AVFoundry VideoForge Classic worth buying? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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AVFoundry VideoForge Classic worth buying?

Hi,

I've seen a dirt cheap AVFoundry VideoForge Classic for sale and thought I'd ask whether it would be worth buying?

Yes it'll only do upto HD SDR but, I'd be happy with that. The only issue I perceive is getting the PC drivers for it. The link to these, on the Portrait Display's site, is dead.

Cheers,

Paul
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
Hi,

I've seen a dirt cheap AVFoundry VideoForge Classic for sale and thought I'd ask whether it would be worth buying?

Yes it'll only do upto HD SDR but, I'd be happy with that. The only issue I perceive is getting the PC drivers for it. The link to these, on the Portrait Display's site, is dead.

Cheers,

Paul
It may use the SiLabs USBXpress driver, which the AVFoundry VideoEQ and the HDFury boxes also use. SpectraCal used to have a free downloadable CalMAN Driver Pack that contained drivers needed for much of their supported hardware. Perhaps that's still available from Portrait.

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post #3 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
ISpectraCal used to have a free downloadable CalMAN Driver Pack that contained drivers needed for much of their supported hardware. Perhaps that's still available from Portrait.
Thanks.

As one would expect, the moment I clicked submit on the post, I did a search and found the CalMAN driver pack. So that doesn't seem like an issue now.


I guess the original question still exists though, is the TPG worth buying? I have 2 current use cases for it:

Satellite TV - 1080i/p/50 YCbCr 4:4:4 Rec.709

Blu-ray - 1080p24 YCbCr 4:4:4/ 4:2:2 Rec 709 (I have many pattern discs for this also)

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post #4 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
Thanks.

As one would expect, the moment I clicked submit on the post, I did a search and found the CalMAN driver pack. So that doesn't seem like an issue now.


I guess the original question still exists though, is the TPG worth buying? I have 2 current use cases for it:

Satellite TV - 1080i/p/50 YCbCr 4:4:4 Rec.709

Blu-ray - 1080p24 YCbCr 4:4:4/ 4:2:2 Rec 709 (I have many pattern discs for this also)

Paul
If it can do the patterns you need, why wouldn't it be? It may be slower than newer TPGs, but your main question should be, does it create patterns on the fly (custom patterns), or is it limited to a fixed specific set of patterns pre-loaded into the generator? I'd be talking to the seller about it.

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post #5 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
If it can do the patterns you need, why wouldn't it be? It may be slower than newer TPGs, but your main question should be, does it create patterns on the fly (custom patterns), or is it limited to a fixed specific set of patterns pre-loaded into the generator? I'd be talking to the seller about it.
It provides fill RGB triplet support and custom pattern support so yes, it'll do what I want on the face of it.

I guess what I'm looking for is 1st hand feedback on what it's like to use. Is it slow? Difficult to config? Etc. This isn't something I'd trust the buyer to tell me (it's on eBay).

At this stage, I'll be driving it 'manually' as I'm a LightSpace user. But, with CalMAN Home for Panasonic (I have a Panasonic OLED) so cheap and able to DDC my display, I'm considering buying that too.

Paul
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post #6 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
It provides fill RGB triplet support and custom pattern support so yes, it'll do what I want on the face of it.

I guess what I'm looking for is 1st hand feedback on what it's like to use. Is it slow? Difficult to config? Etc. This isn't something I'd trust the buyer to tell me (it's on eBay).

At this stage, I'll be driving it 'manually' as I'm a LightSpace user. But, with CalMAN Home for Panasonic (I have a Panasonic OLED) so cheap and able to DDC my display, I'm considering buying that too.

Paul
Sadly, the biggest repository of info like that, the old CalMAN User Forum, no longer exists. Portrait took it off-line early this year. Perhaps there's a video on YouTube?

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post #7 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 08:07 AM
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Well, IGN currently uses one for display testing, so it can't be all that bad. See here:
https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/07...-hdr-tv-review

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post #8 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
Sadly, the biggest repository of info like that, the old CalMAN User Forum, no longer exists. Portrait took it off-line early this year. Perhaps there's a video on YouTube?
Great suggestion, thanks.


One of the features that I've just realised the implications of, is the SD card slot. That would mean I could use Ted's patterns with it, for example...


The cost of it means its pretty disposable, so I'm going to pull the trigger and see how it pans out. It'll stop me looking for Apple TV's etc to use as TPGs!

