Capture Card Basics

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by videoed, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. videoed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm beginning to enter the world of capture cards.

    Fairly experienced with video editing (FCP) but have only used firewire decks/cams/etc.

    Here is what I know or think I know so far about capture cards:

    1) the capture card will install in a pcie slot in my tower
    2) a breakout box will likely be attached to the card
    3) the bob will allow me to have multiple input types coming in
    4) the capture card helps acts as a hardware accelerator for video

    where am I wrong so far? what am I missing? what's industry standard for broadcast?

    Thanks !

    ed
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Not really, no.

    What's industry standard? There really isn't one. AJA and Blackmagic are the two biggest makers of cards for FCP but Matrox has come out w/a couple of nice external boxes (MXO and MXO2) as well. The AJA Kona3 is probably the most feature filled I/O card but it's also the most expensive, IIRC.


    Lethal
     
  3. videoed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #3
    thanks for the response!

    is there such a thing as a 'good' starter capture card? and what might that be?

    what are some basic factors when deciding which codec to use?

    thanks again,

    ed
     
  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #4
    depends on what you're needs are... why are you getting a capture card?

    it is almost all quality vs drive space/drive speed. it also depends on your acquisition format. How are you shooting it? Do you have a RAID setup? Are you capturing to your internal boot drive?
     
  5. videoed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #5
    thanks for the response.

    my most 'basic' desire at this point is to give my home editing station the capability to capture from multiple input types without first having to dub to mini dv.



     
  6. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #6
    I would look at the Kona LHe or the Matrox MXO2.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    Most FW cameras and decks allow for "pass thru" which means you can, for example, plug a VCR into your camera and the camera will do the analog-to-digital conversion and then send a signal over Firewire to your computer.

    If you don't have a camera that allows pass thru or want higher quality than DV I'd take a look at the Blackmagic Intensity Pro. It's the least expensive card out there and offers some good bang for the buck.


    Lethal
     
  8. videoed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    #8
    thank you very much for the responses.

    at home, i'm hoping to upgrade past using a camera as a deck so i guess that brings up ...

    what's a good starter deck? it seems like every deck i've looked at has been out of my price range.



    thanks,

    ed
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Starter deck for what format? DV? HDV? Unless you'll be laying off for delivery to a network or broadcaster you don't really need a deck. The lower end decks (pretty much everything less that $4-5,000) use the same 'innards' (transport controls, heads, etc.,.) that the cameras do so you are basically buying a camera w/o a lens and maybe a few more I/O options.


    Lethal
     

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