kennerley would be happy to receive it.

In the meantime, you can buy the original Captivator. Retail price in the
u.k. is around 200 pounds. This is what we are doing and it looks like
a good bet after the demise of the Videoblaster and Spigot.

By the way, the Captivator Pro/TV supports PAL, NTSC and SECAM formats
is a 16bit ISA card and supports VESA Media channel so you need
the right kind of graphics card (e.g. Videologic 928 movie). Composite and
s-video inputs provided. I don't yet have the full spec. for the Captivator

Incidently, I have no connection whatsoever with VideoLogic.

CU soon,
Chuck Elliot
Sheffield Hallam University UK
tel. 0742 53315: fax. 0742 533161