44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2008
I was skeptical that a $40 device could record at full resolution in full 30 fps but this thing has proven itself worthy!
Installation was a snap and using it was even easier. The paper documentation was very limited, but by exploring the interface and reading what was available in the documentation I was able to figure out what all the settings mean and how to get the button to record to video files.
I used it to transfer a few of my old VHS tapes to DVDs and it worked flawlessly. Audio and video remained in-sync in full DVD resolution and I was able to burn the videos to DVDs without any post-processing at all.
The only problems I had were with the video editing software, so I just used Windows Movie Maker instead. The packaged video editing software has nothing to do with the capture software so I wouldn't recommend even installing it and just using Windows Movie Maker instead to burn the video files to a DVD.
I do have a very fast computer with a lot of memory so it's possible the video frame problems other reviewers are having is due to their computer's speed. I would recommend that you use a very fast computer (at LEAST a Dual Core with 2GB of RAM and a SATA hard drive) if you want to get zero frame loss.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2010
I had approximately ten personal VHS and VHS-C tapes to copy, since all of my commercial VHS products made it into the trash-can years ago. With this product, I had all of my family's cherished moments burned to my computer (and backed up to DVD) within one evening. I am running Windows 7, and everything worked perfectly. I do agree with others about the directions (they stink), but they really are not needed for the basic transfer fuctions anyway.
Some of the video quality was snowy, but that was due to the quality of the VHS tapes I was copying. I was able to verify this because I tested the product with my DVD player. The video captured from it had no snow at all.
I did not have any of the problems with the volume that was described by some of the other reviewers. I am not sure if it mattered or not, but I had the volume turned up to approximately 2/3, while taping.
I also did not experience any of the audio / video synchronization issues described by reviewers. Again, I don't know if that is a software or hardware issue, but I had no problems there either.
To be fair, there are two potential negatives that I should mention:
First, as mentioned above, the directions are about as close to useless as they can get. Again, this is not much of an issue for the basic video transfer functions, because the process is fairly straight forward. On the other hand, better directions would really help with the more advanced features found in the video editing software.
Second, this product does require you to copy in real-time. In my mind, this is to be expected when copying a VHS tape, but it could be an issue for someone with a ton of material to copy.
Overall, I love this product. It was highly affordable and worked extremely well for me. I can finally put the VHS tape player in the garage, right next to the 8-track player. Hopefully it works as well for all of you as it did for me. Good luck!!!
111 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2008
If you've upgraded your Windows XP OS to service pack 3, this device will not run. Worse, after you install the software, Windows becomes unstable and there is no way to fix the damage except to reinstall Windows or do a System Restore to a point before the installation of this device.
But what bothers me the most is that Diamond offers NO support. I tried to phone them but there is no telephone contact info listed on their website for tech support. I tried their tech support chat facility for three days and was always told that no operators were online. I tried emailing them and they never replied. This left me feeling pretty negative toward Diamond products in general.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2012
I figured that the price was too good to be true, or that it would turn out to be a cheap piece of junk. I mean, the system requirements on the box were obviously written by someone who's never used a Mac in their lives (Pentium IV or higher?! Sound card?! Graphics card that supports DirectX?!). However, I can honestly say that this is a great product, and its ease of use perfectly matches the Mac experience.
The enclosed VideoGlide software consists of two programs: Capture and Exporter. Capture will record directly from composite or S-Video (with mono or stereo audio, of course) to QuickTime format using one of several compression options, or uncompressed (approximately 50 GB per half hour). You can then use Exporter, if desired, to take the recorded videos and re-encode them to practically any other video format QuickTime supports, such as MP4. (It may be worth mentioning: I don't know whether applications besides VideoGlide--iMovie or otherwise--can record directly from the device, so don't assume that this is possible. However, iMovie should be able to easily import VideoGlide videos, so that shouldn't be a big deal.)
Setup takes just a few minutes. I used the device and software on two different Macs: a mid-2010 Mac Mini powered by a Core 2 Duo and running OS X 10.6...and a late 2005 Mac Mini using a 1.5 GHz PowerPC G4, running OS X 10.4! I was amazed to find that even the G4 had the horsepower to record compressed S-Video in real time without any noticeable lag. Of course, on older machines with smaller hard drives, you'll have to keep a watchful eye on the amount of disk space you have left...but the fact that this even runs on old PowerPC architecture is pretty nice.
