Analog Video Capture Devices--External

Analog Video Capture Devices--External

Post by MS » Fri, 04 Jul 2003 04:39:15



I'm thinking of perhaps next time I want to record a show from the TV,
instead of doing it onto VHS tape, to record it to my computer, and watch it
from the hard drive, or burn it to a CD. (I don't yet have a DVD burner.) I
might even transfer some VHS tapes I already have to digital format.

I realize I would have to get some kind of analog-digital cable device to
transfer and convert the signal from my TV or VCR to the computer. As my
computer is a laptop, this would could not connect to the computer via PCI
card, but would have to use an external connection, such as USB (mine
supports USB 2.0 as well as 1.1), Firewire (also on my laptop), or PC Card.

What devices of this type would people recommend? What features should one
look for in considering such a device? I have no need for a TV tuner for the
computer, just to record from TV or VCR to the computer. My preference would
be for something small, light, and convenient to use (preferable powered
through the computer, no need for AC). And of course, price is to be
considered. I don't need something at a professional level, the quality of
the original tapes or TV signal is not that great to begin with. But of
course I would want something that works reliably and easily, that I won't
have problems with.

Just in looking around on the web a little right now, I have found two such
devices. Anyone familiar with these two models please comment on them. Also,
I would like to hear about others.

One is the  AVerMedia DVD EZMaker USB2.0.  Following is a CNET review of it
I saw:

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/06/11/bus2.ptech.dvd.maker/ind...

or at

http://tinyurl.com/e7rd

Sounds good. One of the system requirements for it is "graphics card capable
of 720-by-480-resolution video". How do I find out whether my graphics card
supports that resolution video? Under "Control Panel", "Display". My laptop
is a recent model, a Fujitsu Lifebook Series C 2210, P4M 2 gHz, RAM expanded
to the maximum 768 MB.

It retails for around $80-$90.

The other one I found is considerably cheaper, sells for about $50, and I
believe a $10 rebate is available for it now. It is the Hauppauge USB-Live.
It has much less stringent system requirements. However, since it doesn't
specify for USB 2.0, I assume it is a USB 1.1 device. Is that too slow for
capturing video?

http://registration.hauppauge.com/webstore/hardware.asp#USBLIVE

or

http://tinyurl.com/fud6

Anyone used either of these two models? Any recommendations between them?
Any other such devices you know about?

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

 
 
 

Analog Video Capture Devices--External

Post by MS » Fri, 04 Jul 2003 05:50:51


P.S. In looking at these devices a little more, it appears that some of the
least expensive models (including the Hauppauge USB-Live model mentioned
below, and some other similarly-priced models, not including the mentioned
Avermedia model) do not include audio transfer, only video. In other words,
the only input is the yellow RCA jack or S-video, no red and white stereo
input jacks.

Of course, when one records a show from TV or a VHS onto the computer, one
wants the audio as well as the video. I have a USB audio input device,
however, so could record the audio that way. I wonder though, if that would
be more hassle and work than using one adapter to record audio and video
together. If I used separate devices to input the audio and video, would the
audio and video be recorded as separate files (.avi and .wav, for example),
that I would then have to put together to re-create the movie. Or with most
video software can they be recorded simultaneously into one video file, even
though the input is coming through separate devices?

Any comments on the pros and cons of recording the audio and video through
separate input devices, as well as any general comment on my questions
below, would be appreciated. Thank you.


Quote:> I'm thinking of perhaps next time I want to record a show from the TV,
> instead of doing it onto VHS tape, to record it to my computer, and watch
it
> from the hard drive, or burn it to a CD. (I don't yet have a DVD burner.)
I
> might even transfer some VHS tapes I already have to digital format.

> I realize I would have to get some kind of analog-digital cable device to
> transfer and convert the signal from my TV or VCR to the computer. As my
> computer is a laptop, this would could not connect to the computer via PCI
> card, but would have to use an external connection, such as USB (mine
> supports USB 2.0 as well as 1.1), Firewire (also on my laptop), or PC
Card.

