Video Hardware Tips

 Back to the main Video Analysis Page The hardest part about doing video analysis with a computer  is getting started. Unless you've got all new gear, you're probably going to need to buy something. If you're not a geek, it can be hard to figure out what you need and where to get it. 
If you have a digital camera but don't have an IEEE 1394 /firewire port on your PC, you need a firewire card for your PC. USB 2 is much faster than USB 1. A lot of older PCs have USB 1. For $19, why not get both kinds of ports for your older PC? Firewire card - $70
Firewire and USB 2 card - $19
If you have an analog video camera you need a way to digitize your video. If you already have a firewire port on your PC, get a firewire digitizer. If you have a USB port on your PC get an USB digitizer. But be careful. Most USB ports are USB1 (slow). You only want to use USB for video if you have a USB2 port. If your PC does not have a firewire or USB port, then you might want a PCI capture card. The price is right! For $10 more you can watch TV on your computer too. Firewire digitzer- $180

USB digitizer - $160

PCI Capture card $9

TV capture card - $19

Power Strip/Surge Protector - You should never plug expensive electronic gear directly into a power outlet. In the winter, a cheap $5-10 power strip is usually ok, but it won't hurt to upgrade to a $20 model. You can get these anywhere. At home Rusty uses an UPS (Universal Power Supply) to protect his gear. Power strip -$5

Good power strip - $15

600VA UPS $60

Optional Stuff  
Cables can get tricky. If you have a digital video camera, it came with a firewire cable. That will handle video and audio. If you have an analog camera, you will at least need a video cable to connect the camera to your digitizing solution. You can get a 3 wire cable to the video signal and the 2 audio channels  
If you want to make a video tape copy of your analysis session, you need a scan converter so that you can capture a copy of your PC monitor onto tape. Some graphics cards already come with a TV-Out connection. If you have one of those, you can run a cable from the video out on your graphics card to a VCR. Scan converter - $60

Corio Scan connect $250 Order link

If you want to make a video tape copy of your analysis session, you're going to want to record audio. Although you can plug a microphone into your VCR, theRusty recommends getting a mixer box. Rusty got an el cheapo video mixer from Radio Shack, but their web site does not have these available any more. Rusty is still searching for a cheap solution for you. The video switch / audio mixer combo at right is the best substitute he could find so far. Lapel mic from Radio Shack $25

video switch

audio mixer









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