[Gllug] [OT] - Video Capture Hardware query

Jason Clifford jason at ukpost.com
Tue Dec 23 08:11:48 UTC 2003

On Mon, 22 Dec 2003, Andy Farnsworth wrote:

>             My brother-in-law is very interested in transferring his 8mm
> video tape to DVD and/or Video CD.  He is looking for a decent video
> capture card and I have been trying to help him out with limited
> success.  It appears that the options are as follows:
> 1)       Super Cheap Mpeg2 video capture card with limited support
> 2)       USB Video Capture device
> 3)       ATI Radeon All-in-Wonder card
> 4)       Super Expensive Mpeg2 video capture card
> The super cheap does not appeal to me and the super expensive does not
> appeal to my sister and brother-in-law so we are looking at the middle
> two options.  What I a want is experience with these devices and how
> well they actually work in the real world.  
> The USB device I am looking at is the USB Instant DVD device: 

I would have expected a USB device, limited to a theoretical 10Mb/s 
maximum data rate, to be too slow for decent quality video capture.

> The Radeon All-In-Wonder cards claim to be good and reviews are ok, but
> I want personal experiences.  Also, for video capture, does it matter if
> it is a 7500, 8500, 9000 etc. I know it makes a difference for the 3d
> video performance, however they will be upgrading from a Gforce2MX so
> even the 7500 will be a big improvement.

The only captured images I've seen from these devices have been VCD and 
SVCD Buffy episodes. The SVCD ones were OKish but still nowhere near 

I don't know whether that's due to limits on the card or elsewhere.

Certainly you need to look at the system as a whole when considering video 

In addition to a good capture device (one that has a decent processor of 
it's own so it doesn't rely on the host CPU) you also need a reasonably 
fast computer with enough memory and a very good disk subsystem.

For anything more than very small clips you will need an AV disk - ie one 
where data is continous on the disk with a fast sustained transfer rate.

I have a friend who does a fair bit of this kind of thing using Macs. He 
uses the Miro DV30 which is probably in your option 4. It's among the less 
expensive options at that level from my understanding but you can still 
expect to pay a fairly high price for good Miro kit.

I suspect analogue is one area where you get what you pay for. 

For DV stuff it's dirt cheap now.

Jason Clifford
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