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.
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.
The main instructions take the form of video tutorials so the slim manual isn’t a problem. Once you add cables to this box, you’re ready to go with a great video capture system that’s simple, uncomplicated and it works. So much so, that there’s no need to write an essay on it. Gadgets don’t always need to flashy and snazzy but they all need to work, and this one does the job well - for camcorders only, that is. VCR users, return to higher models or internal cards.
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