I have been using the DataVideo DAC-200 and it has worked well. It has a Firewire connection, which is fine because I was using it with an old Macbook Pro that had the connection.
That old Macbook Pro has ceased to work, leaving me with some options.
I could just replace the Macbook Pro with a similar old Apple device with Firewire - expecting to pay around 100-150 dollars for this.
But, I would rather just capture to my newer M1 Mac Mini. There is no firewire port there, so my two options are:
1) Buy a Firewire -> Thunderbolt 2, and a Thunderbolt 2 -> Thunderbolt 3 converter - around 60 dollars for these two cables
2) Buy a different capture device that uses USB or Thunderbolt (and sell the DAC-200)
Would anyone recommend that I do the second choice? Are there any better newer/better capture devices that are under 100 dollars or so? Or should I just stick to what I have and buy the overpriced firewire-to-thunderbolt conversion cables?
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It might be worth buying an old Mac computer with Firewire and an older OS that has known compatibility with DataVideo DAC-200 to avoid changing your workflow.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
If you won't miss DV capture then to capture SD analog video and analog stereo audio with a device that costs $100 or less, you'll need a USB device that supplies uncompressed digital input to a computer for the computer to encode. All the capture devices that I have seen for Macs that have a Thunderbolt interface are much more than $100Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
I can't speak for the M1 specifically.. but I've used the Apple Firewire to TB2, to TB2 to USB-C (TB3) on both legacy Intel MACs and just about every Windows PC, desktop, laptop that has a TB1, TB2 or USB-C (TB3) with success.
The combo of the two adapters essentially adds an old (well recognized) Firewire IEEE1394 chip to a simple PCI Express bus connection through the Thunderbolt port.
PCI Express was the "serialization" of the PCI communications format thats been in Mac and PC's for years.. its faster than AGP used to be and its very stable.
The one draw back is the adapters tend to get very warm on long captures.. they still work.. but its good to plan to keep them cool somehow.. I just aim a USB powered external fan at them.
If you want to continue to capture DV, the adapter combo.. simply works.. without device driver or software drama.
USB-C (TB3) on a PC is a little drama because the USB3.0 specification was such a gawd awful mess of a specification.. it let manufacturers call literally "anything USB 3.0 standard" which was a disaster. Manufacturers cost cut and made non compliant chipsets and declared "partial" support for some devices.. enough... which usually mean their chipsets only worked with their brand of USB 3.0 ..ugh.
USB 3.1 started to take back the brand and forced a lot of mandatory changes to the specification.. and things started working again.. but they also enforced "security" on the USB 3.1 (USB-C aka TB3) port.. the BIOS had to be set to either "Allow all connections" or only "Allow thoroughly certified devices" On Apple Mac's this wasn't an issue.. Apple branded devices connected.. just worked. On PC's everything stopped working.. unless that manufacturer allowed it.. usually it boiled down to just get the manufacturers "software tool" to make the BIOS allow anything connected to the USB-c port to access the PCI express bus.. then Windows could see it. autoinstalled the device drivers.. and the Apple Firewire adapter combo .. just works. Later cheaper China knockoff BIOSes back slid.. and started allowing anything again.. so we're kind of back to USB 2.0 reliability.. but connected to a PCI Express buss over a USB-c connector.. which is phenomenally good.. since device drivers written ages ago suddenly wake up and support things on the USB-c connection.. as if they were native internal PCI or PCI express cards.
For simplicity the Apple Firewire combo adapter set is sweet.
Stepping up to Uncompressed audio and video capture is.. challenging.. to say the least.
There is no doubt it can be done.. but its getting very hard to source all of the "right pieces"
Its a lot easier coming from DV to settle for an MPEG-2 capture device.. which can work fine over USB 2.0 or USB 3.0
It will be a step up from 4:1:1 to 4:2:0 and the audio and video will be in lock step.. unable to fall out of sync.
There are a number of MPEG-2 capture chips in various brands and devices.. generally people don't research the capture chips and look for a brand or specific device with a good reputation.
For historical reasons, MPEG-2 is best captured using the software that comes with the device.. and then the resulting capture file imported into the editing software.. if you choose to edit the video. Most editors today don't have to re-encode the entire MPEG-2 to render a project.. but in the early days, editing would re-encode and cause generation loss.. that is no longer always the case.. but check your chosen editor.
It will be challenging to find an analog SD capture device with a USB interface that does MPEG 2 hardware encoding and is compatible with macOS 12 Monterey. These days H.264 and digital HD capture have much better support on Macs. Generally speaking, capture devices don't work with a Windows VM so using Parallels to run Windows won't be helpful.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
Apple adopted the AIC - Apple Intermediate Codec instead of the generic MPEG-2 approach.
If we "must" get specific.. a thirty dollar Matrox MX02 over thunderbolt can produce native AIC or MPEG-2 .. but getting specific opens a can of worms rather than saying simply.. there are alternatives.. and they are perfectly acceptable.
.. now let the hardware "Attacks" begin.
.. awe shoot .. i should have said nothing.. apologies to the OP.. for bringing on the torrent of crazies
If the OP doesn't mind taking advice from one of the forum "crazies"... Anyone who wants to go the Matrox MX02 route should be warned that many of the cheap used ones are cheap for a reason. They do not come with the proprietary Host cable or the power supply let alone the proprietary Thunderbolt adapter or the Matrox MX02 Dock.
Assuming the MX02 Mini is OK this one appears to have the proprietary Host cable and the power supply but not the proprietary Thunderbolt adapter https://www.ebay.com/itm/175008179873 The MX02 host to thunderbolt adapters and Matrox MX02 Dock seem hard to find. If they really are rare they might be expensive.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
That is if the MX02 is even compatible with a M1 mac and has drivers/kernel extensions for it, which I wouldn't bet on since it's 10+ years old. Working on latest macos on an intel mac does not automatically mean it would work on a m1 mac. For that you would probably need something rather modern, and thus costly. For an older mac you could probably get away with an older used device for much cheaper. (or alternatively look into an older windows/linux box for either firewire or other capture device since those tend to be significantly cheaper than old macs).