I'm not going to mock videos from the 90s in a blog... honest.
May 25, 2010 2:18 PM   Subscribe

I want to record from a VCR. What is the best Video Capture card for a PC? Specifications inside.

There was a similar thread from '07, but I'd like a more current persepctive, anyway...

I'd like to work with found footage a little like Everything is Terrible does, and want to record off of a VCR. I would prefer to do this through an RCA connection, so I can mix audio from another source.

Searching around newegg, best buy, and amazon have shown me cards that are very poorly reviewed, and the common complaints being huge CPU usage, poor documentation, bad software, bad drivers, etc.

My computer is a dual-core 3GHZ processor, running Vista home, I believe is PCI+ (although I haven't checked) since it's new, with 6 gigs of RAM, and a dedicated video card.

My price range is 40 to 80 dollars, and I (although I'd like it) can't afford a dedicated console.

Checking some earlier threads, the suggestion was made to use a VCR -> digital camcorder -> firewire -> PC solution. I might be able to get ahold of the camcorder, but I don't think I have a firewire port on my system, so I'm going to rule that out for now.

Also: if anyone has any experience doing VidCap from VCR to PC I'd be interested to hear about it.
posted by codacorolla to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've done video capture using a Canopus ADVC-300 that I got used for $200 (list is around $400). It's out of your budget, but it would do what you want flawlessly, and probably with no added drivers either (it looks like a standard DV camera to the computer).
posted by zippy at 2:23 PM on May 25, 2010

Response by poster: That is absolutely an awesome looking piece of hardware zippy... but, like you said, way out of my price range.
posted by codacorolla at 2:49 PM on May 25, 2010

Was coming in to suggest another Canopus product - I have the ADVC-55 and it does exactly what you want it to (and it's not quite as far out of your price range).

Check ebay, there is one on there that hasn't been bid up yet and might go fairly inexpensively due to its relatively obscure nature.
posted by davey_darling at 8:30 PM on May 25, 2010

If you have access to a digital (MiniDV, at least) camcorder but no Firewire port, a Firewire card is only $20, & that's a quick, easy, & low-CPU solution.

I'd suggest mixing in the audio later, for more flexibility.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:10 PM on May 25, 2010

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