Help! Plan to buy a Video capture for laptop! : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

Hi! I am planning to buy a video capture hardware like Adaptec Videoh or Dazzle. I am using a notebook computer which has 3.8G HD/128MB RAM/but only a Pentium 266 MMX. My husband got a notebook with a Pentium II 332 MMX which I can use if something won't turn out right. I really want to transfer my home videos to VCD's which can be played on a regular VCD player. And I would like to have a Photo CD which can be played on VCD player, too. Can somebody tell me what softwares to buy, or maybe download? I am quite confused of what to do. Please help me! Thanks a lot!

-- Sarita Carreon (, January 05, 2001


Big Foot,

I don't want to discourage you but provided that Apaptec or Dazzle makes a capture device specifically for notebooks that incorporates hardware driven compression, you will be hard pressed to capture using any compressed avi or mpg codecs at 300 MHz without dropping frames. Uncompressed you will still generate avi files of around 2G for a 4 minute clip. MPG1 files are generally 1 meg/minute.

For a note book of that vintage, I could suggest a Quick Clip. You would probably need the one that attaches to the parallel port rather than a USB model. It will only capture at 340x240 15 frames per second rather than 352x240 29.97 f/sec (the ideal) but can make a marginally acceptable movie file. It comes with capture software. They can still be found via Pretty cheep too.

Video Dub and TMPGenc are free packages for capturing, editing or converting to vcd ready MPG1 files. They can be downloaded at

Nero @ allows you to download a 30 day demo for burning VCD's.

Of course you will still need a CDr or CDrw burner in or external (parallel port) for the notebook.

-- me (, January 08, 2001.

the Dazzle doesnt require alot of cpu power, so both of those notebooks would work. as far as software, nero and tmpegenc, as previously stated.

-- ndumu (, January 08, 2001.

Finally! Something I can comment on.

I have been using the Dazzle Digital Video Creator (DVC) for about a week or so. I use the USB version to capture from a VCR to a Dell laptop (400 MHz / 128 Mb RAM) with an external hard drive (40 MB 5400 rpm). Since the unit processes video & audio, I have not had a problem with synch (yet). Captures are smooth with no (or very few) dropped frames.

Unfortunately, the downside to Dazzle is that the software (MovieStar) stinks. It crashes too often, gives cryptic error needs a major overhaul. The current retail version is 4.21. You may want to check their site ( to see whether a new version is out before purchasing.

If you decide to jump in anyway and use VirtualDub to capture and/or edit your video, be careful. Although VirtualDub is a powerful program (maybe too powerful for novices), I found that it altered my Registry settings to the point where using MovieStar would reduce Windows to a steaming pile of rubble.

I previously used QuickClip to capture. If you choose that route, be prepared for choppy playback if you capture using the included software. In this instance, VirtualDub comes in very handy. However, if you choose to use VirtualDub, make sure you do not change any of the settings other than location to save to (if you choose) and "save as segmented AVI" (which you must since it captures to AVI which become very huge very quickly).

Whew! That was a mouthful. Anyway, good luck on your decision.


-- fred Green (, January 24, 2001.

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