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on July 27, 2005
Being a very energenic home movie maker, I have a lot of VCR tapes that I want to transfer to my editing computer. I was looking for a analog to digital converter, and eventually bought the Canopus 110, judging by the excellent user reviews.

The canopus 110 is very simple to use. If you have a firewire port in your computer, then you have all the equipment you need to use Canopus (Well, an editing system helps too!). The canopus has ports on the front and the back, where you plug in the cables from the VCR (or DVD), and then put the firewire cable into the canopus and your computer.

When I got the canopus, it took me about fifteen minutes to get it up and running. I connected the VCR cables in the front, connected the firewire in the back, and presto! Instant power. Canopus was ready to go. I went into my editing system (I use Avid DV express by the way), clicked "auto-configure" for the capture settings, and I was all set to go. That was all I had to do!

From the projects that i've copied onto my system, There is no degeneration or quality loss from the origional product. Canopus transferrs the tape material exactly as it is. If the quality is great, then it will be great on the system. If the quality of the tape is bad, then it will be bad on the system.

So far, all's good and wonderful right? Well, Canopus has a dark little secret that the manufacturer doesn't tell you. Canopus 110 has a small chip built in that detects when you're trying to transfer copyrighted material (such as a tape of a movie). If it detects it, a small red light comes on, and the footage you copy is black (As one review site said (in a very annoying way), "That'll teach you!"). If you have old movies that you want to copy to a DVD for personal use, this is bad news.

However, there is a way past this security feature, and it's built into the system. When you first turn Canopus on, simply press the select button down for roughly twenty seconds. Now the system will ignore copyright concerns, and you can copy all the movies you want, until you turn Canopus off. However, I don't recommend using this feature for illegal means.

All in all, Canopus is a very usefull gadget. I highly recomend it.
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on April 6, 2008
I've been using the Canopus ADVC110 with an Intel iMac using iMovie to edit a wedding video from a rather poor VHS recording. The 110 did a great, hassle free job of cleaning up the video. I hooked it up right out of the box using the supplied cables with no external drivers or software and in 10 minuets or less I was converting the video to a digital recording. When I opened iMovie it immediately recognized the Canopus with no problems. I ordered the power supply with mine, but if you use the supplied 6 pin Firewire cable you shouldn't need the power supply. I'm using component connection between the Canopus and the VCR and you do have another choice of using S-video connectivity. My only complaint about this product is that it doesn't have a power on/off switch so the unit is always on unless you pull the plug. I highly recommend this product especially if you use an Apple computer.
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on March 27, 2006
I found the Canopus ADVC110 to be unusable on older (c. 10 years) Hi8 tapes. Symptomatically, there would be times where the frames would jump around, or black out entirely for parts of a second in the ADVC110 digital output stream. What seems to be happening is that the sync signal on the edge of older Hi8 tapes may be degraded, and the codec of the ADVC110 is not robust against such degradation; it loses sync on the frame, or gives up entirely and blacks out the output. Changing the fixed sync dip switch on the ADVC110 did not help it. (The same problem also occurred digitizing an old VHS tape). I put the same Hi8 tapes through the pass-through digitizer on a Sony DCR-HC32, and it had no problems whatsoever. The ADVC110 codec also produces more contrasty images than the Sony DCR-HC32; details in shadow are lost; frames are grainier; noise in the tape signals are amplified into subtle rainbow waves on the ADVC110, not so noticeable on the Sony, which seems to have a more linear codec. So, for a little more money you can buy a camcorder with more robust A to D conversion and better image than the ADVC110.
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on January 17, 2006
I was using the PLEXTOR PX-M402U to transfer home movies to DVD but had nothing but problems! Once the home movies were transferred the video and audio were always out of sync. I got rid of it and bought the CANOPUS ADVC110 and I've had NO problems...everything looks great and is in sync! It costs more but it's worth it!
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on November 1, 2005
After seeing so many devices around the web and so many different opinions about them, I ran into this little device that had nothing but good reviews here at amazon. I decided to give it a try. I must say I didn't think I could pull it off, but luckily I did. This little box really works. I bought the firewire card (highly recommended), hooked it up and captured my very first movie from one of many old 8mm tapes I have laying around the house. 71 mins of perfect, uninterrupted, flawless, 720 x 480 px video and no audio synch problems. I'm very happy with this purchase.

