audio/video capture device recommendations sought

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by genericaudioperson, May 6, 2005.

  1. hello,

    i want to do this:
    1) get Magix Movie Edit Pro 10
    2) put it on a new Dell tower computer with Windows XP
    3) get a usb 2.0 audio/video capture device

    basically, it's number 3 i'm stumped on (the usb audio video capture

    i'm really good at digital audio, but brand new to digital video.

    i'm trying to do basic capture/editing and then burn to dvd. i'd like
    to use mpeg2, because i think that's the normal uncompressed format
    that most dvd players recognize. it's for short files (under 20
    minutes) so i'm not too worried about compression.

    could someone recommend a good basic usb 2.0 capture device for the
    Magix software? it needs to have component rca video and audio. i'm
    not worried about digital transfer stuff. i'm talking about taking
    analog camcorder tapes and running them into the computer to chop away
    the lame stuff and then come up with a short video (5-10 minutes) and
    then burn to dvd.

    in digital audio, I use VST and I know about those kinds of formats.
    But I have no idea how the Magix software will "recognize" the USB
    capture device and "understand" i'm trying to dump camcorder stuff into
    the computer to capture and edit. the ability to record new dialogue
    into the computer as you are watching the movie would be useful. that
    way if the camcorder didn't pick up the audio, someone could talk it in

    system compatibility and stability is most important rather than stuff
    like surround sound or "the best video pixel resolution".

    thanks for any insights!
    genericaudioperson, May 6, 2005
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  2. genericaudioperson

    Ken Maltby Guest

    Don't worry about using MEP 10 to capture, it works better if
    you capture with what works best with your card/box and then
    import the captured files. Capture equipment with component
    inputs is rare and costly.

    If you can get MEP 10 to work for you, it can do some amazing
    things but it is not for the faint hearted.

    Ken Maltby, May 6, 2005
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  3. genericaudioperson wrote ...
    You may be confused. MPEG2 is *highly compressed*
    MPEG and other compression schemes that use temporal
    compression are less precise/more problematic to edit than
    DV, M-JPEG, etc. It is the video equivalent of capturing,
    editing, processing in MP3 and suffering the degradation
    every time you open the file, decompress, do your editing
    and processing, and then re-compress to MP3.

    We normally capture, edit, process, etc. in uncompressed
    formats like WAV, and then compress to MP3 only as the
    last step for release, in order to avoid the artifacts of
    compression more than once. Same principle applies
    when working with video files.

    You didn't say why you think you want to use USB2 either?
    Video capture via USB2 is a very new area, there are only a
    small number of devices available (compared to Firewire),
    and likely only a small number of applications that will capture
    video via USB2. You should know that 99.9% of consumer
    video is captured via Firewire. IMHO, you need a compelling
    to switch to USB2 this early in the game.
    Does Magix support USB2 capture? Their website appears
    to be so dumbed-down that there is not even any obvious
    listing of requirements, compatibililties, etc. I'd be wary of
    Magix if that is what their product documentation/support
    is like.

    USB2 capure devices are too new and too rare to have
    formed any kind of consensus on which are "good" or not.
    A cheap mini-DV camcorder with "pass-through" or one
    of the Firewire DV converters (like Canopus ADVC-110,
    or ADVC-300 or others) and Windows Movie Maker or
    Adobe Premiere Elements would likely do what you need.
    If you have decided to use Magix (for whatever reason?), you
    will have to consult with them to find out what hardware they
    support. Not safe to make any assumptions. I must say that I
    was not impressed with the Magix website.
    You're not likely to see any discernable difference in "video pixel
    resolution" between different software. The resolution is established
    at the point of capture

    If you are using XP, it comes with "Windows Movie Maker" for
    free. WMM would likely do what you need. It captures video as
    DV-AVI via Firewire from any number of different kinds of things
    like camcorders and converter boxes (like Canopus ADVC-110,

    I use generic Firewire to capture video, Adobe Premiere to edit
    it, and Adobe Encore to author and burn DVDs.
    Richard Crowley, May 6, 2005
  4. genericaudioperson