> What devices of this type would people recommend? What features should one
> look for in considering such a device? I have no need for a TV tuner for
the
> computer, just to record from TV or VCR to the computer. My preference
would
> be for something small, light, and convenient to use (preferable powered
> through the computer, no need for AC). And of course, price is to be
> considered. I don't need something at a professional level, the quality of
> the original tapes or TV signal is not that great to begin with. But of
> course I would want something that works reliably and easily, that I won't
> have problems with.

> Just in looking around on the web a little right now, I have found two
such
> devices. Anyone familiar with these two models please comment on them.
Also,
> I would like to hear about others.

> One is the  AVerMedia DVD EZMaker USB2.0.  Following is a CNET review of
it
> I saw:

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/06/11/bus2.ptech.dvd.maker/ind...

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> or at

> http://tinyurl.com/e7rd

> Sounds good. One of the system requirements for it is "graphics card
capable
> of 720-by-480-resolution video". How do I find out whether my graphics
card
> supports that resolution video? Under "Control Panel", "Display". My
laptop
> is a recent model, a Fujitsu Lifebook Series C 2210, P4M 2 gHz, RAM
expanded
> to the maximum 768 MB.

> It retails for around $80-$90.

> The other one I found is considerably cheaper, sells for about $50, and I
> believe a $10 rebate is available for it now. It is the Hauppauge
USB-Live.
> It has much less stringent system requirements. However, since it doesn't
> specify for USB 2.0, I assume it is a USB 1.1 device. Is that too slow for
> capturing video?

> http://registration.hauppauge.com/webstore/hardware.asp#USBLIVE

> or

> http://tinyurl.com/fud6

> Anyone used either of these two models? Any recommendations between them?
> Any other such devices you know about?

> Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.


 
 
 

Analog Video Capture Devices--External

Post by Tim Farde » Fri, 04 Jul 2003 06:28:10


On Wed, 2 Jul 2003 13:50:51 -0700, "                    MS"


>Any comments on the pros and cons of recording the audio and video through
>separate input devices, as well as any general comment on my questions
>below, would be appreciated. Thank you.

Using a separate audio card does tend to result in audio/video
synchronisation errors, which are tricky to correct in software
(although it can be done it is somewhat hit-and-miss). I would
recommend using a video capture device which has combined audio
capture.
 
 
 

Analog Video Capture Devices--External

Post by Hawk » Sun, 06 Jul 2003 10:57:57



> >Any comments on the pros and cons of recording the audio and video
through
> >separate input devices, as well as any general comment on my questions
> >below, would be appreciated. Thank you.

> Using a separate audio card does tend to result in audio/video
> synchronisation errors, which are tricky to correct in software
> (although it can be done it is somewhat hit-and-miss). I would
> recommend using a video capture device which has combined audio
> capture.

It can be a bit pricey...but I use the A=>D function in my Sony Mini-DV
camera to dump from VCR and DirectTV Sat Receiver.  So the connection is
video/audio into camera, firewire from camera to pc.  No worries about
audio/video sync problems with this solution.

Quality of the output is excellent (superior to the quality of the Video
input on my GF4 Ti4600).  I can record from my sat receiver to hard disk,
and then author a DVD that looks beautiful.  I think all Sony DV cameras
starting at about $700 include this feature.

It may be a bit of overkill for what you are trying to do...unless you have
a use for a Mini-DV camera.  It is a really slick way to dump stuff to the
pc...

(*>

 
 
 

Analog Video Capture Devices--External

Post by MS » Mon, 07 Jul 2003 00:36:15


I don't have a DV camera. Of course, if I had one, I wouldn't need another
device. I was talking about VCR to computer, for which I would need a device
and cable to change to analog signal into digital.

There are many such devices that include audio as well as video. The lowest
priced ones, however, are only video.

After reading Tim's post, though, in case he's right, that I might have
synchronization problems recording video and audio through separate devices,
I decided to spend a few bucks more to get one with both video and audio.
The lowest I saw with audio was one by Pinnacle (I think Linx-USB or
something like that), a little over $60 at Tiger Direct.

