Inexpensive PC video capture solutions

Pete Clements (
Tue, 22 Aug 1995 21:42:02 -0400

I know that a lot of you want to get the full use of CUSM but are either
unwilling to shell out the $800+ for a camcorder and capture board, or tired
of waiting for the QuickCam for Windows. I think I have found the cheapest
possible solution to video capture for the Windows PC user. It involves
buying a video capture board and a camera. The total cost for both of the
units listed below is under $200, and they are available NOW. You could be
up and running in a matter of a few days!

I purchased a Videologic Captivator video capture board for $99 from Tiger
Software. This isn't the best capture board available for the PC but it *is*
the cheapest, and it works well with CUSM and Vidcall. It has the added
benefit of color support, and the ability to capture video from sources
other than a camera. Installation is a breeze. You'll need a free 16-bit ISA
slot to install it in.

Several companies sell monochrome CCD cameras by mail order. The unit I'm
recomending here sells for $89. It supports 16 grayscales, with 260 scan
lines, at up to 30 fps. Overall image quality is equal to, if not better
than, what you can expect from the QuickCam. No mounting hardware is
provided, which means that you'll have to buy some kind of stand to hold it
in. There's a mounting nut on the bottom of the housing for this purpose.
You will also need a 12 volt power supply, which is included, and a standard
RCA cable to connect it to the capture card. It does not have a built-in
microphone, so you will still need a mic attached to your sound card if you
want to use CUSM's speech capabilities. The entire unit is roughly the size
of two packs of cigarettes stacked one atop the other. Unlike the QuickCam,
this camera produces standard NTSC composite video. You can use it with most
Mac or PC capture boards, or even with your vcr, composite monitor or tv.

Hope this helps somone :-)


Note: I am not associated in any way with Videologic or Timeline, Inc.

For more information on this camera, contact:

Product name: "Encased Black and White Composite CCD Camera with Adapter"
Cost: $89.00, 2/$159

Timeline, Inc
23605 Telo Ave,
Torrance, CA 90505

Technical information, etc (310) 784-5488
Fax (310) 784-7590

The original source of this information was the Sept, 1995 issue of
_Electronics_Now_ magazine, page 111.

Pete Clements Linux and Amiga enthusiast