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Can anyone recommend a good analogue TV card?

arthouse's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 07/23/2009 - 11:15pm

I have some old Hi-8 video cassettes that I'd like to digitize and play around with in Premiere. About 3 years ago I bought an analogue TV/video card from a reputable online company that ended up being my worst purchase ever! The card was buggy and slow and kept crashing my PC, and the software that came with it looked like it was designed in the early 90s. My question is, could anyone recommend a good analogue (or even a hybrid analogue/digital) TV card - internal or external that is Windows 7 compatible, or a good (trusted) manufacturer of such devices?

Thank you.



Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

ADVC 55 or 110 from Grass Valley (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Grass+Valley+ADVC+55&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma) The 110 is bi-directional and perhaps more than you need. We use two of the ADVC 55 units quite often when transferring VHS, S-VHS and 8mm to the computer.

You plug in either RCA or S-VHS on the analogue side of the box and come out the other side to your computer with firewire.

Jack


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

Hi, the wording you are looking for is "Capture Card" I have an excellent brand called TVAnywhere. here is another brand from Newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007683%20600049972%20600015621&IsNodeId=1&name=PCI

the price on it is in the $30.00. But to get the lowest price your best place to look is eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Computer-Components-Parts-/175673/i.html?_nkw=capture+card

Now you will run into the driver issue. Microsoft caved to the MPAA with the release of Vista, in fact in Vista MS disabled all capture devices by default. You had to go into your Control Panel then into Sound and start right clicking, double time. Once just to make viewable, another time to enable. Even audio applications like Audacity could not capture computer sounds (music playing) with all the defaults on. Capture Cards were a nightmare to get to work in Vista.

I Beta tested Windows 7 for MS and I was on the phone to them a great deal, my biggest grip with the Beta W7 was the fact they were keeping the defaults of capture hardware they started with Vista. I explained to the development team about low end production companies, myself and others. I explained that if they bowed to the MPAA on W7 people like me will be forced to goto Mac. I also explained that I had $100's in software that wold not run on Vista or 7 because of the fact they disabled the many functions of capture devices. As the release of 7 got close I got a nice email from MS. They were enabling all capture devices in 7. But it would be with a patch. After 6 months and the release of the first patch I bought W7.

My point, many capture devices are going to give you driver fits.

A driver is the software that you will really never access, it talks to the hardware and Operating System and gets them to work together. You then have the user application software that acts as an interface to allow you to use hardware.

When seeking for a capture card some items to keep in mind.

1) There are some differences in a cards quality, so look for buyer feedback.

2) These cards are nothing more then TV tuners. Some in fact are able to pull in cable TV. Some you can buy without the ability to tune in cable TV, (Mine not only pulls in Cable TV but FM radio) and they are by far lower in cost, and simply have a one channel tuner, the device connected.

3) In some cases the software will have the ability to adjust the quality/sound of the tape

4) you can capture ANY DVD/BD/Tape to the computer as a digital file. Using a capture card to do so does NOT violate copyright law. here is why.

Anyone can copy a DVD/BD/Tape for personal backup use/use. They can never sell/transfer/loan that copy, it must remain for personal use. It cannot be stored on any type of remote device, even a harddrive that can be disconnected from the computer (external).

The reason it is not violating the copyright law to copy this way? When you use a program like those DVD rip programs that you have to download from the dark side of the web (Not suppose to be hosted on US Servers) that program circumvents the copy protect that is encoded into the media. However the capture card acts as a tuner, the software acts as a TV screen. The playback device, DVD/BD Player or VHS etc. Is simply seeing the tuner as a TV. Therefore the protection on the media is never "activated" for lack of a better word and never circumvented.

Now you will have some try to say this is a violation, but it is not. That is why the MPAA simply wanted the ability disabled in computers, there was no law that prevents people from doing it.

So you may have problems finding drivers for Windows 7 in some cards. But they for the most part exist, you will just need to spend some treasure hunting time to find them, Also there are many sites where developers will write homemade drivers for older hardware to work with W7, these are not suggested but if that is all there is then it may be what you have to use.

I hope this was more helpful then ramble?

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"



Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

I haven't used the ADVC300 but I've heard from others and now Rick that this is a great device. I believe that unlike the ADVC55 and 110, the 300 has some image enhancement (ProcAmp/TBC) built in that greatly improves the appearance of analog formats.

Jack http://www.videoccasions-nw.com


theonecanoe's picture
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 08/31/2011 - 4:20pm

Another option is to get ahold of an olderMiniDV camcorder that has a analogue/DV pass-through. My old Canon ZR80 series camcorder had this feature that let me plug my VHS deck in one side, then feed an IEEE1394 firewire cable out the other side and into a computer. The camera acted as a digitizer, and did a very good job. Maybe you could find one of these used on eBay or Kijiji or some other online site. I'm not sure if other brands had this feature, but the Canon unit worked well.

-Wayne-