Video capture purchase opinions/advice


Standard Member

I am about to make a few purchases to convert some old VHS and 8mm/Hi8mm tapes to VCD/SVCD/DVD and I was wondering if I could have some opinions/advice on them.

I have an old analogue Sanyo camcorder, but I have got access to a Sony Digital -8 camcorder. Am I right in assuming that I can capture my old 8mm tapes through the Sony and a firewire card? A firewire card is no problem but are there any special leads or cables I need?

I was going to use the Belkin USB DVD creator to convert the old VHS tapes (it’s about £40). Again, are there any extra cables or leads I need? Are there specific requirements for my VCR?

I have a fairly decent spec PC (XP2200, 512MB, PC2100 RAM, DVD burner and about 60GB of free HD space)



You may well be able to play your old analogue 8mm/Hi8 tapes on your new Digital8 camcorder, but not all these cams can so you will need to read the manual to see if your model will do this.

Also you may well be able to convert the VHS tapes via the cam. If the cam has analogue inputs then just connect the cam to PC via firewire and then plug the VCR into the cam. If you have an old analogue camcorder to play the 8mm tapes then you could also connect it to the Digi8 cam to get them to the PC via firewire.

The Belkin USB DVD creator will also work, but others on these forums have used them and found the quality of the captured footage to be very dissapointing.

The leads to connect from cam to VCR should have been supplied with the cam. To connect to the PC you will need a firewire cable that will have been supplied with the firewire card if it was added in by you or you can buy one for less than £5 online (or pay around £20 for 1 in Dixons etc). The chances are that you will need a 4 pin to 6 pin cable. Just check the manual for the firewire port to check that it has 6 pin ports, the cam will be 4 pin.

The spec of your PC is more than good enough to do all this.



Standard Member
Thanks for the responses.

I'll need to check the manual of the Digital-8 camcorder to make sure it will do what I want it to do.

The long term plan is to buy a digital camcorder, but that's about 12 months away

The issue of capturing VHS is a bit trickier. I get conflicting reports about all the various bits of hardware I research. I'm thinking of the following (which are within my budget - all prices from Dabs)

WinTV Express PCI card £29.00 (which says it can capture from VCRs)

VideOh CD Videoconverter kit £5.00 (need to do a bit more research on this to be honest)

Belkin High Speed USB 2.0 DVD Creator £69.00 (which you say has proved disappointing for other forum members)

Pinnacle Studio MovieBox USB £125.00 (looks promising but conflicting comments on other boards)

Pinnacle Studio DC10+ £128.00 (right at the top end of my budget)

I'd appreciate any input on these. I'm going to be offline for 24 hours so I won't be able to read any responses until then.



Novice Member
If your budget can stretch to it the Canopus ADVC-100 is a great A/D & D/A converter.

Gets my vote:smashin:


Standard Member
Just that bit too far out of budget :(

After a few more hours research the leading contender is Pinnacle - Studio AV/DV v9
unless somebody can tell me something wrong with it. It will future proof me to a certain extent for when I get the DV camcorder and is about £100.

Any input gratefully received


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