Connecting/capturing from TV to laptop

TechiMan

Standard Member
HI, not sure if this is in the right forum, but Im wondering if its possible to capture the TV signal from the TV using a scart to composite onmection to my Windows laptop?. Im kinda answering my own question as I know it is possible to do this and capture a signal using the capture device I have (a Climax Digital capture device) with the scart connected to the scart input of the TV and and yellow, red and white comp cables connected to the USB capture device to the USB input of my laptop/s. A while back I tried this and was able to capture video into one of video capture programmes I have (though many of them dont do a very good job at capturing smooth video); I was even able to hook up a Betamax video to a modern HD TV and capture the video using the same process. But yesterday I tried to do this when opening the capture software (in this case Debut capture, VLC and one or two other programmes like VirtualDub), but for some reason I was either getting no signal, a signal.with vertical lines or a.message saying "capture device not recognised". As far as Im.aware I havent needed to.install.any drivers for the capture device, although the capture device was initially installed on my older Windows Vista laptop. I know I have tried to capture an input from the TV using the above methods and it has worked, but now Im getting nothing.

The laptop Im using is a Toshiba Satelitte running on Windows 8.1 (64 bit).

Any help would be appreciated.
 

DavidG1

Active Member
If the capture device isn't recognised then you might need to update the drivers from the climax digital website. It is also possible the device may not be compatible with windows 8.1. I would contact climax digital support for help
 

TechiMan

Standard Member
Thanks for that. As far as I can remember the last time I tried it and it worked I didnt need to update any drivers. All I did was connect it to the TV as mentioned, opened up a video capturing programme and I was able to get a signal.

Also, do you know if a programme called DScaler will run on Windows Vista laptop (or any other version of Windows)?. I tried a version of DScaler and I could get a video signal through from my VHS recorder but no audio could be recorded. There is no tab or option for selecting audio from my capture device anywhere. I get the impression DScaler is more suited to desktop PCs using a capture graphics card.
 
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Atomic77

Active Member
I am not to sure with what is being talked about here but I do know you can connect a laptop to a tv via a hdmi cable and have your screen on the tv like a computer monitor.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I would suggest you need to update some of your kit, as from the sound of it, you are using a very old capture device and an older laptop that might be struggling with the task. Virtually all capture devices require drivers, so see if they are available.

You can of course only capture analogue sources and I'm assuming you are using an older TV, as nothing currently on the market will have a scart output these days.

My 7 year old i7 laptop with Windows 10 and a 10 year old Pinnacle card captures video from vhs tapes perfectly. For capturing HD, I have a gaming streaming device and splitter with hdcp defeat. This records to SD cards as MP4, ready to ingest and edit.
 

TechiMan

Standard Member
No, what I mean is to connect a laptop up to either a TV or VHS recorder via a scart to composite connection. I have been able to connect my laptop up to a large screen TV using a scart to composite connection which then connected to the USB capture device that connected to one of the USB ports of my laptop. It's been a while since I was able to do this, but I was able to pick up the signal from the TV channels through my laptop and view and capture the video. I decided to try this again (though this was on a different TV than previously) but nothing happened when I opened up a variety of difference video capturing programmes; VLC wouldn't do anything (and it usually does, albeit the video res is very poor through VLC), Debut video capture threw up a "capture device not recognised" message. If I had connected it via HDMI I wouldn't been able to get a signal as HDMI is an output only I think.

As you say it could be a driver issue.
 
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noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Most modern tvs do not have any form of analogue video output. You will not be able to capture any digital tv service or digital input to the tv, only analogue signals from a vhs player or suitably connected dvd or set top box.
 

TechiMan

Standard Member
But I was able to get a signal from the TV to my laptop. This was via a Sony 60" TV. All I can remember is that I was able to get an input from the TV via scart to composite, unless it was via another method of which I can't remember.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Yes, older TVs sometimes had this function, but it only works when you had an analogue input source. These days almost all inputs will be digital - either from digital TV or HDMI connected sources. These have never been available via the Scart or any other socket on the TV.

As I said above, the best you will manage IF your current TV has signal output on Scart is an analogue source plugged into the TV.
 

TechiMan

Standard Member
Yes, older TVs sometimes had this function, but it only works when you had an analogue input source. These days almost all inputs will be digital - either from digital TV or HDMI connected sources. These have never been available via the Scart or any other socket on the TV.

As I said above, the best you will manage IF your current TV has signal output on Scart is an analogue source plugged into the TV.

