378 of 391 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2011
My system: Toshiba L505 laptop with AMD dual core processor & Win 7
My person: Middle-aged guy who has been swapping out guts of computers and dealing with software issues for 2 decades.
I had been waiting for a gadget like this for a long time. A few years ago, you would have had to buy a box to do this job, so I was pleased to see an inexpensive way to get this done. I really read the reviews thoroughly before buying this item, so I wanted to address some of the issues that worried me when I read them.
First, if you used a tape that cost you $2.98 for 17 of them, don't be foolish enough to think that turning the video digital is going to perform magic tricks. My old camcorder tapes were expensive master tapes, used with a high-end [for the time] Panasonic PV330 camcorder. When I captured video from tapes of lesser quality, it was immediately evident.
I read people saying that they experienced out-of-sync conditions. With my Win 7 system, I saw no such thing. Then there are installation and documentation issues. The documentation is quite lacking, especially when you consider the problems that some users mentioned. Primary among these was - the first time I installed the software, I had already plugged in the device. When you do this, Windows automatically searches for a driver - and will find one! When you start the software installation, the first step is to load a driver from the disk. Don't do it! If windows has already loaded a driver, SKIP this step, otherwise it will really mess you up! After I had to go back and restore my computer back to an earlier date, I let the win driver load, loaded up the CD and skipped the driver on it and everything was fine. Also, there will be a green bar across the bottom of the screen in the software where you view the captured video - so like one reviewer already said, just close the software, start it up again, and everything is fine. That's where the documentation comes in - they have no business not addressing these issues in their manual. Granted, there isn't much to this product, but issues like these need to be addressed so the user knows that she/he is not doing something wrong. With the driver, I think we have gotten so use to the installation taking care of conflict issues that we don't even think about this stuff any more.
As far as the software is concerned, it is pretty rudimentary stuff. I always capture in the MPEG (DVD) format on to an external drive, 'cause the files are big. For editing, the Ulead stuff isn't worth too much - in fact I've had it stop working all together a few times, so I don't use it. Actually, Win 7 has enough built in do do most of the flat-out basic editing and burning. Just capture the video, close down the One Touch (the file will already be saved in whatever folder), and use whatever editing software you want. Also - if you are using software that lets you capture, I don't think you have to use the button on the VC500.
Sorry about all the blabber, but there are problems with this gadget, but they can be worked around. It's a shame that there is any guessing involved. And for me, it's worth the 30 odd bucks to capture 20 year old videos of the kids on a DVD.
370 of 388 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2008
Luckily, I didn't listen to the other reviewers here and actually checked the reviews on Newegg. Glad I did, this product is awesome! The quality is great (however, you must change the the output settings to something other than default of VCD [read the manual on how to do so]). It doesn't have Vista support (but being a gamer, I am staying on Windows XP).
The VC500 is great for recording gameplay on videogame consoles.
It's best if you do install the Software that comes with it. Movie Maker has a hard time capturing from this device, but the software that comes with this works a lot better.
If you are trying to decide whether to buy the Pinnacle Dazzle or this, I would suggest you buy this because:
1. It's cheaper
2. The quality is the same, if not better than the Dazzle
3. The Live Preview allows you to play console games in full screen
4. The software is high quality
5. Comes with a RCA Audio/Video Cable (which is one less purchase to make)
394 of 418 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2008
The Diamond VC500 capture device is awesome!
Load the driver program, open the program, plug in the device in the USB, connect to A/V outputs on a VCR or a DVD player, start to play your source (VHS or DVD) and you will see it on your computer screen and hear it through your audio card. Then, when you see the scenes you want, press the record button on the device or on the program and you are capturing.
The tool command on the program allows you to adjust picture capture quality and output mode (and quality).
After years of handling videos by direct transfer from VCR to VCR in order to make a composite, now I can do the editing on my computer. The files created can be used and edited directly in Windows Movie Maker (the device comes with another editing program, but I find WMM to be easier to use with a wider range of output files).
