Quantcast Budget setup for Hi8 transfer? - digitalFAQ Forum
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05-03-2022, 11:51 AM
lunchman lunchman is offline
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Hey all -

New to the forum and just dipping my toes into this world.

I've recently come into a Sony Handycam CCD-TRV308 to futz around with as a part of a video project I'd like to get underway. Have always loved the Hi8 aesthetic and am excited to be working with it.

That said, I've been trying to study up on the (incredibly vast) array of capture options out there and am having trouble finding a solution that fits my budget (around $75)

I purchased a cheap capture card (this thing) with VirtualDub and it works just fine, but I have a feeling I can do better if I spend a bit more.

I've read through a few of the guides here and unfortunately I think the typically-recommended cards are out of my price range (not to mention I am running Windows 10 and don't think I can swing going to an earlier version).

So I'm wondering, among the less-than-perfect capture cards (read: $75 or under) that would be a significant step up from my current setup?

Appreciate the help.
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  #2  
05-03-2022, 12:08 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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That capture card is cheap Chinese garbage, the infamous Easycap, which earned the nickname Easycrap. All sorts of quality issues exist, and the output looks awful. That card is literally $1 in China, and was sold for 4 shipped to UKback in 2020 (cheapest price I ever saw it shipped for). And yet, not even worth $1.

Most less-than-ideal cards are all the same: Chinese crap USB dongles.

As you approach $100, you start to get into variable quality cards, such as VC500 and Hauppauge, that are all over the place it terms of actual components that determine quality.

Historically, capture cards were always in the $300+ range. Many still are. The fact that you can get some of the best legacy USB cards for $150 range is a steal, and that's not even including inflation over the past 15-20 years.

For comparison, a good USB card is somewhat like a good blender. The $35 Walmart special is a Chinese POS that blends nothing and breaks, while the $100 range Ninja will last you many years, and with quality.

Best of all, you can resell a quality capture card when done, while the cheap card is yours forever and worthless. So negative economics enters the fray, in terms of resale. Good gear holds value.

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  #3  
05-03-2022, 12:22 PM
lunchman lunchman is offline
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I do wish $150+ was in the cards for me but unfortunately it isn't right now.

Was hoping there was a viable mid-tier option that would work for my needs but seems like "go big or go home" is the idea here.
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05-03-2022, 01:12 PM
traal traal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
As you approach $100, you start to get into variable quality cards, such as VC500 and Hauppauge, that are all over the place it terms of actual components that determine quality.
Maybe the reason why I don't see the AGC issue with the VC500 is because I'm very careful to set the histogram correctly and as a result the card never feels the need to reduce brightness to prevent screen burn-in.
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  #5  
05-03-2022, 01:21 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
Maybe the reason why I don't see the AGC issue with the VC500 is because I'm very careful to set the histogram correctly and as a result the card never feels the need to reduce brightness to prevent screen burn-in.
AGC is baked into the hardware, it's not user adjustable. Histograms is just the readout. What you see on-screen is just an output preview, and concepts like "screen burn-in" are not part of the equation.

There can also be stark differences between PAL and NTSC for AGC reactions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunchman View Post
but seems like "go big or go home" is the idea here.
Not really. Again, "big" still exists, $300+ range. You just need to go middle (~$150), not lowball (~$50, 35-75).

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