Best way to convert digital footage to analog?

Currently I’m going from a cheap HDMI to SD converter into Elgato video capture, my problem is that the Elgato video capture is GARBAGE!

I have a M1 Pro Mac so I can’t use intensity shuttle unfortunately, is there any other way to make my digital footage SD but make it look more like miniDV or even just a lossless VHS look?

I’m sure it’s common knowledge on here but seriously couldn’t dislike the Elgato video capture more. Bit rare / compression is unbelievably bad

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Blockquote Currently I’m going from a cheap HDMI to SD converter into Elgato video capture

i’m a bit confused here. you have an hdmi signal which you are converting into sd analog signal and then directly capturing with an elgato capture card? it might be helpful to share a little more context on what your main goals are. I’m not sure what a lossless vhs look would be, vhs is a highly lossy medium.

if you only want to make digital footage you’ve already got look analog, there are a lot of filters/shaders etc out there in various video editing/processing softwares that could do the trick with significantly less bother.

otherwise probably the simplest way to achieve converting a digital clip into sd/analog and then back into digital would be

  1. get a camcorder (vhs or dv), point it at your laptop screen and record onto vhs tape.
  2. play it back into a crt and record the crt screen using your phone camera.

to the best of my knowledge external high quality analog capture cards seem to dying off as there is likely less and less professional demand for anything like that. pci express cards and stand alone capture boxes seem to still have a niche market tho.

Hey, sorry for not being super clear!

Basically what I’m trying to achieve is a direct capture into my computer.

I’ve been rescanning CRTs for a while and have gotten some great results but my main issues with this are A- the moire effect drives me crazy, I know most people who watch the video won’t notice but I do, maybe I should rescan with a tape camera instead of a mirorless. B- the process of rescanning and then putting into editing software ETC adds a ton of time to workflow.

I know going digital to analog will result in “bad” quality, but when going HDMI>SD>Glitcher>Elgato, the quality is unbelievably poor. Much worse than miniDV or I would say even regular VHS quality. You can look up reviews on Elgato video capture, they are pretty bad and most people agree it’s unusable even for vhs quality. I think it’s a bitrate issue, it just looks so bad.

TLDR: trying to capture direct into MacBook without rescanning and not using a Elgato video capture due to its subpar quality even for SD standards. Thanks!

The moire effect is often caused by your scanning camera being TOO HIGH of a resolution. Also, lining up the camera squarely to the CRT and being able to adjust the frame rate of the camera are very helpful.

Maybe try out some cheap ‘EZCap’ interfaces. You can get them for nearly nothing online. They’re disposable. When it burns out (and it will), get another one. I keep a drawer full of them for experimenting.

Or, you can try to convert your SD signal back into HDMI with a cheesy standalone box and then use a USB-to-HDMI capture device, like a Magewell (or one of their knockoffs.)

seconding the too high resolution. best rescanning technique i’ve found is to focus perfectly and then defocus a bit. the angle of your camera to the crt matters a lot for moire as well.

this was all rescans, shot in 4k. i ended up having to blur pretty much all the footage a tiny bit to prevent moire in original resolution and in any downscaled versions.