As a person using clips from many movies in an educational setting to illustrate my topics, this device has made my life much easier -- and the quality of what I get is much, much better!!!!!
And all of this for a price much less than the usual video-capture internal card.
(and a hint - you can use this device with sources such as phonographs or tape decks to capture and edit the sound through your USB port without having to delve into the audio input ports on the back of your PC.)
153 of 160 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2008
I have a 15 yr old analog camcorder, and wanted to transfer the original tapes to my computer. I'm an old (mid 80s) guy. not really skilled with computers. But, I had no trouble installing the Diamond capture device. Connected it to the camcorder, plugged it into the USB port, started playing back the video, pushed the button on the capture device, and without further ado a 2 hour, analog video was in my computer as a *.avi file. All I could ask for. I heartily recommend it.
434 of 470 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2007
I couldn't be happier with this. I'm not a professional video person, but someone who just wants to transfer VHS tapes onto disk. A professional might find some objections to this device, but it works and does exactly what I needed it to do. Plug it into the VCR, plug the other end into the USB port, start up the VCR - hit the record button and Bingo! My VHS movie is now a MPEG movie. No problems with the software or hardware. Well worth the price.
98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2008
Citing that my old valuable VHS tapes are fading away with time, I bought this device to covert them into digital format from which I could store away, edit, or do other enhancements with them later. As mentioned by the other reviewer, "I couldn't be happier with this". Setting up and installing the software is a breeze and after bridging up my (stilling working) VCR and my PC with this device, I'm already capturing and converting the first night.
The only drawbacks I cited are:
1) You need to play each and every VHS tape which takes at least 5+hrs each. I start the capture & conversion before I go to bed and the next morning I'll start the process with a different VHS tape. A time consuming and low throughput process.
2) Each hour of VHS approximates to 5+ Gigabytes of video file in mpg format. A 6hr tape recorded with Extended mode would take up approx 30Gi. So be sure you have plenty of free disk spaces.
3) The Ulead VideoStudio that comes with the device is an old version 9 from 2005. It freezes up occasionally when you are just doing basic editing. Of course you can upgrade to the latest version for a fee.
Other than the above I am happy with the device and would recommend it.
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
I bought this after doing a bit of research. I had already been burned once with a cheap no-name capture card and didn't want to make the same mistake twice. After seeing the mostly positive reviews, I ordered this unit. I trusted the Diamond brand because they make the video cards inside several of my computers and I am happy to report that this device works perfectly.
It's exactly what I needed to transfer off all my old VHS tapes. Installation was easy and took just 5 minutes (Win XP). Using the device is really as easy as one touch. You do have to launch the video capture software first though. Once the video is playing in the VCR, just push the record button on the VC500 and it will start recording. A VERY bright blinking blue LED will indicate it's capturing. You'll also see the video on your monitor. The blinking can be an annoyance.
You can start the capture with the One Touch button, however, you can't stop by pushing it again. You have to do it through the One Touch Capture software by clicking a button. The box says you can, but it didn't work for me. The software is really basic and ugly. I'll go so far as to say it's utterly lousy. The REC and STOP buttons look almost the same and I can't remember which is which half the time. The software also doesn't offer a lot of choices in the settings.
You can choose from 8 formats: DVD, SVCD, VCD, AVI, MPEG-4, AVI, WMV, WMA, MP3. You can also adjust sliders for Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, and Sharpness, but that's it for controls. You can't change the frames per second, the capture resolution, cropping, video compression quality, or other settings. Each format has a locked-in set of configurations (see my gallery image for a table from the manual). For power users, this is a problem because you can't customize the output settings to economize on hard drive space.
My suggestion is to capture at the highest possible quality setting and then use another software to re-encode the video for your needs. My test captures yielded wildly varying file sizes, but I've determined that SVCD was best for VHS for both quality and file size. AVI looked bad and WMV was by far the worst, with large and ugly square blocks.
