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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2008
I bought this for transferring some VHS to DVD, installed everything and couldn't get the audio to play and the bundled ULead Video studio kept crashing. Then I read the manual and realised I had to use the stripped down One Touch Video Capture program they also supply. And it worked, very well. It'll produce AVI, MP4, WMV, VMA, MP3 and some others (DVD, SDVD, VCD, whatever they are...). Then (if you've got Vista), just import the files into Windows DVD Maker and you're away.

There's always going to be a certain amount of loss when copying analogue to digital, but the results are very watchable and the audio was in perfect sync.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
On the positive side, it captures video and audio just fine, within certain limitations. I had tried a KWorld unit, which would not even install properly, as well as a handful of assorted USB and PCI units and this seems to be the best of the lot.

I installed the drivers and software on two computers, a Dell 8400 running WinXP SP2 with a 1 TB SATA drive as the target and a Sony VAIO VGN series running Win7. The Dell went through hysterics during the installation, giving me two BSODs (which are pretty rare on WinXP) but everything finally installed. The installation was smoother on the VAIO with Win7. One thing they don't tell you is that the capture utility acts funny when there is no video input to capture...you'll think your monitor is having an epileptic fit (at least in WinXP). Try hooking up a live video signal and things should calm down.

Picture quality is pretty good overall. The Diamond capture utility (not to be confused with Ulead Studio)gives a decent preview that keeps pace with the capture. I used a DVD player output to test, so I knew I had a decent image source. The image was not formatted properly, though, giving me an aspect ratio that looked about 16:9, with a green band at the bottom of the preview window. (This was using the standard NTSC composite video output of the DVD player.) Interlacing artifacts were very noticeable, making me wonder if it was using just the odd or even fields for the preview. Picture adjustments (hue, saturation, tint, etc.) worked well.

One irritating thing about these types of "one-step" devices is that they don't tell you what you really want to know about the capture and encoding. Instead of giving you the option of selecting MPEG-1, MPEG-2, or whatever, you get to choose "DVD," "SVCD,", "VCD," and so forth. I also couldn't see any way to select the image size or bit-rate. They all appear to be preset in the Diamond utility. So I chose "DVD" and went for it.

Unfortunately, the end product using the Dell 8400 was not satisfactory. I'm going to assume that this was MPEG-2 (DVD standard), but I haven't checked the actual encoding on the file. The audio was fine, but the captured video lagged every five seconds or so. It did, however, keep the audio and video in synch.

Performance on the VAIO laptop was better, but I can't say it was great. The VAIO is only a dual-core and it appears that horsepower counts.

Performance using the "SVCD" or "VCD" settings was much better. There is also an "AVI" setting, but I don't have any idea what compression method or bit-rate this uses. I'll have to check it out and see. I don't expect it to be DVD quality, but I might be surprised.

Now, if you want to know a secret, I'll tell you how to capture excellent quality video: don't compress it when you capture it. I'm serious. Get an inexpensive PCI video capture card (a Leadtek TV2000XP or something newer) and download VirtualDub (freeware) to capture the streams. When you capture, use the uncompressed RGB video and uncompressed PCM audio settings. As long as your HDDs can handle the writing (I use a couple older IDE drives in a RAID 0 configuration and they keep up just fine), you will have perfect 640 x 480 video with NO dropped or inserted frames and in perfect synch. Sure, it will be a big file (probably 140 to 160 GB for a 90 minute movie) and you'll have to compress it later, but all the original goodness and quality will be there for you. Just run it through VirtualDub again with Xvid at a maximum quality setting and the resulting file will be ready for final editing and MPEG-2 compression. It will look great!

So, the VC500 is the best of a breed in my book. Spend a lot more money and you can get good hardware compression in an external unit. On the other hand, if you want VCD quality and have a decent PC, this unit will produce acceptable quality with literally "one touch" and without the complexities.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2008
I received my VC500 back from repair last week but it still does not work. It has the same problem.
The "Record the current video being captured" and the "Stop the current recording" buttons flash alternately, two or three times a second.
Each time it does so it produces a file in "...Grabber\My Videos"...with no viewable content. After a minute or so, there are hundreds of files.
I returned it to DIAMOND MULTIMEDIA, USA. 9650 De SOTO AVENUE. CHATSWORTH
CA 91311 for repair. After one month it was returned but has the same fault. Now, the company does not respond to my emails.
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2008
The program with the Vc500 changes some files that are used by XP Sservice Pack 3 which Windows needs to function properly. I had reloaded SP3 and then checked the program for the device and it was all messed up so i has to remove it. So if you have XP SP3 i suggest not getting this device.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2009
I bought this gadget to convert my old 8mm video cassette tapes to hard-drive. VCD mode is the best it can do, even though the bottom edge of the picture is messed up. Trying to convert it with DVD mode preserves the picture quality but there is a 1" yellow vertical band in the center of the screen. VCD mode is below par resolution, didn't have the time to return it, wished I had.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2012
The only reason that I gave this a One star is because I cannot give it a ZERO star. This was a complete waste of my money. The software could not be loaded onto my computer (Windows 7 - 64-bit). The customer service was essentially non-existent. They were unable to help me with my issue and only referred me to their site where the same software was listed which was on the CD. Despite several e-mails, they did not offer any other help. My review to others, based on my personal experience, is this: "Do not buy this product!"
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2008
I bought this when Vista made my old capture device obsolete. I'm glad it was inexpensive because it isn't very usefull. At DVD quality its fine but that's 50mb per minute. The AVI capture is 300mb per min (DV I guess.) The MP4 and WMV are unwatchably compressed. The capture settings cannot be adjusted. No video capture software I own, not even the bundled ULead, recognizes the device so all captures must be done in the rudimentary proprietary software that comes with the device. It drops some frames even on my new, smokin' fast dual core. The previews look washed-out because its software is incompatible with Vista's color scheme so it's no good for watching TV on your computer. (Once captured, the video looks normal.)