Of course, there are some shortcomings: it's not HD, obviously. You can ask VideoGlide to record the videos at higher resolution than 640x480 if you want, but it's just going to be stretched. The recorded videos show visible signs of deinterlacing--especially during fast action scenes--but I'd expect that from an inexpensive device of this sort. And, also falling into the "well, it's not magical" department: the Exporter can take a long time to encode videos. As an example: on my 2010 Mac Mini, encoding a half-hour 640x480 video--going from uncompressed, to H.264 MP4 with a total bitrate of about 1.25Mb per second--took around another half-hour. Of course, this time will vary; if your finished product is lower-res and lower bitrate, it will be much quicker. On old hardware? Set it up before you go to sleep! Again, if you've ever worked with video, you probably already knew this.
I did have one other problem that prevented me from giving this five stars: I noticed that it gets really hot when in use, and after about five straight hours, the video feed got all choppy and the sound scrambled like an egg. Basically, it was unusable, even after disconnecting and reconnecting it. After allowing it to cool off for a few days, I was able to record a half-hour video without any issues...but it would appear that this is designed to be used for short periods of time, like a couple of hours, rather than for days straight.
Overall, I would say that if you're in the market for a device like this, it's definitely worth the asking price.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
I looked and looked at all kinds of video recorders and all the reviews. All I wanted to do was to transfer my home VHS tapes over to DVDs. Diamond VC500 was rated number one on a review site that also had reviewed 10 others. They hit the nail on the head, IT WORKS GREAT. Inexpensive and easy to use. I used mine on windows Vista using a Panasonic 4 head VCR. I have never done reviews before but thought there has to be others out there like me. Someone wanting a recent review and give an honest one.
Right now I am finishing my last DVD from my home tapes. I bought the VC500 back in December 2010 and now 66 DVD's later no problems.
I am going to take the time to tell you what I did and how I set it up for slick operation.
My set up is with my desk top Vista Hp and off to the side my VCR. Connecting the VCR from the OUTPUT RCA jacks through the VC 500 and to the USB port on the Desk top computer. I first set up a DVD folder on my hard drive and in it was other folders labled DVD#1, another DVD#2, etc. I used about 200 gbs of hard drive to hold about 18 DVD's. The directions that come with VC500 are crummy but are on the disc along with Arc Soft editing software that I thought was ok. Install the software disc that comes with the VC500. Leave a shortcut on the desk top for the "EZ Grabber" and the "Arc Soft Show Biz". Starting your first DVD (IN THIS ORDER), make sure the VCR and computer is on and ready to go. VC500 all hooked up and plugged in on both ends. There should be a blue light on at the VC500 if everything is hooked up right. Click on your EZ Grabber software. Most of the buttons that are seen on the monitor will not be used. The one I use the most was located at the top right, looks like a gear for setup. Click on the gear setup button. If everything is hooked up correctly a window will pop up for settings. Under Video Tab set NTSC_M and Video Source at Composite (for your RCA jacks). All the pointers on that page should be set at default (in the middle). Capture Button tab set at Capture Video. Snapshot Tab at JPG (doesn't matter burning movies). Record Tab set at DVD. Click Browse in Save Folder and locate the folder that was set up on the hard drive earlier. Click OK. If you aren't able to see these settings in grabber - you probably didn't follow the steps in ORDER. Start the VCR and watch your monitor. When you see the VCR movie starting - press the REC button on the front of the VC500. At that time, the red light beside the blue light thats on the VC500 will come on indicating that the VC500 is recording. Looking at the Grabber on the monitor will show the time elapsing and you can view the VCR tape being played.
My computer came with "Windows DVD Maker" (maker). Works great.
IMPORTANT- IMPORTANT Using maker will show how much can be put on a disc. Don't try to figure it out. Throw timing and GBs out the window. Download several VCR tapes to your file. Now open up DVD maker and drag and drop each tape into maker. Make note in maker at the bottom left the time indicator. Drag till its full and maker will indicate how many minutes over you are. Make note how many minutes that is needed to be edited off your tapes. Arc Soft Show Biz allows for the editing. I cleaned up the ends of my first tape in Show biz and the last tape I would edit the amount of minutes off the last tape so it would meet DVD makers time limit. Show Biz let you add fade ins-outs. This should get you going and I hope it helps
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Over the past few years, I've owned four devices which help capture video. I've paid well over $100 in the past. I personally have never been able to differentiate the quality of captured video, and have not found any device that was noticeably more reliable than others. And, I have always had very fast computer processors with lots and lots of RAM.
