Video Capture

John Diel

Mar 25, 2004
North Central Oklahoma
Who's using analog capture and what are you using to get it to the computer? This doesn't include Firewire or DV capture.

This is more the Hi8, SVHS folks.

I'm looking to add a capture card to my computer for analog. The MovieBox USB, though it does work, captures in MPG2 format only and I have found audio syncronization to be a real bear. I'm looking to improve that performance.

Suggestions are indeed welcome!
Why not do what Tim Samaras did earlier by just running the analog tape through a digital 8 recorder? - It converts the signal, which I'm not sure - that might be what you are trying to get away from ... but one way or another, whether you use a computer card or a camera to do it, isn't the signal still stored digitally? - - -
The signal is indeed stored digitally. It's the format and how it done that causes issues. When we capture straight off a DV camera (Firewire, iLink, etc.) we are feeding a "digitial" signal to the capture software that captures in optimum format for the editing software.

Since SVHS, VHS, Hi8, etc. are all older formats and not designed to go ona computer digitially, we need hardware to take the analog signal and format it to a digital signal. Somewhere along the way, the sound is usually the first thing to get messed up. I did some old VHS tapes and the capture was OK (though it needed adjusting for Chroma and Luminance) for about the first 15 minutes or so, then the Audio track sync became noticably out of sync. By the time I was finished with 35 to 45 minutes of capture, it was really pretty bad. I ended up encoding over 6 hours of VHS Tape (bad quality to begin with) in 15 to 20 minute chunks, the transcribing all of that to DVD. A lot of time was burned up there. Especially in the capture process.

I've though about doing it via the DV camera, but I would be really chewing up sometime, in first the recording to DV, the capturing on the computer. For little projects, this might not be bad, but projects that span hours, well, why double the time?
I have done analogue HI 8 through two methods. Capture Card and DV video passthrough.

The capture card records to MPG2, whilst the DV passthrough to AVI.

I found the DV passthrough to be superior.

That being said the software used in conjunction with the capture card made a difference. My capture card was a rage threate chip on a Radeon 9600XT graphics card. The results I got from most video software sensing the card and doing the capture was usable, but poor. I got better results downloading the dedicated Rage threate ATI software ( really meant for ATI's All in wonder cards ).

But getting back to my first point, I have run my better chase stuff through passthrough as it was even better again, especially the audio !

I use a Canopus ADVC-300. It has some image correction abilities, also the ability to lock audio/video so it doesn't get out of sync.