Miglia Directors Cut Take 2
- Easy to set up and works with virtually any DV editing/capture software. Also let’s you output video from the PC to an analogue device
- Not the cheapest solution
The Director’s Cut Take 2 is not the cheapest analogue-to-digital capture option available, but it is quite possibly the easiest to set up and use, and the quality of the result will not disappoint.
Price$ 617.00 (AUD)
Digital video may be here to stay but that doesn't mean that analogue video is dead - at least not yet. Most of us still have VHS tapes littering our bookshelves, and some of us (shock horror) haven't yet replaced that old video handycam with a modern DV version.
But VHS is a long way from the convenience of DVD and even if you are still relying on a video camera it would be nice if you could put your movies on DVD. Enter analogue-to-digital capture devices. They're nothing new - video capture cards have been around for years - but they do have a reputation for being fiddly to set up and use, at least on a PC.
Miglia's Director's Cut Take 2 is a solution-in-a-box that aims to take the hassle out of converting your analogue video, or even outputting digital video to an analogue device. It does this by fooling your DV editing software into thinking it's a DV camcorder. Unlike other devices it requires no driver and does not need its own capture software, though you will need a FireWire card pre-installed in your PC. We first tried using it with the FireWire port on an Audigy sound card, which works fine when capturing video from a DV camcorder. However, with the Director's Cut we got dropped frames when recording. We then installed a no-name, budget FireWire card and the problem was resolved.
The Director's Cut Take 2 has two sets of analogue outputs (S-video, composite video and audio left and right) and one set of inputs at the rear. For importing video you connect your camcorder or VCR to either the S-video or composite video jacks, and audio to the left and right audio inputs.
The unit draws power from the PC via the FireWire cable. With your analogue input device attached, you simply fire up your favourite video editing program and use its capture function to convert your video, a process that occurs in real time.
Although the Director's Cut 2 is recognised by the editing software as a DV device, you cannot control the analogue device attached to it. As a result you'll need to manually start and stop playback on your camcorder or VCR.
The Director's Cut Take 2 does a very good job of capturing video, with negligible reduction in quality. We tried it with Adobe Premiere Pro and Ulead DVD Workshop 2 without any problems. But the Director's Cut does more than just capture your analogue video to the PC. It also lets you export edited video back to tape. You can connect a VCR to either or both of the analogue outputs (recording two copies of your file to separate VCRs is supported) and then use the export mode of the DV program. The front of the unit has a Capture/Export button which you use to toggle between the two states. You can also connect a TV to one of the outputs to act as a preview monitor, an effective way to see how your captured video will appear onscreen.
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