Click the product names to open a new window listing possible sources for the hardware. Note that
USBVision hardware is not mass-produced any more, and many vendors may not have stock.
Check before ordering.
In general, USBVision devices have one s-video input and one composite
input. TV-tuner style devices have only one s-video input. If
this matches the technical description of your device, it may be a USBVision
* The Daystar Technology XLR8 InterView includes a fully-licensed copy of the USBVision software.
There is no need to purchase the software separately from EchoFX.
** USB 1.1 devices only. Use EchoFX VideoGlide software for USB 2.0 devices.
- supports a wide range of USB 1.1 video capture devices.
- 352 x 240, 29.97 frames per second NTSC video capture.
- 352 x 288, 25 frames per second PAL/SECAM video capture.
- supports composite and s-video formats.
- high contrast, high quality video -better than DV at the same size.
- excellent audio/video synchronization.
- low disk space requirements: 4 GB per hour for video and audio.
- high resolution single frame capture.
- audio support for devices that have audio input, e.g. Belkin VideoBus II.
- snapshot button support for devices that snapshot buttons, e.g. Belkin VideoBus.
- multiple device support for webcam and surveillance applications.
- Dynamic Quality Management, for maintaining the best quality possible during capture.
- Auto-Detect Input And Format, to automatically adapt to the current video source.
- Fast Record Playback, for near real-time playback during captures.*
- easy to use, AppleScript enabled capture software with fast full screen playback.**
- software to export movies to any QuickTime supported format, including DV and H.264.
- compatible with a large number of third-party applications.
* Fast Record Playback requires a G4 processor.
** Full screen playback requires a G4 processor and an accelerated graphics card.
USBVision devices have been sold by various manufacturers
since 1998. Manufacturers include Alpha Data, Belkin, EchoFX,
Global Village, Hauppauge, iRez, XLR8 and many others. Devices originally
sold as PC-only are also supported. Compatibility can be checked
using the USBVision For Mac OS X demo mode. Simply click the "Download" button
on the right, and install and run the software.
USBVision devices allow the capture of video from almost any
video source including VCRs, cam-corders, DVD players, personal
video recorders, digital cameras, etc.
USBVision devices accept either s-video or composite video sources and
will work with the broadcast standards NTSC, PAL and SECAM found
throughout most of the world.
EchoFX provides drivers and application software that allow USBVision
devices to be used under Mac OS X. The drivers offer higher quality
video, higher frame rates, larger frame sizes, better sound synchronization
and approximately 75% less disk consumption when saving movies, than
the OS 9 drivers that originally shipped with the devices.
Video from USBVision devices can be used in a variety of ways.
For example, you can record your favorite home-movies and clips
to keep handy on your computer. It can be used with web-cam software
to upload an image to the Internet periodically. It can be used with
web-streaming software to create online broadcasts of live
or prerecorded events. Live-video chat is possible with the
appropriate software. Captured movies can be put on a CD or
a website for viewing by anyone with a CD player or Internet
access. It can be used for motion-detection applications, or by
clay-mation hobbyists. For a summary of some of the supported
third-party software and where to obtain it, check the "Applications"
The USBVision software is capable of capturing a
maximum of 29.97 frames per second for NTSC or 25 frames per second
for PAL. The maximum frame size is 352 x 240 for NTSC and
352 x 288 for PAL. The actual frame rate captured varies with
the video source. Generally the cleaner and less active the
source, the better the frame rate that will be captured. Movies
on VHS and DVD are captured at the best rates, approaching
or sustaining the maximum rates possible.
The captured video quality is extremely good, with brighter colors
and better contrast than typical DV captures. Video and audio
synchronization is excellent, even with extremely long captures. Captured
movies require only 4 GB of disk storage per hour.
In addition to video, the USBVision software is able
to capture still images with a resolution of 704 x 240. The
vertical dimension is scaled in software to match the increased
horizontal resolution to bring the total still image size
up to 704 x 480.
View A Sample Still Image
Some USBVision devices come with additional hardware features.
Audio inputs are supported. Although the audio capability of
these devices is limited, there are cases where it is useful,
for example during web broadcasts where quality is not an issue.
Snapshot buttons are supported. Just push the button and the
next video frame will be saved to disk. Some devices
have TV tuners. The tuners in these devices are NOT supported,
however the s-video inputs are.
The USBVision software supports multiple devices, i.e. more than one
device can be plugged in and used at the same time. This is
particularly useful with security applications like Ben Bird's
SecuritySpy. It can also allow multiple simultaneous broadcasts
from the same machine using webcam software like Econ Technologies'
ImageCaster. Note that one serial number for each non-EchoFX device will be
required, i.e. to enable 3 devices, 3 serial numbers must be purchased.
EchoFX hardware does not require serialization.
The USBVision software features Dynamic Quality Management.
When Dynamic Quality Management is enabled, the software takes over the chore of
managing the compression levels of the video. Not only does
this generally result in higher frame rates, but the quality
is higher during periods of less active video.
Auto-Detect Input And Format allows video sources to be swapped in an
and out dynamically without the need to inform the application that
a change occurred. The USBVision software will automatically
select the input carrying the video, as well as its format, for example
PAL or NTSC.
Fast Record Playback will allow high speed previewing while recording.
This allows for better control when stopping a capture. It also
improves compatibilty with certain third-party applications.
The included USBVision Capture software will allow you to capture video from a
USBVision device. It also has an extremely fast full-screen preview
mode. An accelerated video card and a G4 processor is required for
best full-screen performance. USBVision also supports multiple
devices, and is Apple-scriptable.
The included USBVision Export software will allow the export of QuickTime movies
to any other QuickTime format including DV Streams required by iMovie and H.264
or MPEG-4 movies required by iTunes and video-enabled Pods. QuickTime Pro is not required.