Need some advice on buying a capture card.

Hi,
I would like some advice about the purchase of a video capture card.

I've got a PIII 600, 16MB TNT Creative card, 128 MB memory and 13 GB of harddisk space UDMA 33. (can if really needed be repaced to an SCSI, but is not preferred) on an Intell Seattle 2 NAV motherboard.

Now i've got about $650 to spend for a video capture card.

If posibble?
I'd like it to render the video to MPEG 2 format to HDD, as well as MJPEG (if possible again :) )

I'm not really sure about technical info. I've looked at the Miro DC500 and the AV-master cards.

Who can give me some good advice in buying a capture card, and tell me what to look for when buying it?

Thanks in advance,
Justus
LVL 4
jbrugmanAsked:
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jbrugmanAuthor Commented:
ps. Some editing software would be nioce as well, preferred delivered with the card.
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EpsylonCommented:
You can forget about MPEG2. That's still too expensive.
The Miro DC30+ would be a nice card for MJPEG. An alternative could be the Matrox Marvel G400. That's a video- and capture card in one.
Make sure you get the right version: NTSC or PAL etc.
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EpsylonCommented:
But if you want to use DV then the Miro DV500 could be a good choice.
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jbrugmanAuthor Commented:
But what about technical stuff?
What should i look for then?
right now i'm verry interested in the Miro DC500. What does the DV500 do, is it more exensive?
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EvanLCommented:
General advice.. Make sure the card can capture at 35 frames per second, or more.  Check the image size.  Some cards will only capture at 640x480 or lower.  Seems that above 700 is considered "good".  Check to see what software comes bundled with the card.  You might want to upgrade your video card too.  A TNT2 Ultra might help.  

I've tried a PyroDV and it is not too good.  Its a cheap solution, but the quality of the capture leaves a lot to be desired.
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mark2150Commented:
I've had good luck with the cheap-o Dazzle box. It's an external box that connects via USB or printer port. 30 FPS at 640x400. Got mine for $150 on sale.

Software that comes with is a tad odd, but usable.

35 frames/second is silly. NTSC broadcast is 30FPS so anything higher is a waste.

Most VCR's and Camcorders are only capturing fields instead of frames. Thus native res of 320x200 is not out of line.

An NTSC signal has only 525 lines of data in it. The NTSC signal is also 4:3 aspect ratio. Thus you should only expect to capture 700x525 @ 30FPS if you're capturing from *any* standard video source. Given overscan and retrace 640x480 is a very good approximation of 700x525. No point in buying a card that can capture, say, 1280x1000 when your source is only providing 320x200!

M
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mediagirlCommented:
I have a Dazzle DVC Internet edition which was approximately $300 and came with bookoo software, captures from tons of various input devices and will allow for synch sound with vid, plus the output is highly configurable and will .ra right from the proggy, and transfer to asf or other media for windows is just as easy. After 6 other devices and about 5 years of doing video, I'd put my word on Dazzle. Best of luck to ya.

mediagirl.
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jbrugmanAuthor Commented:
Ok the dv500 sounds nice, since we want to use it to place digitalk video (MPEG format) to CD-Rom, and does all the stuff you are talking about.
But..
A friend of mine also says that you need a SCSI Harddisk with NO temperature calibration.
Is that right, or will the UDMA 33 13GB do?

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jbrugmanAuthor Commented:
By the way, about the Dazzle DVC, I live in the Netherlands, and i don't know if that one is available here. On their site i only saw resellers in the USA and Canada.

Justus
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mark2150Commented:
Usually USA vendors ship most anywhere. More problematic is the video standard in use in the Netherlands. Are your TV's NTSC (mostly north america) or PAL/SECAM (England/most of europe). This is the *first* parameter that needs to be decided!

M
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jbrugmanAuthor Commented:
ok, it's PAL over here
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mark2150Commented:
Well right there you're going to eliminate a large portion of the capture systems. NTSC is the rule over here and I can't offer any advice on PAL systems as I have *zero* experience with that standard. The general tradeoffs of resolution are still valid, but I have no clue what a PAL signal looks like.

M
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jbrugmanAuthor Commented:
Well, i guess this one is the only option then.
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julitoCommented:
PAL or NTSC, an ill dilemma?

I believed read the Ati All in Wonder Pro let you choose PAL or NTSC on the fly.

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julitoCommented:
By the way,

nobody talk about Ati All in Wonder video card.

How it performs?
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jbrugmanAuthor Commented:
well, i alreaddy had made the desision, bu thanks anyway
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julitoCommented:
Hi jbrugman

did you purchase the DV500?, any advice?.

You are a PAL user, now I'm living in a NTSC but in almost one year I'll go back to my PAL country... so the PAL/NTSC question it's a mess for me!!!
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L8NightCommented:
Hi Julito,

I have a DC30 and a DC500 DVD because I bought them in the UK they can do both PAL and NTSC :)

I never bothered with SCSI, instead I bought a FastTrak UDMA100 raid card and two identical IDE UDMA100 AV disks and stripped them. works a treat.

the DC30 causes me no end of grief, (Win 95/98/NT4 and 2K) i tried them all even with the PCI enhancer software I get problems with dropped frames at full size capture.
the DC30 is analogue only (I have a old Cannon XP10 Hi8 camera).

the DV500 on the other hand is great, has both analogue and DV, captures without dropping frames even full size.
and unlike the DC30 which just does MotionJpeg I believe the DV500 has a hardware Mpeg compresson although the tools you get with either card are quite basic (except Adobe Premier)
with the DV500 you can capture via Premier with ease, although the capture/preview tools for the 500 are not as good as those for the DC30 :(

both have S-Video and Composite video inputs and outputs.
and separate audio in/out, on some mother boards you might lose your onboard sounds (I do) but I just have the DV500 audio out wired into my stereo rather than using my PC sound card speakers.
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