    Alpha Guest

    You can use a Hauppauge WinTV PVR USB2 for basic captures all the way up to
    Canopus' $550 pro mpeg2 hardware capture. Of course, I am talking about
    Mpeg2 hardware compression for the capture, since the OP seems *perhaps* to
    want to go that route. If he is transfering DV from a camcorder, etc, then
    firewire is the best route.
    Alpha, May 6, 2005
  5. genericaudioperson

    Alpha Guest

    PS There is also a USB2 device, ADS Instant DVD+DV that has both DV input
    and composite video input and can capture DV or hardware compress either
    input to Mpeg2. It is relatively inexpensive (under $200) and works fine
    Alpha, May 6, 2005
  6. thanks for the responses everyone.

    why the "hate" on Magix? some people over at thought it
    was a good program, and it looked really good and logical on the

    i can be convinced of anything at this point. i have no way to make an
    opinion. i wish my video skills were even 10% of my digital audio
    skills. i have to start somewhere!

    thanks for the info on firewire. i'll specify to dell that the
    computer needs firewire, just to play it safe. to me it seems like
    there are a "zillion" usb 2.0 video capture devices, but the caution
    flag is going up over here, so i'll play it safe.
    genericaudioperson, May 6, 2005
  7. genericaudioperson

    Ken Maltby Guest

    That looks like a very good box, and it has S-Video as well as composite,
    but the OP was looking for Component as I recall. ADS has their "Pyro A/V
    Link" which can do Component (Y,Pb,Pr) [this is the only <$2000 device I
    could find with component input] "J&R Music and Computer World" lists it
    at $159.88 with the Adobe Premiere Elements bundle. ("Froogle" is your
    friend) Unfortunately, it has no hardware MPEG encoder, but at these prices
    you could get both. If you worked the bundles right, the savings in
    cost would more than make up for any extra spent on the boxes themselves.

    Ken Maltby, May 6, 2005
  8. genericaudioperson

    Ken Maltby Guest

    I certainly don't hate Magix or MEP 10. I have, and use it to make
    DVD motion backgrounds and add titling on occasion. It has some
    capabilities that aren't matched by any other software under $2000.
    There is relatively no English speaking technical support, though.
    There is a forum and a few independent fan sites, that can be a big
    help. Also, in my opinion the program's error handling isn't that good.
    This is not normally a big problem if you are experienced, and can
    work out any problems; but it can panic and totally frustrate those
    with little experience.

    You certainly have to be impressed with it's audio features,
    including the VTS support, not that I understand Half of it.

    I noticed a double speed (800mbps) Firewire card on the ADS
    site while I was checking out "Alpha"'s suggestion, that might be
    a worth while option to having DELL put a 400mbps one on.

    Ken Maltby, May 6, 2005
  9. genericaudioperson wrote ...
    No "hate", only negative impressions of how "dumbed-down"
    their website is.
    Getting video advice in an audio newsgroup (or audio advice a
    video newsgroup) seems dubious at best, and possibly silly. I
    would not expect to find advice on cooking the perfect steak on
    What website? The one I found
    is the most information-free website I have seen in many months.
    It is almost completely formed from useless marketing phrases and
    pretty pictures and contains no useful information, IMHO. It is
    enough to convince me not to touch it. For example it is completely
    devoid of either the word "Firewire" or "USB" (which was your
    question, remember?)
    Don't pay Dell any more for adding Firewire than what it would
    cost to do it yourself. In my neighborhood, I can buy a Firewire
    card for $15 and it includes video capture and editing software.
    Places like Dell make huge profits on this sort of "add-on" option.
    Likely how they can afford to sell the base units so cheaply.
    Google returns 87,100 hits for "usb2 video-capture" (which I will
    admit came as a surprise to me.) OTOH, it returns 1,880,000 hits
    for "firewire video-capture". I'm not promoting the "Google-test"
    as being definitive, but it is a reliable indicator of what is being
    mentioned on the WWW, and in rough proportion.
    Richard Crowley, May 7, 2005
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