Hi all, I have this old video camera that has NO ports at all other than RCA. I need to transfer tons of videos (HI8) to my pc so I can make avi's & dvds out of them. I've been reading tons of pages on this issue, but can't seem to find the best (cheapest) option for me other than an aio/vivo card? Please tell me what my options are to get the BEST picture quality out of these tapes. Thanks.
I have a macbook pro 13.3 running windows & OSX; as well as a pc running e6750 intel, 4 gb memory, ati 5850, gigabyte p35-ds3r, 4tb free hdd space. Thanks again for reading!
Edit: BTW, this's a pal camcorder, if that matters.
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There are much more cool, inexpensive tools for PC than Mac....both hardware and software.
If by "AVI" you mean Xvid/Divx....it is CRAP compared to DVD/Mpeg2 so capture to MPEG2 or better first.
"Better than MPEG2" means uncompressed or lossless compression" type of video...like HuffyUV. That will be your "best" picture quality, from there it will need to be downgraded to MPEG2 if you want to watch the video on a DVD player or share them with friends and family to watch on their DVD players.
Computers don't care about PAL/NTSC.....but the hardware attached to the computer does care. You will need to pay attention to the video format(PAL/NTC) of the capture card.
The newer "USB Capture Devices" are very good now. Most of those can be set to switch between PAL and NTSC and can capture to a variety of video codecs(MPEG2 and HuffyUV).
Thank you heck54, your detailed reply cleared up alot of things for me. I appreciate it...
so are there any "recommended" usb capturing cards? Which ones are least trouble/good performers? Thanks.!
for example: would this cut it?
Last edited by zolo; 7th Apr 2012 at 05:27.
I use this one:
But....the software SUCKS.
If you have a spare AGP computer (with a > 2.0 GHz or so CPU), you may want to consider picking up an ATI All in Wonder card on ebay.
- Excellent capture quality without any intrusive AGC or insurmountable shortcomings. I personally use an All in Wonder 9600 XT with the Theater 200 chip, and as far as I know, only full-blown professional cards like the Aja Kona series can actually surpass this family of cards...and even they just add fancy features like some level of TBC performance and capturing in higher color depths. The AIW cards also include a pretty good proc amp (higher bit depth than the final output, it seems) that's accessible from Virtualdub, whereas the Aja Kona cards don't.
- Capable of lossless capture in YUY2 colorspace (I use Huffyuv)
- Often be found for < $30 on ebay (you may need to buy the input cable separately for a few bucks though; used cards often sell without it)
- Potential for driver hell
- Sound is captured separately (through sound card), so it
- You might not have an AGP box
- If the input voltage is too great (signal level), they can get tricked and blow out the picture and add an interference pattern. I imagine other cards have similar flaws, but it's worth mentioning.
- For instance, the TV Wonder 650/750 (and i think 600) have a nasty pumping/blowout problem with the AGC - especially with home camcorder movies - and nothing can be done to overcome it except use another capture card.
- The AverTV and Blackmagic Intensity Pro have picture quality shortcomings documented here.
- Hauppauge has a pretty good reputation, but most of their cards are MPEG-2 or H.264 only and don't allow lossless. There are exceptions though, and I think the USB-Live2 that hech54 mentioned looks like it might be one of them.
hech54, you say the software sucks. Does it work with Virtualdub?
Last edited by Mini-Me; 7th Apr 2012 at 13:42.
Magix Movie Edit.
I just said the software(WinTV7) SUCKS because the OP seems to be a relative newbie and wanted to warn him....I highly doubt he will want to go the VDub/HuffyUV route. That's a bit much for a rookie.
We were all rookies once though. I started with VDub/Huffyuv, and that part of the process was pretty easy. Knowing you're capturing in lossless also means you don't have to worry about fiddling with MPEG-2 or H.264 options, bitrate, etc. (if those options are even available for hardware encoding). It's the driver configuration that gave me trouble...
Oh, quick note about the USB-Live2: I just read a review stating that it stops capturing when it believes a video is copy-protected (whereas ATI cards just deliberately screw up the signal). The problem is that sometimes error-ridden camcorder movies will be mistakenly flagged as copy-protected when they aren't (unless you use a TBC or similar device), so it may or may not become an issue for direct VCR to USB-Live2 capture...
Last edited by Mini-Me; 7th Apr 2012 at 13:50.
Well, thanks for all the info guys. I'm no newbie with pcs, been building em for years. I just never dealt with such old hardware that doesn't even has a freaking way to connect it to my pc. It's the first time for me hooking up such old stuff to my pc to extract old ass videos, and just wanted to make sure I don't spend that much $$ on this thing.. Thanks again guys. I'll be buying a capturing device soon, after I read enough about the different devices out there and which would be better for me. If anyone has good recommendations for capturing devices, please let me know, thanks.
I don't have a motherboard with AGP port, I'll look for cards with pcie-x 1 or something; if they even make such cards...
I ordered this one, hope it's good enough!
Last edited by zolo; 7th Apr 2012 at 23:58.
ATI made Pcie All In Wonder Cards in the "X600" and later series, also for PAL. You find them on eBay. They require an external connection cable and dongle. Many used ATI's are sold without the connectors, but you can find them all over the place as well.
Those card will accept copy-protected tapes thru VirtualDub, but the copy protection itself will screw up the image and/or audio during playback thru composite or s-video. It's not the card's fault, they're just transmitting what they see. A TBC or a tbc pass-thru from old Toshiba or Panasonic DVD recorders will fix that. Here are examples of an old beat-up copy protected tape with and without a tbc pass-thru: http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/331681-s-video-artifacts?p=2141384&viewfull=1#post2141384
Last edited by sanlyn; 21st Mar 2014 at 20:51.
One warning about ATI "All-In-Wonder" cards. The early ones came in either NTSC or Euro PAL versions. For marketing reasons they were limited to one standard.
This is also true for some Hauppauge cards.Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
I recieved the diamond vc-500, it did a good job with the first Hi8 video. But the software seems lacking bad, what other capturing software I can use? Or am I stuck with the ArcSoft Showbiz?
Edit: I downloaded the free AVS Video Recorder, good stuff!
Last edited by zolo; 13th Apr 2012 at 23:14.