Product Watch: Don't Have A DV Camera?
These Two Products Will Help You Bridge The Digital Divide...

Formac studio & Hollywood DV-Bridge
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With slick and affordable software like iMovie and iDVD coming out of Apple, it is hard to avoid getting the Digital Video itch. For those of us stuck with older (ie non-digital) video cameras, getting video clips onto our Macs in digital format has been a hassle. Companies like XLR8 make USB based video capture solutions, but the throughput of USB limits the size and frame rate of captured footage. The journey is also a one way trip, with no option to export edited clips back to video tape. The DVMC-DA2 from sony has been one of the few options, albeit a pricey one, for converting analog video to digital.

Last week at the Macworld Expo, two companies presented alternative solutions for capturing video footage from a variety of sources.

The Hollywood DV-Bridge from Dazzle and studio from Formac both convert analog video signals to digital for editing in your favorite application: iMovie, Final Cut Pro, VideoShop etc. Once you have edited your footage to your heart's content, each device will convert the finished product back to analog for export to video tape. Both units come with the array of input and output ports you would expect in such a product: FireWire, composite (RCA) audio and video, and S-Video. Formac's studio also has a built in TV and FM tuner, allowing you to listen to the radio or watch TV on your Mac. As you might expect, you can also capture video or audio clips from the tuner and convert them to digital. Formac's studio comes with software for controlling the TV/FM radio as well as tools for web streaming and broadcasting. Neither product comes bundled with video editing software, but work with the popular video editors on the market.

While the Formac studio definitely has a stronger feature set, it also has a higher price tag, $429 as opposed to Dazzle's $299.Both Formac and Dazzle have promised to send us review units, so keep an eye out for full reviews in the near future.