XP vs VISTA: These devices work much better with Windows XP than with Vista. In fact, you'll find Vista doesnt usually work with these devices ? Why? I guess no one really liked Vista, and just decided to let it die the death expected of it. And it has.
The device is recognized by XP, and no drivers need to be installed manually. I had terrible luck getting any of these devices to work reliably with Vista, and given the impending release of Windows 7, I'd not rush out at this point if I had a Vista PC, since none of the software manufacturers are going to work on further improving their interface, even if they advertise their software as "Vista-enabled".
I've simply continued to use my XP computer for video capture, with fingers crossed that it wont break down on me before Microsoft manufactures a computer language which third-party software manufacturers can actually work with.
REGARDING IMAGE QUALITY: I'm no techie, but it seems logical to me that any difference in captured image quality will derive from the number of frames captured per second, and most "home" devices seem to capture about then same number. Accordingly, I find most video is somewhat "fuzzier" than the original, though personally the quality suffices for me, because I'm not a perfectionist.
SOFTWARE: I find the real difference in the final product (ie, a captured and edited piece of video) is in the software thats used to capture, and then to edit the video.
This device did not come with software matching the software pictured and described in the short instruction manual. Mine came with ULead Video Studio SE, and ArcSoft Showbiz Software. Not a surprise -- most of my past devices were horror stories regarding the "free" software coming with them. Personally, I find AVS and ULead seem to both work, though neither is a software miracle standing head and shoulders above the competition. Adobe makes great photo software, but I've not tried their video softare, Premiere Elements. I've had terrible problems with Roxio's products which I never intend to use again.
I suggest buyers read the various software reviews, including Ulead, Adobe Elements, Roxio, Nero and AVS, and then judge for themselves: If you dont have a fast computer with lots of RAM, reconsider whether you really want to take the plunge. If you do, think about video editing as taking up a new hobby. It is not intuitive, no matter how its advertised. There is a definite learning curve, and its pretty steep.
And finally, buy your device and software from a vendor that allows returns. You'll see why when you read on about others' experiences.
59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2010
After reading the reviews and checking some top ten lists I gave this a chance and was very dissapointed. Unlike some of the problems I have read I was able to install mine with no problem, have had no crashes, and the set-up and ease of use was good. The only problem I've had is every VHS I copy the first 20 minutes it good but after that the audio lag gradually gets worse. At the end of a 2 hour video the audio is a whole 2 seconds behind the video and is unwatchable. It copied the video fine but its like watching a badly dubbed movie. I have checked message boards and it is a known problem with no fix. I'am running an Alienware M17 so my pc's more then capable. I've tried many suggestions and played around on my own to fix it with no luck. Hopefully my headache will benefit someone else to look elsewhere. Oh and the customer service is non existenet, tried for days. Thanks
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2009
I've been looking for a "cheap" way to get some 17 year-old VHS home videos onto DVD's when I saw this on sale. Given the price,and the complete lack of any detailed specifications for the device, I expected the worst, but got something much better.
Installation of the drivers was quick and painless on my Vista machine (AMD 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+ 2.0Ghz, 3GB Ram, Vista 32 Home Premium SP1, NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE) and the 'One-Touch' software worked perfectly. I hooked up my 18-year-old VHS camcorder to the RCA jacks and was immediately rewarded with a live video picture.
The "One-Touch Video Capture" software is not compatible with the Vista "Aero" desktop, so Vista turns that off while the software is running. When you exit the program, everything snaps back to normal. Hardly a problem, but it did give me a scare when I first turned it on, the screen flickered and the compatibility warning message popped up.
The VC500 offers 8 recording formats, 6 video and 2 audio. They are cryptically identified as DVD, SVCD, VCD, MPG4, AVI, WMV, WMA, and MP3, the last two being the audio formats. I have sucessfully captured video from the VCR using the DVD and VCD formats. The DVD output is MPEG-2 720x480 at a respectable (but not exceptional) 6500kb/s video bit rate and the VCD output is MPEG-1 352x240 at 1150kb/s. I haven't tried the other available formats, since these two are perfectly acceptable for my current purposes.
