View Full Version : A capture card for government work?

1st August 2007, 19:34
A friend called this morning for some advice. He works for a government department which wants to transfer some instructional/educational videos on VHS (NTSC, if that makes any difference) to DVD. When the job is finished, the department will have no more use for the card, and it will probably inexplicably be decomissioned and possibly find its way into my hands. :)

I am therefore wondering what kind of card would be good for the department, and secondly what kind of card I would also find useful. wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more.

I do not think the videos have any copyguard on them, they could well be locally produced. I will double check on that, of course. Since this is government work, we need something SIMPLE! Something that can capture the signal to the hard drive and provide a burnable DVD output (preferrably an ISO) in as direct and easy a manner as possible, while still having decent quality. Therefore the software that comes with the card is an issue (unless there is a good free alternative that you would recommend that makes the supplied software a moot point).

Also, if I should happen to aquire the card after it becomes, essentially, surplus, will that card mate well with VirtualDub for more substantial and complicated capturing and processing work?

Can you make some suggestions for products we should consider? I know the basic steps involved, but I have no practical experience with capture cards. Any info is appreciated.

Perhaps the easiest alternative of all would be for them to buy a DVD recorder, and patch the VCR direct to the DVD and record. Which DVD recorders do a very competent job of capturing an excellent level of signal detail, so that, if necessary, one could rip the DVD and add picture enhancements/filtering/de-noising/sharpening etc. via AviSynth filters in DVD-Rebuilder or some such?

Sorry to ask so many questions. But you guys have a wealth of experience, and I have none. So if you suggest some products, I can take it from there and research them. Thank you.

5th August 2007, 00:49
I'd recommend using a DVD Recorder as the simplest solution. They can be had for a lot less than a good capture card and it don't get no simpler. Videohelp.com has lists of them.