Elgato Video Capture, Capture analog video for your Mac or PC, iPad and iPhone, white
- Transfer video from a VCR or other analog video source to your Mac or PC
- Easy-to-use software guides you through every step
- Captures video in the universal H.264 digital format – ready for iPad, iMovie, Windows Live Movie Maker, and YouTube
- World-ready; handles NTSC, SECAM, PAL and PAL/60 video
- Comes with Elgato Video Capture, Composite-to-SCART adapter, Composite video/RCA stereo cable
Digitize video from a VCR, camcorder and other analog video sources for playback on your Mac, PC and iPad. Transfer video to your Mac or PC from a VCR, DVR, camcorder, or any other analog video device as a high quality H.264 file. Elgato Video Capture’s easy-to-use software assists you through every step, from connecting an analog video device to capturing video and choosing how you will watch and share it. There is no easier way to digitize home videos to playback on your computer, to sync with an iPad or iPhone, to edit in iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker, or to upload to YouTube.
List Price: $ 119.99
Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B0029U2YSA”]
Works great with Windows 7, plus a comparison with competing products,
My apologies for this long review. Hopefully, though, it will be useful to someone.
I’ve spent some time the past 2 weeks comparing competing products for transferring home videos into digital format on my Windows 7 PC for long-term preservation and so that I can edit the videos on my PC. I tried or considered three different products including this Elgato Video Capture, and one high-end video transfer company, all on the same Hi8 analog video cassette with a family video that is 15 years old. Along the way, I have gotten some familiarity with the various technologies available today for transferring magnetic tapes into digital form. I found out some interesting things, and thought I would share them, in the hope that it might help others.
First, and you probably already know this, if you have any video memories on magnetic video tape, you want to get them transferred into digital form onto your PC or DVD or Blu-ray as soon as possible, before the video badly deteriorates. This especially includes regular VHS tapes, Video8 tapes, and normal Hi8 tapes, all of which are analog formats and are particularly susceptible to deterioration starting after about 10 years. Somewhat less susceptible to deterioration are Digital8 (which is also recorded on Hi8 tapes) and MiniDV tapes, because those are digital formats. But even for digital tapes, it is still magnetic tape which deteriorates over time, and you need to get those videos off of there. Seriously, at the risk of sounding like a doomsayer, if you have precious memories on magnetic video tape, you need to transfer that video off of those tapes and into digital form as soon as possible, or risk losing them forever. It’s not hard to do, and you’ll sleep better at night when you get it done!
In my case, I have a bunch of precious Hi8 family video tapes recorded on a high-end Sony consumer camcorder between 10 and 19 years ago, and I am rescuing these Hi8 videos a little on the late side. I wish I had started this project 5 years ago instead. These tapes are still watchable, but they have developed some lines and drop-outs and “hiccups” and digital artifacts. With multiple playback retries, I can fortunately still coax out fairly high quality from these tapes.
A quick note: Digital8 and MiniDV video tape camcorders have USB ports on them for digitally transferring your videos to your PC or Mac. If this is your situation, there is NO need to purchase one of these video transfer products (like Elgato Video Capture). You will get the best quality, by far, by using a USB cable to connect your camcorder to your PC or Mac, playing back your video in the camcorder, and using any of a whole bunch of different inexpensive software products on the market that will allow you to capture video from the USB port on your computer. This way, you are getting the digital video in its original form, which is great. You will get worse quality if you use a video transfer product that captures the video off of the video ports on the camcorder, because the camcorder is converting the digital video into analog, then the video transfer product converts the analog back to digital (not ideal, for sure).
So, for the rest of this review, I will assume you have analog magnetic video tape (like VHS, Video8, or normal Hi8), in which case you need a video transfer product like this Elgato Video Capture or something similar.
A note about video resolution: The analog video tape formats (VHS, Video8, and normal Hi8) all have native video resolutions less than 640×480. All of the video transfer products on the market record the video from these formats at either 640×480 or 720×480. It doesn’t really matter which of these two resolutions the product records at. The point is, all of the video transfer products record at higher resolution than the original video, so you are capturing all of the resolution of the original video when you do the video transfer, which is good.
A note about overscan lines at the bottom of captured video: As documented all over the Internet, when capturing digital video from an analog video source like an analog magnetic video tape, you will end up with some additional fuzzy lines at the bottom of the captured video. This is totally normal. When played back on a regular TV, these overscan lines are usually chopped off because they appear “below the bottom of the screen,” but the digital capture grabs them. To get rid of those lines, you can crop or zoom in slightly when you do your video editing. Interestingly, this Elgato Video Capture device automatically does a minor zoom on all captured video to remove those fuzzy lines.
A remark about video editing: Two of the products below (Elgato and Hauppauge) produce video files that use H.264 compression. This is an excellent video compression standard for viewing, and is supported by just about all video editing…
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Drop dead simple…,
It couldn’t be any more simple to record from an analog source to the Mac. My project is converting some old VHS home movies to digital videos. I wanted to try a test before I jumped into the real projects, so I decided to encode a small section of a VHS tape purchased around 1992.
I popped the software disc into my laptop and it installed in a few minutes. When finished, I launched the application and it presented me with a screen to test the video signal. I plugged in both ends of the device and I saw what was playing on my VCR instantly. The next screen made sure I had audio. Once set-up was out of the way, it was off to the races. I tested with a 10 minute section of the video and the software stopped recording exactly when I told it to.
I wanted to address the “issue” the other reviewers mistakenly have with this product not outputting H.264. The first video I captured has a file extension of “.mp4” and the description is “MPEG-4 Movie” in Finder. When I right-clicked and chose Get Info on the file, under Codecs, I see H.264, AAC listed. This proves H.264 encoding works with this product. I request the reviewers who said this is not working do the same and report the results.
Bottom line, this is a very simple to use product and I am looking forward to using it to convert those old movies from VHS. MUST BUY.
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