Capture Boards

Capture cards are devices that allow you to convert the video signal into a data stream that, entered into a computer, can be processed in a computer environment. The data received by the computer can be used for the generation of files for its work in non-linear editors or for its encoding as a Streaming channel, among others.

The first parameter in the choice of device should be the type of video signals that we are going to work with. There are cards with only one type of input signal and others that have all kinds of signals. A suitable choice can save us a lot of money if, for example, we choose a capturing device with SDI and HDMI inputs when we are only going to work with digital formats. Acquiring a card that can work with analog signals is only justified if we have a lot of old content, which we can only obtain in analog. As always, when capturing from analog it is advisable to do it from components (YUV or RGB) before doing it from PAL or NTSC, since the quality will be much better.

Once the necessary inputs are defined, it is convenient to know if the resolution of the source is compatible with those accepted by the card. It is not possible to capture HD signals with cards that remain in SD, nor can we capture UHD with an HD card. This seems obvious but it is not so much. It is common to want to record a 1080p signal with a card that reaches 1080i, so we recommend you to carefully review the working resolutions of the card, before deciding on one or the other model.

Along with all of the above, we must check if we can install the card in our computer or we must use an external one. In the case of notebooks it is clear: external, but in stationary computers, the usual thing in modern equipment is that they have some PCIe x4 slot, which is the minimum required by the most basic cards. At this point we link to the power of the computer, which is always the workhorse. The least recommendable, even for the simplest of cards, is an i5 with enough memory, but most manufacturers provide minimum specs tables, which must be respected if we do not want to have pixelation problems or even signal absences during capture .

At Avacab we have capture equipment from Matrox, Blackmagic or Aja, among others, which provide the necessary solutions for any professional application. From cards with analog composite inputs to modern cards with 4K SDI inputs. The technical department of Avacab can advise you on the purchase of any of these devices, adjusting the technical and budget needs to a valid alternative for your requirements.