Recommendation for NTSC capture hardware/addon/lib for OF?

Hi -

I’m working on a project trying to capture live analog synth video to process and draw through OF (for an art installation setting, so I need something reliable and fairly turnkey).

The video synth I’m capturing outputs an NTSC signal (and is properly synced using a time base corrector). I’m on OSX (though if necessary, I could maybe switch to Win 10), and I’m hoping to find an external capture device using Thunderbolt or USB3.

I’ve tested a Blackmagic Intensity deck (Thunderbolt) using the ofxBlackMagic addon.

It eventually worked after a bunch of issues, but I found the Intensity to be very disappointing: the capture was unreliable and stuttering (even when capturing from a high end DVD player) and there were color issues and evident scan lines in the image.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a great capture device / addon (or library) combination for OF?

I’m looking at investing in the Blackmagic UltraStudio Express, but after the issues with the Intensity I’m skeptical of Blackmagic.


I’m starting to reconsider using Mac (I haven’t purchased the machine yet).

I’m thinking maybe this could work:

It has Microsoft DirectShow drivers so should work with ofVideoGrabber on Win10, no?

any alternate ideas?

Not sure what problems you had with blackmagic, the addon is great and works out of the box, you do need to tell it the exact resolution you are feeding it.

For recording quality it only depends on what you feed it, I have had dropouts (and this is annoying but part of being pro gear) it is sensitive to bad analogue signals, this is not related to the hardware, rather that it is designed to throw errors for low or broken video signals- this is normal for pro applications but can be annoying for others). I never saw BM hardware capture less quality than what was fed into it.

Try making sure you are using good 75 ohm cable, not super thin cheap stuff…

Other good grabbers are from here

I should’ve taken some documentation of the results I got from the Intensity. It did work but the picture quality was noticeably poor (tested with a Panny DVD-V5000 player with good cables). I think the issues I had setting up were mainly with the UX of the Desktop Video software, tbh, and not the ofxBlackMagic addon itself.

I figured maybe Blackmagic just isn’t investing in analog capture. But maybe if I used the UltraStudio deck I’d get better results.

In any case, thanks for the link - but it looks like they are all digital capture cards to me?

Try here