View Full Version : Video capture advice

11-15-2001, 12:09 PM
Hi all,

Having embraced OS X.1 (but NOT 10.0.4) MUCH sooner than I expected to I have run into a problem. I had a FUSE card which will never support X so I sold it on ebay and am now looking for a video capture replacement system.

OS X does not support PCI video capture at this time (to my knowledge anyway) so I need a Firewire solution. My choices are Formac Studio and he Sony Media converter, are there any others?

My needs are simple, low end....more of a hobby than a profession. I am not making the next starwars http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I mainly want to move my (out of print) video tapes to DVD using my superdrive. Plus home movies and such, you know movies of the kids and special occasions, naked girlfriend....oops I meant beautiful girlfriend... http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Anyway, anyone have experience with these products or wish to recommend a different product?

I am leaning toward the Formac because it has a TV Tuner (which implies that it has software with which to watch/ capture TV which I would like. I can use my VCR as a tuner on the Sony but then I am forced to watch the output in the iMovie window which is small.....


11-21-2001, 08:55 PM
I do not have much knowledge of this either, but I may be in the same boat soon. http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif

Those IGNITER cards look KILLER - but I guess there is not support for them YET and even still they are PRO cards (in my book anyway) and WAY out of my hobby budget.

There are 3rd party software developers that do have support for many scanners and I bet they have support for other hardware. There may even be a third party video solution for the Fuse or other cards. Mac OS X is fairly fluid and changing right now - so it will probably take some time (6 to 12 months? - wild arsed guess). The cool thing about 10 is its BSD roots allow for many old time Unix FreeBSD developers and 'hackers' to write good drivers for these kinds of things....

Formac has been making Mac products for some time now... I would say at least 3 years in the US - maybe longer in Europe. They had one of the fastest 2D display cards you could get - for any system. Drive support was so-so from what I hear and the card was not all that cheap. I never owned a ForMac product, but you might want to check out XLR8yourMac. I think they may have reviews of (or user comments on) the Formac Firewire CD-burners. I have not heard anything good or bad about them - but I would bet that it would be difficult to screw up support for a highly supported technology (in 10 anyway) like Firewire.

I generally do not trust many companies and if they wrong me - it REALLY tend to stay away, unless they have a compelling product. I do like Sony but I do NOT own any of their computer products. Often in the electronics biz - major companies have other MAJOR comapies product the hardware - so you really end up paying for the brand, their rep and possibe support (or lack there of).

I might go for the Formac since they are a Mac based company. I would not be suprised if their support is poor and/or they go out of business - this tends to happen to ALL but the best run companies. Good products are not enough. You either need great products or good products with good support.

For me it would probably come down to how easy the software is to use. I have QT Pro 5 and like it a lot - it is simple and right now powerful enough for me. I do not have time to spend learning new software - so that would be my main requirement. Of course hardware that is well interaged with iTunes, QT Pro and iDVD would ROCK - since these are mostly free and easy to use - in the Apple spirit. If those companies spend the time to make software they should do it right, but that could mean a higher cost for you when all they REALLY had to do was to make sure their hardware worked (perfectly?) with Apple's superior software.

So does iMove limit your output resolution?

I would think 480x640 would be my minimum resolution. VHS is much smaller - so I guess you may have to do some experimentation.

If you have already purchased one system or another let US know what you like or do not like. Again you should probably check out http://www.XLR8yourmac.com for any info.

11-30-2001, 11:00 PM
I haven't bought yet

For what it's worth both the Formac and Sony boxes are sold on the Apple Store

iMovie does not limit your res at least it does go as high or higher than the Sony/Formac devices the problem I have with iMovie is that I like to watch stuff through my capture device and the iMovie viewing window is too small.

11-30-2001, 11:03 PM
xlr8yourMac has nothing on either of the devices I mentioned

They have a review of the aurora fuse and that is the ONLY Video capture solution they review