No I have definately tried this method when hooked up to a modern TV, and I have been able to view and capture a signal from the TV to a capture programme on my laptop. I'm pretty sure it was on a large screen TV (certainly wasn't an old CRT TV) that was digital. As analogue reception is no longer received, there's no way I could've received an analogue signal from the TV to my laptop using the cables I mentioned. I do recall the picture being squeezed in when viewed through a programme like VLC, and I had to adjust the ratio to make the fit the screen. If a modern TV cannot do this, then what would the point be if you wanted to connect an old VHS player to it when they'd be no signal received?. Plenty of people still have VCRs. I don't think I would've been able to view a signal from the TV to my laptop via an HDMI cable, or maybe you can?.

I have even hooked up a Sanyo Betacord Betamax recorder (which I bought last year in order to digitise a heap of old tapes I have) to this large screen TV by connecting the RF cable (tuning in the signal to get a signal from the recorder) from the TV and recorder and then using the scart to composite cable (which connects to the USB device - a pendrive type device) to one of the USB inputs on my Toshiba laptop and I have viewed and captured video from the tapes. Here's a screenshot below where I videoed a Beta tape playing through a Sony 60" flatscreen TV whilst I had it connected to my laptop and capturing it through a capture programme.

Beta test screenshot.jpg
 
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noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
No I have definately tried this method when hooked up to a modern TV, and I have been able to view and capture a signal from the TV to a capture programme on my laptop. I'm pretty sure it was on a large screen TV (certainly wasn't an old CRT TV) that was digital. As analogue reception is no longer received, there's no way I could've received an analogue signal from the TV to my laptop using the cables I mentioned. I do recall the picture being squeezed in when viewed through a programme like VLC, and I had to adjust the ratio to make the fit the screen. If a modern TV cannot do this, then what would the point be if you wanted to connect an old VHS player to it when they'd be no signal received?. Plenty of people still have VCRs. I don't think I would've been able to view a signal from the TV to my laptop via an HDMI cable, or maybe you can?.

I have even hooked up a Sanyo Betacord Betamax recorder (which I bought last year in order to digitise a heap of old tapes I have) to this large screen TV by connecting the RF cable (tuning in the signal to get a signal from the recorder) from the TV and recorder and then using the scart to composite cable (which connects to the USB device - a pendrive type device) to one of the USB inputs on my Toshiba laptop and I have viewed and captured video from the tapes. Here's a screenshot below where I videoed a Beta tape playing through a Sony 60" flatscreen TV whilst I had it connected to my laptop and capturing it through a capture programme.

View attachment 1422463
Yes, so what you have there is an off air analogue signal and some older TVs - including flat screen would push out an analogue from either an analogue input or the analogue tuner. Nothing digital going on there!

I am not aware of any TV that has ever been able to do the same thing with the digital tuner - or from an HDMI input. That's not to say there isn't some, but I've never come across it in 25 years of AV!

You can connect IN to virtually all current TVs using an analogue signal (Although a few don't have any legacy inputs at all now) so you could connect a VHS player, but this does not necessarily follow that you would be able to record from the TV.

There are various licencing blocks to prevent the recording of digital signals in a way that allows them to be exported from the playback device - and the quality is so poor that most people would not want to anyway.

All that said, I think your problem is probably also related to the capture device - and from a fault finding perspective, getting this working from a known good video source is probably your first step. Do you have a camera or similar device that can supply a stable, known video signal?
 

TechiMan

Standard Member
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have been able to do this using a modern flat screen TV (a Sony 60" which cost my dad over a grand). I don't know how I managed to do this but I did, and from memory I simply connected my laptop (using a Climax Digital capture device via composite cable-scart) to the back of the TV into the scart input. I then opened up one of the free capture prgrammes I have (though I cannot recall which one could've been either VLC which can capture from an inputted source albiet the video is very poor, or using Debut capture, Virtualdub or some other programme). I do have a portable CRT TV, but there's no way I could've used that as I would've had to have tuned the signal in to get an analogue signal, and as far as I'm aware analogue reception isn't received anymore so I could've have got a signal. This was only a few years ago when I tried this (I'd say within the last 4 years). I remember capturing a few clips from the TV, just wished I had kept the recordings.

