High-End video capture cards

…once upon a time, I was happy with my video capture card… it is based on the Philips SAA-713x chipset, has a 9-bit ADC, 4-line adaptive comb filter, could capture uncompressed… and it’s better than ones based on BT8X8 chipset!

Then, also thanks to this forum, I discovered that there are much better video capture cards around…

The requirements:

  • MUST capture uncompressed YUV 4:2:2 (and, if possible, HuffYUV too)
  • MUST have a REALLY good comb filter ALSO for PAL signal
  • MUST capture PAL and NTSC
  • 10-bit ADC and over preferred
  • PCI highly preferred; then PCI-E, USB 2.0, FireWire
  • Composite and S-Video input – RGB and/or Y/Pb/Pr are welcome
  • TBC will be appreciated, but absolutely not mandatory
  • VirtualDub capture really appreciated, but not mandatory
  • No TV tuner whenever is possible

During my usual internet searches, I found some interesting products – in no particular order:

Aja Kona LHe Plus

overly exagerated for laserdisc captures, price out of many pockets… has a 12-bit ADC, but only a 3-line comb filter; could capture audio too, but analog is XLR balanced…

Viewcast Osprey 530

Seems very good, but have not find deep info about it. The 4-channel capture cards of the same brand have 3-D + 2-D comb filter, so it’s highly probable that this one has it too.

Black Magic Intensity Pro

10-bit ADC, 24-bit analog audio input, price not too high… maybe the right compromise; but it seems that SD capture is there as a “bonus feature”!

Pixel Magic PDI Deluxe (a.k.a. SweetSpot in Europe)

IIRC used by the X0project, and works well with DScaler too! But was not able to spot anywhere used…

ATI Theater HD 750 -> Asus My Cinema ES2-750 -> Diamond TVW750PCIE

12-bit ADC, 2-D 5-line and 3-D comb filter (will the latter work with PAL too?!?), and NO hardware MPEG2 encoder like the 650… Someone thinks that its AGC has problems.

I’m thinking to buy the Pixel Magic PDI Deluxe – if only I could find one! – or the Blackmagic Intensity Pro.

What do you think?