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Old Feb 16, 2009, 6:28 AM   #1
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Has anybody found a good, cheap USB capture device preferably for HD cams? I've seen a few but not HD and not really what I want either.
Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 8:23 PM   #2
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I haven't heard good things about USB options, the route you want to go, if you are looking for a capture device, get something that works with firewire.

Example:

http://desktop.thomsongrassvalley.co...conversion.php

Read the reviews on Amazon on how these perform.
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Old Feb 18, 2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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Hi DaddySi,

First, what kind of HD cam are you talking about? You only have to "capture" your video, if your HD cam is tape based. This can only be done through Firewire. If it's HDD or Flash media based, you just connect it via USB and transfer the video files you want, just like regular file copying from one place to another.

Or if you want video conversion on the fly, you could choose a product from Canopus as TheSkil... has mentioned. But they are far from cheap.
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Old Feb 18, 2009, 3:09 PM   #4
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Hi Adalfa. Yeah the Canopus is not at all what I want. I want a capture device that accepts HD (preferably into teh USB port as USB 2 is faster and peripherals are always way cheaper) via the 3 phono plug method (not HDMI). I already have the means to get my film onto my PC direct from the USB connection on the DVC 595 ( actually a Praktica DVC 5.1HD) but that only works as if reading from a mass storage device. I have a card reader too. There is some debate and evidence to suggest that with a driver, the cam could give a direct feed but I've hit a brick wall down this road. Basically, I really just wanna be able to use my cam as a webcam every now and then for streaming, so cheap capture device should suffice, if I can find one...
Thanks anyway Skillionaire.
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Oh okay. I totally misunderstood you, DaddySi. Using a HD hdd/flash media camera/camcorder as a webcam through USB2 is not possible, I think. I've never heard or read about this on the net at all. I have seen tape based HD camcorders such as the Canon HV20 being used as a webcam through Firewire, using a software called WebcamDV. The problem is as you mention, connecting a HD camera through USB turns up as a mass storage device on the PC. So there has to be a direct video stream capture device between camera and PC. Regular capture cards or USB capture dongles can only recognise dvd/vhs players, I think(not 100% sure about this). I've tried this myself. Hooked up my Aiptek Z600 to a cheap USB SD capture dongle(Easycap) and nothing happened. I know proffesionals/broadcasters can capture HD straight to hdd using pci capture cards, but these costs in the thousands of $$ and I haven't seen a similar device for consumers. There are HDTV pci capture cards but they can only capture straight off your HDTV signal.

Ok here's another problem. Let's say hypothetically you manage to get a live hd feed to your PC through USB, I don't think IM's such as Yahoo messenger or Windows Live Messenger would recognize this stream as a webcam. For this you need 3rd party software, which doesn't exist.

One other thing. There are low cost hybrids with webcam capabilities, but AFAIK, they only output in 640x480 or 320x240 resolution.

So as for now it's "Mission Impossible".
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 9:15 PM   #6
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Yeah, I'm beginning to agree. The cams are labelled everywhere as being a PC cam. What does this mysterious Chinese translation mean?
An interesting aside though is that you can get HD webcams now....
So where does this leave us? I wouldn't use MAN or Yahoo anyhow. Would opt for a video conferancing app or maybe Skype although I've not used it yet so I don't know if it works well. MSN and Yahoo are absolutley pitiful for video calls. They seem to work about 20% of the time and I think that is being generous.
Thanks though Adalfa
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