Quantcast Which Pinnacle capturers allow lossless capture? - digitalFAQ Forum
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05-06-2021, 01:42 PM
Jana Jana is offline
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Hello everybody! Excuse my English, as I don't speak it. I am from Argentina, and I am helping myself with the online translator to write here or to read what you post.
Looking at the possibility of getting a USB capturer in my city, my options are almost exclusively the Canopus A / D boxes or several Pinnacle models: the USB 710 (which are offered in different flavors under the name of Studio MovieBox HD Ultimate or "... HD Ultimate Collection" or "MovieBox Plus 710" or "... 710 HD". The boxes all look the same, black, warped, with the same I / O connections, and the terms HD or Plus or Ultimate, they seem to depend more on the software or add-ons that accompanied the same piece of hardware in each of the market launches; I also get the white box, the so-called 510 USB, which is identical to the 710, apparently, except because of the white color and because it lacks the analog outputs of the 710 (only USB output).
I have also seen for sale some Liquid Pro HD, Liquid Edition Pro HD, AVID PRO (all chubby boxes, twice the height and connections , at a glance, than the 700 USB, which could also get a blue (not silver a), and some of those (or all, I'm not sure) come with the legend "DESIGN BY F-A-PORSCHE". Finally, there are also some Pinnacle 500-USB, and some Dazzle.
Can someone tell me which of these Pinnacle I will be able to capture without loss of my VHS tapes?
I discard the Canopus since I am going to capture from NTSC sources and I already read in the forum how color loss it would have. Thanks in advance for your help.
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05-06-2021, 05:16 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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The
MovieBox Deluxe (wall adapter powered)
USB-500 (usb bus powered)
USB-700 (usb bus powered)
USB-510 (usb bus powered)
USB-710 (usb bus powered)

Are all members of the Pinnacle "Marvin" project, they all connect to the PC via a USB cable and rely on the same Windows 32/64 bit device driver.

They are bundled with various software which determines the marketing name and shrink wrap packaging.

HD
HD Ultimate
ect..

They all capture Composite, S-Video or DV and audio via their connectors.

All except the USB-500 and USB-510 also had the ability to Output the video they captured back through identical connectors for Composite, S-Video or DV so that the "edited" video could be saved back to VHS or DV Tape. This is no longer a common practice.

Today most people are only interested in capturing the video to PC files and saving those to backup hard drives, DVD/Blu-ray discs or Cloud storage.

DV is a complex topic of discussion, it has disadvantages for NTSC signals, advantages for PAL signals .. and usability issues for end users. DV capture devices are universally supported on the Windows PC and Mac platforms by native video capture software provided with the operating systems. If anything its a good benchmark for how easy video capture can be even today. The color loss is mostly related to NTSC signals only, but is a trade off for a higher resolution Luma image and less artifacts that can appear when using other compression methods. If the signal is of good quality, DV can be very cost effective. However most signals today are of poor quality and need intensive care post processing to cure many problems. Professionals can use high performance software to post process RAW YUV 422 video captures to produce a superior picture.. however there is a somewhat steep learning curve.. its generally best left to professionals if needed.

All of the Pinnacle devices are capable of RAW YUV 422 video capture, but they are significantly more difficult to use than a DV capture device. That said.. they are generally low cost and nothing prevents anyone from experimenting and learning with them.

These Pinnacle capture devices will work with VirtualDub 1.9.11 on various versions of Windows. They will not work with any version of Mac OSX.

The original Pinnacle software bundled with them generally works only on the specific version of Windows they were labeled as supporting and have hard barriers on the Windows version support. You cannot generally install a Windows XP version of the Pinnacle capture software on Windows Vista for example and expect it to work.. it does not.

Pinnacle (the brand) has a long varied history. They were a standalone company that released the Dazzle capture products, then the PCTV products, got bought by AVID, then split up and pieces sold to Hauppauge (PCTV), AVID and Corel.. during those times they also released the MovieBox products.. and that name persisted in later products.. including the Marvin product line.

The Dazzle DVC-100 continues to exist in various forms, but is the simplest EMPIA based Raw capture dongle you can find without a Tuner. It comes from a very old and long family line of products based on three chip solutions. Two variants included a hardware MPEG1/2/4 compression chip.. but those are rather rare to find today.

All of the Marvin based devices MovieBox Deluxe, USB-500, USB-700, USB-510, USB-710 have an Extra DV in/out port which appears in Windows after device driver installation. Its meant to capture video from a DV Camcorder, DV capture box or VCR/DVD recorder with DV out (there are a few rare examples of this). This made them more expensive and high end.

There are some 500-pci, 700-pci (PCI cards) based on the Bendino and Big Ben projects.. which have something of a fundamental flaw in their hardware or device drivers that means they cannot be used on PCs with more than 2 GB of memory.. so they are to be avoided. (Most PCI card Pinnacle solutions should be avoided).

Raw YUV 422 capture is not something for the faint of heart, it takes a lot of work and dedication, a lot of money for external boxes like time base correctors.. and acceptance that audio/video will almost never remain in sync.. its a steep hill to climb. I would dare say most people are not well suited to extensive Tape conversion using Raw YUV 422 capture.. they just don't know what they're getting themselves into.. and default to asking for "the best" picture quality possible. Without understanding what they are asking for. -- Professional Video Capture "Artists" can get the best picture quality from a capture (for a price.. and they are well worth their price.. when its justified) but the causal weekend VHS tape capture Hobbyist will probably give up in frustration.

Codec capture is a lot easier, either with a DV capture device, MPEG2 capture device, or a DVD recorder.. these aren't talked a lot about because they are their own knowledge space.. and are not used as much in professional capture areas. For one thing you can't improve the picture after capture very much.. so all plans have to be made up front.. the output is usually as good as it gets.

Hardware Upscale capture.. is a myth.. that dies very hard... the less said the better.

The AVID / Pinnacle (Liquid Pro Break-Out Box) also called the BOB (Break-Out-Box) is a very old Windows XP ("only") capture device which had inputs and outputs for Dolby 5.1 and Component Input.. it works.. but its just best forgot.. it requires a special wall adapter to power it and unless your specifically using Windows XP exclusively for capture.. is best avoided. A few old timers still hunt for and buy them.. but they are very few these days.

The most talked about semi-Pro/ semi-Consumer (In-between Raw YUV 422 and Codec capture) method is to use an ATI All-In-Wonder personal PVR video capture card and video card to perform the capture for you.. but these tend to cost a bit, require skill and study.. and almost always require a good Retro-PC Windows XP platform. Anything less usually ends in frustration.

A few niche (special examples) of ATI USB capture devices are available for Windows 10 .. but similarly require patience and learned skills that must be mastered.

Beginners (I think) should always start with a DV capture box first.. and work their way up.. or not bother at all and just find a good capture business to do it for them.. or explore the world of DVRs and DVD recorders.. that's far simpler and satisfies a lot of people.

Early success with a DV capture method will set a baseline expectation, and build confidence in their ability to succeed at video capture. Later experience with Raw YUV 422 capture will be instructive in why a DV capture box was so expensive and understand why they are still sought after today.

DV is generally "good enough" for a slow VHS SP/LP/EP tapes maximum resolution and color space.

MPEG2 or higher would be the minimum for S-VHS or fast tape speeds like with Betamax with their higher maximum resolution and color space.

H.264/265 or variants is available, even common in some DVRs but its kind of out there.. as far as people with lots of experience.

Raw YUV 422 is the ultimate.. but just takes a lot of concerted effort to pull off successfully.

Last edited by jwillis84; 05-06-2021 at 05:58 PM.
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