You are on page 1of 9


AMCap - Version 9.20 README.TXT

Copyright � 1997-2004, Microsoft Corporation June 2008
Copyright � 2004-2008, No�l Danjou <>


About AMCap

AMCap is a small yet fully functional video capture application.

It is a program much like Microsoft VidCap but which adds support for
DirectShow (formerly ActiveMovie, hence the name.) It is based on the sample
AMCap source code from the Microsoft DirectX 9 SDK. This custom version adds
many new features including:

- DV camcorder playback and recording

- improved MPEG-2 playback and recording
- improved analog TV tuner support
- still capture in BMP, JPEG and PNG formats
- optional real-time compression (Windows Media or any installed CODECs)
- remember video input, standard, size and many other options from previous
- full screen mode
- support for multi-monitor and deinterlacing (using VMR9)
- caption bar and menu on/off
- always on top feature

The registered version includes stillcap.exe, a console application that

allows you to easily make still captures from a script, an application, a
command prompt, the task scheduler, etc.


GdiPlus.dll is required. On Windows 2000, 98 and ME, you need to

install the redistributable file available at:
(click the GDI+ link)

(copy and paste this link on a single line)

Registration and redistribution


Even though this version of the program is fully functional, I beg you please
to register to show your support and your interest. Your support would allow
me to add more features and to possibly fix bugs.
To register click the "Help" > "AMCap on the web" menu then on the web page
click the green "Register Now" button and follow the instructions.

Computer magazine publishers are welcome to redistribute the unregistered

version of the application on their complimentary or monthly CDs. Any other
redistribution of the application with commercial products is strictly forbidden
without my written permission. Please contact me for a license agreement (see
"Contact details" at the end of this file.)

Notes about graphic cards with Video Ports (VP)


- some features (Still capture and the VMR9/multi-monitor features) bypass

the Video Port on such graphic cards so the rendering may be visibly slower
than with the use of the fully accelerated VP. For better performances, use
a graphic card compatible with DirectX 9 and VMR9.
- graphic cards with a VP require the Video Port Manager filter (only
available in Windows XP and later) to make still capture and the
VMR9/multi-monitor feature possible.

Command-line parameters


Automatically starts capturing video as soon as AMCap starts.

(requires preconfiguration)


Closes the application when the still capture is done or once the time-limit
of the video capture is reached.


Registers the graph with the Running Object Table so that GraphEdit can
connect to it.


Starts AMCap in fullscreen mode


Starts AMCap without the caption and menu bars.


Makes a still capture as soon as AMCap starts or after the optional delay
in milliseconds. (requires preconfiguration)

0-based index of the video capture source to select. This parameter overrides
the video device specified in the .ini file


Deregisters AMCap so that it does not accept STI events anymore.

Errors and solutions


* CreateGrabber: CoCreateInstance failed, hr=0x80040154

Your version of DirectX is too old. Please upgrade to DirectX 9.0c or later.

* Cannot render video capture stream, hr=0x80070057

The selected video capture source may be in use by another application.


* June 17, 2008 - Version 9.20 (Build 132.2)

- UNICODE only version

- Delayed snap feature fully rewritten and enhanced
- possibly supports more video capture devices
- removed UAC prompt in Vista
- fixed: STI registration was creating duplicate incomplete Registry keys
(use sticlean.exe to remove all invalid keys from the Registry)
- fixed: OSD color changes were not applied
- fixed: TV programs with blank names were not loaded
- fixed copy of still images to the clipboard
- added YUV mode if deinterlacing is available
- added overlay feature to put a logo on-screen, to use a picture as comparator,
- added support for additional video renderers (including custom video renderer)
- added the /vdevice parameter to override the video capture source specified in

the .ini file

- added AutoPlay registration to installation so that AMCap is listed when a
video capture source is plugged in
- added "Maintain Aspect Ratio" Window menu option. If this option is cleared
window can be freely resized to any aspect ratio otherwise aspect ratio is

* December 4, 2006 - Version 9.11 (Build 109.4)

- added "Remember camera controls" option to save and to restore camera

like pan, tilt, zoom, exposure, etc.
- added TV programs management (when an analog TV tuner is available)
- fixed an issue that could lead to invalid values being displayed in some error

