Feeds
50%
Elgato Video Capture

Elgato Video Capture

Mac-up your dusty VHS collection

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

When you enter the recording's filename, you can also select how long you expect it to last. Later, you can tell Video Capture to automatically stop recording after that time - handy for unattended video transfers.

Elgato Video Capture

The VC software is a wizard that guides you through the digitising process

The recordings are limited to a 640 x 480 resolution, which is fine for transfer to an iPod or iPhone, but not the video's optimal PAL resolution - 720 x 576, since you ask. You can digitise at 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios.

Video buffs may be disappointed, but given VHS' relatively poor resolution to begin with, this sub-PAL resolution isn't an entirely unjustified trade-off. Upscaling it on an HD TV through an Apple TV box or somesuch, or transferring it to a full PAL DVD, isn't optimal given the inherently blurry nature of VHS, especially when it comes to pre-recorded material.

But it will be a limitation if you have better quality content recorded on a domestic VHS or an analogue camcorder. Would it really have been hard to give us full resolution, Elgato?

We tried the gadget out first by hooking it up to an original Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Air and chose H.264 as the format to encode the video in. The results were poor, to stay the least, with the picture and sound speeded up like hand-cranked film run through a modern, motorised projector. Switching to MPEG 4 yielded mostly good, smooth recordings, but that too-fast playback problem still appeared occasionally.

Elgato Video Capture

Click to stop recording - or let VC do it for you after a given time

The Video Capture hardware doesn't encode video itself - it's all handed over to the CPU, so we can blame the software for the glitches. Modern Macs won't have any problem here - the original Air is a special case because high processor temperatures trigger a deliberate core shutdown to bring the temperature back down again. And H.264 encoding puts a lot of strain on the CPU.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.