Last updated on June 20th, 2022 at 10:12 am
If you have dozens of VHS or 8mm tapes containing personal memories that you wish to convert to digital, it could really burn a hole in your pocket.
The cost of converting an analog tape to digital is pretty costly if you use a tape to digital service. It starts at around $20 per tape.
Additional fees will be charged if you want the service to edit your converted video.
So, if you’re tight on budget or want editing flexibility, it’s advisable to take the DIY route.
Especially, if you have a computer, a tape player, or a camcorder. and some basic video editing skills.
The only device you would need to add to the arsenal is a video capture device.
And one video capture you can try is Elgato Video Capture.
Elgato Video Capture
Elgato Video Capture is an analog video capture device that could be connected to a VHS, 8mm, or analog tape player or camcorder to help convert analog video footage to a digital format through a computer.
It works with both Windows and Mac computers through a USB 2.0 connection.
How Does Elgato Video Capture Work?
You can regard Elgato as a ‘bridge’ between analog video and digital video.
When video passes through Elgato’s analog ports, it is digitized before reaching the computer.
In other words, Elgato is a video digitizer.
AV Connector Ports
Elgato Video Capture comes with female analog inputs – RCA or composite video and S-Video. You connect your analog video device (VHS player or camcorder) through RCA out or S-Video out to the RCA/S-Video in of the Elgato capture device.
The ‘output’ is a USB connector that you attach to a spare USB port on your computer.
Video Capture Software
After analog video passes through Elgato Video Capture and is digitized, it needs to be captured into the computer.
For this, you would need a video capture software program.
Elgato Video Capture comes bundled with one. It will get you quickly started capturing digital video.
It doesn’t mean, you’ll have to use the Elgato software to capture digitized video. If you’re a little tech-savvy you can use programs like VirtualDub to capture your digitized video.
With VirtualDub, you get the benefit of capturing video in the AVI format.
This gives you high-quality capture and you don’t lose much quality during editing.
The Elgato Video Capture software program doesn’t come in a disc with the device. Instead, you have to download it from the developer’s website.
This is convenient if you don’t have a DVD or CD drive on your computer.
Can You Use the Software to Edit Your Video?
No, you can’t, but you can trim the beginning and end of your video. To edit your video to add titles, music and so on you would have to import it into a dedicated video editor.
Digital Video Capture Format
In what digital video format does Elgato capture video?
Video is captured in the H.264 (MP4). It’s a universal format supported by most modern multimedia devices.
However, if you’re using a Mac, you may also capture in the MPEG-4 format.
Captured in the MP4 format, an hour of captured footage takes up about 1GB of hard disk space.
Comparatively, if you’re to do a Firewire video capture (MiniDV and Digital8 footage) an hour of video will take up about 13GB of space.
So, if quality isn’t a concern, you can capture MiniDV and Digital8 tapes through Elgato Video Capture and save hard disk space.
Supported Analog Video Formats
From what analog video source can you capture?
PAL/60 capture is supported. PAL/60 is PAL video shot at 60 frames per second (fps).
The resolution of the video captured is of two types.
Video with an aspect ratio of 4:3 is captured in a resolution of 640×480 is supported.
As for the 16:9 wide aspect ratio, a resolution of 640 x 360 is supported.
What are the Computer Systems Requirements?
Elgato works with Windows 7 or later. Intel Core2 Duo with a processor speed of 2 GHz or equivalent is recommended.
For Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later is recommended.
Video Capture Bundle
With the Elgato Video Capture device you get the following:
- Composite-to-SCART adapter
- Composite video and audio cables
Can You Capture Audio Only with Elgato?
Unfortunately, no. Elgato only captures video. However, you can capture audio separately from the video.
Once your video is captured, you can use a video converter or video editor to extract audio from the video.
Check out the video below to get an idea of how Elgato Video Capture works.
Check out Elgato Video Capture.