HD video capture card

What would you suggest for a HD capable capture card under $1500?

I have been looking at some (Snazzi, Canopus, and Matrox), but I do not want to have to get a new computer to have the pci slot combination required for most of the cards. (many require pci-x, multiple pci-e slots, or full length pci slots which i do not have, I do have 1 pci-e x1, 1 x4,1 x16, and 1 regular)

Most suggest a workstation graphics card and dual cpus, is this necessary or can I use my 7900gtx and X2 4000 am2 @3.0ghz?

How many hdds in a raid array would I need in order to keep up with the transfer?

Thanks for your advice.
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  1. Did you really mean $1500? What are you going to be doing with it, that you need this much horsepower. Not clear on your budget, because going dual processor and multi-disk raid array is going to cost you big bucks. Can you be more specific?
  2. The $1500.00 is just for the card, but after some further research, it may have to go up to $1800. I am assuming it will be around $2500-3000 by the time I get everything else that I need. I am buying a JVC HD camcorder with 60gb hdd, so I need some way of dealing with the footage. I will be doing some editing so a codec is needed. I will also be converting old VHS and Hi-8 tapes to DVD or to whatever storage system I come up with.

    The minimal specs for the different hd capture cards I have seen are dual processor @2.8ghz (either dual core or multiple physical processor), 2gb RAM, sound card, graphics card, and dedicated RAID array to keep up with the transfer rates and huge storage requirement (22hrs/tb).

    I plan on using my current AMD X2 4000 @3.0ghz (since I will not be doing this all the time), 4gb ram, 7900gtx 512mb gfx, x-fi xtrememusic, and at least 4 320gb hdds in a RAID 3 array.

    Based on this information, what HD capture card would you recommend? The card has to fit into a standard pci, pci x1, pcix4, pci x8, or pci x16. It also has to have a 1394 6pin and composite inputs.

  3. The only cards I know of in that category are the AJA Kona cards, but they don't have the firewire connex. I assume when you write Canopus, you are referring to the Edius NX. http://www.canopus.com/products/EDIUSNX/index.php

    That looks like your best bet, but I don't know anything about it. I'd bump the HD's to 500gb, cuz you know vids a hog and you're going to use it. The price isn't that much different. You might even consider the 750gb perpendicular drive by Seagate. If you're going to do RAID 3, you better get yourself an add-in controller card, because that would be very diff to support with onboard, and next to impossible through software.

    Bump on the capture card.
  4. Do you know anything about the Matrox Rt.X2? The only Canopus card that would work for me would be the SP, but I do not have the slots or funds for that (about $3500).

    Yes, I was assuming that I would need a separate RAID controller as no onboard that I have seen supports 3. I am planning on buying a few TB of NAS to store the video on to access throughout my home network, so I only need enough storage on my computer for the files that I am working on.

    Do you know of any less expensive way to edit HD video, or is this pretty much it?

  5. Nope, don't know anything about the matrox. I know there's a couple of guys on this forum that do vid editing at this level, and I'm going thru my archives trying to find their names. If I do, I'll have them reference this thread. Sorry can't be of more help.
  6. The HD part will mostly be for personal use, but I am planning on converting video tapes and pictures to digital files for a summer job. I already have talked to a few people who said they would love for me to do this. It seems like a very easy way to make a lot money so I can contribute toward a car and all of the different "toys" that I want. So both personal and semi-professional.
  7. The JVC HD Camcorder will certainly have some sort of digital output so you won't need an HD capture card. Once you get that raw DV file onto your computer, you can do with it what you wish and burn your movie to DVD.

    I have been doing this sort of stuff with an old Celeron M laptop for a few years....Extremely slow, but for my personal use it works fine.

    You will need a large Harddrive...But I don't think you'll need an array...I just got a spinpoint 500 GB samsung that works really well.

    For capturing VHS I just hooked an old VCR to a TV tuner card....switch to cannel 3 push play on the VCR.....Record on the PC and there you have it....

    I do all this using linux so all software and codecs are free. If you buy a tv tuner card you will probably get some sample software that will work....

    Good Luck...
  8. Quote:
    Do you know of any less expensive way to edit HD video, or is this pretty much it?

    What kind of HD video are you shooting? If it's HDCAM then yeah, you're a bit stuck, but HDV and DVCPRO HD are both editable on fairly low-spec PCs (e.g. I use a P4-3.06 with 2GB of RAM and 2.2TB of non-RAID hard disks). HDV comes in digitally through Firewire and DVCPRO HD from P2 cards in a P2 reader.
  9. I am not sure what format it uses. This is the camcorder that I am purchasing jvc gz-hd7, but it does not mention a format, it just says full HD.

    Thanks for the help.
  10. It appears to be 'HDV', except it records MPEG-2 to hard disk rather than DV tapes. So in theory it should work just like any other HDV camera where you capture by Firewire.

    I haven't used it though, so I can't say for certain.
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