Analog AV Capture Sequel…

While I am pleased to report that Movie Maker and Windows XP Media Center 2005 have been responding within specified parameters, I am displeased to find that the most of host of 3rd party media capture products I've tried since have not lived up to expectations...

At CompUSA, I purchased Pinnacle Systems' 9.0 Studio Plus and AV/DV capture PCI card and rapidly returned it for the following reasons:

  • The MPEG-2 and AVI files it captured from my analog VHS-C tapes were not acceptable by Movie Maker2.1, Windows Media 10,  or Adobe Premiere 1.0 Elements on my system (out of sync audio, frozen video, hung apps, and even blue-screens etc.)
  • The Studio 9.x app had an excessively "trialware" look and feel to it - Every feature I wanted was trying to dig me further into the hole...
  • The Studio 9.x app had an excessive number of bugs ( "cannot open files", outright crashes, and XP DEP protection exceptions) in dealing with the QuicktimePro-produced and NeroVision Express-produced AVI and MPG files I was working with, not to mention other core functionality gaps that quickly displeased me with my purchase

I then returned it and tried out Adaptec's VideOh! PCI product:  Mui non bueno:

  • The capture steams were MPEG-2 and pretty much indecipherable by the capture programs I was trying (NeroVision Express 3.0 and Microsoft Windows Media-based products) and though it appeared to be able to capture to MPG fine through the bundled SonicDVD apps, the resulting output hung any other app that I tried to run them through when captured at or near the hardware's advertised capacity

Last up:  An inexpensive video capture PCI card from Avermedia purchased from Fry's:

  • This is another soon-to-be-returned item whose shortcomings include blue-screening whenever tested apps attempt to capture from the device at any rate above the default 320x screen aperture size... 

I must say that the Adobe PremierePhotoshop Elements bundle I picked up for a reasonable price has been a saving grace through this project, and that Windows XP Media Center 2005 has been very resilient through all of these software configuration changes on the system but I am still in search of an inexpensive and robust hardware solution for turning my analog video tapes into robust and high-quality digital video formats - Suggestions welcome!

Comments (5)

  1. Uwe Keim says:

    Yes, 2 years ago I tried a video capturing card unsuccessfully, too. Was really a crap. I gave up. Maybe I’ll try in a few years again….

  2. (Jazzy) says:

    Have you tried any of the USB 2.0 products? I have been thinking of using them to do exactly what you are doing now… Most of them seem pretty cheap so I wonder if they fit the bill.

  3. b52.NET says:

    I work on converting analog video to digital, specially for some dvd authoring. I bought an AV-PRO capturing card, is now a well-known brand, but I can assure is very good and not so much expensive. You can do almost the same things as in expensive cards (Adobe Premiere) but with much less money spent.

    I had the same experience as you, I tried several inexpensive cards, and found that none worked (at least normally or as advertised). The best solution (if you want to spend the bucks) is to get the Liquid Edition Pro. Of course is a semi-professional board, but none of the cheap boards seemed to work fine for me.

  4. adam says:

    What about that Pinnacle 1394 capture device?

    At least then you are running stock NT drivers for 1394 capture rather than something these people have messed up.

  5. Bryce says:

    The picture of your AVCK-9302 card is nearly identical to the Turntle Beach unit I bought – They must be from the same ODM.

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