Anybody have experience with adding a video capture device to a PC - RC Groups
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Mar 06, 2005, 09:56 PM
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Herleman's Avatar

Anybody have experience with adding a video capture device to a PC

I have a bunch of old club stuff on VHS that I would like to burn to DVD.

I'd also like to be able to make Video DVD movie disks for a project for my church.

My computer has a DVD burner, but no video capture device (Its a P-4, 3.0 Mhz with 1 gig of memory, a 160 gig hard drive, and a PCI-Express video card with 256K DDR memory)

I've looked at the available stuff at CompUSA and BestBuy, but couldn't make heads or tails of any of it. I have been told to avoid USB stuff, but I do not know why. The sales staff at both stores seemed as inexperienced as I am in this area. They acknowledged that they had never done this. One of them told me that I couldn't do it because he thought it was illegal.

I do not want to copy commercial movies, just my own VHS Tapes (from my camcorder), and I want to be able to make videos using my camcorder (VHS Panasonic).

Is there anyone out there who has experience with this sort of thing who can give me some ideas of what sort of video capture device to buy??
Mar 06, 2005, 10:12 PM
Registered User
I used a Dazzle device before I got my MiniDV camcorder and switched over to FireWire, was pretty happy with the quality of it. The main body of it has RCA vid/L-audio/R-audio inputs and it plugs into a USB port. I use Pinnacle Studio to edit the AVI clips, then burn them to DVD.

Completely legal, you do own your own copyright to your own created works.
Mar 06, 2005, 10:16 PM
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Here is a link for you.
Mar 06, 2005, 10:18 PM
Go get them Meg!
lrsudog's Avatar
If you are wanting to upload non-digital stuff, you will want to make sure that your capture card/unit can do analog ins. No big deal either way. We use a device called a Canopus box at work, but there are literally dozens of different kinds on the market. They are pretty simple to use.

If your PC already has a TV tuner card, Snapstream makes a pretty good capture card/software bundle for about $60-70 bucks. If you do not already have a Tuner card than you might want to check out AVermedia Ultra TV. It comes with some neat editing software as well. It is USB, but I haven't heard of any of the warnings regarding USB connection that you have. We push all our video at work though USB &/or Firewire, and it has never been an issue for us.
Mar 08, 2005, 07:03 PM
Pedal Power!
lakedude's Avatar
Originally Posted by Herleman
I have been told to avoid USB stuff, but I do not know why.
The reason to avoid USB is quality/bandwidth. In general the better quality your video the more bandwith you need to capture said video. USB 1.1 is fine for low resolution "web cam" type video that is very low quality. If you want to capture in higher quality you need a connection that can toss around more information quicker than USB 1.1. USB 1.1 has a maximum bandwidth of 12Mbps. The "M" means million, the "b" is bits or single binary units of information and the "ps" is per second. Twelve Million "yes/no" answers per second may sound like a lot but the demands of high quality video are well beyond the limits of USB 1.1.

Firewire and USB 2 have much higher bandwith and can do video just fine. USB 2 runs 480Mbps and Firewire is similar and is actually a little faster in practice. The PCI bus has a max bandwidth of 133MBps with a capital "B". A "B" stands for a byte which is nothing more than 8 bits. So if we are going to compare bits to bits we must multiply the PCI figure by 8 to get bandwith in bits. The PCI bus has a bandwith of 1064 Mbps so it is the fastest and best choice for high quality video. If you don't already know the PCI bus it the one you plug extra card for your computer into. Really any of the options would be fine except USB 1.1, stay away from low quality USB 1 video capture devices.

BTW i followed Teddy's link and the product is USB 1 which is exactly what you want to avoid. From the link:

* Maximum resolution: 320 x 240

DVD resolution is twice that in both directions so a DVD signal would take up roughly 4 times the max of the USB 1 Dazzle capture device.


Which records at Full D1: 720x480

Is a much better product and is under $100.00

If you like the ease of USB and have USB 2 on your computer check this out:

Video Formats: NTSC up to 720x480 @30 fps; USB1.1 support 30fps@320x240 resolution; USB2.0 support 30fps@720x480 resolution
Last edited by lakedude; Mar 08, 2005 at 08:57 PM.
Mar 08, 2005, 07:10 PM
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e-sailpilot86's Avatar
I use an ATI all in wonder, you could do what you want with it for $100, but I don't believe it'll give you wonderful video quality. It's AGP, and is on USB 2.0 (2.1, 2.2?). I do have issues with it making my computer crash at startup when it's still plugged in, but I think it's simply because the processor/BUS/whatever is getting overloaded from the other stuff on the taskbar. I'm running 78 processes right now, usually closer to 100. These guys here are talking from experience. I used to do digital video editing, the quality stuff usually requires a lot of external boxes and wire madness, unless it's WELL integrated. Mac has something like that, Scrubs is edited on a comercial PC.

BTW, it's not illegal. He just acted like he knows what he's talking about. Swim with us before you get chased by those shark-like commisioned salesmen!

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