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DFG 1394-1e RIP: Equivalent external, uncompressed, Analog-to-Digital grabbers?

Sep 16 2011 | 4:30 pm

Not a new issue, but couldn’t find solid answers for this online, so I figured people here have dealt with this:

I’ve worked for many years with the firewire Imaging Source DFG 1394 for capturing analog video, low latency and uncompressed into Jitter, but have somehow never actually bought one myself… Now that I need it, it’s been discontinued. :( What to do?

How does the USB2 unit they sell fare? it seems like it misses some of the capture formats and is incompatible with Mac. Also concerned about real time latency.
Can anyone recommend other good alternatives, that can be used with a Macbook Pro and are up to the same price range? Extra bonus points for a unit that can capture HD as well as composite, kind of like the Blackmagic intensity card..


Sep 16 2011 | 7:40 pm

The Matrox MXO2 Mini will do this – can be used with an ExpressCard adapter, and (soon) a Thunderbolt adapter. I’ve used the Mini with my MacBook Pro to capture HD and composite into both Jitter and Final Cut, rock solid.

I’ve heard that the USB2 unit from Imaging Source does not work with Macs at all.

Sep 18 2011 | 5:00 pm

We use the Grass Valley (Canopus) ADVC55:

It’s cheap and reliable. It doesn’t have all the options of the DFG, but I find I don’t need them anyway. I think it does some internal interpolated de-interlacing that gives a better picture than the DFG as well. I did some A/B testing with the ADVC55 and the DFG a few weeks ago and IIRC with the DFG you either get an interlaced signal or you throw away half of your vertical resolution, leaving you to interpolate in Max. The ADVC55 doesn’t give you a choice, but the resulting output looks like it might be interpolated in hardware.

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