Video capture devices thread



Any recommendations for analog capture? I encounter a lot of cheapo VHS cameras at the thrift store.


I’ve used the BlackMagic Intensity for analog capture; usually works pretty well for me.

And though I can’t say I 100% recommend it as a forward looking solution, thanks to my OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, I’ve now got a Firewire port that is connected to my old Canopus DV box that I’ve dug out of storage… works with video and audio capture.

Another possible route is to get an analog to HDMI adapter, a cheap one will cost like $20.


This device seems to work very well for composite video input:

EAS Driver Free USB 2.0 Audio & Video Grabber Capture Card - VHS to DVD Converter for TV Setbox, VCR, VHS Tapes, Hi8

I have not tested audio functionality, but my unit has been drama-free (save for what might be an unconfirmed bug where the vdmx UI goes wonky on rare occasion requiring a restart of vdmx).


over the years I have had a bunch of different cards -
Canopus ADC110DV analog video to firewire - 10+ years ago
2x BM intensity Pro has served me well since 2010 with vdmx making my own hd mixer with 1frame latency only in 720p60 and 1-2 frames in 1080p30. First in a Mac Pro and later with laptops and Sonnet echo express2 2 pcie thunderbolt case. Pretty nice setup back then. I had a 11" macbook air with vdmx working as mixer. It handled 720p fine without loosing frames. good times :-)

To avoid hdcp issues with hdmi (for some reason the intensity pro card works perfect with a pc/mac connecting straight to the hdmi. Newer BM cards doesn’t allow that ) I switched to sdi equipment.
Later I got the deckling duo2 (4inputs) in a smaller TB2 enclosure. A BM TB2 mini recorder (only work up to 1080p30 a shame)

Lately I use a lot sdi for output too. So I got a few BM hdmi to Sdi micro converters. I prefer to use DP outputs and convert instead of outputting through the BM cards.

I have to admit that I use live input less. A lot of times we are two sharing a mac pro configuring two ‘decks’ with x layers in vdmx. Mixing between the two ‘sides’ internally . That helps us a lot no loosing quality mixing (as long as the mac can handle the load of two).For concert setups that has been working wonder for us.

Would love to see Datapath video card support. However afaik they only have pc drivers?

Soon I will need a 4k / UHD capture card with low latency. Is the pci mini recorder 4k any good? (will use it with 6g SDI)
Why latency is to be expected in UHD with vdmx?



Thanks for posting this, good read. I’ve been going through the same journey myself. My goal is to capture output from my LZX video synth gear (Vidiot and Visual Cortex) in as close to realtime as possible. Lately I’ve been using a combo of VDMX on my macbook and Resolume on a newer Dell laptop (since Apple can’t seem to get their shit together and release a new macbook with a reasonable gpu).

I seem to have ok results using the BlackMagic Mini Recorder (with the thunderbolt 2 > 3 adapter and a higher quality HDMI upscaler from on my 2016 MBP with VDMX but noticed quite a bit of frame drop after an hour or so on the Win 10 Dell laptop. I’ve been meaning to pick up a Magewell capture device but have been holding off since I really want a native analog UVC capture device. I’ve been using a usb 3 BM Intensity Shuttle with mixed results. Apparently it’s very picky about the usb chipset it wants to play nicely with so I was tempted to pick up its thunderbolt cousin (but have heard it can overheat easily).

Has anyone else settled on a good realtime capture solution for analog video synths? Ideally one that plays well with both major platforms.

PS - Props on the Roland V1HD, I’ve been using this for live collaborations and it is easily one of my favorite pieces of hardware. Super fun with a hdmi splitter and feedback loopback =)


Sightly off topic, but USB webcams have come a long way if fidelity isn’t too much of concern.

I’ve been getting some ok results from the variable focus sort such as the ELP 2.8-12mm Varifocal

Today I picked up a cheap USB Microscope which I’m anxious to record with.


I’ve used old BlackMagic Analog to SDI, & SDI to HDMI converters to get a digital signal. They work if the signal is a broadcast standard and constant. I know for dubbing digital video to VHS, I had to loop the analog signal (vga to composite (yellow rca), through a DVD player, and then into the VHS deck. The VGA forces a constant signal, but can reach odd results and mess with the tracking for VHS decks. The DVD player acted as a thru-put that corrected the issues in that signal and passed a desired NTSC standard into the VHS deck. Similarly, I know people use a camera to keep a projector from dropping the signal with Tachyons+. As someone mentioned in another comment, USB webcams have come a long way. Likewise, a lot of cheap USB capture devices like EasyCap act as web cams. I’ve used an EasyCap with OBS and NCH “Debut” software for RCA and S-Video capture via USB.

Hope it helps.


See my earlier post in the thread re: composite capture for your vidiot. I’m using that usb dongle to capture into vdmx and then sending the signal back out to the vidiot through a hdmi to composite box. Frame rates are 100% smooth and solid.

They have both items on Ambery.


Update – Opted for the Sonnet Echo Express SE I (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) + BM card. Just about luggable for a backpack gig and much more flexible for a desktop capture set up. Flexibility and upgrade path were factors which swayed me against choosing a single connector device.

Original post…

I’m trying to decide which capture solution to go with for a job. I need a single HDMI camera feed (15m) to fed into VDMX and outputted via a projector. In the old days I would use a TV to PC box and a SD CCTV camera for the input or now a webcam if close to the subject (under 5m).

The Magewell USB CAPTURE HDMI Gen 2 seems the obvious choice for trouble free capture/streaming. But I’m also considering a Sonnet Echo Express SE I (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) expansion chassis as I already own Blackmagic Design Intensity and Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Recorder PCI cards. Note: the Blackmagic cards have worked well for me despite a lot of peoples experiences with software issues.

So pros and cons come down to ease of use with the Magewell and upgradability/flexibility with the external Thunderbolt chassis and PCI card.

Regarding compatibility with VDMX I’ve only used the Blackmagic cards for capture and not tested them for streaming using the Vid In. I’m assuming VDMX will recognise the Blackmagic card hosted in an external Thunderbolt chassis. Can someone confirm this before I commit.


I have a Thunderbolt 2 PCI enclosure that I use with 2x BlackMagic DeckLink Duo cards for a total of 4x HD-SDI inputs, which works great. I’ve heard reports that the same setup with DeckLink quad cards works for doing a total of 8x inputs.


@davidlublin the Thunderbolt PCI enclosure is working really well, I have a BM card in the studio machine and the PCI enclosure on the MacBook for capture/streaming… no more dropped frames! Will upgrade to a DeckLink quad at some time and a 2 slot enclosure to expand the options.