- added a manifest for Windows Vista's UAC support
- added a digital signature to the executable
- added "Still Capture Pin..." option to configure high resolution if a Still
is available
- added volume control and bargraph (VMR9 required)
- added simultaneous MPEG-2 preview and capture
- added support for Type-1 and Type-2 DV capture
- added crosshair option due to numerous requests
- fixed a bug that could prevent compressor property pages from showing in Setup
Compression tab
- added support for some media and remote control keys
- fixed menu bar on/off option always resizing the window to default size
- fixed an issue that prevented the preview window to be shrinked to a size
than the default video resolution
- fixed a possible crash when a still capture is requested and GDI+ is not
- improved error reporting, you should get less "(error message unavailable)"
- improved still capture, requires less configuration and possibly better
- improved overall MPEG-2 support, more tuners or capture cards should be
- improved MPEG-2 capture so that no external dump filter is required
- improved backward compatibility for capture sources with a video port
- the cursor is now automatically hidden in fullscreen mode

* June 21, 2006 - Version 9.10 (Build 88.3)

- fixed TV channel selection not working

- improved overall TV tuner management and support
- improved DV camcorder support
- improved capture file management, you're no more required to preallocate
a capture file anymore
- added new Setup with tabs (Capture > Setup... menu). Setup now gives
access to some options that were only accessible from the Registry
- added option to change OSD color
- added TV Channel management
- added TV audio menu
- added audio input and crossbar audio input menus
- added Synchro Start to start/stop DV camcorder playback at the same time
as the capture in one click
- added support for AVI compression and CODEC selection (experimental)
(see Capture > Setup... > Compression tab)
- added a new help file
- fixed many bugs

* March 2, 2006 - Version 9.08 (Build 75.3)

- added an installer for easy installation and removal

* February 15, 2006 - Version 9.08 (Build 75.3)

- added a new option in Capture > Still menu to always save the still captures
to the same file. Every capture will overwrite the same file instead of
creating a new timestamped file
- added a new "Auto Switch Inputs" option in Options > Video Input menu. If
the video device has more than 1 input, AMCap will automatically switch
from one input to the next one every 10 seconds

* January 4, 2006 - Version 9.08 (Build 70.3)

- fixed: the window had a wrong aspect ratio after being minimized and then

* December 13, 2005 - Version 9.08 (Build 68.2)

- fixed the settings were not saved in some exit conditions

- set both video capture and preview resolutions to the same size at startup
if both are available. Previously only capture resolution was restored
- implemented Demo version

* November 17, 2005 - Version 9.08 (Build 65.4)

- enhanced aspect ratio handling to avoid picture distorsion after resizing

- added Options > Set Priority menu to boost the application priority in the
multithreading scheduler and to possibly get better performances

* November 3, 2005 - Version 9.08 (Build 63.4)

- reactivated the system menu from the taskbar button when the caption and the
menubar are hidden in the application
- added on-screen display of TV channel (VMR9 required)

* October 18, 2005 - Version 9.07 (Build 61.2)

- added Window > Flip View menu

- added +/- accelerators to quickly toggle between the video inputs

* September 5, 2005 - Version 9.07 (Build 59.1)

- added /capture command-line parameter

- added save and restore feature for TV tuner input type (cable or antenna)
- added Options > Pause menu, to pause or unpause the live preview
- described supported command-line parameters

* August 5, 2005 - Version 9.06 (Build 54.4)

- added "/snap[:<delay>]" and "/close" parameters. /snap makes a still

capture as soon as AMCap starts (if it was correctly preconfigured) or
after the specified delay in milliseconds. /close closes the application
when the still capture is done.

