Please recommend external capture device

I can’t find a thread comparing these like the burners. I am looking for a good external usb capture device. One with hardware MPEG2 encoding so I can make DVDs on my PC. I see some for under $100 but would go up to around $150. Has anyone used more than one of these?

That is what I have used:

And my personal impression is more or less the same as in the reviews.

Despite of the above mentioned, I have a good experience with Pinnacle (mostly internal devices).
Their external capture devices (with hardware encoding):

Damn the reviews I see are horrible. The say its an ok TV tuner and bad cap device.

i’ve just started using my Plextor PX-M402U that i bought a couple months ago (included a $20 mail-in-rebate so came out to like $125 or something)…must say i’m very pleased with the results so far (transferring retail VHS movies to DVD). you can use a number of software suites with it but for “basic” needs the bundled Intervideo WinDVD Creator2 works just fine (I believe they’re now bundling Ulead Video 8 SE with it too).

there’s a plextor app called PlextorGoCap for more advanced users that allows you to control just about any aspect of the output… i just transfer straight to DVD-VIDEO compliant MPG2 (720x480, NTSC) with this simple software and use either Nero Vision Express or simply VSO’s DiVXtoDVD to create the VOBs/IFOs from the MPG2 file. results are very nice and it has MPEG-4/DiVX hardware encoding as well.

here are some links to reviews:

and some screengrabs/pictures:

  1. PlextorGoCap available settings
  2. Unit all hooked up
  3. Closeup of unit
  4. Output (MPEG-2 played back from HD and screen grabbed using Nero Showtime)

Amatures!!! Go to and read the reviews and recommendations. Also look at You will see that two of the units that are highly recommended are the ADS PYRO, and the CANOPUS AV links. In the $100 - $200 dollar range, you can’t beat these units. I personally use the ADS PYRO, and I’ve done really old home vhs stuff, Digital Video, etc… No dropped frames, and excellent picture quality. You get what you pay for!

I have the ATI AIW pro 9000. When set up properly the captures are excellent. It also does mpeg4 capture on the fly.

@harley2ride, before calling someone an amateur learn how to spell it first…

out of the 4 VHS tapes i’ve captured so far (all action/sci-fi films with frenetic scenes and fast-paced motion) my convertX hasn’t dropped a single frame.

read the CDRInfo review i linked to above regarding image quality…very good…

Sorry! Didn’t mean to offend… Most people on this site look at quality from solely the occassional home users point of view. I tend to look more at the semi-professional point of view. I’ve read many reviews on,, and other video editing sites. They all rate the convertx as a so-so unit. If it works well for you, that is great. I have seen you add to many posts in this forum, and I know you give good advice… Wasn’t trying to tick you off…

No comment… It says all.

no problem…it’s all good :iagree:

i agree that i’m not looking at this from a semi-pro/pro standpoint but when the majority of your sources are standard VHS tapes (not even S or D-VHS) then color saturation, hue, sharpness, brightness and contrast aren’t the best to begin with. luckily more and more software suites are becoming more fully compatible with the ConvertX series of capture devices and give you greater control over the final capture.

for example, i don’t use the bundled Intervideo WinDVDCreator2 for much if anything at all (and many of the reviews are based on the unit only fully working with this shitty software as was the case previously but no longer). i can fully use Nero Vision Express with it and fine-tune brightness, contrast, saturation, etc. etc. for even better than default quality. Ulead’s suite is now bundled (though a stripped down “SE” version) with it and PlexGoCap gives you excellent control over target/peak bitrates and such.

after reading up even more, i’m planning on using my unit as a PVR by utilizing a great freeware app (from what i’ve read so far) called GB-PVR (

I have the Plextor AV100U(the cheapest one) and it doesn’t work at all with Nerovision Express 3(any version). It works very good with Ulead Moviefactory Disc Creator and Cyberlink Powerproducer.

do you like Ulead’s and Cyberlink’s software?

Yes, I like both of them, but they are very slow on updates.

cool, i might give Ulead a try…thanks.

I got the Plextor PX-M402U like drpino has. It is very good. I use s-video and high quality rca cables to get the best quality input. I use PlexGoCap to cap and various other software I already had to edit. The direct to DivX capping is a nice feature but sucks to edit because it takes long and gets synch issues but is cool if there aren’t commercials.

hey electro…take a look here and here if you want…some decent info in the divx forum (with a Plextor rep who actually posts) and the GB-PVR is cool software…

I general I’d say that IODATA seems to have a lot of interesting products, at least the japanese branch.

Thanks drpino. It looks like buying the new Ulead VStudio is good for editing the DivX directly. I already have lots of apps and an older version VS. They should have included that instead of the WinDVD which is not near the quality as Ulead apps for editing and DVD creation.

the WinDVD suite is horrific…another case of Plextor bundling inferior software (i.e. Roxio over Nero in N.America)…they should really offer the Ulead app for free to existing M402U owners…but instead are charging another 49.99 for it…ridiculous…at least GoCap is free (but hasn’t been updated in forever despite claims/promises that it would be updated somewhat regularly)…plextor has been getting on my nerves for some time now… :a

Here is the demo for the Ulead SE 8

It also says 29.95 there instead of the 49.99 elsewhere.