PROS / This device works great on Mac operating systems and includes video editing software.
CONS / Elgato Video Capture is not compatible with Windows XP or Vista, only on Windows 7 and higher.
VERDICT / This VHS to DVD converter is easy to install and is a great choice if you have current operating systems. If you have a computer that is older, it might not work for you.
As one of the few VHS to DVD converters that works with Macintosh computers, it's no surprise that Elgato Video Capture made it onto our lineup of the best VCR to DVD converters. Not only does it make converting VHS tapes with a Mac possible, but in some cases, it's actually easier to use this device with a Mac than other top-rated converters with a PC. Unfortunately, this converter will only work with a Mac, Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine, limiting it significantly.
You might imagine that a product that functions on both Windows and Mac OSX would be relatively similar on both platforms, but Elgato Video Capture is surprisingly different between the two operating systems. The process and execution is beautiful when using a Mac but not quite as polished from a PC's perspective.
As soon as you plug the Elgato Video Capture device into your computer, you will be prompted to register your software and download the appropriate drivers. You can use the included application to trim the video, enhance the picture, add special effects and add chapter listings before the output is finalized. From that point, you can send your finished videos to YouTube, iTunes or iMovie directly from the application. The entire process is pleasant and uncomplicated, allowing any user to work through the entire process.
When using the software with our Windows 7 machine, it took a little longer to download the drivers and install the software. The application that was included is Cyberlink PowerDirector 8. The drivers installed easily and the software took only a few minutes to set up.
We were able to use the Elgato Video Capture device with a variety of different software apps. However, the applications seemed to run smoother when used on a Mac.
The Elgato Video Capture device has both S-video and composite cable input options. There is no automatic screen capture option on the device itself, but the software allows you to take screenshots. Another feature that is available for both Mac and Windows is transferring video directly from your VCR to DVDs. This option saves time and hard drive space, especially when you're transferring a large amount of video. While it does save you time, you don't have the option to edit out unwanted or bad video footage if you use this method.
While this software is an amazing option for Macs, the Elgato Video Converter device is not compatible with anything on Windows except Windows 7 and higher. This is the largest drawback to this software, especially for people who have not upgraded their systems yet.
The VHS to DVD converter was recognized immediately by the PowerDirector software that was included for the Windows machines. We only had to download one driver and it was nearly instantaneous. This video converter device works wonderfully with most video editing software.
You can transfer all types of analog data using the Elgato Video Capture device, including video from your DVR or your gaming systems. Keep in mind that there will be a time delay and your game play will be slowed slightly when you're recording video from gaming systems.
We downloaded the drivers and software for both the Mac and the Windows machines almost instantly. We were able to locate drivers on the Elgato website. We were copying videos from our VCR to DVD in moments using the Elgato Video Capture device.
When using a Mac, the PowerDirector software is unnecessary. The application automatically transfers the VHS data to your computer. Also, when using the Mac application, you can watch the video while it transfers or simply view the movie without recording it. However, when you're copying the material, there are sometimes stalls in transferring the video.
When using the Windows software, we found the PowerDirector software to be adequate. We converted, edited and added titles for a large variety of videos, including copyrighted films. There are options to cut the films, add titles and even chapter breaks.
Elgato has an assortment of help and support features. Check out the FAQs before calling or leaving a comment for a customer support representative. We found the knowledgebase to be useful in answering most of our questions. For the lingering problems, we sent an email that was answered within a couple of days. However, there is no option for live chat support to receive immediate help. Also, in order to use the help options, we had to go through a registration process and verify our email address.
We highly recommend the Elgato Video Capture device, especially for Mac users. It is easy to install and is fun to use. Be sure to check the system requirements before purchasing this VHS to DVD Converter to make sure your computer is compatible.