At a Glance
- Easy to use option for digitising old video tapes
- Expensive, needs a fairly powerful Mac
The Elgato Video Capture certainly works well and is very easy to use. Our only complaint is its price. It’s more expensive than similar products for the PC, and there are also Mac TV tuners from rival companies such as Terratec and Hauppage that include video input options for recording from a VCR at a lower price than the Video Capture. In the case of the Video Capture, you pay a premium for simplicity.
Elgato is the leading manufacturer of TV tuners for the Mac, with several different models that provide a wide range of features for recording TV programmes and converting them into a format suitable for use on the iPod.
However, many people also have large collections of old video tapes that they’d like to convert into digital format so Elgato has launched its new Video Capture device, which can capture video from a VCR or other devices, such as an old analogue camcorder.
The Video Capture device is a white plastic box, about the same size as the new iPod nano. On one end there’s a USB port for connecting to your Mac (it’s Mac-only), while the other end has connectors for composite and S-Video input. There’s also a handy SCART adaptor provided as well.
The software provided with the Video Capture is very straightforward, and quickly guides you through the process of connecting the various audio and video cables. It asks you roughly how long your recording is likely to be and indicates how much disk space you’ll need to store the video file. When the recording is finished, you’re presented with simple ‘one-click’ button options that allow you to send the video file into iMovie for editing, upload it to YouTube, or add it to your iTunes library so that it can be transferred onto your iPod.