Analog to digital converters?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by scamperwillow, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. scamperwillow macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I am shopping for a reasonably priced one. Just saw a PYRO A/V Link - from ADS Technologies. anyone have experience with this for a Mac? any other recommendations in the $200 or so price range?
    THANKS MUCH,
    MARTY
     
  2. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

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    #2
    Re: Analog to digital converters?

    I've read nothing but good reports about the Canopus analogue/digital converter.

    One of the main problems with these break-out boxes is when converting long stretches, the audio loses sync with the video. Something that Canopus seem to have taken care of.

    Here's the one that most amateurs are very happy with, and well within your budget.

    http://www.canopus.us/US/products/advc-100/pm_advc-100.asp

    Good luck :)
     
  3. scamperwillow thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    analog to digital

    Thanks for the tip on Canopus - I checked it out and it sounds really good. but it is a little more money than the others I've seen. It is $299 ($279 at MacMall) and I'd been looking at ones that are $149 to $198. Is this worth paying more do you think? I like the 3 year warranty and the audio/video lock sounds crucial. the intro about it says SVHS, Hi-8 and component, but I would assume it will do regular VHS too? that's the main thing I'd use it for - and possibly Beta.

    any other suggestions out there?

    Is there such a thing that has a VCR built into it? I'd love to not have to drag my (not so good) VCR into my computer office. would just a basic cheap player work all right?
    Marty
     
  4. hugemullens macrumors 6502a

    hugemullens

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    #4
    The canopus works great. Just hook up your VCR via the composite inputs, just like hooking it up to a TV. It doesnt have componet, but i'm sure you ment composite. Maybe borrow a friends good vcr. The old saying, garbage in, garbage out. A good VCR can really help. But i wouldnt recommend anything but the canopus. I have used the dazzle which is horrible and played around with the formac which in the brief time i tried it seemed very good. But canopus is good.
     
  5. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

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    #5
    VHS

    The Canopus not only converts ALL analogue video to digital, but will also convert digital to analogue - i.e. it will do the conversion either way :)

    What more can you ask for???

    Here's a slightly less expensive one, but my recommendation is to spend a little bit more if you are going to use it a lot and the quality of the end product is important to you...

    http://www.canopus.us/US/products/advc-50/pm_advc-50.asp

    PS The only thing that the Canopus won't do is convert NTSC to PAL, or vice versa.
     
  6. scamperwillow thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    converter

    That less expensive one is an internal drive - no good for my iMac - but the firewire is what I'm looking for. It's actually just a new idea I had today, but I often want to use VHS tapes and not hassle with copying them to DV, so it seems like a really cool convenience.

    Has anyone used it together with Final cut Pro?
    Thanks,
    Marty
     
  7. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #7
    Re: converter

    I use my mini DV camera as my converter, i plug the DV into the firewire, then the VCR into the DV, and then i press play on the VCR- record on the DV, and then capture in final cut pro

    i havn't tried it under final cut pro 4, but under final cut pro 1.2 it needed a starting time code, so that why i would record to DV wile i captured to harddrive, works great... if if you have a mini DV, and don't spend money unnecessarily...

    use the tools you have
     
  8. scamperwillow thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    DV camera instead of converter

    That's a good idea. My current VCR would be too much hassle to move to the computer office. but maybe rather than getting a converter, I get a small good quality vcr. Hmmmmm.
     
  9. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #9
    Re: DV camera instead of converter


    Well if it's a hassle to move the VCR now, you would of had to probably get a second one to work with the converter anyway.

    I was actually considering doing the same thing of buying a converter and then the guy at my video shop told me to just use my Camcorder, and then tried it and works great.
     
  10. TekilaGold macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Getting a mini DV Camcorder and hooking it up is a good solution - you just need to make sure it's a decent one and they start in a higher price range than you said you wanted to spend.

    You said that you mainly want it to convert VHS? Well, the other minus is that you still have to hook your Video player to the camcorder to convert to DVD. It gets to be kinda cumbersome.

    After doing extensive research on both the ADVC-100 and the Formac, and reading up all I could on performance, quality and people's opinions, I ended up getting both to try out. The quality of both were the same - fantastic. The both have the audio lock which works wonderfully even with extended conversion.

    I ended up keeping the Formac, just because it was less cumbersome - the firewire powers it, so there's not ANOTHER electrical adapter on my desk. I've been very happy with it. I found it for $239 over the internet.

    BTW, I also have an iMac : )
     
  11. Foxer macrumors 65816

    Foxer

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    #11
    Where did you find the Formac for that price? Can you supply the link?

    Gracias.
     
