Forums/A/V Equipment list

Macintosh video capture

Rick Murch-Shafer
posted this on June 07, 2010 04:37 PM

We are running into a snag with our classroom design.  In several of our classroom we have both Windows and Macintosh computers and want instructors to be able to capture using either.  We have a mounted security style camera going to the PC and captured using a Osprey 100 card.  We were planning on splitting the video signal with a DA to also go to the Mac, but can't find a good way to capture the video on it.  These are Mac Minis so we can't use any type of card in them. 

Does anyone have any known solutions for capturing video on a Mac using either a USB or possibly Firewire input from a composite video device?

Thanks,

Rick

 

Comments

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Dave Hannan
Panopto Inc.

Hi Rick,

Have you considered any of the Canopus devices? The below one works really well. We haven't tested on Mac's but it will convert composite to firewire.

http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc110

It might be worth posting here as Anton is using this device.

Regards,

Dave

 

June 07, 2010 05:04 PM
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Mustafa M. Hariyanawala

hi Rick,

 

We have tried Dazzle Hollywood DV Brigde, works well for capturing SVIDEO, COMPOSITE and DV inputs.

 

Regards 

Mustafa

June 14, 2010 01:32 AM
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Ed Tippin

Just an FYI -

I have tested the ADVC-55, the ADVC-110 and the TwinPact units on various Macs, and can verify that they all work just fine.  The only thing you need to watch out for is that Panopto needs the video source to be active, or it will not pass the audio (quirk of how it handles DV sources).

This is only a problem for the ADVC-55, which is input only and will require a splitter.  The other two units pass audio back out via RCA, which can be sent to the 1/8" input of your machine.

Ed

November 04, 2010 02:29 PM
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Graham Robinson
University of Southampton

I would recommend the ADVC 55 over the 110 in for un-supervised recordings. If the analogue signal drops the unit will often switch to the digital input and requires a button press to switch it back. I also like the fact that the 55 has a +15db switch on it.

However, if you are using it to capture VHS and DVD recorders then the 110 can bypass macrovision ;)

November 04, 2010 06:32 PM
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Ed Tippin

I had that exact problem with the sources switching back to digital; our installations are running off of the composite input, and loss of signal caused them to switch over.  The good news is that after getting out the magnifying glass, I was able to read the dip switch settings on the bottom of the 110.  There is a switch that will force the unit to default to analog or digital.  I set it to analog, and they haven't auto-switched yet.

That being said, I *do* prefer the ADVC 55, as it is the only ADVC unit to have a metal case, which helps in heat dissipation and provides durability.  It's also a bit smaller, which makes installation easier.  The +15 gain on the audio is also very handy.  Although the 55 does not officially specify DV audio locking, it does perform the same function.  I have had several 2+ hour lectures recorded with it, and I have experienced no audio drift.

The 110 is quite versatile, though, if you have media conversion tasks - with the 5v power supply (not included), it does work as a standalone 2-way convertor between DV and analog.  I am able to load a DV Firestore up with clips and push them back out through the 110 to a projector, or record analog programs back to the Firestore.

I do like the Macrovision bypass, but it's the enforcement of Macrovision that was the gem for me.  That made me more comfortable with hooking the ADVC to our Crestron media controller, which also supplied signals from the DVD/VHS.  I try not to monkey with the programming if I can help it, but I also didn't need instructors trying to replicate Netflix on my Panopto servers.  :)

Don't forget to check out Black Magic Designs - they have both external and internal capture devices that work on both Mac and Windows, and can bring in just about any input, including HDMI.  I recall them being about $200.  I went with the Canous gear, due to it not needing any drivers.  I've been meaning to get my hands on one to see if I can go from DVI --> HDMI and bring in a digital signal from my Elmo without having to spend a couple thousand on the Datapath card.

November 04, 2010 09:57 PM
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Graham Robinson
University of Southampton

There is a switch that will force the unit to default to analog or digital

Do you find that works in a real life situation? I find that it helps after a power cut, but if a VHS tape finishes and shows some snow then it will still switch to digital and require user intervention.

November 05, 2010 06:53 AM
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Dave Hannan
Panopto Inc.

I just wanted to post about our very disappointing experience with the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle (link below). We weren't able to get the device to work. Despite installing the latest drivers, Windows 7 was unable to detect it as a device and it crashed all other video capture applications. Their support responded with "This is something we are aware of and looking into. However, not entirely sure this is something we can entirely fix on our side."

As a result, we strongly advise against using this device.

