[Getting DVRaptor connected... by Eric, The Netherlands]
My system...         My videos...

Installing DVRaptor: Install Premiere / MSPro first, then install DVRaptor card (drivers), then install DVRaptor software.

This page (incl. the diagrams) has no copyright or whatsoever on it,
so it can be used, copied, sent, uploaded, downloaded, linked-to,
passed on, etc. etc. in ANY way.

Just use it to solve your -or others- problems.

This page does NOT involve DVRaptor RT / RT2 cards

DVRaptor (still) has a big advantage over most other (cheaper) FireWire boards: Hardware video-overlay on the VGA monitor. In other words: Smooth moving pictures in the editing- and capture-software. That way you can watch your footage or your final production in high-quality --and very smoothly-- on the VGA monitor.

Originally this hardware overlay was meant for operating DVRaptor with much slower CPU's than we have today. Remember: DVRaptor was released back in 1999, when Pentium 300MHz CPU's were 'hot', but were not quite powerful enough to manage overlay completely by software. At present time, CPU's are fast enough to take over this task and overlay is nowadays completely provided by the CPU.

slightly off-topic: here's a nice story about filesystems and 2GB and 4GB limits

When using hardware overlay, the video on the VGA-monitor displayed within the software is provided by an external DV-device, such as a DV-camcorder, a Digital8-camcorder, a DV-recorder or an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter like the Canopus ADVC-50 or ADVC-100. When this DV-device is connected to DVRaptor by FireWire / i.Link / IEEE1394, the digital signal played-out by DVRaptor is converted real-time by the DV-device to an analog signal which is sent back to the INPUT of the DVRaptor board. This way DVRaptor does not need an expensive on-board A/D (also: D/A) converter like DVRex has and can operate pretty well, even on a relative slow PC (Pentium 200MHz and up).

[foto DVRaptor]

To make this hardware overlay work, DVRaptor has analog input and output connectors (both composite and S-video). Input and output are intended to be used for overlay on the VGA-monitor, while the output is also passed straight to an output connector of the same type for an external TV-monitor.

Important: DVRaptor does NOT create analog output itself!!! You only have output, when you have input...

DVRaptor drivers and hardware/software overlay:

version 1.00 - 1.13 drivers support ONLY hardware overlay
version 2.00 - 2.11 drivers allow BOTH hardware and software overlay
version 2.12 (and up) drivers support ONLY software overlay

For downloading the latest drivers please check the Drivers Download section of the Canopus website.

Althought the support for hardware overlay has disappeared in the latest version of the drivers, I still think it is/was a wonderful feature, and for sure one of the main reasons for DVRaptor to become such a popular card for users al over the word.

  • overlay is provided by software (yeah, right), not by a DV-device like a DV or D8-camera, a converter or a deck
  • a DV device is needed only when capturing and playing back (to tape), not during editing
  • software overlay needs a "fast" system: Pentium 700 MHz and up
  • bumpless switching to hardware overlay is possible (only with drivers 2.00 - 2.11)
  • in my opinion: software overlay is not as "smooth" as hardware overlay
  • overlay is provided by using a DV-device like a DV or D8-camera, a converter or a deck for converting the digital output of DVRaptor
  • a DV device (camera/deck/converter) is needed when capturing and playing back (to tape), but also during editing
  • hardware overlay can run on slower systems: Pentium 200 MHz and up
  • bumpless switching to software overlay is possible (only with drivers 2.00 - 2.11)
  • in my opinion: the best you can get
As a frequent visitor of the Canopus Users Forum I noticed a lot of questions regarding hardware overlay not working. I also noticed most problems were related to a wrong connection somewhere in "the chain".

I always found it quite difficult to explain in words (only) the right way to connect "things". Also, the DVRaptor manual and the FAQ pages on the Canopus website seemed not clear enough, so I decided to add a little help in my own way.

Please read and look the stuff below carefully. If you still have questions, or you can't get it to work, please post a message in the Canopus Users Forum.


