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  1. Member
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    I need to convert about 25 old Hi8 home videos to digital format. Since I won't use it after that, I don't want to spend a fortune on a video capture device

    What device below $150 is the best for the money, considering bit rate and video quality, with an S-video input and USB output? I was thinking of getting something like the Elgato Video Capture, but since I have a PC, and it only gives you one option for capture rate on a PC of only 1.4 MBit/sec, I thought I'd try to find something that can record at a higher bit rate. (The Elgato offers a higher bit rate option if you have a Mac, but not a PC.)

    I also considered the Diamond VC500, but they don't list a bit capture rate, and judging from the reviews, it seems like it might be just as low as the Elgato.

    I considered buying a used Canopus ADVC110, but that doesn't support USB ... only firewire. By the time I add a good firewire card to my PC, this would likely cost too much.

    I did buy a used Hauppauge 1212 PVR, but found out it doesn't work well on older analog standard-def signals. (Hauppauge support confirms it can't handle these types of analog signals well ... it's mainly for high def signals.) Some have recommended I add a time based corrector so the Hauppauge will work, but those seem to be out of my price range.

    Anyone have a recommendation on device would be the best quality vs. cost tradeoff?
    Last edited by Studly; 19th Jan 2015 at 15:03.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Methinks your priorities in respect of 'capture bit rate' are wrong. The reason why that device can transfer at a higher rate with a mac is because the end result is a different form of compression h263 as against h264. That converts to the more familiar names of Xvid/Divx and AVC

    You need to state your intended final medium. Just Pc. DVD. Both. The Elgato captures can be used for dvd but you will be re-encoding the video so that means a loss of quality.

    Search the forum for devices that capture lossless so you do not lose quality if you intend on editing these captures.
    In the table of capture quality we have
    1. Un-compressed (not really viable)
    2. Lossless
    3. DV
    4. Compressed. The Elgato sits here a little better than mpeg-2 whereas mpeg-2 is better for dvd.

    And it's the bitrate of the capture that matters. Not the transfer rate. Any tidy capture device will handle all.
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  3. Originally Posted by Studly View Post
    I also considered the Diamond VC500, but they don't list a bit capture rate, and judging from the reviews, it seems like it might be just as low as the Elgato.
    With the VC500 you can capture lossless. Can't get any better quality than that. Just don't use the crappy ArcSoft ShowBiz software included with it which forces you to cap as MPEG-2.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Methinks your priorities in respect of 'capture bit rate' are wrong. The reason why that device can transfer at a higher rate with a mac is because the end result is a different form of compression h263 as against h264. That converts to the more familiar names of Xvid/Divx and AVC

    You need to state your intended final medium. Just Pc. DVD. Both. The Elgato captures can be used for dvd but you will be re-encoding the video so that means a loss of quality.

    Search the forum for devices that capture lossless so you do not lose quality if you intend on editing these captures.
    In the table of capture quality we have
    1. Un-compressed (not really viable)
    2. Lossless
    3. DV
    4. Compressed. The Elgato sits here a little better than mpeg-2 whereas mpeg-2 is better for dvd.

    And it's the bitrate of the capture that matters. Not the transfer rate. Any tidy capture device will handle all.
    Thanks for clarifying those things for me, since I'm new to all this. I do not plan to edit these, except for trimming out dead air in the video. I'll be storing these on my hard drive for viewing on PCs and through Plex on my Roku box. So knowing that, which would be the best device that you'd recommend?
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by Studly View Post
    I also considered the Diamond VC500, but they don't list a bit capture rate, and judging from the reviews, it seems like it might be just as low as the Elgato.
    With the VC500 you can capture lossless. Can't get any better quality than that. Just don't use the crappy ArcSoft ShowBiz software included with it which forces you to cap as MPEG-2.
    Really? That would be good news since that is the cheapest device. Has anyone used the VC500 and had good results? Is that better than the Elgato?
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  6. I capture lossless using a different USB capture device (which comes with the same Arcsoft Showbiz software). Someone else can confirm (or dispute) that the Diamond VC500 can cap lossless AVI. Lossless is big, you know? It makes much bigger files even than capping as DV, which is something like 13GB per hour. And lossless is meant for editing and filtering. It's not usually meant to be the final format, although you could easily reencode it for MPEG/DVD, MP4, MKV, etc. when done with cutting out unwanted sections.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    And lossless is meant for editing and filtering. It's not usually meant to be the final format, although you could easily reencode it for MPEG/DVD, MP4, MKV, etc. when done with cutting out unwanted sections.
    You forget the most important thing: lossless is great for archiving.

