A good capture device for USB?

  • Beta Tester

    Hi Folks,
    I've been using Isadora for years with a standard camcorder (Sony) and firewire but have now got a problem with the limited cable length of a firewire cable.
    To send a live feed from a stage (a real stage I might add,  not an Izzy one), to the tech box I need to run a fair amount of cable; 30 m or so. Firewire is limited to about 5m I think.
    I've tried using the composite output of the camera and running this signal all the way up to the mac in the tech box with a USB capture adaptor attached, but have found this problematic (the USB adaptor creates bad interlacing, letterboxes the screen, cuts out every few minutes, and even overlays it's logo on the image!).
    Can anyone suggest a better way to do this and keep up "reasonable" quality for live feed to Isadora? Perhaps even a better USB adaptor?

  • I've been using the Pinnacle **Dazzle DVC 100. ** Works perfectly - no issues at all on a PC!</span>

    EDIT: To clarify, I still use the composite output of the camera, as you do and have run 150 feet on coaxial cable without issue.



  • Beta Tester

    I know of many Isadora users who use the Canopus/Grass Valley ADVC55 for composite capture via firewire. This is going to give you reduced latency compared to a USB capture device and I have never had a problem with these across several projects I've used them on. I generally gravitate towards PCIe based capture devices but firewire is definitely a big step up from USB.

  • I've always been really frustrated with USB capture devices until last week. I was working on a project using other peoples gear and they used an EZcap device with Videoglide capture software. I didn't run any specific tests, just the old fashioned looking at it really hard method, but it was by far and away the fastest/smoothest low budget USB capture I've seen. Videoglide worked seamlessly with Isadora, not tried it before and I was dead impressed.

    Having said that I do try to avoid USB, the firewire devices Matthew mentions have a good reputation. Again as Matthew suggests, if you can, then the step up to PCIe is well worth it. [Blackmagic](http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/) do a great range of PCIe cards and Thunderbolt/USB3.0 capture/playback devices, as do [Matrox](http://www.matrox.com/video/en/products/). Not cheap tho...

  • I did some very unscientific tests a while back, comparing USB input (via Videoglide), Firewire and PCIe and I found that under many circumstances the USB actually had the lowest latency of the bunch.

  • i use a Dazzle with videoglide and have had no problems getting composite signal from a camera 50m away. i also have an easycap, but these can be a bit problematic. particularly because there are a number of different versions that need different drivers, but there's no way of telling them apart, so you don't know which drivers will work until they do or dont.

  • Look this list. It has been updated over the years. For mac though.

    [Modul8 v2.5.8+ Video Capture Compatibilty List](http://forum.garagecube.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3951)
    I use some devices compatible with VideoGlide drivers. I have at the moment EasyCap, but have tried some others as well.
    Search this for live capture
    PS: But for really reliable solution I got Matrox MXO2 mini(connecting with ExpressCard). 
  • Izzy Guru

    We use THESE FireWire Repeaters from Datavideo at our theatre and didn't have any problems up to now, well it's a while since we last used them :-). They also SALE 20m FireWire cables, but they are not cheap.


  • dbini, does the dazzle work on a MBP?

    Just to check, is this the right thing? http://www.maplin.co.uk/dazzle-dvd-recorder-96885
  • Izzy Guru

    I'd double check what OS it is compatible with too. Mountain Lion still inst that supported; especially not with (dare I say it...) smaller companies.

  • @Bootzilla - that Dazzle looks similar to mine, except mine is all white, with a white cable. there's a few versions, i'm sure the internals are pretty similar, but they come with different software.*

    i'm running OSX 10.6.8, and to get the Dazzle to work in Isadora, you'll need a VideoGlide driver - that's an extra $29 from http://www.echofx.com/videoglide.html - sorry i don't know about Mountain Lion.
    videoglide only supports capture at 640x480 - which is fine for tracking, but might not suit your requirements for a 'reasonable quality' it'll do 25 fps for PAL, 29.97 fps for NTSC. it'll output YUV if that's what you like to work in.
    *apparently, checking the website, videoglide won't capture audio on the DVC-100 - i'm not sure what model that is on the Maplin website.

  • i would just run a LONG BNC and adapt it to RCA and canopus into IZZY

  • Patrick is right -- that's how I've done it in the past, and it works well. You can run a pretty long BNC cable (as long as the cable quality is good) before the signal will degrade appreciably.

    Best Wishes,
  • Izzy Guru

    +1 I stick to BNC when I can.

    Plus BNC booster are not that expensive; lots of second hand ones on good old ebay.