Adventrues in finding a capture device...

Too long; didn't read

Update Aug 24 2019 - Added to the ClearClick rant
Update Dec 26 2019 - Added more to the ClearClick thing, talking about capture devices in general, and more images.
So this all starts in 2016 when I got a capture device to record things to my computer.
That was an EasyCap... capture thing. And it was alright I guess but after 2 years of capturing video, it finally broke.
So I was on the hunt for a new capture device. I found a Dazzle capture device used on eBay for fairly cheap. After getting it, it didn't work.

So I got another EasyCap device. It seemed like the only way out at the time. It did work and was actually decent quality when using the right software (not honestech software). But there was a problem with this one. It did not like some tapes!
If it did not like a tape it would refuse to capture and would spit out 5fps garbage video.


Pictured above; The easycap that sort of works, but not really.

And at this time a friend of a family member wanted me to convert some home movies to digital files. But of course the capture device did not like these tapes and refused to work.

This was not acceptable so eventually we went to the store and I now have another capture device.
And it also has its own issues...
Its a ClearClick Video to Digital thing. It does not have the same problem as the old capture device not capturing certain tapes, but this one had an issue with video quality. For a store bought product this is not acceptable.


Pictured above; The shitty clearclick thing.

It records in less than 480p! And to make it worse, this captures in AVI for some reason even though its not AVI quality. It has an EXTREME amount of video compression for seemingly no reason.



But im not just gonna let a capture device go to waste. So I thought because of the design it can work as a small tv for testing stuff. Also, the battery doesn't hold a charge for more than an hour.
I also thought I could put digital videos onto vhs, but the built in player basically does not work and crashes the whole system after playing a few seconds of video.
Also the video output is garbage anyways! I had the device plugged in to the wall (usb charger) and composite video plugged into my VCR so I could see the output on my CRT TV. And I thought that the video quality was expected for the overall quality of the entire device as there was a line of rainbow fuzz scrolling down the screen. But when the unit crashed and froze after playing some test footage, I unplugged the device only to see that it didn't turn off and the rainbow fuzz went away. I am not sure if this is interferance in the device or if the charger is outputting voltage into the AV output.

My final opinion of this device is DO NOT BUY A CLEARCLICK DEVICE.
This device obviously is for those people who just want to throw away their master quality tapes and have garbage quality video and they assume the quality if the fault of the tape itself, when they actually bought the wrong device.
Click here to read some ClearClick reviews haha


At this point, I was fed up with this. I just wanted a capture device to solve all my video related problems.
I heard of the Elgato Video Capture, and I did a massive amount of research on it, because I don't like wasting money.



And here it is!
I was really anxious after I bought this, because after all these past failures, what if this one was going to be a really expensive (to me) failure... uhm... it was $60 Canadian.

Okay anyways, first impressions of this were great! I installed the software, and I noticed a few flaws...
First of all, the software crops the edges. Not a big deal, but I don't like it. So I went back to using OBS like i've been using in the past.

The video quality is fantastic compared to the EasyCap, but I began to notice a problem that pissed me off all the way back in 2018.
The jittery-frame-dropping thing that it did. Sometimes the video would get a bit choppy. That is unacceptable and I got really fucking pissed. BUT don't stop reading, because I found out how to fix it! Read all about getting the most out of it here!

I have to say that the Elgato Video Capture is the best capture device that is affordable, and isn't shit.
Not sponsored by Elgato, but if you need a capture device, go and get one... but make sure to read this, to find out how to get the most out of it.


And well, um. That marks the end of this almost 3 year story, and at the end of all this, I have to say -- if you just want to capture some good old analog video, they really don't make it easy.


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Also I know, the writing in this page is not very good i'll rewrite this someday. I guess that's what happens when you tack on a couple more sentences every few months.
--backv

If you think I missed something, or if you got opinions or suggestions of your own, feel free to send me an e-mail at

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Too long; didn't read

I am really picky about video quality, and here are my opinions on capture devices I have bought.

Dazzle: I don't know because mine never worked.
EasyCap: Buy if you really have to, but they really are not that good.
ClearClick / VideoNow: DO NOT BUY, they are complete shit and a waste of money
Elgato Video Capture: Pretty dang good in my opinion, but read
this to ensure getting the best video quality.