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shopping for capture device

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by Xpressor, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Xpressor

    Xpressor Regular member

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    hello afterdawners,

    i am in the market to purchase a video caputre device to convert 8mm and vhs to dvd. looking for external device because i dont want to replace my video card. max pc reviewed 3 devices this month all had pros and cons. btw im looking for one with a "on board encoder" .here are the 3 devices they reviewed:

    1. adaptec videoh! dvd/bundled with a limited Sonic.
    2. ads tech dvdxpress/with ulead sftwr
    3. hauppage win tv-pvr usb2/ limited bund.sftwr.

    there are 2 more but without encoders on them so no need to mention them.

    so back to my search ive been looking around and i stumbled on this device aka: Plextor ConvertX PX-M402U i did a search on the forums but only had two posts for it.

    i am writing for some feedback on this device is it quick and simple to use or does it have issues?
    also any and all feedback for other capture devices is greatly appreciated.
    system specs
    athlon 64 3200 (939pin)
    2 gigs mushkin 4x512 pc3200 400mhz
    antec neo power 480 psu
    xp pro sp2
    WD 200 gig master
    WD 120 gig slave
    both have 8mb buffers @7200rpm
    lite on dvd rom (took tips from the forums)
    oh yeah, external Sony DRX-700UL USB 2.0
    as far software i have retail version of nero 6.3 ultra (havent loaded 6.6 yet though)

    im still planning to ad more storage for vhs edits. but i figured that i need to find the right device to capture it since hard drives are a dime a dozen compared to finding an efficient capture/ encoder.

    oops forgot something dont know if it will make a difference but my Nvidia AGP card is 256ddr with 475mhz gpu clock.
    sorry this post is so long ........ hope to hear from a fellow afterdawner soon. thanx again
     
  2. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    All external devices have limitations, usually because of the USB 2.0 specs for speed. This can limit your framerate and aspect ratio during capture, no matter how fast your computer is.
    I would recommend three things, especially if you have a lot of projects (VHS tapes).
    1) A standalone DVD recorder. The quickes method, but you may have troubles with macrovision copy protection on commercial VHS. Advantages: Quick and easy. Disadvantages, no TV tuner, no editing.
    2) A hardware mpeg-2 encoder internal PCI card. These produce near-DVD quality mpeg-2 files on your hard drive, ready to author and burn. Quick, and relatively painless. Audio is in sync. You can have some issues with lines on the top or bottom of the captured video, from misaligned heads in the VCR, but this usually ends up in the TV overscan area, so you don't see it anyhow. Advantages: Less time, TV tuner included, easy editing. Disadvantages: Misaligned VCR heads/cheap VCR can produce poor quality video.
    3) A TBC such as the Canopus ADVC-110. This will dramatically clean up the source video, but will only capture via firewire to DV-AVI, which you will then have to encode to mpeg-2. Can be very time consuming, but with superb quality, remembering that you cannot improve quality, you can only maintain it. Advantages: Best quality. Disadvantages: Extremely time consuming. Extra software purchases.

    If you're serious about quality, and time constraints, then the Hauppauge PVR-250 internal PCI hardware card is a great start.
    If time doesn't matter, but quality is utmost, get the TBC.
     
  3. Xpressor

    Xpressor Regular member

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    thanx for the info rebootjim.i was actually looking into that canopus device after i first signed on as a user on A/D. but as time went on i thought i found an answer to my vhs tapes. in a Vaio media center. paid a pretty penny for the system and monitor. but to make a long story short none of the capture devices or software operated correctly after attempting everything from a-z to get it to work even after factory specs.. wut a nitemare. fortunately, i was able to get a refund on customer un-satisfaction.
    but back to the device the plextor convertX has the ability to perform Divx "certified" encoding straight from ananlog to minimize HD occupancy.
    well now i can go see at a store who carries either or both.. ill post any news if i get one of em to work which ever i buy... thanx again
     
  4. pfh

    pfh Guest

    I'm happy with my ConvertX, however, points made about other solutions aren't without their own merit.

    Seems like quite a few satisfied ConvertX users over at www.divx.com. My caps are mostly mpeg2 at the moment though- haven't done a whole lot with xvid or divx yet.
     
  5. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    DivX caps with that device work great...if you have a DivX player.
    If not, a hardware mpeg-2 capture device is far cheaper than a divx player and divx capture device.
     
  6. car1ef

    car1ef Member

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    I'm looking at getting into video capturing (vhs/cable to dvd)... my question is this, how can I tell the difference between a hardware encoder and a software encoder?

    also, would any of these be a good choice?

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=14-160-017&depa=0

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=14-122-180&depa=0

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=15-100-008&DEPA=1

    Thanks for the advice in advance!

    Carl

    EDIT: added one more card...
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2005
  7. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    #1 sucks.
    #2 is a soft card. You need a very fast computer, and should have a second hard drive just for captures using it. Caps to AVI only, so you need to encode everything to mpeg-2 to author and burn.
    #3 is better, but very little 3rd party support/software will work with it, and the bundled software isn't great.

    #4 http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=15-116-602&depa=1
    This is the standard by which all other hardware encoder cards are measured. Supported by at least 30 other capture/PVR/DVD applications, and about 1/3 of those are free. Comes with a better software package (Ulead).
     
  8. car1ef

    car1ef Member

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    Thanks for the reply and the fourth option, I had looked at this card a couple of times and didn't know if it was worth the money since I'm just starting out with video capture...

    Thanks again for your input...

    Carl
     

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