I have already made a review of the Digitnow! BR117 for the PC and while I didn’t like the software that was packaged with the device, I did find that it captured without a problem using other software. So with that being said, let’s find out how the Digitnow! BR117 for Mac performs.
One thing I didn’t mention in the PC review is that the BR117 does appear to be missing on their website. Does that mean it’s no longer made?
But you can find it on their Amazon store. Maybe it’s old stock that they are not replacing. I don’t know.
Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
As far as connection with a Mac computer/laptop, the BR117 will definitely work without a hiccup. The test that I performed this on is an older MacBook Pro running on Sierra OS. Digitnow! don’t make it clear if the devices works only with newer 64bit models or only up to 10.15 Catalina.
You can try to use their Mac software called MasterAV, but I couldn’t get it to work for my MacBook Pro. That could also be due to me installing all sorts of USB capture devices, who knows. Either way the software wouldn’t recognize the BR117.
That’s why I just used OBS Studio.
The device will simply plug into any USB 2.0 port. If you are trying to capture using any later model Mac you may need a USB to USB C adapter.
As a personal preference, I like that there is an extended cable. The early models that I tested in the past would weigh down on the USB port due to the composite cables. Overall I feel this design is a well thought out process (regardless of brand).
The composite connection is a matter of matching the colors. Yellow for video, Red/White for the audio left and right.
The BR117 will power up when connected via the USB port.
BR117 Connection With OBS Studio
Depending on the Mac OS you are running, if you decide to download OBS Studio there is the old version 24.0.02 which will work for 32bit Sierra and High Sierra. Or you can download their latest version catered for the 64bit OS.
Once the app is installed, you will need to set up the BR117 as a capture device, you will need to do the following steps:
- Along the bottom in the Sources Panel – click on the add symbol.
- Select Video Capture Device.
- Give the device a name eg: BR117.
The Properties window will open and you will need to change the selected Device. For the above example, the option to use the AV TO USB2.0 driver is my only choice.
Next you need to select the Settings button along the right hand side. This will open a new window.
You will need to change the Audio by selecting the Mic/Auxiliary Audio to match the USB driver. In this case it’s called the USB 2.0 MIC.
You can change the Output as well. By default, the video quality is set as 2500kbps but you can increase it higher. Currently my setting is at 8000kbps. The recording format that I have selected is at MP4.
You can change the format to a variety of files, but if you intend to give the captured video to relatives or friends, I implore you to pick a format that will work on most devices.
Otherwise you will drive them nuts when the video won’t play.
With the settings out of the way, hit play on the VCR and make sure the picture is visible. You can stretch the image to cover the entire canvas, just be aware you will be losing parts of the video along the top and bottom.
Some people may prefer that considering all TVs nowadays are in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Digitnow! BR117 for Mac Results
The sample video shows the quality of the BR117 at 8000 kbps using OBS Studio.
I don’t know if I would consider it bad. I’ve certainly seen worse, but it does appear soft compared to other capture devices I’ve tested.
I can’t say this device is a must have when converting your old videos. The fact that it doesn’t appear in Digitnow’s own website is a little off putting. It certainly has value with the inclusion of a scart adapter and extra composite cables.
But that’s about it in the value department considering the software that you can download for the Mac may or may not work. So I couldn’t tell you if it’s good or not.
It comes down to price.
As far as Mac’s are concerned, I think the ezcap 159 is a better deal. You’re still going to use OBS Studio to capture any videos and the quality is very similar. And as I’ve shown on this site, there’s a multitude of old devices that can work with Mac and OBS Studio, so what makes this any different?
Digitnow! has some good products, just a shame the BR117 for Mac is not quite it.