    People seem to forget that or mistake their MPEG-2 encoded DVD for the definitive archive copy.
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  8. Member hech54's Avatar
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    If you want to test lossless or HuffyUV on a device, don't forget to try DScaler. It works flawlessly on my Hauppauge USB Live2.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by Studly View Post
    I also considered the Diamond VC500, but they don't list a bit capture rate, and judging from the reviews, it seems like it might be just as low as the Elgato.
    With the VC500 you can capture lossless. Can't get any better quality than that. Just don't use the crappy ArcSoft ShowBiz software included with it which forces you to cap as MPEG-2.
    Yes, the reviews for the VC500 all say how bad the software is. But can I use other capture software with the device, and if so, what would you recommend?

    I know I can use other editing software, but wasn't sure about the capture program.
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  10. I'm quite interested in the same thing. I was looking at a Startek and got this info from them when asking about capture bitrate.

    "In Stream Catcher (the software included with the USB3HDCAP), there is a selection in settings to change the bitrate from VBR (variable bitrate) to CBR (constant bitrate). Variable bitrate at top quality results in about 5 Mbits/sec (static image). The maximum constant bit rate is 12 Mbits/sec. All of my tests were done at 720x480i60 .

    Although StarTech.com cannot support the use of 3rd party software with our devices, I have tested the USB3HDCAP with VirtualDub (http://www.virtualdub.org/). VirtualDub uses the DirectShow driver that is supported by most capture applications.

    Using the “Capture AVI” function with VirtualDub, I was able to get uncompressed bitrates of about 160-180 Mbits/sec at 720x567i60. At 1080p60 using the HDMI input, I was able to get approximately 1075 Mbits/sec.

    It should also be noted that you must use USB 3.0 with this controller."
    I downloaded their Stream Catcher software, and although I don't have the device, it looked like 8 Mbits was the max capture rate.
    I have a Haupaggue 885 and have capture at CBR 12Mbits and was not impressed.

    So, if high bitrate is of primary importance, there is a Averamedia unit that says it does up to 60 Mbits a sec! It's rated at 1080p/60. I don't think that it can capture from S-video though. I'm not sure why. for this unit, I wonder if I should by a S-video to HDMI converter. I've seen cheap ones for <$50. Any good? Not sure if the 720 or 1080p HDMI conversion also strectches the video to artifical 16:9 format. Anyone know? Both if these units are USB 3. The Startech has an S-video input, but I'm thinking that the capture rate is low for such a new device.

    Another question is the capture type. Should I only use a gizmo that can capture to AVI then after editing (I'd probably just want to add titles to various segments) convert to Bluray format (ACHD or Mepg4?--sorry not accurate on these abbreviations..). I think that my old Roxio Creator will do that. ANy better suggestions.

    In short using 2015 technology whats the best hardware and software to use? Seems like a lot of devices made now to record HDMI gaming, but not sure if they are really useful for Hi8 capture,
    thanks for any advice that I can get here!
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  11. Originally Posted by Studly View Post
    Yes, the reviews for the VC500 all say how bad the software is. But can I use other capture software with the device, and if so, what would you recommend?
    You can use Virtual Dub and the HuffYUV codec hech54 mentioned.
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