Elgato Video Capture

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by wikus, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. wikus, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

    wikus macrumors 68000

    wikus

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Planet earth.
    #1
    Does anyone have this device? I'm looking for a way to record all my home movies from ages ago into a digital format and store it on the home server and backed up on DVDs.

    I have some questions though;

    1) What format does the captured video save as?
    2) Is there a setting to have captured video be sent to a secondary drive? My boot drive is an SSD and I don't want to use it for large media.
    3) Is it possible to use alternative software to capture the video such as Adobe Premiere? Or do I have to use the supplied software?
    4) Ive read that converting the video to a better format via Handbrake to x264 or mp4/ffmpeg may mess up the audio/video synchronization. True or false?

    Thank you!
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    The default is genuine H.264/AAC, standard QuickTime. You are not posting pirated video on the Internet. Therefore, you have no reason to look for more compressed [and more lossy] formats.
    Your video will be in standard QuickTime video files. No special settings are necessary. You may use the Finder to manage your video files.
    You are making this way too hard. Everything you need is either on your computer or in the box that your Video Capture hardware ships in. Learn to use that. If you find that it doesn't satisfy your needs, then buy additional software as you identify the need.
    Define "better format." As I wrote above, your videos will be standard QuickTime H.264/AAC. You can expect them to be high quality at small sizes. The best that transcoding can do is to make them lower quality at even smaller sizes. I presume that intend to save precious memories. If this is the case, then low-quality/even smaller size is not a good choice.

    Now for your archiving medium. Buy one or more 1.5+ TB external hard drives. You should be able to store about 1000 DVD-length/DVD-quality videos on a single 1.5 TB hard drive. You can store even more lower-quality/shorter videos. Stored on a 1.5 TB HDD, you can carry those 1000 videos in one hand. DVDs are simply not a reliable medium for archiving files. To carry 1000 DVDs around, you will need a lot more hands.
     
  3. convergent macrumors 68020

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #3
    I just got one of these. Actually I tried and compared the Elgato Video Capture, Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus, Black Magic Video Recorder, and Canopus ADVC110. After a day of playing, I am going to use the Elgato Video Capture to convert my hundred or so VHS and VHS-C tapes. I am directing them to a NAS and will use a jailbroken Apple TV 2 and Firecore aTV Flash Media Player to play them back.

    Everyone raves about the Canopus which I've had for a couple of years but never really used it for much. If you use that, the video comes in as DV and you then use iMovie to convert and encode your video. It takes WAY longer to do it this way, and what you end up with in my opinion is not as good of quality. If I knew what I was doing, its probably possible to filter and edit the video to get it looking good, but for the number of tapes I have to convert there is no way I'll spend the time doing that. Maybe I'll go back after they are done and take a few to try that on.

    The Black Magic and Elgato are very similar devices. The Elgato converted video is a bit softer than the output from the Black Magic, but with the poor quality of the videos this actually makes it look a little better to me in some cases... particularly the edges that get jagged from uprezing. The other problem I had was the Black Magic was not playing back correctly on the aTV2. It was creating a green frame below the image and the image was half the size it should be.

    I had been using in the past the EyeTV 250 Plus, and then exporting them to aTV format in h.264, but this adds about 50% to the time. The Video Capture does it all in one step.

    The only downside is you have very little control over the process. Your output choice is h.264 or mpeg4. The mpeg4 produces a larger file, so I'm sticking with that. You can control the name and location of the file being saved, and you have a nice tool to trim the beginning and end of the video. You don't have any ability to add meta data and you can't add chapter markers... both are available to be done in EyeTV. You can solve the metadata problem with another app called MetaX. I have stopped bothering with chapter markers because the aTV interface is so quick to fast forward.... particularly on the 30 minute vhs-c tapes.

    Overall, I'm happy with the Elgato. I'm sure that it would be possible to get a little bit better quality with something like the Canopus, but the time to get that marginal improvement would be substantial and I'd rather have them converted so we can enjoy them than to have more years go buy that I don't want to mess with it due to the time and complexity.
     
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #4
    The Canopus is pretty versatile. I have been using it for years. For your needs, however, the Elgato or Black Magic thingies are more suitable.

    The Canopus delivers a file that is suitable for further editing. The others produce a file that is armed and ready to be watched on TV.
    What I liked on the Canopus is that you could connect a TV to your Mac via Firewire to monitor colors. I know, it is not the most professional solution, but way cheaper than a Kona card (and try to get a Kona card into an iMac)...
    We also use it to stream live (SD) multicam footage from a mixer directly into FCP or to the web.
     

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