I didn't bother loading the Ulead VideoStudio 10SE that came in the box for 2 reasons. First, there's a suspicious lack of information on what exactly is different between the stand-alone software that they charge $99 for and the crippled "SE" version that they package with other manufacturer's products. Second, there was every indication that the version 10 was written with XP in mind, so getting any kind of support for Vista was doubtful. There is a "Vista Update" for VisualStudio 10 on the Ulead/Corel website, but whether this would be compatible with the SE version wasn't clear. Also, the box the VC500 came in declares Vista compatibility, but the Readme file on the Ulead disk is copyrighted March 2006 and has no mention of Vista.
I've been able to produce my DVD's using the Windows Movie Maker and DVD Maker in Vista, so I have no need for the Ulead software. That aside, I would recommend the Diamond One-Touch for quick and easy video capture and I'm very pleased with the ease of use and the quality of the resulting files.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2008
Extremely easy to setup, easy to use, works great, and is cheap.
I was facing with trepidation converting my old VHS tapes to digital files but this was much easier than I ever imagined. After the easy installation, just pop in a tape, double-click the icon on your desktop and voile the playing tape shows in resizeable window on your desktop.
When you get to a part you want to record just hit the record button (in the settings you can change the quality) and in a few seconds you have file on your computer you can play in any video player or can burn to a DVD. Has never locked-up and even works great when fast-forwarding through a tape. I'm watching a VHS movie on my computer as I type in this my browser. :-)
On the highest record setting (called DVD), you virtually lose no quality from the original VHS tape. That creates a big video file though so I'd recommend compressing it with a decent AVI file editor from there if not burning to DVD if using that setting.
If you have Windows XP and a good video card/processor, this should work great for almost anyone.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
This is the first review that I have ever written. I felt compelled to write a review because it was difficult for me to decide which product to purchase. I took a long time to decide which video transfer device to purchase because every device had a fair amount of negative reviews. I ended up buying the Diamond VC500 because it seemed to have better reviews than the others. I also found this site: [...] which rated the Diamond VC500 favorably. I have only used the device to transfer 61 Hi8 tapes (each 1 hour in length) from my Sony camcorder to my computer. My computer specs - Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz / Installed memory (RAM): 4.00GB / Hard drive: 1TB 7200 Rpm / System type: Windows 7, 32 bit operating system. I am not a computer guru by any means. I just included this data on my computer as a FYI.
When installing the driver/software from the Diamond CD to my computer, I did not receive the same prompts that are shown in the "VC500 Quick Start Guide". Nonetheless, the prompts were easy to follow. The only problem I had was that after the driver was installed, I never received a prompt to restart the computer before the software was installed. I learned from Tech support (Yes, they answered the phone quickly and were helpful) that in order for the software to be installed correctly, the computer needs to reboot after the driver is installed. Tech support even walked me through their website to make sure that I was downloading their latest driver. When you click on the settings button on the control panel there are four tabs. Under the: 1) video tab - you can adjust brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and sharpness, 2) capture button tab - I chose capture video (the other option is snapshot), 3) snapshot tab - you can choose BMP or JPG, 4) record tab - I chose DVD since I will be burning these videos to DVD; the other options are SVCD, VCD, MPG4, AVI, WMV, WMA, and MP3. Tech support can help you make a decision on which option to choose. I did not install the Ulead VideoStudio 10 SE software yet. This is a separate CD that is included. My main concern was getting all the video of my kids transferred to my computer before the tapes deteriorated. I can worry about the editing and burning to DVD later.
Sometimes when I click on the "One Touch Video Capture" icon on my desktop to bring up the control panel and before I start the video transfer, I do get the green band at the bottom of the video viewing window. Tech support told me to close the control panel and then re-open it again. I never have the green band show up a second time I re-open the program. The green band never shows up during the video transfer process (If you get rid of the green band when it first appears upon opening the program, it will not show later during video transfer process). I wanted to transfer these videos directly from the camcorder to my external hard drive (1.5TB Seagate). But, when I tried, the video would stop transferring after a few minutes. Again, I am no computer expert. I just think my external hard drive could not keep up. I then tried to transfer the video directly to my computer's hard drive and had no problems. Each one hour video that I transfer to my computer is on average 2.98GB. You can multiple that with the number of one hour videos you have to transfer to see if you have enough space on your hard drive. After I finished transferring all the videos, I transferred the videos from my computer's hard drive to the external hard drive without any problems.
The quality of the videos that I transferred to my computer are the same as the images on the tapes themselves. I was very pleased that the video images did not degrade during the transfer process. I did not have any "audio lag" problems. I am very pleased with this product. I hope this helps!