My hardware (nothing fancy):

1.25 Mhz AMD Athlon Processor

512 MB RAM

2 hard drives: 1x30 GB + 1x80 GB

Windows XP Pro + Service Pack 2

Adaptec AFW-4300 Host Adapter (firewire)

I used Windows Movie Maker to capture the footage and Cyberlink's PowerProducer 2 Gold that came with my LG External DVD writer to burn the disk.

I totally recommend it...
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on October 24, 2011
While many people may purchase this unit for converting old video stock to digital files, I use it for a slightly different purpose -- webcasting.

Each week I set up a live webcasting video stream for a nonprofit. I used to have to carry around a lot of extra equipment, but this ADVC-110 has eliminated a lot of that equipment.

I have multiple cameras as well as computer and even iPad "feeds" that go into a video switcher. From the video switcher I plug into the ADVC-110 video input. I pull the audio straight from the mixer and plug it into the audio input on the ADVC-110. I use the 6-pin FireWire on the back of the unit (which also powers the unit, so you don't need to purchase a power adapter) straight into the back of my Mac Mini, which I use to push our video webcast. We also hook up a television monitor to the video output on the unit so we can monitor what's going out to the webcast.

I've recently discovered that you can plug in a 4-pin FireWire cable into the front of the unit, run that to another computer, and capture video to that computer at the same time!! That means that one analog input can have one analog output and TWO digital outputs -- all at the same time!!! This has eliminated a LOT of equipment that we used to have to set up each and every week. It has been a true lifesaver.

We used to use a distribution amp to get audio/video to two different A/D converters (one SONY converter, which had audio sync issues from time to time if you were careful with the cryptic buttons -- and one Professional MiniDV VTR unit, which was a heavy and large unit), as well as to get video to our television monitor. Now all that stuff is gone... as well as all the cables, power bricks, and other accessories needed to run all those devices.

All that replaced with this ONE tiny and very light unit.

We just finished an eight-day event, webcasting 2-4 hours each day (while recording full-resolution to another computer) and this unit worked flawlessly. I just ordered another one.
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on August 13, 2011
The ADVC110 from Canopus is a great little device that lets you import all your old analog video into your computer.

Once you connect this device to your computer via the FireWire cable it is seen as a standard FireWire device and is treated just as if you had connected your modern camcorder to the computer. Within your video editing program you capture video just as you would normally, except that instead of the capture program being able to control playback you will need to manually start the playback on your source device (VHS VCR, 8mm camcorder, etc.).

Connecting the unit is easy. Simply plug your analog source into the standard RCA ports (or use optional S-video for the video portion) and then connect the fireWire cable between the device and your computer. Optionally you can connect things in reverse and use the FireWire as the source with the converter changing your digital video into analog (I guess if you want to output your digital video to an older TV). I have not used the device this way.

My main use for the ADVC110 is to import lots of old VHS and 8mm tapes that I had recorded throughout the years into my computer. From there I am simply archiving the video files to external hard drives. This is great because now I can easily review tons of records straight from my computer with instant access instead of searching for tapes, rewinding them, etc. The video files are standard DV format and take up about 13GB of disk space per hour.

So far I have imported about 100 hours of video with this device and it has worked flawlessly!

There are two things that the ADVC110 did not come with that I had to purchase separately: An AC power adapter and a 4-pin to 4-pin FireWire cable. This may not apply to you if you are using a Mac computer or a desktop Windows computer, but for my Lenovo laptop they were required. Why? Since my laptop only has a 4-pin FireWire port I had to buy the 4-pin to 4-pin FireWire cable (Canopus includes other cables in the box, but not this particular one). The problem is that 4-pin FireWire cables do not provide power to the device, so you then need to connect an AC power adapter to the ADVC110 in order for it to turn on. Once you have this setup and working everything is fine, but you should be aware that you need these two extra items if you will be using a 4-pin FireWire port. Also be advised that the AC adapter is quite expensive for what it is (search Amazon to see).

