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Osprey Video USB 3.0 Video Capture

By: Richard Mitchell

Osprey Video sent their new USB 3.0 Video Capture device to Duke for testing and evaluation. The small, hand sized and ultra portable, video bridge ticks a number of boxes when it comes to converting high definition video signal into a computer friendly format in both SDI and HDMI flavors. First, the device uses a standard USB Video Class (UVC) driver to send video and audio to the computer, so it is compatible with Windows, MacOS, and Linux without additional drivers. With my MacBook Pro, it was truly plug-and-play, no configuration needed. Second, the device has a built-in scaler. Imagine a situation where you are streaming live content, but the only HDMI feed you had access to is a 1080p signal from a camera. You may be technically able to stream 1080p, but you may want to play it safe and stream at 720p or lower (in fact, some services won’t allow you to stream 1080p content) to conserve bandwidth. If that’s the case, this device will save the day as it can scale the incoming content up or down as needed. Finally, the device can also adjust the frame rate of incoming video (see “One Gotcha” below). For example, the service you are using may not be able to capture 60 frame-per-second (FPS) video, so, with the help of this device, you can set the frame rate to 30 FPS, 25, or 24 FPS. These last two features, scaling and frame rate adjustments, are critical when attempting to have a consistent video capture experience from a range of input resolutions and frame rates. Also of note, the device is powered over USB, so no power supply to fail with this device.  The best part? The price… The USB 3.0 Video Capture has an MSRP of $340. Considering an AV bridge could thousands of dollars (granted, it can do more), this may be a budget friendly alternative.

One Gotcha (Aug. 30, 2017: See Update Below!):
During our testing, when adjusting the frame rate, we did experience an odd “delay band” at either the top or bottom of the capture window. This appeared whenever the device manipulated the frame rate. With luck, this will be resolved in a future firmware upgrade, but it’s a real gotcha if that’s important to your AV design. If this feature is important to you, I’d hold off on buying this device.

Osprey immediately jumped on the frame issue we experienced and discovered a minor issue with the demo unit I received (the unit I received was pre-production). Osprey sent a final/shipping unit, which resolved the frame issue I experienced. Needless to say, this is one of the reasons I enjoy about using brand name products from a reputable company.

Wish List:
I’d like to see a notification when High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is detected. This device can’t process HDCP content (think studio Blu-ray movie) for obvious reasons. When you send HDCP content to the USB 3.0 Video Capture, it sends a black image to the computer. Ideally, it would send a “HDCP Detected” screen.


Categories: DDMC Info

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