Paul
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post #9 of 27 Old 09-26-2019, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
Well, IGN currently uses one for display testing, so it can't be all that bad. See here:
https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/07...-hdr-tv-review
Great find. Thanks.

Paul
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post #10 of 27 Old 09-27-2019, 03:44 PM
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AVFoundry VideoForge Classic worth buying?

It is a good unit. I used one for a few years. The automated patterns take about 0.7 to 0.8 seconds to render at 1080 (faster at 720). The custom patterns and images render much slower; perhaps 8-10 seconds or so for 1080.
It does take a long time to boot up, maybe 40 seconds or so.


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post #11 of 27 Old 09-28-2019, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
It provides fill RGB triplet support and custom pattern support so yes, it'll do what I want on the face of it.

I guess what I'm looking for is 1st hand feedback on what it's like to use. Is it slow? Difficult to config? Etc. This isn't something I'd trust the buyer to tell me (it's on eBay).

At this stage, I'll be driving it 'manually' as I'm a LightSpace user. But, with CalMAN Home for Panasonic (I have a Panasonic OLED) so cheap and able to DDC my display, I'm considering buying that too.

Paul
Hi Paul,

As Chad confirmed, that generator is slow, and locked to work only for CalMAN.

Also, as CalMAN has started to remove support for older hardware with latest R2 release:

CalMAN Application Refresh Phase 1

Hardware Support Updates – Removed support for select legacy hardware that was technically obsolete or not being updated and maintained. These were removed to improve the general code base of CalMAN software.

Pattern Sources – Extron VTG-400, Marshall Electronics Marshall – Monitors (MEI RS-485), and Sencore S802BT

....It can happen one day to see the support of that AVFoundry model to be removed.

It will be a better idea to see if you can find a good offer for a second hand DVDO AVLab TPG, which is supported from LightSpace/ChromaPure/CalMAN.

Or use PGenerator, which is supported from CalMAN/LightSpace/HCFR.
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post #12 of 27 Old 09-28-2019, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
One of the features that I've just realised the implications of, is the SD card slot. That would mean I could use Ted's patterns with it, for example...
Its supporting PNG static pictures. A lot of years before its been discontinued I asked to support APNG files; to be able to upload animated PNG... patterns with flashing bars, but never developed such feature.

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post #13 of 27 Old 09-28-2019, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnecTEDDD View Post
Hi Paul,

As Chad confirmed, that generator is slow, and locked to work only for CalMAN.

Also, as CalMAN has started to remove support for older hardware with latest R2 release:

CalMAN Application Refresh Phase 1

Hardware Support Updates – Removed support for select legacy hardware that was technically obsolete or not being updated and maintained. These were removed to improve the general code base of CalMAN software.

Pattern Sources – Extron VTG-400, Marshall Electronics Marshall – Monitors (MEI RS-485), and Sencore S802BT

....It can happen one day to see the support of that AVFoundry model to be removed.

It will be a better idea to see if you can find a good offer for a second hand DVDO AVLab TPG, which is supported from LightSpace/ChromaPure/CalMAN.

Or use PGenerator, which is supported from CalMAN/LightSpace/HCFR.
Thanks, Ted. I've never used one of these. I wasn't aware they were locked to CalMAN.
I agree with you on the AVLab TPG.

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post #14 of 27 Old 09-28-2019, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
Thanks, Ted. I've never used one of these. I wasn't aware they were locked to CalMAN.
I agree with you on the AVLab TPG.
Basically is supported from ChromaPure Professional, using an external 'web debugging proxy' utility, but there no such interest from users to know how it really worked.

DVDO AVLab is supported from ChromaPure Plus (lower-cost license).

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post #15 of 27 Old 09-28-2019, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post
It is a good unit. I used one for a few years. The automated patterns take about 0.7 to 0.8 seconds to render at 1080 (faster at 720). The custom patterns and images render much slower; perhaps 8-10 seconds or so for 1080.
It does take a long time to boot up, maybe 40 seconds or so.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnecTEDDD View Post
Hi Paul,

As Chad confirmed, that generator is slow, and locked to work only for CalMAN.

Also, as CalMAN has started to remove support for older hardware with latest R2 release:

CalMAN Application Refresh Phase 1

Hardware Support Updates – Removed support for select legacy hardware that was technically obsolete or not being updated and maintained. These were removed to improve the general code base of CalMAN software.

