A List Of The Best
Video Capture Cards

Video capture cards are an important part of the video editing process - they help to digitize and get video into your computer.

Video capture cards can also perform a multitude of functions like live recording of TV programs onto DVDs. The captured videos can be played on your favorite media player very easily.

Video capture cards can be external or internal devices. Internal devices require installation of the capture card onto PCI or PCI-E slots found on the motherboard of a computer.

In this article, we'll take a look at a list of the best video capture cards available in the market.

1. Diamond Multimedia TV Wonder HD 650 PCI-Express TV Tuner

This is one of the best video capture cards that you can find in the market. This card is capable of recording over-the-air HDTV, FM signals, analog TV and unencrypted digital ClearQAM cable TV. The presence of a dual tuner will allow you to watch one channel while recording another.

The Diamond Multimedia TV Wonder HD 650 video capture card

The software bundled with the card also allows you to convert your computer into a fully functional DV (digital video) recorder, with the option of burning the recorded TV shows on a DVD. You can also transfer these recorded shows onto a media player of your choice and watch them anywhere you want.

2. VisionTek TV Wonder HD 650 PCI-Express TV Tuner

Another of my contenders for the best video capture card. This card has similar features to the ones mentioned above for the Diamond Multimedia TV Wonder HD 650 PCI-Express TV Tuner. VisionTek is not as well know as Diamond Multimedia, but they manufacture very good quality video cards. If you want a cheaper version of the Diamond Multimedia TV Wonder, this is the card to get.

3. MSI Theater 650PRO TV Tuner

The MSI Theater 650PRO TV Tuner is a true gem. It allows you to simultaneously watch analog TV (NTSC) and digital ATSC HDTV programming. External video sources like VHS, DVD players, VCDs and camcorder can be attached to this TV tuner card through the AV/S-video input.

The MSI Theater 650PRO TV Tuner video capture card

You can not only watch and pause the TV programs but also schedule the recording of TV programs. There is an Electronic Programming Guide which allows you to search and find your favorite programs with ease. Video can also be converted and ported to any portable media player. You can also get reception of the FM radio - all operated using a remote controller. Amazing stuff.

4. Saber DA-1N1-E Combo Analog/Digital PCI-E TV Tuner Card

This is another one of the best video capture cards that you can find in the market. This video capture card performs a dual function - it is a hardware encoded Analog (NTSC) tuner as well as a (ATSC) HDTV tuner on one single PCI-E card. You can record HDTV while watching Analog TV or the other way round.

5. Hauppauge WinTV HVR 1600

Hauppauge is a well-known name in video capture cards. This card allows you to record and watch your TV programs on to your computer hard disk either in full screen mode or in a window. You'll also get bundled software like Corel DVD MovieFactory and WinTV Media Center, which allow you to easily burn your videos on CD or DVD. The features on the card can also be operated with a remote control.

6. AVerMedia AVerTV Combo PCI-E HDTV TV Tuner

The AVerMedia AVerTV Combo TV Tuner is capable of tuning cable TV and broadcasts. In addition, you can capture or play video from sources like camcorders and DVD players. This means that video captured on an old Hi8 digital camcorder, for example, can be digitized and captured into your computer.

There's some very nice software bundled in with this card, which allows video editing and burning. There's also an electronic programming guide provided so that the computer can be converted into a digital video recorder.

7. ADS Technologies Instant HDTV PCI

The ADS Technologies Instant HDTV card allows you to schedule TV recording, recording and then burning. You also can directly record video onto re-writable media. You'll also like the included 125 channel tuner and electronic program guide. ADS Technologies also makes some great video capture products like the DVD Xpress, so it's not new to the video capture market. This card makes it to my list of the best video capture cards in the market.

Instant HDTV PCI capture card from ADS Technology

8. Pinnacle PCTV HD TV Tuner

Pinnacle is well known for its Pinnacle Studio video editing suite, but video capture cards? Well, you'd be surprised. Pinnacle video capture cards happen to be one of the most popular capture cards in the market.

The Pinnacle PCTV HD TV Tuner allows you to convert your computer into a fully functional digital video recorder. You can watch and pause Live TV, plus create instant replays on your own. TV programs can also be recorded directly on the hard drive. There's some solid bundled software to also allow you to burn your video creations onto DVDs and CDs.

9. Kworld PlusTV HD PCI 120 TV Tuner

Kworld PlusTV is a more unknown brand - but this card is inexpensive and works pretty well. The Kworld PlusTV HD PCI 120 TV Tuner can capture NTSC/ATSC TV programs and at the same time you can watch the programs on your computer. It also has some nice software bundled in for sharing your video, i.e. burning to DVDs and CDs.

10. Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert

Another nominee for best video capture card is the Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert. Want to watch stereo quality TV in full screen or window mode on your computer? No problem, you can do it with this card.

Live TV can be paused and rewound as you wish. Videos from VCR, DVD players and camcorders can be channeled through the card and then recorded on the hard disk.

There's also great video editing software included (Corel VideoStudio) for post-production work.


Whew, that's a long list of the best video capture cards out in the market. Remember, the next time you need to digitize and capture video from any source (camcorder, VCR, DVD players) into your computer, think of one of these cards.

These cards are also great for capturing TV programs in any form for viewing at your leisure. And once you have your video digitized, you can easily perform your video editing wizardry on it and improve its appeal to your audience.

Click here for more information on capturing video into your computer. Also, if you have any questions about capturing video, do feel free to drop me a question here.

Return from A List Of The Best Video Capture Cards to my main Video Product Reviews page.

Edit Digital Videos With Ease

If you've been looking for a good video editing program, you may want to check out Corel VideoStudio Pro. This software allows you to quickly create and share a movie using built-in templates, special effects, titles and transitions. You can apply unique effects such as stop-motion animation, time-lapse and chroma key to create brilliant digital videos.

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You may also wish to read the following related articles:

Some tips for converting video to the DivX Format
A review of the Canon Optura 40 MiniDV camcorder
An in-depth explanation of how a camcorder works
Capture video from any video source with DVD Xpress
A review of the Sony DCR-HC21 MiniDV camcorder