And why can't people record from a digital channel? what's the point in having a recorder when you can't record to it?.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I thought I owed it to you to do some digging, and as you say, there was a 60" Sony TV that had a Scart output that would give a composite video signal from the digital tuners. More info here: https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/televisions-projectors-lcd-tvs/kdl-60w605b

This was a rare feature - I think only a few other Sonys supported it along with some older analogue only TVs, but even the Sony has been out of production for 5 years now. The idea was that you could use it with an external recorder to capture what you were watching, which is no doubt what you were doing. Apologies for my lack of belief, but as I said, I had not come across one that could output from the digital tuner.

There's very little call for composite video recordings these days and Scart has also gone the way of the dinosaur. These days most people will use set top boxes with a recording facility or will rely on catch up and streaming services. You might therefore struggle to find a TV that allows this, but set top boxes are still available with Scart or composite video outputs.

As I said earlier, to sort out your capture card issues, if you have another video source I would test with that to make sure your capture device is running OK. The likelihood is that it will need some drivers as well as the capture programme - and if these are unsigned, Windows 10 might well not install them correctly and this might well be your issue.
 

TechiMan

Standard Member
No worri
I thought I owed it to you to do some digging, and as you say, there was a 60" Sony TV that had a Scart output that would give a composite video signal from the digital tuners. More info here: https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/televisions-projectors-lcd-tvs/kdl-60w605b

This was a rare feature - I think only a few other Sonys supported it along with some older analogue only TVs, but even the Sony has been out of production for 5 years now. The idea was that you could use it with an external recorder to capture what you were watching, which is no doubt what you were doing. Apologies for my lack of belief, but as I said, I had not come across one that could output from the digital tuner.

There's very little call for composite video recordings these days and Scart has also gone the way of the dinosaur. These days most people will use set top boxes with a recording facility or will rely on catch up and streaming services. You might therefore struggle to find a TV that allows this, but set top boxes are still available with Scart or composite video outputs.

As I said earlier, to sort out your capture card issues, if you have another video source I would test with that to make sure your capture device is running OK. The likelihood is that it will need some drivers as well as the capture programme - and if these are unsigned, Windows 10 might well not install them correctly and this might well be your issue.

No worries. Yes it was a KDL model Sony TV (made about 2014 when I looked at the back of it). Just a pity that I sold it a few months ago (cost over a grand brand new and I flogged it for 200 quid). It was my late father's initially and I had no room for it as it was too big. Explains why that particular model of TV was able to tune in and direct a TV signal to my laptop using the method I mentioned but when I tried to do the same thing on a differenT TV nothing happened; as you say it must've had a unique feature for tuning in an analogue signal. Gutted now that I got rid of it as it would've come in handy for that job. And as I said previously, I was even able to tune in the signal from Betamax video recorder. I bought the Betamax off ebay to transfer old tapes (my original recorder was full of dust andf knackered). Paid quite abit for it and it was in superb condition having been completely refurbished. After about a week of having it and capturing a few tapes the thing stopped working. I asked a Beta expert and he reckoned the power unit might've gone. I should've taken it back or asked the seller what was wrong with it. I still have it and will hopefully get round the sorting it soon.

I have a Sony VHS recorder (an excellent machine btw that I have never had any real issues with tracking and very rarely have to pull the lid off to clean the heads, despite most of the tapes I throw in it are badly worn through years of playing and not being stored in cases). On my older Acer laptop the software I got with the climax digital capture device is installed on that machine (can't remember what's it's called), but because that programme throws up a "detected a copyright tape, the recording must stop" message every time a tape jumps suddenly - despite the tape simply being a home video (meaning it's a pretty useless programme) I have to use another capture programme, and many of them I download don't do a very good job at capturing; it's either no audio or it's very jerky and slow framerate or it works fine one minute then dosent the next or some other problem, often no video or audio can be found in some instances. I would happily buy a decent capture programme, but if all it does is throw up a copy protected message every time the tape jerks and jumps (which 99% of the tapes I have do - less so with the the retail films I have which seem to be less prone to jumping because they've been stored in their cases), then it's a waste of money. I think the creators of that programme should've sorted that issue out. I have been using Debut capture alot, but it dosen't capture the framerate very well even when you set the frame to 24 or 25fps, and some of the tapes which are quite jittery come out even worse when captured, with very choppy framerate. It's more like a webcam recorder than anything.

I have 2 analogue Hi8 camcorders, one I think has 2 composite inputs, but they dont seem to work, when tape is inserted and you try to play them nothing happens, and often it ejects the tape. Had them for years.
 
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