Over the past few weeks my attention has been brought towards a new generation of devices which are dedicated to the capturing of video. What makes them special is that they are external units which can be connected either through USB 2.0 connections or else via firewire (ieee 1394) devices. What is interesting about these devices is that they are not dependent upon the processing power of the computer or the space within your computer. They are stand alone units which take the video signal and convert it to a file type which can be understood and stored by the computer. They no longer require space within the frame of the computer and can be useful for the conversion of video straight from one device to another.
What these devices are capable of depends on the model you buy, some of them are designed simply for analogue capture via USB 2.0 ports whilst others are capable of capturing via firewire to the hard disk and converting all this data into the mpeg 2 format for direct mastering towards your dvd device.
Electronics and Software for examples of devices using these ideas.
Articles by Richard Azia unless otherwise indicated.