As we’ve mentioned above, the software part of Epiphan's solution is just as important as the hardware. It includes the driver and the Epiphan Capture Tool utility which is used to capture still images and video.
Shared by all PCI Express cards from Epiphan, the WDM driver represents the DVI2PCIe as an ordinary display device which falls into the same category with web-cameras, TV-tuners and scanners in Device Manager. We've mentioned the driver’s compatibility with DirectShow above, so it is no wonder that the DVI2PCIe becomes available as a video source in every application and service that supports DirectShow (even in Skype, for example).
The driver has no settings. All configuring is performed via Epiphan Capture Tool. Although software tools included with PC components are but seldom handy and functional, this time around we've got an exception. We don't really want to use any third-party utility instead of Epiphan Capture Tool because it is perfect for capturing video and still images. You can even use it to organize a webcast.
Its interface is simple and intuitive. The main program window shows the picture from the external video source. The toolbar provides access to popular tasks such as saving or printing a screenshot, copying the image into the clipboard, launching a video capture and organizing a webcast.
The program menu duplicates these features and adds options for changing the card’s parameters and capture settings.
The setup options are numerous. Some of them are accessible via the Capture menu and refer to the card itself. You can use them to change global parameters for input signal decoding, fix the frame rate at a certain level, and configure the list of supported resolutions according to your requirements.
The rest of setup options refer to the application and can be found in the Tools menu. Here you can specify how the captured video is to be compressed, choose a codec, limit the capture to a specific screen area, define a color depth, and adjust the application’s interface parameters. On the Sharing tab you can specify what image quality to use for webcasts.
When webcasting, Epiphan Capture Tool employs its dedicated service. Everyone can use the link issued by the utility (it’s permanent for each device) and load a Java applet and watch the video being captured by the DVI2PCIe.
Of course, you can also use third-party webcast tools (e.g. Windows Expression Encoder) and services (e.g. Ustream.tv), too.