Video capture card recommendation? Help...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by animefx, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. animefx macrumors regular

    May 10, 2005
    Hi guys, I want to be able to record video to my MacBook and at the same time see what I'm doing on the TV. Say I want to record a video game on the MacBook while I'm playing it on the TV.

    Wouldn't this require some sort of pass through so that the video and sound goes into the MacBook and then out through to the TV?

    I'm thinking abotu the EyeTV, but will this work well with intel Macs?
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    EyeTV would probably work, but I'm guessing here that you're going to be able to maximize quality by going with an Analog-DV converter box. You may be familiar with how some MiniDV cameras have a "passthrough" mode where you can feed them an analog input signal and have them spit out a DV stream of that signal, which you can in turn capture with iMovie (or QT Pro).

    Well, there are also little breakout boxes that do that without the camera part. I have an OLD Sony one (I'm 99% sure they don't make it anymore) that still works extremely well. In fact, it even has exactly the sort of passthrough you're talking about--I just plug the component outputs into its "input" jacks, put it in Analog In mode, and I get a DV stream coming in to my computer. If I also plug the TV into the "output" jacks, I get an additional passthrough signal that I can watch on TV if I want.

    A very quick Google search turned up the "Pyro AV Link" (low end model) as one example for about $160 or so. It doesn't do direct passthrough, so you're either going to need a splitter box (can be found at Radio Shack or just about any big-store AV section) or a TV that has outputs on it (some higher-end ones do).

    The advantage of these boxes are that you get a very low-compression DV stream into the computer that iMovie is quite happy to help you edit and recompress into any format you want, and you needn't worry about drivers at all--since it's just a DV stream there are no drivers, it's just treated like a camera input.

    The downside compared to, say, EyeTV is that it won't work particularly well for watching TV on your Mac, and doesn't double as a DVR. But if all you're looking to do is digitize video and want to do it without spending the money on a pro capture card, this is probably your highest quality option.

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