Camcorder live feed into mac


Hi everyone!
Sorry if this topic keeps getting brought up and for this basic question but I’m struggling to find straightforward answers online. I haven’t been in this zone for a few years, and tech has changed since the firewire days, which I can’t believe feels this old school already!

What’s the best setup to get a 1080 video feed
• out of a DV camera (DV / S-Video / Composite / FW400)
• into a mac running vdmx
• and output to projector,
with the lowest lag and cleanest picture as possible?

I found this thread but there’s different ways people are using it… I’m wondering if anyone can recommend a good setup for what I’m specifically trying to do?

I can’t find my FW400 > DV cable so I’m waiting for a new one to arrive… Would that not work? (i have a ‘classic’ macpro w fw800 ins). To be fair I think I only used that to capture to tape in FCP7.

I’m also seeing cheapy USB things I can only imagine being super laggy and crappy.

Can someone give me the lowdown so I can get freshened up on this?
many thanks!!



Can your DV camera output HDMI? That would be the best way imo to input HDMI 1080 video in real time using an UVC HDMI capture device.

RCA, S-Video, and Composite will not get you 1080. It’s possible that YPBPr Component cables can support 1080, but I’m not sure what camera you are thinking of.

If you want to bring in a real-time composite SD stream then a simple USB capture card (look up EasyCap) can bring that feed in as a USB video input.

Imo, stay away from Elgato, you pointed to an $85 capture card that sells for around $5 under the brand EasyCap. Since it is SD the bandwidth is relatively low and the latency shouldn’t have much delay (device / computer depending).



Hey thanks for that. I actually landed on your website yesterday during my search. Much appreciated.

The cam is a Sony FX1. No HDMI
Here’s one set of outputs and here’s the FW iLink

Does that answer your question about the RCA/S-Video/Component options?

I was hoping the iLink out to a FW cable would work, which is what I used to use to capture tape. Do you know if that’d work?

With all the capture boxes by the likes of Blackmagic, is there anything similar that could get a pure and clean video signal into the mac?

If I really have to go down the USB route I’ll do it - I’m just seeing they output 640x360 which is smaller than SD, and that they’re mainly for regular consumers looking for streaming who don’t mind latency. So that’s why I also ended up searching for the more expensive one like Elgato, cuz the cheaper ones seem to suffer in quality (although those reviews were for capturing DV/VHS as opposed to a live feed). …Not that I trust amazon reviews anyway, but that’s why I wanted to ask the VDMX community.

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Do you have the sony D component cable?

It might seem a little wonky, but I’d try going through a component to hdmi converter and then into an HDMI capture card.

That or if you have thunderbolt and want to spend the money, then a blackmagic box like theIntensity Shuttle should work well.



oh man, this is the juice I was looking for. Thank you.
I may try both options and feel out the difference.
And I don’t think I have that component cable but I’ll dig around and buy if not. So that’s the YPBPr cable you were wondering about supporting 1080?

Thanks again. I may report back



This really depends on you use case but I would recommend trying to use what you have before buying. Its likely you have a very capable camera if you already have a smart phone and this is a great way to test things out before buying extra kit. You can use NDI which VDMX supports or apps specifically designed for streaming like Shoot.

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Ah nice thanks for that. Good to know about the NDI and phone-cam stuff. I specifically want to use the sony dv cam for its look and manual controls.

I meant to follow up anyway since the iLink cable (IEEE) I reordered just arrived, and it works! Straight into the mac via FW800>TB2 adaptor. VDMX recognizes it as an input just fine, although with quite a bit of latency. Pretty fun so far.

I will compare it with the usb stuff I bought. I’m also waiting for the blackmagic box, which I think will probably solve latency. It’s all easily returnable so I just wanted to test things out til I find the best setup.



Hi again!
Got myself into a muddle with some of these bits, wondering if I can pick your guys brains again.
The iLink cable works great but it’s just 3ft and too short. So I tried the HDMI/USB route, but the feed comes through but only in black/white.

2 things I’ve realized:

Recapping what I have:

So if I were to replace the AV cable with a Component one, will I still have issues since the camera is PAL? Shouldn’t I also swap out the Component/HDMI for a PAL one?

I could just wait for the new Sony cable to come through and see, but I’m hoping to avoid trial and error approach and just get the right tools in a single spree.

Really appreciate your guys’s knowledge and help.



The component cable should give you a full range of colors. Additionally, an AV cable (RCA) is only going to support SD resolutions. I’ve never had much of an issue with NTSC/PAL when going from analog to digital. Most computer, capture devices, and present day hardware should be able to handle both at this point (along with a wide range of video resolutions and frame rates, 24p for example, PAL is 25fps, NTSC 29.97 (30p)).

There might also be a switch inside the camera hardware or software to change from PAL to NTSC. Back in the day we used to use PAL to get the “24p” look when pull down conversion from 29.97 to 23.94 was more complicated.



Same. Though it’s my first time using this camera since I moved to the US so wasn’t sure. The eBay seller mentioned the Pal/NTSC conversion which was a surprise.

I’ll wait for the sony Component cable and report back. Thanks!!

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