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Good analogue video capture programme to laptop


Active Member
Hi, does anyone know of any really good and reliable video capture program designed for capturing an analogue video signal from an external source such as a VHS recorder to a laptop?. I have been using a number of freeview programs (one a purchased program called Arcsoft which came with the Climax Digital capture device, but each time the tape jumps when played the program immediately displays a recording has stopped message because it wrongly thinks it's a copy protected tape when it isn't). I suspect alot of other similar programs will do the same. All of the other free programmes I've been using such as Debut Capture, VirtualDub etc don't do a very good job at capturing, often the framerate isn't as it should on playback, though during recording it seems fine (and the framerate it set as it should be for a PAL system). On the Arcsoft program which came with the device there is never a problem with framerate or video lag or audio missing during playback except that it throws up the annoying copy protected message everytime a tape jumps. So it can't be an issue with the drivers or the video and tapes I'm using, probably the free stuff I've been using isn't very good.

Depending on which program I use, sometimes a particular tape I'm capturing from the VHS recorder will capture smooth video, but as the tape progresses the video starts to lag and become choppy, this is noticeable when playing back the captured recording; whether this is down to RAM I'm not sure, certainly can't be due to harddrive space. Alot of the time this is probably due to a poorly worn tape, which is understandable given alot of the tapes I have have been worn alot, but when they are played from the recorder to a TV there is no framerate or lagging at all just the usual jumps, tracking issues that are associated with the tape.

I have two laptops (a laptop probably isn't the best for capturing video I suppose), one an Acer running on Windows Vista (over 10 years old but still performs well with video playback even HD video). My newer laptop is a Toshiba Satellite AMD A8 on Windows 8.1 64-bit with 1TB HDD.

If anyone can recommend a very reliable capturing program for capturing external analogue video I would appreciate it.


In an ideal world you would have a few different HDD's/SSD's when capturing video.
1. Windows drive with the video software
2. A drive for the video to be captured to
3. Another drive for temp files aka scratch disk
and hopefully they can be on seperate controllers so they have full throughput.

Video capture is heavy on resources for any computer, but an all incorporated device such as a laptop can struggle to handle everything.

What capture device do you have? I'd guess it is USB, if so USB is reliant on control from the CPU, so if that is working hard then issues can become apparent.

Also worth noting that in the UK we use 25/50 fps but computers mostly display at 30/60 fps and this could be where the issue lies. If you create a DVD etc. output and play it back on a TV then it may look better as the TV will display it at the native frame rate.

So a few things to look into, and hopefully you will be able to get the results you are after.

Let us know how you get on with the capture and playback.



Active Member
I'm aware that using a laptop via USB will be putting a strain on the processor, but I don't have a modern enough desktop PC to do this; I have an old desktop PC running on XP with a TV tuner type graphics card (Pinnacle) but I uninstalled it years ago and it probably won't work anymore, plus the this computer is really slow on booting up but some standard SD video files do seem to play OK. I haven't used it for years because it's just really slow for doing even basic stuff like opening folders etc.

As I said previously, the different capture programs seem to work better than others. The program that came with the USB capture device plays and captures video and audio well (and as I said it will bring up the annoying copy protected message everytime a tape jumps erratically or even slightly), though sometimes I get a "no signal detected/capture device not found" message even when it's connected to one of the USB ports, and this sometimes happens with the other programs I use. My biggest issues is the free programs I use which sometimes have the audio missing or can't find the audio, framerate lag or video being choppy upon playback. I suppose the tapes I'm using don't help matters are alot of them are quite badly worn and will be jumpy, have tearing and other tape issues. Maybe you're right about the 30fps than using 24/25fps. I just assumed because I'm capturing from an external analogue source like a VHS player that I

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