Help!Formac studio dv/tv vs. El Gato EyeTV

mattevil

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 19, 2002
76
0
I'm planning on buying one of these for recording shows and editing movies off my old camcorder. Formac seems to have the best product with firewire and dv encoding but their software support seems to be lacking.El gato seems to have good software but the quality over usb cable doesn't seem promising and mpeg 1 is hard to edit.Does anybody have experience with any of these products? I'm planning on taking film courses next year so the dv encoding would be nice but for this year I would only use it for tv encodes. If it helps my system is a 1ghz(non ddr) with a gig of ram and a superdrive.
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
9,591
3
serendipity
i just got the formac studio dv... the one without the tv thing

well, i wish i could tell you all about how it works. but i can't. it never powered on really. heck, it even caused my computer to shut down for a day til i reset the CUDA switch...

anyhoo, if you wait a week or two, i will be getting my replacement and can give you a review of the formac at least.....
 

D0ct0rteeth

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2002
1,238
7
Franklin, TN
I have a formac DV and it is actually not a bad piece of hardware. I would prefer an internal PCI card with better quality but I will deal for now.

It captures great. No syncing problem with audio at all. Its perfect. The TV software is decent. Channel time is maybe .2 seconds or so. just a slight blip with the audio while changing.

Speaking of audio I have the whole computer projected through a DLP projector and I use the FMDV to project my VCR and cable signal.
After a little tweaking as long as you have a decent signal you can get some decent sound through it. If you split your cable signal.. you cn expect some white noise. the SVHS deck sounds perfect.

Like all video its crap in crap out. and as of today the FMDV is the best solution out there.

-Doc
 

gotohamish

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2001
1,070
0
BKLN
Originally posted by edvniow
There are some OSX PCI capture cards, but they're Japan only and while one is NTSC, I don't know how much they cost or if they'll ship to the US.

Check out www.xlr8yourmac.com for more info.
That's not true - I've got one! I'm in the UK but I know this product is available in the US. It's a Canopus ADVC-50 - look here at their site.

It works with Jaguar fine - I use it with FCP3, it does work with iMovie but is a little tempramental. It's $199.

It doesn't actually USE PCI technology, simply sits their and takes it's power from it. It has a 4pin firewire female on it that you connect to your Mac's FW port. It also has a 6pin FW female port on the board itself, which I thought about connecting to the internal FW port on my G4 but was unsure about this (help anyone?) - the picture quality is great, really happy with it alround - it's the same decive as the ADVC-100 but that is a standalone unit.

However, the -50 comes with a nice brushed-silver drive bay cover, so whack it into a firewire/usb2/usb1 enclosure, and away you go with your PowerBook/iBook - it's only uses the 4 hole power cable you get on IDE Drives.

Hope this helps!!! I'd be interested to hear others thoughts on this too.
 

gotohamish

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2001
1,070
0
BKLN
Originally posted by edvniow
Woah, that thing's pretty interesting, I'm suprised I haven't heard of it.

Too bad it doesn't have a TV-tuner though.
My TV has a composite output on it, which I've hooked up to the Canopus. Everything that comes out of my TV goes into the Mac - DVDs, VHS, Digital Satellite - you name it.

all channel changing is manual though, but I don't record much anyway, I use it for VHS encoding so I can trash those horrible tapes!
 

Monomni

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2002
19
0
Houston, TX
Formac seems to work well...

I wanted a Formac DV so that I could move my satellite TiVo shows onto DVD. Bought one off of eBay and had a little trouble with the sound cutting out, so I sent it back. BUT - it turns out that my computer was hosed (I had to reinstall Jaguar) - NOT the Formac. Now I'm kicking myself for sending it back, because as far I could tell, it worked great.
Anyways, after Xmas and when I have some more video projects, I'll probably buy another one.

As for elGato - my research led to me to the conclusion that it's a pretty low end solution overall (usb, mpeg1, etc.) The Dazzle unit didn't impress me either. Keep in mind too that NONE of the tuner capabilities on ANY of the devices are compatible with satellite TV - you have to stop/start recording manually... bummer.

I am interested though to hear more comparisons between the Formac and Canopus...

Good luck!
:D
 

DreaminDirector

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2002
646
0
Ladera Ranch, CA
ATI

Back when OS9 was popular, I had an ATI Xlaim VR 128 (PCI card). The quality was ok, so was the TV tuner. But since I have switched to 10.2, I lost support for it. Now all it does it run my second monitor. I want to know if there's anything from ATI that comes in the form of a card. And what is the difference between the PCI card and the external enclosures like the Canopus (which looks totally kick a$$!!!!)?
 

mattevil

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 19, 2002
76
0
thanks for every one's help i think i'll go with the formac since i want something i can swap between my two g4's