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/

November 05, 2010 09:50 AM
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Ed Tippin

Hi Graham - I just got back from our classrooms to see if I could replicate the same issue you described.  It was in my best interests to do so, as I have 20 of the ADVC110 boxes installed in podiums across four campuses, and so far, they've been rock-solid.  I have been unsuccessful in duplicating the digital switch problem.  I have run a tape to its end, through the static as you described, but it didn't switch over to digital.  I pulled the analog cable to force a loss of signal - no change.  I thought that playing back footage from a DV Firestore across the front-panel 4pin Firewire connector would certainly switch it, but it always stayed on analog, with or without the analog cable connected.  I even powered the box externally (without a computer attached) and the box never switched.  The only time I was able to force it to switch over to digital was by installing Final Cut Express and outputting to tape, where the box detected an inbound stream over the cable.  I tested this on 2 different classrooms, one Mac, one Windows (using Premiere), just to be sure, and had the same results.

I *did* purchase these boxes only 3 months ago, so perhaps it's due to a newer firmware version or perhaps it's a quirk of the FW chipset being used?  Mfg date on the Canopus was 3/22/10 and I'm using a Startech Firewire card with a TI chipset for the Windows boxes; the VIA chipsets have always been flaky IMHO.

November 05, 2010 12:28 PM
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Graham Robinson
University of Southampton

Maybe it is a firmware thing... I'm not sure if you can even update them over firewire.

I'll admit there may be a few differences between us that can account for it. I use it to digitise VHS tapes to a Windows XP laptop powered by the AC adapter rather than with Panotpo.

And actually, the stopping thing isn't a complaint for me. When the tape runs out the box flips to digital and the PC detects that the digital isn't playing, so stops the capture. I then don't have to trim the tape.

My manufacture date says 'C721', which isn't very helpful.

November 05, 2010 12:41 PM
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Ed Tippin

Hi Dave - Have you tested out the internal card yet?  I was more interested in it, as I am looking to bring a digital signal in off of our Elmo P100 document cameras, and have a pipe dream of converting the DVI to HDMI and pulling it in that way.  Alternatively, I am also looking for a classroom-grade document camera that provides webcam output across its USB.  So far, the only one I have run across is the Samsung SDP-860, but it looks.... fragile.  The Datapath RGB Pro is great; I have one, and only one, due to its high cost.  It would be much more cost effective to pick up a $200 Intensity HDMI capture card than a $2000 VGA input card.

About the external device - I was quite standoff-ish with the external intensity box as it relied upon USB 3.0; although the spec has been out for about 8 years, it is only recently that I have seen more than a couple of vendors carry the cards for it.  I was also uneasy about the spec sheet, as it shows far more capabilities (8-ch sound, for example) than the internal card.  A PCI-express card should be able to at least match up to (if not exceed) the capabilities any external device that requires a bus bridge, simply because of the latency involved with the data having to traverse CPU > PCIe > USB3.0 host > cable > USB3.0 receiver > device processor.  Thanks for the heads-up on that device; I'll keep an eye on it, but I think I'll pass for now.

November 05, 2010 12:49 PM
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Dave Hannan
Panopto Inc.

Hi Ed,

We haven't tested out their internal card. Given how poorly this USB device performed, we're not expecting much from their other products.

I know they are pricey, but Datapath really is the best out there.

Regards,

Dave

November 08, 2010 12:23 PM
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Graham Robinson
University of Southampton

Just an update. I think that I have found out that the analogue to digital switching on the ADVC 110 happens when the capture software I has stops, either by pressing 'stop' or by it detecting the snow. This stop command is what is switching the unit .

Presumably as it is sending the stop command down the firewire port, the ADVC110 thinks 'if I'm being sent firewire commands it must want me to be on firewire'.

This should mean that this unit is safe for unattended setup on any device that doesn't include firewire controls.

November 09, 2010 11:49 AM
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Albert Powell
Colorado State University, Division of Continuing Education

We have been using the standard Pinnacle Dazzle for about 3 years - it is as durable and consistent as anything we've found.  It does require that you load the Pinnacle Studio software onto the capture computer, as that software also contains drivers for the Dazzle. 

This is a PC solution, not for Macs.

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Products/Consumer+Products...

March 16, 2011 06:01 PM
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Albert Powell
Colorado State University, Division of Continuing Education

Just to add - I'm VERY interested in the Grass Valley boxes mentioned above.  I'm not confident in the Dazzle for un-attended recordings, as it sometimes requires a few extra clicks to make the computer recognize it.  I'll definitely check out the Grass Valley stuff, as it's easy to add a firewire card to any desktop PC and provide the needed input path.

March 16, 2011 06:47 PM