Pattern Sources – Extron VTG-400, Marshall Electronics Marshall – Monitors (MEI RS-485), and Sencore S802BT

....It can happen one day to see the support of that AVFoundry model to be removed.

It will be a better idea to see if you can find a good offer for a second hand DVDO AVLab TPG, which is supported from LightSpace/ChromaPure/CalMAN.

Or use PGenerator, which is supported from CalMAN/LightSpace/HCFR.
Thanks for the responses, appreciate it.

I went ahead and bought it, before reading these comments however, it was only £50 so as I mentioned further up, for that money, it's disposable and something I can play with. I had planned to by CalMAN Home for Panasonic anyway, so I should be able to drive it with that. And if not, I'll just drive it from my PC, using the browser interface.

@ConnecTEDDD - I think I'll go for the DVDO AVLab TPG at some point and I'm always keeping an eye out for deals on them. In the meantime I've bought an RPi and have PGenerator installed on it. The VideoForge Classic is just something else to play with.

Paul
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post #16 of 27 Old 09-28-2019, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
Thanks for the responses, appreciate it.



I went ahead and bought it, before reading these comments however, it was only £50 so as I mentioned further up, for that money, it's disposable and something I can play with. I had planned to by CalMAN Home for Panasonic anyway, so I should be able to drive it with that. And if not, I'll just drive it from my PC, using the browser interface.


@ConnecTEDDD - I think I'll go for the DVDO AVLab TPG at some point and I'm always keeping an eye out for deals on them. In the meantime I've bought an RPi and have PGenerator installed on it. The VideoForge Classic is just something else to play with.



Paul


We have no intention of removing support for the Video Forge Classic. It is supported in CalMAN Home for Panasonic.

Please contact CalMAN support if you have any questions.

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post #17 of 27 Old 10-16-2019, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Just by way of an update, the Videoforge arrived and I spent more than 2 hours last night attempting to get it connected to my laptop, with no joy. I tried another 2 laptops, a mix of Win10 64 bit and 32 bit and all had the same issue, a USB Device - device descriptor request failed error. After a load of faffing, I'm quite convinced it's an issue with the supplied driver from Portrait Displays, so have pinged them an email for support.


It seems, when plugging the device into the laptop, even after supposedly installing the unsigned drivers, that Windows is trying to assign it's own driver to the device. I then attempt to update the driver with the one installed and Windows proudly states it's already installed the most appropriate driver. Using a different tack, I elect to install from disc and I get spurious messages that the selected driver isn't supported. So I'm hoping PD still have older versions of the driver available.


Will update as and when.

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post #18 of 27 Old 10-16-2019, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
Just by way of an update, the Videoforge arrived and I spent more than 2 hours last night attempting to get it connected to my laptop, with no joy. I tried another 2 laptops, a mix of Win10 64 bit and 32 bit and all had the same issue, a USB Device - device descriptor request failed error. After a load of faffing, I'm quite convinced it's an issue with the supplied driver from Portrait Displays, so have pinged them an email for support.


It seems, when plugging the device into the laptop, even after supposedly installing the unsigned drivers, that Windows is trying to assign it's own driver to the device. I then attempt to update the driver with the one installed and Windows proudly states it's already installed the most appropriate driver. Using a different tack, I elect to install from disc and I get spurious messages that the selected driver isn't supported. So I'm hoping PD still have older versions of the driver available.


Will update as and when.

Paul
It's also quite possible that the box itself is faulty...

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post #19 of 27 Old 10-16-2019, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
It's also quite possible that the box itself is faulty...
Agreed. It's either an invalid driver (my gut feel), faulty USB cable (I've tried a known working cable) or the device itself is faulty. And looking at the USB socket on it, this could be a possibility as it looks like pin 2 is not as proud as the other pins. But, I don't know what these are supposed to look like, that's just my observation.

I've informed the seller of the issue, and if I don't get any joy from Portrait Designs, on the driver front, of some basic electrical testing I'll do on the USB socket, I'll be raising a PayPal claim.

One thing I noted before I bought it was that all the images I have seen show the USB port is of the OTG variety, although it has no script on my one. My very limited understanding of this is that OTG USB cables/ plugs/ sockets are not the same as 'typical' USB cables/ plugs/ sockets, so I don't know if this may be the issue?!

Paul

ETA: It would of course be useful if there was any information available, on what the status LED's mean. That seems a little too much to ask though.

