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Thread: PCI caputure card or external converter device?

  1. #1

    Default PCI caputure card or external converter device?


    I have been reading several topics related to my particular question, but none that actually answer it. I am wanting to convert a bunch of old VHS and super 8 movies (analog) to DVD. My question is whether a external caputre device i.e. - Plextor, Dazzle, Canopus, etc or a PCI Capture Card (i.e. - pinnacle, and others) will give the best quality. I have decent horsepower (as well as USB 2.0 ports) in my computer, and I am just wondering if anyone knows the which type of capturing device generally gives the best quality. I do not have any specific brands in mind, so if you happen to comment on this post, I would appreciate your opinion on brand names of hardware and software. Thank you.


  2. #2


    Get yourself a Canopus ADVC unit. I've got an ADVC-100 (since been superseded by the ADVC-110).
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  3. #3



    Thanks for the advice. From what I have been reading, it would be an excellent product, but the cost is a little more than I am looking for at the moment. Any other solutions that would still be reasonable for price and quality?

  4. #4


    after spending an entire afternoon reading posts, reviews, and acquiring carpal tunnel syndrome, and reading Marc's advice, I think I am going to end up just going for the Canopus model. thanks for the advice marc.

  5. #5


    Are you going straight to dvd or editing first? If it's straight to DVD, get a real time MPEG encoder card
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  6. #6


    I doubt it will be straight to DVD, there will be plenty of editing involved. There will be alot of unecessary scenery shots that will need to get axed as well as the occasional scenes where someone forgot to turn off the camera.

    What would be the advantages/disadvantages to doing that? I want to add menu's and chapters, etc.

  7. #7


    Straight to DVD saves time
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  8. #8


    "Straight to DVD saves time "

    okay, you can not say that and then not explain!

    Are you saying it would be better to just convert straight to DVD and then edit? Or are you just saying to bypass any editing and just slap it on DVD?

  9. #9


    Do I need anything besides software, canopus 100 and the DVD burner to transfer video? With the Canopus ADV 100, do I need any other kind of capture card? (seems stupid if I would especially after spending that much money, but you never know). I do have a Firewire card, but it just has the larger connection (6 or 8 pin, I can't remember). Do I need anything else? Would the ADVC 50/55 work just as well for what I am needing?

  10. #10


    If you're going to edit, conventional wisdom (at the moment - will probably change as these things always do) is to capture in a lossless or low compression codec such as DV. This allows frame accurate editing without special plugins or software - it;s as if you captured directly from a DV camera.

    On the other hand, you can caputure straight to MPEG2 in real time using a dedicated capture card. You can then use these MPEG2 files in authoring your DVD, saving time transcoding from DV to MPEG2 then authoring the DVD.

    Moreover, as soon as you edit MPEG, you'll need to re-encode the whole file. As MPEG is a lossy codec, you will get a degredation in quality. However, someone did post a link in the "pimp the link" section suggesting software that cuts and merges without re-encoding.

    On balance, from what you say, I suggest you go for something like the ADVC-100.
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