Canopus ADVC100 or ADS Pyro A/V Link? It looks like the Pyro A/V has coponent connectors where the ADV100 doesn't. But the ADVC100 has another kind of video in (looks like s-video but I don't think it is) and another audio input (looks like mini-jack). What's your take?
It depends on what you’re using it to capture. The Pyro A/V Link has some issues with VHS and VHS-C tapes that cause it to drop frames. I’m not talking old tapes either. I’m talking record it now with a VHS-C camcorder and try and capture it directly from the camcorder. They’ve been promising me a fix since December but so far, I haven’t seen anything and I call them once a month and they tell me just two more weeks. (Apparently they are working it out with the chip manufacturer and are at their mercy for a fix) So I wait. If you buy one, make sure you can return it if it doesn’t work for you.
I spent the extra bucks on the ADVC-300 and it's a great box. Seems to get overshadowed by the 100 which is a pity. As to the ADS, well from what I can tell it has even worse problems with PAL, there's a forum on Cow, go have a read for yourself.
No matter what, capturing from any analogue source without a TBC isn't a good idea, we've even had issues going from SP to DV without a TBC using expensive gear, in the end we used the ADVC-300.
When dubbing analog tapes, particularly VHS, it is critical to have a Time Base Corrector (TBC) in order to correct timing instabilities from the source tapes. Vegas can't correct these problems after the fact.
The ADVC-300 has 3D Y/C separation, 3D noise reduction and Line Time Base Correction (LTBC), the ADVC-50/55 and ADVC-100 do not. There are some JVC S-VHS VCR's that have built-in TBC's, noise reduction and decent Y/C separators, although they are probably not as sophisticated as the the ADVC-300. The bottom line is athat the 300 works extremely well.
Believe me the 300 will clean up things that you'll never fix in Vegas or any NLE. There are some problems that can only be fixed in analogue land, any issues relating to sync you'll find impossible to address in an NLE, mostly the other issues such as noise then yes technically you can do that in Vegas but it's a lot quicker doing it in an external box that uses purpose built hardware. Also noise reduction can work better if it's happening before A/D conversion, DV compression must introduce more edginess to the noise making it worse.
One thing that I wish you could do in analogue land is dropout compensation but sadly for that to work you need access to the RF signal coming off the heads.
It just so happens that I am in the market for an A/D converter right now so this thread is of great interest to me. I have been looking at the Plextor Models. (Anybody experience these?) I want to back up my purchased VHS commercial movies to DVD and have been using Scenalyzer Live via my Pinnacles DV500 break out box. This means I have to to reconvert them to MPG2 (using Vegas, of course) after capturing... a step I wish to elimate. My question is in regards to the macrovision protection. So far every VHS movie I have backed up has simply dumped to my computer without any problems. I am confused as to all the mention of this protection and being able to convert. Won't thses converters just simply capture these movies? In the past I have had NO problems using a Panasonic and a SONY vcr player.