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I'm no USB expert, but because the box does not seem to be responding to system USB device descriptor requests in both Win 7 and 10, it's leading me to think it's bad.

There is some info on use here:
https://kb.portrait.com/help/av-foun...oforge-classic

More info on the driver from MS:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...s-inf-template

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Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
Agreed. It's either an invalid driver (my gut feel), faulty USB cable (I've tried a known working cable) or the device itself is faulty. And looking at the USB socket on it, this could be a possibility as it looks like pin 2 is not as proud as the other pins. But, I don't know what these are supposed to look like, that's just my observation.

I've informed the seller of the issue, and if I don't get any joy from Portrait Designs, on the driver front, of some basic electrical testing I'll do on the USB socket, I'll be raising a PayPal claim.

One thing I noted before I bought it was that all the images I have seen show the USB port is of the OTG variety, although it has no script on my one. My very limited understanding of this is that OTG USB cables/ plugs/ sockets are not the same as 'typical' USB cables/ plugs/ sockets, so I don't know if this may be the issue?!

Paul

ETA: It would of course be useful if there was any information available, on what the status LED's mean. That seems a little too much to ask though.
90% of RMAs were due to a damaged USB connector. I would request a refund.

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Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
It's also quite possible that the box itself is faulty...


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post #23 of 27 Old 10-17-2019, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
I'm no USB expert, but because the box does not seem to be responding to system USB device descriptor requests in both Win 7 and 10, it's leading me to think it's bad.

There is some info on use here:
https://kb.portrait.com/help/av-foun...oforge-classic

More info on the driver from MS:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...s-inf-template
I didn't try it with a Win7 machine as all mine are Win10, hence why I thought it might be the driver and an incompatibility issue. Something I've seen a lot in the past.
And thanks for the literature. I've read the VideoForge guides to death. They're all pretty high level though, missing key aspects post getting it connected.

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90% of RMAs were due to a damaged USB connector. I would request a refund.
Interesting and thanks. This explains a lot!

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Originally Posted by kuniu View Post
Try like me.

https://www.maketecheasier.com/insta...ers-windows10/

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Yes, aware of that process, hence why I mentioned 'unsigned' drivers.

Had a further fiddle last night and concentrated on the USB socket. I planned to check continuity from the end of a cable, right the way through to where the pins meet the PCB, in the device but, the PCB pins were covered with a glue. So changed tact and re-checked the pins in the socket and pin 2 (data -) was definitely less proud than the others. So I managed to manipulate it and just bend it up slightly, to align with the height of the other pins. Plugged it in, along with the HDMI (which I'd not done before) and hey presto, the correct driver was assigned to it (a generic RNDIS driver from ACER) and it all worked.

I'll leave the USB lead plugged into the device so as not to disturb the pins but, if it continues to play up, I'll replace the USB socket. They're about £1 to buy.

As for user experience, it's clunky AF to use from the web interface but, I expect that's because I'm used to automated workflows with LightSpace and a Radiance Pro. I'll buy a license for CalMAN Home for Panasonic and see how that goes, with CalMAN driving it. With regards to the speed of the thing, I'm not bothered about how long the patterns take to change as I'll use it with an OLED and they always require time to stabilise, when changing patches whilst calibrating.

I was going to buy a 3rd gen Apple TV to do part of the job this will now do, so very happy with getting it so cheap (£62 including VAT and handling fees). The Apple TV would have cost very close to that but, wouldn't be such a complete solution.

Paul
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post #24 of 27 Old 10-17-2019, 03:01 AM
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I didn't try it with a Win7 machine as all mine are Win10, hence why I thought it might be the driver and an incompatibility issue. Something I've seen a lot in the past.
And thanks for the literature. I've read the VideoForge guides to death. They're all pretty high level though, missing key aspects post getting it connected.

Interesting and thanks. This explains a lot!

Yes, aware of that process, hence why I mentioned 'unsigned' drivers.

Had a further fiddle last night and concentrated on the USB socket. I planned to check continuity from the end of a cable, right the way through to where the pins meet the PCB, in the device but, the PCB pins were covered with a glue. So changed tact and re-checked the pins in the socket and pin 2 (data -) was definitely less proud than the others. So I managed to manipulate it and just bend it up slightly, to align with the height of the other pins. Plugged it in, along with the HDMI (which I'd not done before) and hey presto, the correct driver was assigned to it (a generic RNDIS driver from ACER) and it all worked.

