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OSXpert, Mac Software Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 226
Experience:  2 years as a geek squad computer technician, 5 years as a software engineer and unix systems admin
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What is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to capture video

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What is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to capture video from my HDTV onto my macbook? Is there some sort of HDMI to USB adapter and software that would let me do that?

OSXpert :

Hi, my name is Britton. What source are you using to supply the video to the HDTV (Blu-Ray player, DVD, etc...)


I want to capture video from television stations


I want to capture the video from television broadcasts

OSXpert and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
I see -- you'll want to pick up a digital TV Tuner for your Mac, like this one from Elgato.

This is basically a separate OTA (over the air) broadcast receiver that you plug into your Mac. It will pick up the TV signal and allow you to watch/record the live OTA stream on your Mac.

To capture the video from the HDTV itself would require another adapter (HDMI/DVI/Display Port), which is probably going to be tremendously expensive.

Take a look at the link I provided -- I think it will do the trick. Let me know what you think.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
well, I am not sure this is going to work. I don't necessarily want to watch the shows. I just want to be able to capture them and make them in to mpegs or some other format that I can store on my computer. I might want something that is on my DVR or on a non broadcast channel. I figured there must be some sort of connector cable and software that will let me import this. Perhaps into imovie or another video capture program?
That's exactly what this does, it captures the digital stream as it's broadcast from the TV station. However, maybe I am misunderstanding you -- you are trying to capture (store as a video file) the live broadcasts, correct?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes, but it sounds like this product only capture live broadcasts on a handful of channels. I might, for example, want to capture video of a program that is stored on my DVR or something that is on a cable channel like MTV that is not broadcast over the air
I see...

It may not sound like it, but you're actually talking about a few different products to accomplish what you're looking for. First, you're correct -- the product I linked will only capture live OTA broadcasts.

Second, pulling video file off of your DVR (i.e. transferring the file itself over USB, ethernet, etc...) will depend on your DVR. I'm sure it's "possible" to accomplish this, however, whether or not the manufacturer of the DVR actually wrote software to allow you to transfer the files will, again, depend on the manufacturer. Please send me the make/model of your DVR.

Lastly, if you want to capture a video from a non-OTA broadcast channel (like MTV) you will again need to use a separate device to do so. If you want to capture an analog (standard definition) recording from MTV, you can use something like this:

If you want to capture the HD digital channel from MTV you're going to have a tough time doing so because USB 2.0 (the type of port on your Macbook) is too slow to capture the HD stream.

Unfortunately, capturing live digital video is expensive and challenging (short of transferring a file over USB or other)
OSXpert and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you