On the plus side, the audio sync is good (a chronic problem with these things) and at DVD (50mb/m) the picture quality is good. At SVCD (20mn/m) it looks okay. If file size isn't an issue for you then you can't beat the price. Oh, and the bundled ULead video editing software is not bad at all, just import the captured video and edit/compress it any way you like.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2013
I've bought 2 of these Diamond VC500s on Amazon. There are other "one touch" video capture devices available on Amazon from ~$10 up to over $80. There are effectively all the same except for bundled software and support. I bought the VC500 because of Diamond has been a long standing video device producer and I expect better support than from the no-name Chinese importers.

It's a mixed bag. This is still one of those no-name Chinese imports but with the 'Diamond' name printed on it. Windows first sees it as a "OTG102" before the supplied drivers are loaded. Afterwards, it's a "USB2.0 Video Capture Device" and the driver manufacturer is simply "China." But the Diamond web site does have support information, downloadable drivers, and even some downloadable walk-through information on trouble shooting and Windows 8 installation.

If you want someone to hold your hand and teach you to how to edit videos, this is not the device for you. If you want a very simple device just to capture composite video and you know what to do with .wmv files this device is ok. One really doesn't need the included Arcsoft ShowBiz video editing program; Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker will work fine with the 'EzGrabber' captured video from this device. The Arcsoft "ShowBiz" is a step up from WMM, but don't expect a manual from Diamond on how to use it!

The install program worked flawlessly on the 32-bit Windows XP and 64-bit Windows 7 computers I tried this on. There are three major install steps: the Driver (installs analog video and audio capture devices), EzGrabber (the capture to file program), and ShowBiz (the video editor, may also capture video but refuses to copy anything copyrighted.) ExGrabber has 8 different settings (DVD, AVI, VCD, etc.) which are inadequately described in the manual. See the user screen shot above of the options - that's all the info on the settings you get! There is no option to capture 640x480 video and nothing higher than 30 frames/second. The 'AVI' setting (720x480, 30fps) is the highest quality, but at over 50 GB/hour you'll need lots of disc space. A fast computer helps a lot here; my Core 2 duo @ 2.2GHz / 4G RAM was *not* fast enough for the MP4 setting; that setting had lots of dropped frames and stuttering video.

The good news: on those machines it worked on, it worked perfectly capturing VHS video at the same visual quality as the original. Note VHS isn't the highest quality to start with - once one get used to HD video, or even DVD, all VHS looks pretty bad. <grin>

The bad news: on two (UPDATE: three) computers I've tried the audio goes occasionally completely to noise. This happened in both XP and Windows 7, with different cables, with different USB jacks, and different VHS tapes. On these computers the device is unusable. UPDATE: I tried a different VCR and still got the occasional noise. Must be either the environment, the copy-protection on the tape (possibly, but I have no trouble with the same tape at home), or the device itself. And confirmed that the included ShowBiz video editing software will not record copy-protected VHS tapes, and neither will Cyberlink's PowerProducer or PowerDirector. I have still a couple more tests to try and will update this after they are done.

UPDATE2: After yet more testing: The problem with static/noise on the audio capture is *not* a copy protection problem. It *is* computer specific, not device specific. The 3 computers I've had problems with were all HP model 6000 series, though different specific models. On the Dells and Acers it seems to work fine. Occasionally one of the 'bad' HPs will work perfectly, but after a reboot - noise! With experience, I've noticed that every time the audio will go bad, there are horizontal green flashing lines (interference) in the video, even if just monitored and not recorded. For all that, my bottom line has not changed.

Bottom line: for under $40 it's great when it works, 5 stars. For those computers/videos sources it doesn't work on, 1 star. And to answer the obvious question, I {still!} don't know why the audio noise using EzGrabber on some of my computers. I'm a computer technician and I get paid to know these things.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2008
The Diamond VC500 One Touch Video Device is easy enough to set up. I don't know how it works on others computers, but my computer is fast enough to handle the transfer. It is easy to record to your computer and it starts out fine. After a little while the audio and video are not synchronized together. I tried it several times and got the same results. I wouldn't recommend this product. I was very disappointed in it and ended up returning it.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2008
Poorly written drivers and incompatible video capture software ruin this product for me. This is going back to Amazon immediately. I've spent hours on the phone and via e-mail with Diamond's so-called "technical support." First, the driver doesn't allow me to capture sound in Corel/Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus. Second, if I install Diamond's "One Touch Video Capture" software, it renders Corel/Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus absolutely inoperable; any attempt to launch Corel/Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus results in a RUDE, hideous ordinal 17 and MPGVOUT.DLL error message. To fix this, you must uninstall Diamond's proprietary One Touch Video Capture software. Fortunately, Corel/Ulead will then start working again. But -- then -- the driver that ships with this USB 2.0 device doesn't work with my brand new Dell Optiplex: NO SOUND! No sound no matter what I do in the system audio configuration settings. I've long known that Canopus Firewire analog-to-digital converters were the best way to go because they don't require proprietary drivers. They're more expensive. But what is worse? Dealing with a clueless Diamond Multimedia tech? Or paying a little extra money for something that actually works?
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