Capturing video for documentation, editing, or archiving in today’s online connected world is a must for many companies trying to keep their content available. Having a good video capture device to facilitate this is essential. Whether you are a professional or amateur videographer, using a proven and reliable method is crucial to your success. There are many things to consider when recording videos like the type of encoding, quality, and file size. Many boxes clam to be field ready, let’s look at some that will do the job and will make you look good.
High-Quality Video Capture Devices
Blackmagic Design H.264 Pro Recorder
The Blackmagic Design H.264 Pro Recorder is a nice little capture device that will allow you to encode SD and HD quality video. This box will allow you to record on to a Mac or Windows-based computer through a 2.0 USB cable. Your video capture inputs are HDMI, SDI, or analog component. It also allows audio capture through stereo balanced 1/4″ inputs. You can capture all of your video files through Blackmagic’s Media express capture software. It is easy to use and offers a real-time encoding timer and two VU meters for monitoring audio levels. The software also allows you to make changes to your video and encoding quality, file destination, and file format. This device will withstand long recording sessions without crashing. Using the H.264 encoding format will keep your file size relativity small, without sacrificing your quality. This device is great for live event recording and archiving. I have used this device on multiple events and have been very satisfied. This device is a must if you plan on playing back on an iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or YouTube. One recommendation if using this device for prolonged hours is to unplug it and allow it to cool.
- 1 x 10-bit SD/HD switchable
- 1 x Component YUV on 3 BNCs switchable to S-Video or Composite. Component supports HD and SD.
- 1 x HDMI type A connector.
- 2 Channels of professional balanced analog audio with standard 1/4 inch jack connections.
- 2 Channels from embedded SDI audio.
- 2 Channels from embedded HDMI audio.
- Sony compatible RS-422 deck control port.
- USB 2.0 high speed (480Mb/s)
SD Format Support
625i/50 PAL and 525i/59.94, 480p NTSC.
HD Format Support
720p50/59.94/60. 1080i50/59.94/60. 1080p23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60. 1080PsF23.98/24/25/29.97/30.
SMPTE 259M and SMPTE 292.
Television standard sample rate of 48 kHz and 24 bit.
SDI Color Precision
REC 601, REC 709
HDMI Color Precision
Hardware-based real-time H.264 encoder supports multiple profiles for small, portable video devices through to full resolution HDTV.
Capture at full HD or SD resolution, or use direct resize in real-time to scale and encode for the intended playback devices, such as iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
Media Express, Blackmagic System Preferences, and Blackmagic driver on Mac OS X. Media Express, Blackmagic Control Panel, and Blackmagic driver on Windows.
Internal Software Upgrade
Firmware upgrade via USB.
- H.264 Pro Recorder
- Software CD
- +12V universal power supply with international socket adapters
Where to Buy:
The Blackmagic Design H.264 Pro Recorder is available from these retailers:
Epiphan Systems Lecture Recorder x2
The Epiphan Lecture Recorder x2 is a simple yet effective way to record a live event or for video capture. This box is also equipped to do live web streaming. You can choose several different options for recording styles from screen capture and picture and picture. This device will capture HD video and computer slides and record it using an internal storage device. You do not need any software to run this device. Just hook it up using a computer and an Ethernet cable. Then launch a web browser to configure and record your videos. File transfers can be done via Ethernet or a portable USB device. By using this capture device, your file sizes will stay manageable without losing quality. Each device internally contains a removable USB Kingston drive that can be upgraded for a larger recording capacity. This is a good rock-solid device that I have used out in the field many times.
- Connectors (1) DVI-I / HDMI/ VGA1 / Component2 (1) S-Video / composite3 (NTSC/PAL)
- Resolutions VESA modes: 640×480 to 1920×1200; Custom resolutions
- HD Video Format Options R, G, B plus separate HSync and VSync signals; R, G, B plus CSYNC signal; R, G, B with Sync-on-Green synchronization; DVI single link.
EDID Support EDIDs can be uploaded to the device
- Connector One ⅛” (3.5mm) stereo analog audio
- Input Levels Mic and line-in
- Video Output (Splitter / Converter) Connector (1) DVI-I (pass-through)
- Signals Analog and Digital versions are always outputted with automatic D/A or A/D applied
- Audio Output Connector (1) 3.5mm stereo audio
- Video Codec H.264, MPEG-4, Motion JPEG
- Video Bit Rates 10 mb/sec
- Key Frame Intervals Programmable
- Color Resolution YUV 4:2:0
- Frame Size Configurable up to 1920×1200
- Frame Rates4 30 FPS @ 1920×1080p (or smaller), 25 FPS @ 1920×1200p
- Audio Codec Encoder Bitrate Sample Frequencies
- MP3 32-192kbps 22kHz, 44kHz
- PCM – 22kHz, 44kHz
- AAC 32-192kbps 16 kHz, 22kHz, 44kHz
- G.711 – 8kHz (a-Law) & 8kHz (μ-Law)
- Connector (1) 10/100 Ethernet RJ45 (PoE – spec: IEEE 802.3af class 0)
- Streams FLV, ASF, and MJPEG over HTTP
- RTSP over TCP/UDP
- RTMP and RTSP for publishing to a streaming server or CDN
- Multicast Streams RTP, MPEG-TS, and MPEG-TS/RTP over UDP
- Network Discovery / Announce UPnP, SAP
Video/Audio Recording and File Management
- Internal Storage 16 GB (solid-state)
- Unlimited storage when configured with local or network-attached storage, enabling 24/7 recording.
- Automatically removes the oldest recordings from internal storage as space is required.
- File maintenance through admin interface (Web UI)
- Local Storage Automatic copy to local USB drives via the (2) USB 2.0 ports
- Network Storage FTP server and FTP client capabilities (automatic and manual)
- Copy to the USB drive (automatic and manual)
- RSYNC/CIFS synchronization
Playback and Recorded Formats
- Download recorded videos (AVI, MPEG-TS, or MOV) using the Web UI and playback through any compatible player.
Where to Buy:
The Epiphan Systems Lecture Recorder x2 is available from these retailers:
Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Having a good recording and capture solution for live events or archiving can make or break your career. You can rest assured that using one of these video capture devices on your next job will be successful.