Do you have old family videos to digitize? The Do-It-Yourself Elgato Video Capture device may be just the ticket.
We recently sent an old VHS tape we had of some family memories off to ScanCafe.com to see how they would do converting it into an MP4 digital video. Over the years they’ve done a great job digitizing photos, slides, and negatives, but we’d never sent them videos. When ScanCafe was finished, we compared their conversion of our VHS tape with an MP4 conversion we did ourselves using a recently purchased Elgato Video Capture device and software.
The ScanCafe conversion turned out pretty well, but to our surprise, the video we captured ourselves using the Elgato device was the closest to the original VHS, had better detail than the ScanCafe conversion, and was about half the file size. In addition, the Elgato Video Capture device was drop-dead simple to use.
How It Works
First, you’ll need to download and install the video capture software for either Mac or Windows from the Elgato website. The software is free, but it will immediately ask you to attach the Elgato Video Capture device to your computer and it won’t run without it.
The Elgato can digitize any kind of home movie that uses tape rather than actual film but you must have a player to play the video. I happen to still have a good quality VCR so I can easily convert my old VHS tapes, but I no longer have players for the other old video formats we had like Video 8, Digital 8 millimeter and Mini DV. So I outsourced the conversion of those to ScanCafe.
If you already have a player for any of the other old video formats, the Elgato Video Capture device will work exactly the same way for converting those to digital video.
Watch The Demo
Rather than tell you how to use Elgato Video Capture I’ll have Charlie give you a step-by-step demo in our YouTube video.
The folks at Elgato makes converting an old VHS tape to digital absolutely simple, and the quality looks just as good as the original. I would definitely give it a solid five stars.
If you have very many videotapes to convert, the small investment (around $90) to purchase the device will easily pay for itself. And I think you’ll be really pleased with the quality of the finished video Elgato delivers.