All in all this is a fantastic device if you are serious about capturing high quality video from analog sources.
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on July 29, 2009
A very handy device to migrate your 20th century video & audio into the 21st century! A friendly front-or-back input/output configuration makes this item easy to work with. Hold down the Select button for 20 seconds @ power-up ('til the outside blue LED goes out) for maximum image 'stability' on 'shaky' signals. ;-)

Not so user-friendly is confusion over what is required to power the ADVC-110 externally: printing on the metal backplate says "5VDC" while the imprint on the device case says "5-30 VDC." So,... which is it? I worked many years at a place that makes items like these, so I ignored the "Do Not Open" sign and followed the input power connections (w/ ohmmeter) to an input cap rated @50VDC. I then saw two ICs, one with "2593" on it and another with "LM2595." Beyond each was an inductor used in switch-mode DC-DC converters. I looked those ICs up and found that National Semiconductor makes both LM2593 ([...]) and LM2595 ([...]) which are indeed step-down voltage regulators! The 2593 is set to output 2.5V while the LM2595 is set to 3.3V.

So this thing CAN have a DC input voltage higher than 5VDC (as is stated on the bottom of the case)! The unit's efficiency actually INCREASES as the DC input voltage goes up. In fact, the 'Efficiency' graphs (see .PDFs, above) on the two ICs show that 15V is near the optimum voltage. I verified this by risking my own ADVC-110 in a real-world test. First, I used 9V, then 12V. Each time, the ADVC-110 booted right up and said it was happy (red Status LED out, inside blue LED lit)!

As long as you have the right power connector (w/ the proper polarity) and DC power from 5V@1A to 30V@0.3A, the ADVC-110 will perform for you. (I now have a 120VAC to 15VDC adaptor and, yes, the input current drops from ~1A @ 5V to ~0.3A @ 15V.)

If you need to convert various analog video and audio signals for use in the digital world of today, this is a product that will do the job,... well!
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on February 13, 2007
Bought this to convert PAL Hi-8 (Canon) purchased years ago in Singapore for Mac (PowerBook G4, Tiger OS-X) nonlinear editing. Worked perfectly the first time, only needed to set a single switch to select PAL. No need for software drivers etc. Happily plugged and played with the Mac and the camcorder.

Acceptable price for the features and ease of use.
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on September 18, 2008
I purchased this on a recommendation from a video professional - they were using this with a Mac over firewire for VHS capture. I bought mine for the same reason, to transfer VHS tapes to DVDs - and I could not be more happy. In typical fashion I took the device out of the box, hooked the cables up, put it in the firewire and done! There is no power required (using the thick 6-pin firewire cable provides power from the laptop) and there are no drivers required - the device is instantly detected as a camera.
I did all my movie collecting from iMovie and had to do absolutely nothing. I tried this box with different VCRs and it never failed - even when the tape was extremely degraded or the tracking was not very good, I got _no_ dropped frames, audio de-synchronization or other problems which seem to plague similar devices.
Physically the device is very solid, never gets warm or otherwise feel as if it will fall apart. The plugs are not as solid as I would have liked (if you have a thick monster cable it will feel awkward pushing it in) and the connectors themselves are sunken in which puts a limit to how wide the plug can be. I tried it with various cables I had in the house and never had problems.
An excellent (and undocumented) feature of this device is that by holding the "select" button for ~20 seconds after start-up (no need to do it before you plug it in, you'll see when the event happens) you enable the "de-Macrovision" filter; regardless of what VCR you have, you'll never have to buy a special box or have to deal with complicated setups. The device itself is _not_ a timebase corrector however,
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