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Need advice for video capture devices

Old 10-15-01, 07:20 PM
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Need advice for video capture devices

I went down to CompUSA today and looked at the various video capture / edit devices that are available. I want to be able to copy home videos onto CD-R, but it would also be nice to be able to record TV shows and record them to CD-R too. I am a little confused about the differences and what they do. I would like to keep the cost below $100 if possible, but I'd like the best quality I can for that price. These are the ones I looked at:

Dazzle Digital Video Creator 80 $70 - This one connects via USB and has standard RCA plugs for video and audio, plus s-video, I think. Dazzle

ATI had three models -- Wonder (PCI card), Wonder VE (PCI card) and a USB model ranging in prices from $60 to $100. These appear to be more of the TV / PVR variety with coax plug in back, but they should still allow the copying of home video onto CD-R, right? ATI USB
ATI Wonder
ATI Wonder VE

PC-PVR for $39 - IO Magic. This is a PCI card that works like a Tivo. IOMagic

Belkin for $99 - USB - very similar to the Dazzle. Belkin

I confess ignorance on the features available on these. I haven't been able to find any kind of FAQ or comnparison of features. Does anyone have first hand experience with these? What kind of quality are we talking about? Would a PVR model offer the same features as the Dazzle and Belkin, but also allow the recording of TV shows? Also, is MPEG-2 better than AVI or worse? What's the difference between MPEG-1 and VCR-1?

Thanks for your help.

EDIT: I found some links above.

Last edited by c-moon the 2nd; 10-15-01 at 07:32 PM.
Old 10-15-01, 08:27 PM
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Re: Need advice for video capture devices

Originally posted by c-moon
PC-PVR for $39 - IO Magic. This is a PCI card that works like a Tivo. IOMagic
BINGO!

Buy this immediately! They're disappearing and if you found one, grab it.

I have had a Hauppauge WinPVR for a while. It cost $200 (after a $50 rebate) and doesn't have anywhere near the video quality of the IO Magic card, although it does have an FM tuner. The IO Magic card also has s-video and composite in, which the Hauppauge doesn't have, and the quality is amazingly good on the tests I've made with recording to disk the output from a VCR.

The software that the IO Magic card comes with is PowerVCR (standard version) and from what I've done with it it seems to perform very well and has TIVO record/skip commercials as you watch abilities (haven't tried that yet either). It doesn't have automatic programming.

The audio output may only be mono, not stereo, but nobody seems quite sure of that right now. Their may be hardware tweaks that can be made if it is indeed mono.

By the way, keb, why do you have another, new account?
Old 10-15-01, 08:36 PM
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Really? It's always great to hear that the cheapest solution is the best! But I was reading the FAQ on their web page and it says:

1. Does this card accept video input from devices such as a VCR or camcorder?
A. No, at this time, this device can only record from a TV source, such as regular TV or Cable.


Has there been some kind of software upgrade that would allow copying from VCR? Actually, I don;t understand how the card would be able to tell the difference between a standard cable input and VCR anyway -- they should both look the same I would think.

Also, the system requirements say Win98-SE. Does that mean that plain old Windows 98 wouldn't work?

EDIT: I think I found the answer ... it looks like it MUST have Win98SE. Bummer

Last edited by c-moon the 2nd; 10-15-01 at 08:41 PM.
Old 10-15-01, 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by c-moon
Really? It's always great to hear that the cheapest solution is the best! But I was reading the FAQ on their web page and it says:

1. Does this card accept video input from devices such as a VCR or camcorder?
A. No, at this time, this device can only record from a TV source, such as regular TV or Cable.


They're wrong. It works, however I used dScaler (a free program) to do the input from the VCR. I don't remember if PowerVCR supported it. [I checked it, it does. Their own supplied software supports s-video and composite in and the company doesn't even know it!]

Has there been some kind of software upgrade that would allow copying from VCR? Actually, I don;t understand how the card would be able to tell the difference between a standard cable input and VCR anyway -- they should both look the same I would think.

You could easily input from the RF output of the VCR to the RF input of the PVR. But s-video and composite work too.
By the way, keb, why do you have another, new account?
Old 10-15-01, 09:05 PM
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I thought it was kind of strange that the card could recognize cable TV input, but not RF input from a VCR.

Do you have any knowledge of the other units I mentioned?

Oh yeah, if it's a problem please just delete one of the accounts. I just wanted to change, so I had to create the 2nd acct. I couldn't figure out how to change the name in my profile. Is there a way?

Last edited by c-moon the 2nd; 10-15-01 at 09:09 PM.
Old 10-15-01, 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by c-moon
I thought it was kind of strange that the card could recognize cable TV input, but not RF input from a VCR.

Do you have any knowledge of the other units I mentioned?

Not much. But I do know the IO Magic people don't seem to know very much about the features of their products.

Oh yeah, if it's a problem please just delete one of the accounts. I just wanted to change, so I had to create the 2nd acct. I couldn't figure out how to change the name in my profile. Is there a way?
All you have to do is ask a moderator. You want your old account changed to your new name so you can keep your old posts and post count?
Old 10-15-01, 10:49 PM
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That would be great, x, thanks.

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