Well, yes and no. In the original DVRaptor design the analog in- and outputs were for overlay only.
DVRaptor was not designed to capture and playback analog captured files. Capturing and playing back
could originally ONLY be done by means of FireWire, but with the "Analog Capture Kit" (aka ACK)
you are also able to capture analog ("low-quality") video with the analog inputs.
Please check the Canopus website for more info.

To provide hardware overlay you MUST have some kind of DV-device (with DV-in enabled) connected the right way. In Europe -where I live- most camcorders have DV-out only, which means you will have to look for a way for enabling DV-in. You can do this in a somewhat "DIY" style, by soldering a few plugs and a transistor together and change the codes in the camcorder yourself. A little more expensive way is to buy a "DV-Widget", which enables DV-in on a large number of Sony, Panasonic and Canon DV/Digital8-cameras. Watch out for some JVC models, since JVC is not always "DV-in compatible". The same goes for some Sony VX1000 and VX9000 models (only certain ranges of serial numbers).


Enabling DV-in afterwards is NOT supported (nor advised) by the camcorder manufacturers, and is completely for your own risk! You *can* actually damage the camcorder in a (very) serious way if things are not done properly! I even heard stories of camcorders being completely dead after enabling DV-in the "DIY" style. My personal advice is to visit a reseller, or someone else with some experience, for enabling DV-in.

Don't get it? Don't worry! I have spent some time with Ulead's CG Infinity (part of the MediaStudio Pro package), which resulted in a couple of set-up diagrams.

I have used different colors for the different types of connections:

Please note that some TV-monitors only provide video-in, no audio-in. Instead of connecting the "audio out" to the TV-monitor you could of course use a separate audio amplifier, or active speakers (with built-in amp.)

For making an analog connection between DVRaptor and other devices you have 2 options: Via composite (RCA-plug) or via S-video (mini-DIN or Hosiden-plug). As mentioned earlier: You can NOT mix up both, it's either composite IN and OUT OR S-video IN and OUT.

composite in / S-video out:
S-video in / composite out:
You can have both composite and S-video cables connected, but you can not use both at the same time. The Raptor software (RaptorVideo) allows you to switch between composite and S-video. The default setting is composite. To use S-video you have to change this. Start RaptorVideo and go to Settings, DVRaptor properties, Analog Input (Overlay). If you have a RaptorBay (connectors at the frontside of the case), make sure it is switched "on".

To conclude: Of course your graphics board MUST support overlay. To see if your graphics board supports overlay you can download Raptest from The Canopus Support pages. If Raptest shows a colorbar after testing, overlay is supported. IMPORTANT: Please use the latest drivers for your board (download them from the manufacturers homepage, for instance). For compatible boards, please check the Compatibility Page of the Canopus website. Some graphics boards only support overlay at 16-bit colordepth.

  • For hardware overlay, one must have a DV device (with DV-in) connected during editing;
  • It is not absolutely necessary to have a soundcard installed/connected to work with DVRaptor;
  • It is not absolutely necessary to have a TV monitor connected to work with DVRaptor;
  • DVRaptor has NO analog outputs, only digital (FireWire / i.Link / IEEE1394);
  • For overlay of the video image on the VGA monitor, your graphics board must be compatible;
  • If overlay doesn't work, the color of the overlay screen in Raptor Video might help to locate the problem:
    • overlay screen black means: no input, or no signal
    • overlay screen gray, purple or green mean: overlay not supported

Hope this helps. And again: If you still don't get it, please ask at the Canopus Users Forum. Lots of experts out there to help you!

Happy editing!
Eric, The Netherlands



The set-up diagrams below do NOT cover set-ups with a RaptorBay. If your set-up includes a RaptorBay, please follow it's instructions for connecting things, both internally and externally.
BTW: Only the location of the connectors is different when a RaptorBay is installed.

If you experience overlay problems when you have a RaptorBay installed, please get "back-to-basic" and try to connect things without the RaptorBay * according to the diagrams first. If things are OK, you can "re-plug" the various connectors from the DVRaptor to the RaptorBay.

* Please note the RaptorBay "on/off switch" under "Settings" in Raptor Video!

last updated: May 31st, 2001