I'll leave the USB lead plugged into the device so as not to disturb the pins but, if it continues to play up, I'll replace the USB socket. They're about £1 to buy.

As for user experience, it's clunky AF to use from the web interface but, I expect that's because I'm used to automated workflows with LightSpace and a Radiance Pro. I'll buy a license for CalMAN Home for Panasonic and see how that goes, with CalMAN driving it. With regards to the speed of the thing, I'm not bothered about how long the patterns take to change as I'll use it with an OLED and they always require time to stabilise, when changing patches whilst calibrating.

I was going to buy a 3rd gen Apple TV to do part of the job this will now do, so very happy with getting it so cheap (£62 including VAT and handling fees). The Apple TV would have cost very close to that but, wouldn't be such a complete solution.

Paul
WAY off topic but...."the home of British motorsport".....AH! the days of the Tr-4, 4A, 250, 6, the minis, the Sprites & Spitfire.....British Leyland!!!! Lucas was a problem.....but they were SO much fun to drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #25 of 27 Old 10-17-2019, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by youngsyp View Post
I didn't try it with a Win7 machine as all mine are Win10, hence why I thought it might be the driver and an incompatibility issue. Something I've seen a lot in the past.
And thanks for the literature. I've read the VideoForge guides to death. They're all pretty high level though, missing key aspects post getting it connected.

Interesting and thanks. This explains a lot!

Yes, aware of that process, hence why I mentioned 'unsigned' drivers.

Had a further fiddle last night and concentrated on the USB socket. I planned to check continuity from the end of a cable, right the way through to where the pins meet the PCB, in the device but, the PCB pins were covered with a glue. So changed tact and re-checked the pins in the socket and pin 2 (data -) was definitely less proud than the others. So I managed to manipulate it and just bend it up slightly, to align with the height of the other pins. Plugged it in, along with the HDMI (which I'd not done before) and hey presto, the correct driver was assigned to it (a generic RNDIS driver from ACER) and it all worked.

I'll leave the USB lead plugged into the device so as not to disturb the pins but, if it continues to play up, I'll replace the USB socket. They're about £1 to buy.

As for user experience, it's clunky AF to use from the web interface but, I expect that's because I'm used to automated workflows with LightSpace and a Radiance Pro. I'll buy a license for CalMAN Home for Panasonic and see how that goes, with CalMAN driving it. With regards to the speed of the thing, I'm not bothered about how long the patterns take to change as I'll use it with an OLED and they always require time to stabilise, when changing patches whilst calibrating.

I was going to buy a 3rd gen Apple TV to do part of the job this will now do, so very happy with getting it so cheap (£62 including VAT and handling fees). The Apple TV would have cost very close to that but, wouldn't be such a complete solution.

Paul
Great, Paul. I'm glad you got it sorted!
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post #26 of 27 Old 10-17-2019, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by BobWalters View Post
WAY off topic but...."the home of British motorsport".....AH! the days of the Tr-4, 4A, 250, 6, the minis, the Sprites & Spitfire.....British Leyland!!!! Lucas was a problem.....but they were SO much fun to drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tell me about it. My first car was a 1964 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk II with the "big" engine. SU carburetors, Lucas electrics, Girling lever shocks, "Lockheed" disc brakes, and all...
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post #27 of 27 Old 10-17-2019, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BobWalters View Post
WAY off topic but...."the home of British motorsport".....AH! the days of the Tr-4, 4A, 250, 6, the minis, the Sprites & Spitfire.....British Leyland!!!! Lucas was a problem.....but they were SO much fun to drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
Tell me about it. My first car was a 1964 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk II with the "big" engine. SU carburetors, Lucas electrics, Girling lever shocks, "Lockheed" disc brakes, and all...
A chap over the road has a Sprite, not sure which vintage. And the guy next door to him, a TR8. There's also a chap down the road with a DB11, not that you'd still class that as British though. Incidentally, Aston Martin's HQ (and where they started) is about 20 miles from here. And coincidentally to that, we have David Brown Automotive over at the circuit too. Although, as I learnt recently, that's not 'the' David Brown.

We've had a few British cars in our time, I a Mini (1989, so not particularly vintage) and my wife a MK2 Lotus Elise 111S and MK3 Lotus Exige V6S. We're both driving German's now though.

Paul
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