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  1. I'm thinking of buying a StarTech USB3HDCAP (https://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-HDMI-Video-Capture-Device/dp/B00PC5HUA6/). The reason I think I've settled on this one is because I would like to...
    • Capture from VHS via S-video at 576i50.
    • Capture from a Sky+HD box via HDMI at 1080p50.
    • Capture an uncompressed signal in VirtualDub (or similar), as opposed to baked-in hardware compression.
    The USB3HDCAP seems to tick all of those boxes, and earlier opinions on this forum seem to be mostly positive. But I have this nagging doubt in the back of my mind that maybe I'd be better off with two cheaper devices - one for the S-video, one for the HDMI - instead of a more expensive all-rounder. What do you think? I'd hate to pay that much if the S-video handling is no better than any old generic USB2 device. On the other hand, I don't mind spending a little more if it means better capturing of analogue sources. Are there more suitable options for what I'm trying to achieve, in your opinion, or would you go ahead with the StarTech? Am I missing anything obvious?

    I'm using a Windows 10 laptop and in the UK (so PAL territory), by the way, playing back with a Panasonic NV-HS1000. I previously captured via Firewire through a DV camcorder, and before that a Matrox Marvel G400-TV (those were the days!), but that's all gone the way of the dodo now.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    You might have issues with any capture device from a Sky+HD box over hdmi due to HDCP (copy protection)

    Then you require an additional device called a hdmi splitter. Unfortuantely not all splitters overcome HDCP. There are threads on here that discuss this.
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  3. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    You might have issues with any capture device from a Sky+HD box over hdmi due to HDCP (copy protection)

    Then you require an additional device called a hdmi splitter.
    No need to worry about that, thanks - I'm one step ahead there.

    To be honest, that's the only step I am ahead in at the moment! I'm in the middle of a big upgrade, as until recently I've been capturing via Firewire on a Windows XP laptop which I bought second-hand around seven or eight years ago. It served me well, but has now just about packed up, so it's time to find something more up to date. And as nothing has a Firewire input these days, I'm looking at the StarTech USB3HDCAP.

    All of that said, I haven't actually replaced the laptop yet. Would Windows 10 be a mistake for video capture, editing, and encoding? Can you even buy 'new' Windows 7 laptops any more?

    As you can tell, I'm a bit all over the place just now, and any and all advice will be greatly appreciated...
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  4. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Methinks it's not about the OS more about the ports on your PC/Laptop. But I do guess that you could not actually buy a Win7 pc etc. now but could downgrade.

    Cannot answer your Q. re Win10 since I ignored the hype and remained with Win7.

    There still exists AFAIK internal expansion cards for a PC to give you firewire if that is your preferred capture method

    BTW My first two capture cards were Marvelous Matrox's. And I only ditched them since the mb's no longer supported the interface.
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    Originally Posted by Mr Chris View Post
    I'd hate to pay that much if the S-video handling is no better than any old generic USB2 device. On the other hand, I don't mind spending a little more if it means better capturing of analogue sources.
    Well, you know the saying about "jack of all trades." Everything has to fit in one little box and still make a profit. Mass-market manufacturers have no incentive to improve analog video conversion at this point. Why don't you order one of each from a store with a generous return policy and compare the performance with your very own eyes?
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  6. Well, you know the saying about "jack of all trades."
    Indeed I do. Have you used the StarTech USB3HDCAP, or are you just speaking generally?

    Why don't you order one of each from a store with a generous return policy and compare the performance with your very own eyes?
    Simple as that. I have to confess I was hoping to narrow down my options a little further than 'buy them all and see for yourself' before taking the next step.

    There still exists AFAIK internal expansion cards for a PC to give you firewire if that is your preferred capture method
    I actually have a Firewire ExpressCard for just such an event, but even those slots were phased out of laptops four or five years ago. It seems like, in that time, the computer and AV industry has made some sort of decision to jettison 'legacy' connectivity as much as possible, when just a few short years earlier, more connections were a selling point.

    What you say is very helpful, though, because it's caused me to dig a little deeper into how different things are nowadays compared to when I underwent my last big upgrade. I knew things had changed, but not this much. I think my options are fewer than I'd first imagined.

    That said, I'm unfortunately not really any nearer to settling on a capture device - or two.

    BTW My first two capture cards were Marvelous Matrox's. And I only ditched them since the mb's no longer supported the interface.
    I still regret getting rid of mine! Okay, so it only really worked in Windows 98, but once I had it up and running properly, I don't think it ever dropped a single frame. Absolutely rock-solid stable it was, and I've been trying to recreate that sort of setup ever since. For some reason I assumed at the time that that was the bare minimum standard, and analogue video capture would only improve with time and technology...
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  7. I have a Micomsoft X-Capture-1 which is very similar to the Startech and haven't been impressed with SD captures in VirtualDub. I mentioned it in this thread on the USB3HDCAP: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/388201-Recommendations-for-Capture-Devices


    For kicks I also tried the Yuan UB535 upon which both above capture devices I said to be based and found the results to be identical to the X-Capture-1.
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Never had an issue capturing with my Hauppauge over usb2 but usb3, with it's higher bandwidth, I guess is essential for a 60fps capture. Of course you will need native usb3 support on your pc/laptop.

    The other thing I noticed is that this device appears to capture PAL60 as well as standard PAL so if you do have that odd NTSC vhs hanging around......

    The manual is really sparse so I was unable to confirm that it will actually do all you want it to. These boxes are typically promoted for game capture so native 25 fps sources I would have thought would be better captured at 25 fps. But that is just my opinion.
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