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(Pocket-lint) - Look at the package. Aside from the two CDs and manual, this blue box that looks like a child’s fist is all there is to the package, which plugs into your USB 2.0 port after you’ve installed the Pinnacle Studio 9 software. Of the current range, only the 90 demands USB 2.0 but the faster the better.

This package has no cables, something we’ve moaned about before on full Pinnacle sets. This Dazzle on the other hand, sports only phono and S-Video connectors. If you’ve had analogue equipment for that long, there’s a better chance you’ll have the cables than if this was targeted at the DV gang. The test camcorder, a six-year-old Sony Hi8, worked first time without any issues, although a VCR of a similar age without Phono outs failed to work through SCART conversion - like last year’s Pinnacle Studio package, it may end up as something of a lottery, trying every VCR in the house.

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As usual you need as powerful a machine with as much memory as possible to minimize the dropping of frames and more RAM than the minimum specification of CPU (P4/Athlon 1.6GHz) didn’t alleviate the issue. However it worked first time and the cut-down version of Studio 9, once registered and patched, maintained the simple 1-2-3 system of working to produce another great video CD. If you have a VCR though you’re better off trying higher up the range.

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To recap

The Dazzle 90’s simple and effective - as long as your equipment’s new enough and it’s a shame a lot less VCRs (if any) will work with it.

Writing by Kenneth Henry.