What Graphics Card do I need to grab VHS footage?

  darkjedimistress 09:41 10 Mar 2004

Can anyone recommend a half-decent card that will allow me to grab footage from a VHS tape at a reasonable price.

Also, what format is it best to convert VHS material to, DIVX, AVI, MPEG?

Current System is Win XP Athlon 1Gb 512Ram 100GB HDD, 32MB GeForce2 GTS Card.


  anon1 09:58 10 Mar 2004

I am not sure about the graphics card but I would say get the best you can afford and while you are at it get a bigger hdd 100gb will soon go with video. It may be to your advantage to get a second hdd in the region of 160gb or bigger just for the films. The format will of course depend on what you want the end result of the films to be.

  darkjedimistress 10:04 10 Mar 2004

It's mainly to try and get all family video material onto a format where it will not deteriorate. Luckily I have a Raid Mobo so already have a 40+60Gb drive, I can easily add another 80gb drive to the 3rd IDE slot.

I am imagining I need some sort of Capture Card, is this different from a standard TV card?

  scotty 10:17 10 Mar 2004

It is not a Graphics card that you need but a video capture card. I believe Pinnacle are one source.

An alternative (if you know someone with a suitable equiped digital camcorder) is to capture the video through the camcorder and download to the pc by the firewire connector.

When you capture the video it will be saved as an avi file which is very large. You will probably want to convert this to mpg to reduce the file size. What do you plan to do with the video - transfer to DVD or what?

  sicknote 10:41 10 Mar 2004

I can recommmend the averdvd ezmaker USB 2.0 available here click here and then you need a scart lead L15AJ or similiar for the VCR from click here
I hope that all makes sense

  Edstow 10:59 10 Mar 2004

We are thinking about starting doing corporate videos as part of our service and, as a trial before we go on to full professional equipment, we have bought a Pinnacle Studio AV/DV deluxe version 9. This contains a AV/DV capture card and an external box for connecting digital and analogue video and sound sources - it also outputs as well and a copy of the new Studio 9 software.

We've been playing with it for about a week now and we're very impressed - so much so that we'll delay the purchase of the pro equipment.

Cost about £117 all in from Amazon click here


  Edstow 11:12 10 Mar 2004

I noticed you have used the word "grab" indicating some sort of speediness to this.

Let me warn you that although the capture of VHS or other analogue tape is in real time, the conversion into the digital formats can take many hours to complete, even with a fast modern machine. During this process, you cannot use your computer for anything else otherwise there is a big danger of the conversion (rendering) crashing and you have to go back to square one. It is also best to shut everything else down as well.


  darkjedimistress 12:03 10 Mar 2004

I will take all these points into account, I have 4 pc's networked at home so I can use one of them dedicated to this task so I am not too worried about it taking up all the resources.

  darkjedimistress 12:03 10 Mar 2004


  darkjedimistress 12:05 10 Mar 2004

I think!

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