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Hardware recommendations for capturing VHS / RCA composite better than Hauppauge USB?

Jan 23, 2013 10:47 AM

Hi folks,


I am trying to archive our old VHS tapes (NTSC 720x480 29.97 fps). I am using a $45 Hauppauge USB-Live-2 Video Capture. It's certainly adequate to see what's happenning in general, but it's also not as good as one would see e.g. playing these tapes on a TV. In particular, the right side of the image is missing some pixels (as though the right-most 20 or so pixels are blacked out, all up and down the right edge). Quite possibly, there are other subtler problems.


FWIW, I am doing the initial capture with AVS Video Recorder (to UYVY AVI format), then importing this (DV NTSC 720x480 29.97 fps) to PE11 and exporting to DV NTSC 720x480 29.97 fps MP4. PE11's MP4s are about 30% the size of the AVS AVIs.


Bill Hunt here recommended looking into DV Bridges (thanks, Bill!). However, I am not entirely sure what to look for. I found some Canopus devices on NewEgg, but they are $170, $200, or more. I'm not sure it's worth $200 just to save a 20-pixel edge on approximately 30 home videos. Anyway, can anyone point me toward hardware that works well with PE11 and VHS composite?


Thanks if you can help!



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 11:14 AM   in reply to TheRedKnightMike


    Model 55 is one way from tape to computer... higher models let you write back to tape


    Your computer must have a Firewire port

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    Jan 23, 2013 12:04 PM   in reply to TheRedKnightMike

    As you have found... a cheap one is not likely going to produce files that are suitable for editing

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    Jan 23, 2013 12:11 PM   in reply to TheRedKnightMike

    You get what you pay for. 

    I have been using a Canopus ADVC100 for almost 10 years, and have had 100% success right out of the box the first time I used it.  As noted above the model 55 (which wasn't available when I bought my unit) should be all you need.


    Before I got the Canopus unit I tried several 'cheaper' (USB) devices but never got satisfactory repeatable reuslts.  Be sure you have at least a Firewire 400 connection.  If you need to add such a port make sure the device uses a TI chip to avoid conversion problems.  I purchased a " Syba Low Profile PCI-Express 1394b/1394a (2B1A) Card, TI Chipset, Extra Regular Bracket SD-PEX30009 " (which has both FW 400 & 800 ports) apprx $26 from Amazon.


    By the way I use the Canopus to convert/capture both VHS and Hi8 analog tapes.

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