Possible to get video IN on laptops?

I know most laptops have video output in standard RCA format, but is it possible to get laptops that feature a video-in option? If not built into the laptop, could one get perhaps a firewire device that provides video-in support?

Firewire is a standard for Macintosh laptops. Digitial video cameras typically have firewire ports…(some even have pass thru mode…so you could pass an analog signal directly through the firewire port into the laptop to work with)

The also make PCMCIA video capture cards for laptops, as well.

The tricky thing I found was finding software that would let me watch the video full-screen full-quality. In fact, I didn’t find any.

The best I could get was making the capture preview screen on some digitising/capture software full screen, but the resolution was very crappy.

I basically had my Sony PD150 firewired in to my Vaio, I was previewing the camera’s output with some software (like capturing, but not actually recording to my harddrive if you see what I mean) and I had that preview window full screen. At the time, I was trying to find a way to play Xbox via my laptop, as my TV hadn’t arrived. It was playable (I had the red/white/yellow of the Xbox plugged into the red/white/yellow of the PD150) but GHASTLY bad vision quality.

Hmm, this is very unsettling then.

I work with laptops and data projectors constantly, and I’ve never seen a laptop with a “standard” video OUT. First of all, RCA is not a format, it is a type of connector. The “standard” video format, i.e., a normal TV signal, is called NTSC. An NTSC out (using an RCA connector) is fairly common, though by no means universal, on desktop computers.

Laptop standard video output is through a VGA connector. The signal itself is typically VGA or SVGA.

Hmm, this is very unsettling then.

As Q.E.D. says, there are PCMCIA cards that provide an analog video-in function.

One such is the Imperx VCE-B5A01, which costs US$299. Also available here. I’ve seen this one in action, and it was running 640x480 at 30 frames/sec with no problem. I believe it can go full-screen if you so require.

Another PCMCIA Frame Grabber is the Hasotec FG-30-II, but the page linked to does not show a price (and is in German, if that’s a problem). Specifications seem similar to the Imperx.

If you really need an external video input unit with firewire connection to the PC, there’s the Imaging Source DFG-1394-1, available from here for US$495.

So settle yourself, Trigonal Planar, unless these prices are more than you are prepared to pay.

Why no just use a Dazzle USB box? they have video in.

Boyo Jim

Mine does. “WallStreet” PowerBook. S-Video out. As far as I know, all PowerBooks newer than mine have it as well.

To answer the OP, no video in except via video-digitizing cards AFAIK. Also no VGA-in, which I always found annoying (you should be able to use a laptop screen as a monitor for another computer in a pinch).

So does mine (1997-era Micron Transport Trek, 266MHz Pentium-based). And many, many more recent ones that I’ve seen. S-video seems more popular than composite (via RCA connector). I would say that, compared to desktops, a much higher percentage of laptops have “standard” (S-video or composite) video out.