Video Capture: Terratec Grabby

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terratec_grabby_packageUp to now, our video editing reviews have mainly focused on digital video sources, however before the DVD and digital age we were all reliant on good old fashioned VHS, and I am sure the majority of us have a number of videos and memories stored on tapes ready for processing.  With this in mind we were excited to be given the chance to review the Terratec Grabby, an external USB video capture device specifically aimed at transfering analogue video to DVD.

Using the Grabby to capture video from an analogue source couldn't be simpler, with the only requirement being a spare USB port and a source with a composite or S-video out.  Even if you haven't got these available (which to be honest is quite likely if you have a modern VCR) a scart to composite adaptor can be bought very cheaply.  No external power adaptor is required as it is directly powered through the USB connection.

The software provided is a Terratec edition of MAGIX Movies on DVD (a basic version of MAGIX Movie Edit Pro), which allows full control over the Grabby with a simple interface.  The Grabby itself has a button for initialising recording, but it is just as easy to use the software interface, which allows recording from a digital camera, analogue video, audio and also direct from the computer screen.  The Grabby is compatible with PAL, NTSC, SECAM and supports capture rates of up to 720x576 pixel/25 fps for PAL sources and up to 720x480 pixel/29,9 fps for NTSC sources.

terratec_grabby_contentsOnce imported, the video can be edited to remove unwanted parts (for instance commercial breaks etc.) and enhanced using a series of effects, such as transitions between video clips etc. Additionally audio can be added to the video, whether it be a commentary or appropriate background music to match the mood of the video.  Also the MAGIX Movies on DVD provides the ability to create professional looking menus and submenus for easy navigation of the video.

Once edited to full effect, video can be burnt to disc in the form of DVD, VCD etc., or alternatively shared for free online, either using the MAGIX Online World server or by exporting in a range of digital formats (Divx etc.) for uploading to a different website.

The Terratec Grabby is very simple to use and with the MAGIX Movies on DVD software importing of analogue (or for that matter any video ) is very simple.  Producing a DVD of your video is really simple, and the software has enough features to create a well finished video.  At ~£35 (at the time of writing) the Grabby, including software, is a real bargain and certainly a lot cheaper than paying a specialist company to digitise the video for you.

Available from:

Amazon: Terratec E3368 Grabby Analog to Digital Video Recorder