Video digitizer for live video and image capture

ImpactVCB: low cost video capture boards with live overlay which can be used as the heart of live video display, real time video capture, streaming video or video conferencing solutions

The ImpactVCB product family

    • ImpactVCB-e model 01381 board is a half height PCI Express board for Windows 10, 8 and 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) with one S-Video and one composite video input, plus audio inputs.
    • Impact VCB model 00558 (equivalent to the model 00166) board is a half height PCI board based on the Conexant 878A (CX25878) video digitizer chip. It has 32-bit support with Windows XP and Linux support is available through The ImpactVCB model 00558 comes with both half height and full height brackets.
    • Impact VCB model 00188 board is a full height PCI board based on the Conexant 878A (CX25878) video digitizer chip. It has 32-bit support with Windows XP and Linux support is available through

The ImpactVCB-e PCI Express board

The ImpactVCB-e is a PCI Express video capture product. Compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7 (both 64-bit and 32-bit), ImpactVCB-e is a low profile board which is supplied with both a full height and half height brackets.

The ImpactVCB PCI boards

It requires a bus-master PCI slot. A VGA card with Direct Draw 3 (or later) capability is required for Live Display. Operating system can be WindowsXP, Window 95, Windows 98, WindowsME, NT 4.0, Windows 2000. Linux drivers are available through Windows drivers are provided with the ImpactVCB board. Incoming image is digitized using high quality 4:2:2 video sampling and displayed in a window on the PC's VGA screen. The image is transmitted directly by the ImpactVCB into main system memory or the memory of the VGA adapter for high performance results. The ImpactVCB comes in several different I/O configurations, with up to four composite video inputs, s-video input, power output (primarily to drive a CCD camera) and an optional audio input. A Programmers Toolkit is available for the ImpactVCB which provides both DLL and OCX support for applications requiring the ImpactVCB's video capture or video display. Applications can be developed in C or Visual Basic.

Product Availability

Hauppauge has a variety of ImpactVCB boards to support your image capture, video image display, industrial image processing and video conferencing applications worldwide. Please note that our technical support organization is available to provide technical information you require to support your applications. Special models are available which use BNC connectors.

All ImpactVCB models support both PAL and NTSC compatibility (referred to as "dual crystal").

Video Capture

Video from any analog source (composite or S-Video) can be captured as either still frame video images or motion video. Composite video inputs are provided as female RCA jacks, while S-Video uses standard 4-pin DIN connectors. The PCI based ImpactVCB boards come with a VFW capture driver (Video for Windows) for Windows 95 and Windows NT, and a WDM driver for use with WindowsXP, Windows98SE, Windows Me and Windows 2000. Typical capture rates range from 15 to 30 fps depending on system configuration.

Live Video Display
The ImpactVCB can display live video from NTSC or PAL video sources in a resizable window on the PC screen. The digitizing of the analog video signal and the resizing of the video image is performed by hardware on the ImpactVCB, thereby not slowing down the CPU. After video is digitized and resized, the digitized video image is drawn by the ImpactVCB directly into the memory of the PC's VGA card. This uses a feature of Windows called Direct Draw, and the ImpactVCB can be used with most VGA cards which support Direct Draw 5 or higher. This technique is used on Windows95, Windows98, WindowsME, Windows2000 and WindowsNT 4.0

Some ImpactVCB models have a unique serial number burnt into an EProm on board. The serial number is read either through the Hauppauge WinTV Programmers Toolkit or can be read via Windows Control Panel. In addition to the serial number, these models of ImpactVCB have its I/O configuration burnt into the EProm.

Here some common models (please order by model number or product code)

ImpactVCB 1381ImpactVCBe 1381 ImpactVCBImpactVCB 00188 ImpactVCBImpactVCB 00558
ImpactVCB 00166
Composite video inputs 1 4 3
S-Video inputs 1 0 1
5V power output none none none
Audio input stereo none none
Board height half height full height half height
Comments Includes full height and half height brackets BNC connectors on all video inputs ImpactVCB model 00558 and 00166 are equivalent.
They both include both full and half height brackets.

System requirements

Hardware requirements

The ImpactVCB-e (PCI Express model) is compatible with X1 and X16 PCIe slots and includes a Windows 10/8/7 and Windows XP compatible driver.

The ImpactVCB PCI boards require a bus-mastering PCI bus slot, and were designed for all PCs running WindowsXP, WindowsME, Windows2000, Windows 95, Windows98, and Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3 installed. A public domain Linux driver is also available for the ImpactVCB.

Audio Capture

Except for ImpactVCB-e model 01381, audio is not processed on the board. Audio can be input directly to the sound card for digitizing and further processing.

For Videoconferencing

The ImpactVCB can be used for Internet video conferencing using the supplied Microsoft NetMeeting. Also, most other video conferencing applications which require a Video for Windows capture driver to digitize video can be used with the ImpactVCB. Since all of the digitizing and image movement are done by the ImpactVCB without requiring the systems CPU, you get the maximum performance from your PC.

Hardware required for videoconferencing

In addition to the ImpactVCB, a video camera, NTSC or PAL (power is available from the board or optional AC power adapter), is required. A 16 bit, 8 KHZ full duplex codec sound card is required for digitizing the audio. A microphone and speakers are also required.

The ImpactVCB driver CD-ROM includes

Drivers: A WDM driver for WindowsXP, Windows2000, WindowsME and Windows98SE is included. Video for Windows capture drivers for Windows95, Windows98, Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3 are available. WHQL certified drivers for WindowsXP are available.

Accessory applications included: Hauppauge's SnapShot (single image frame grabber program) and Hauppauge's Capture application for creating AVI movies. On-line Installation Guides and Quick Start Guides are also available.


EMI treatment for FCC Class B and European CE (EN55022, EN55013 and EN55024) and is UL listed.