I decided then to spend a little more for the Averkey device I mentioned, as
it's the only one I saw with USB 2.0. I don't know if I'll need that (my
laptop does have USB 2.0 ports), but in case I ever want that faster
transfer speed and higher resolution (because of the higher speed, one can
record the video at a higher resolution than with the USB 1.1 devices) (as
you can do (higher resolution) I'm sure with your Firewire connection), I
opted for that one, which I found for about $80.



> > >Any comments on the pros and cons of recording the audio and video
> through
> > >separate input devices, as well as any general comment on my questions
> > >below, would be appreciated. Thank you.

> > Using a separate audio card does tend to result in audio/video
> > synchronisation errors, which are tricky to correct in software
> > (although it can be done it is somewhat hit-and-miss). I would
> > recommend using a video capture device which has combined audio
> > capture.

> It can be a bit pricey...but I use the A=>D function in my Sony Mini-DV
> camera to dump from VCR and DirectTV Sat Receiver.  So the connection is
> video/audio into camera, firewire from camera to pc.  No worries about
> audio/video sync problems with this solution.

> Quality of the output is excellent (superior to the quality of the Video
> input on my GF4 Ti4600).  I can record from my sat receiver to hard disk,
> and then author a DVD that looks beautiful.  I think all Sony DV cameras
> starting at about $700 include this feature.

> It may be a bit of overkill for what you are trying to do...unless you
have
> a use for a Mini-DV camera.  It is a really slick way to dump stuff to the
> pc...

> (*>

 
 
 

Analog Video Capture Devices--External

Post by MS » Thu, 17 Jul 2003 01:33:40


> On Wed, 2 Jul 2003 13:50:51 -0700, "                    MS"

> >Any comments on the pros and cons of recording the audio and video
through
> >separate input devices, as well as any general comment on my questions
> >below, would be appreciated. Thank you.



Quote:

> Using a separate audio card does tend to result in audio/video
> synchronisation errors, which are tricky to correct in software
> (although it can be done it is somewhat hit-and-miss). I would
> recommend using a video capture device which has combined audio
> capture.

Guess what?

Based on Tim's advice to get a unit that had both audio and video, I opted
for the Avermedia DVD EZMaker USB 2.0, which has integrated audio, although
there are other devices I could have purchased for less money, that were
only video. (Of course, this Avermedia device has the added bonus of being
capable of recording high resolution video, since it is USB 2.0 (which my
laptop has), and the less expensive devices only have USB 1.1, which only
supports lower resolutions. However, I don't know if I would ever use it for
high resolution video anyhow. (I doubt old VHS tapes have a very high
resolution to begin with, and higher resolution would take up much more disk
space.)) Therefore, the main reason I purchased this device was the
integrated audio.

It was delivered to me today. Immediately on taking it out of the box, I
noticed something different than I expected. The input wires are what would
be expected--three RCA plugs--yellow (for video), and white and red for
stereo audio, and a S-VHS connector that could be used instead of the RCA
video connector.

The output to the computer, however, surprised me. I thought it would just
be a USB connector. Instead, there is a USB connector, and a 1/8" stereo
mini-plug. Therefore, all the "integrated sound" is is a pass through of the
analog signal into the sound card's Line-in jack. The unit does not do
analog-digital conversion of the sound, but only the video. They are coming
into the computer as two completely separate signals. I really do not see
any advantage of this over a unit that has no sound provision, with which
you would connect a separate cord from the sound output of the VCR to the
line-in on the computer's soundcard.

In my case, as I mentioned, my laptop has no stereo line-in jack, only a
mono microphone jack. I have a separate USB (1.1) audio input device,
however. I guess I could connect this cord attached to the Aver device to
the input of my USB audio device, but then I would have to use adapters over
that 1/8" mini stereo plug, as the input to the audio device are two RCA
jacks. So, I might as well just connect RCA cables directly from the VCR
audio output to the inputs of my USB audio device, and not route the audio
through the video device.

So--I might return this unit and get one of the cheaper devices that don't
include the audio ins and outs, as this really doesn't have integrated audio
anyhow, just a pass through. Unless I decide it's really worth it to get the
higher speed transfer, higher possible resolution of the USB 2.0 feature.

What is the approximate resolution of normal VHS tapes? They are probably
not worth recording at a high resolution anyhow, no? Opinions?

 
 
 

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