  12. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #12
    i agree with it having to be a pretty good camera, and i'm not suggesting he go buy one instead of the converter, but if he's already god the camera, why spend money unnecessary when there is a novil solution right in-front of you
     
  13. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #13
    Formac makes two converter models: the TVR (has a TV tuner built in) and the DV (no tuner).

    The prices at ClubMac for these seem to be pretty standard. If you surf around, I'm sure that you can find it for $10 less.

    Sadly, my favorite resource for price comparison -- the Macworld product finder doesn't seem to list Formac converters (only one LCD).
     
  14. scamperwillow thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    converter

    Just to clear a couple things up:

    1) I have a good 3 chip camcorder - I do video production.

    2) I'm She, not He (aka Martha)

    It seems using my camera and buying a small VCR might do the trick - you don't need tape in the camera do you?
    Thanks,
    Marty
     
  15. TekilaGold macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I got mine from http://www.jandr.com

    They've dropped their price and the Formac DV is now $199. They charge less than $10 for shipping and handling, so I found it to be a very good deal.



    As long as it has an analog to digital pass through port, you don't need to record it to tape first.
     
  16. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #16
    Re: converter

    Some camcorders will allow you to convert directly, others like mine (d'oh) you would have to tape to a miniDV tape then export as digital. If the camera converts directly, I don't think you need to have a tape in there for it to do that.
     
  17. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #17
    I'm going to toss in my 2¢. As others have mentioned the Canopus ADVC-100 is a great litte device. I have it connected to my video camera which is 8mm via composite cables. I've used only a few times so far and have not been disappointed. I was actually quite surprised by the quality.

    The ADVC-100 also allows you to output to a recording device. You won't find this ability on some of the less expensive options.

    The only negative I have is that it did not come with a 6 pin to 6 pin Firewire cable. It does come with a 4 pin to 6 pin Firewire cable. The 4 pin jack is on the front and the 6 pin is on the back. I didn't like having to snake the cable from the front of the converter to the back of my computer.

    Good luck.
     
  18. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

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    #18
    Re: converter

    Seeing as you are a video professional Marty, go with the Canopus. Why do I recommend it over the Formac? A number of reasons - all the video afficianados seem to use it, excellent reputation and customer service, and lastly, I have't read or heard of any problems with their units.

    I've read quite a few reviews where the reviewer complained that the Formac with the built-in TV tuner added background noise to the audio. One reviewer even asked for a replacement unit, which although better than his first test unit, still added unwanted backgound noise. He did stress that this was NOT a problem with the regular converter.

    Good luck and let us know what you get, Gary :)
     
  19. cebritt macrumors member

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    Austin, TX
    #19
    Terapin standalone CD recorder

    Check out the Terapin:
    http://www.terapintech.com/fea_cdaudio.html

    It's a standalone analog to digital video convertor that records to CDs.

    The Sams Club near me had these a while back for $179.
     
  20. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #20
    Re: converter

    Do you being a "she" i apologize for the mistake, you signed "marty" so i guess i just kinda figured you as being a he.

    Like i said in the early 1.2 release of FPC i needed Timecode to start it, but i think that was because i didn't turn device control off, turning device control off in FCP 4 allows me to use the DV as just a bridge, with no tape inserted into the camera when recording for the VCR.

    I have a midrange progressive scan CCD camera and it allows it, so your pro level camera will undoubtedly work.

    Your best bet is to just try it
     
  21. scamperwillow thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Thanks for all the help and ideas

    Thanks everyone - this has been very interesting. I think it makes sense to use my camera as pass-through, but I still need to figure out how to get a vcr in here - I may just buy a compact one.

    I'm also shopping for a firewire hard drive, so it would be nice to not have to buy both. I've posted a question about that on this board too, but any great recs for a 120G firewire drive? I have seen LaCie, Iomega and Fantom around $200 - someone onthe board recommended OWC - any experience with any of these?

    (and have you seen that newish epson scanner printer that is also a color copier for around $100? amazing...)
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #22
    Canopus advertising the "locked audio" feature is more advertising than anything IMO. As I understand it, unlocked audio will not lead to synch drift unless the manufacturer was lazy and/or cheap and took some short cuts. Using unlocked audio is like walking a dog on a long leash while using locked audio is like walking a dog on a short leash. In both cases the dog and the owner get to the same place at the same time. The dog on the longer leash just has a little more room to fall behind/run ahead (analogy borrowed from Adam Wilt). Unlocked audio could lead to synch loss w/in a frame and/or at the subframe level but if that created any problems it would in editing and it would not cause synch to drift ove extended periods.

    Just an FYI, no DV camera uses locked audio, although Sony and Panasonic have included it in their pro/prosumer versions of DV (PVCPro and DVCAM respectively).

    Even w/that being said the Canopus is, IMO, the best ADVC on the market.

    Lethal
     

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