* June 10, 2005 - Version 9.06 (Build 52.5)

- fixed a memory leak

- enhanced STI to DirectShow device lookup

* May 17, 2005 - Version 9.06 (Build 50.2)

- added "Register for STI events" menu under Capture. This option enables
AMCap to appear in the list of applications in the Events tab of the
item properties in "Scanners and Cameras"

* May 4, 2005 - Version 9.06 (Build 49.3)

- changed still image filenames to unique time-based filenames to avoid

- added a "Copy to clipboard" option in the Capture > Still menu. If ticked
the Snap option copy the image to the clipboard instead of to the disk
- remember and restore the selected audio input on entry and on exit

* April 12, 2005 - Version 9.05 (Build 48.2)

- added support for mouse wheel to change the TV channel

* March 25, 2005 - Version 9.05 (Build 47.5)

- added Remember > Image Controls menu to optionally save and restore
Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Gamma, Sharpness, WhiteBalance,
and Gain.
- the settings are now saved and loaded to/from an AMCap.ini file which
must be placed in the same folder as AMCap.exe. This allows easy
- added a Capture > Still > Format menu to specify the format in which
still images are saved. JPEG and PNG are now supported.

* February 5, 2005 - Version 9.04 (Build 44.6)

- added keyboard accelerators for device control

* January 31, 2005 - Version 9.04 (Build 44.1)

- fixed: the application crashed if MPEG2 was selected but the device does
not support it

* November 4, 2004 - Version 9.04 (Build 43.4)

- fixed: the selected video input was not correctly saved and restored

* October 28, 2004 - Version 9.04 (Build 42.4)

- added power management. Allows hibernation while previewing is active.

* October 18, 2004 - Version 9.04 (Build 41.1)

- added Zoom options for VMR9

* October 12, 2004 - Version 9.04 (Build 40.1)

- added Deinterlacing options for VMR9

- save/restore the MPEG2 flag
- added command-line parameters:
/640 default to 640*480 on first launch
/nocaption starts application w/o caption and menu bar
/fullscreen starts application in fullscreen mode

* July 23, 2004 - Version 9.03 (Build 33.5)

- added delayed still capture

* July 9, 2004 - Version 9.03 (Build 32.5)

- disables screensaver while in fullscreen mode

- fixed a possible crash when video capture reaches the 2GB size

* June 17, 2004 - Version 9.03 (Build 29.4)

- delay loaded WMVCore.dll in case Windows Media 9 Series is not installed

- removed the "Mode" menu and replaced it with a toolbar. Only available when
a DV camcorder is connected
- fixed lack of audio in preview when used with a DV camcorder and VMR9 or
still capture are enabled
- fixed: keyboard shortcuts were not available in fullscreen mode (not VMR9)

* May 31, 2004 - Version 9.02 (Build 23.1)

- added support for hardware trigger (when hi-res still capture is enabled)
- save/restore last TV channel
- added the possibility of switching the TV channel by typing the channel on
the keyboard. Always use 2 digits (e.g. channel #1 is 01) Use DEL or
BACKSPACE to correct the first digit
- added PgUp / PgDn to switch to next / previous TV channel

* May 19, 2004 - Version 9.02 (Build 17.3)

- fixed a problem with the Window menu

* May 10, 2004 - Version 9.02 (Build 17.1)

- fixed: "Audio Format..." in the Options menu was not visible

- added the Window > Remember Position menu option
- added a warning if the requested capture file size is too large for the
file system of the partition on which it is created
- added a "Mode" menu to control a DV camcorder. All commands may not be
supported by the driver or the device
- display full version numbers in About
- added some links to my website in the Help menu
- now shows progress while saving a WMV capture file
- displays the actual capture file size after a capture

* April 29, 2004 - Version 9.02 (Build 14.4)

- added new shortcuts (capture, save)

- arranged layout of controls in dialog boxes
- remembers video compression/colorspace setting and compression settings
- added an option to create a new capture file (in Allocate File Space) to
preserve the current one(s)

* April 16, 2004 - Version 9.01 (Build 12.5)

- added support for full-screen mode support when VMR9 is enabled

- added support for high-resolution still captures, only enabled if the
driver implements a still pin

* April 5, 2004 - Version 9.01 (Build 8.1)

- remembers video standard and video size from previous session

- added still capture
- added Windows Media 9 Series compression

* January 19, 2004 - Version 9.0 (Build 6.2)

- added multi-monitor support (VMR9) requires DirectX 9.0 runtimes

- remembers video input from previous session
- added full screen mode support

* Version 9.0 - 1st public custom version

- added "caption bar and menu on and off" and "always on top" features

* Version 9.0

- inital build release by Microsoft in DirectX 9.0 SDK

Latest versions

The latest version of AMCap is always available from my web site:
Contact details