The device itself is of mediocre build quality. The plastic feels light and hollow and the wiring is thinner and flimsier than most other USB devices. The software and drivers even come on CD-R's that have been stickered over with an inkjet printed label.
Overall, the device does its job of capturing, and if you're looking for an inexpensive and simple way to digitize your old movies, this is one of the better products out there. It worked right out of the box, was easy to install, and didn't crash my system. That may seem like a basic requirement for any computer product, but I cannot tell you how many times products have failed even to meet this basic level of quality.
This product works, and works well. Just a shame that the software is so terrible and there is no software update from Diamond. But I'm willing to grudgingly deal with it because I can now finally transfer off my old VHS's and clear out some old junk.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
I have VHS-C tapes I want to import into my computer. I figured that if this worked like the good reviews stated, I'd be very happy. I am.
Here's what I did that WORKED.
1) Hook up the Diamond VC500 to your VCR / Vid camera. I used the red/yellow/white cables provided. DO NOT POWER ON THE VCR/Vid Camera yet!
2) Plug the Diamond VC500 into the USB of you computer.
3) NOW TURN THE POWER ON to the VCR / Vid camera. This should trigger Vista 64 bit to "see" the connected device and it will look for drivers. I chose the "Recommended" option that Vista automatically look for them. It found them and installed in a few seconds.
4) Put the disc in to install the application. This is the Drivers and Application disc. Choose the OneTouch application to install. DO NOT INSTALL THE DRIVERS FROM THE DISC. Reboot your computer when it's done.
After reboot, I launched the OneTouch application (VCR is connected and powered on and connected to the computer via the Diamond VC500). On my computer screen I could watch the video that was playing in the VCR. There's a RECORD button on the application interface to begin recording. I started the VCR tape manually with the play button on the VCR's remote and clicked that record button (red circle) on the computer to begin recording.
I chose AVI as the recording type to save only because all of my other imported videos (from my miniDV camcorder) come in as AVI.
The only issue I had is that I couldn't find a place to tell it to default the recorded video to. It automatically defaults to a folder in the directory that the OneTouch application installs to. You can find / view your imported movie by clicking the little folder button in the application interface. All of that is in the manual.
So far so good! I only imported 1 VHS-C tape (about an hour or so) into my computer, but I viewed it after it was done and it looked exactly as the source tape looks on the VCR. If your source material (ie: video tape recording) is good, the recording in your computer will be good. Conversely, if your video tape recording is of poor quality, the recording on your computer will be equally as bad.
This is an excellent product that works great with Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit and my plain old VCR. I would be very confident that this will work with any Vista 64 bit version as well as the "regular" 32 bit Vista versions.
317 of 361 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2008
I bought this product to capture VHS tapes onto my computer, which I would then edit in another program. I am running Vista. I installed the software with little difficulty and was up and running in under 10 minutes. However, over the course of using the product, I discovered that the video and audio frequently get out of sync...just enough to be annoying. The audio somehow gets ahead of the video, so after a few minutes of capturing, it gets out of sync and boom, it's worthless (unless you don't care about that, but I personally find it annoying when people's mouths aren't moving in sync with the audio). For me, this is enough to get rid of the product, it doesn't do what I need it to do. I gave it two stars instead of 1 because if you're just trying to capture something small, like 30 seconds long, it should be fine. However, for anything longer, forget it.
I also found that the software that comes with it is a bit buggy with Vista. It changes the color scheme when you open it up, which causes your screen to go blank for several seconds. Then, if your computer goes to sleep while you're recording, you can't get it to wake up and have to completely restart which is a huge pain. But then again, if your computer is set to go to sleep after 20 minutes, it won't matter because by then the video and audio will be WAY out of sync (it gets progressively worse as time goes on, starting to be noticeable after 3-4 minutes).
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2008
I have a very good, but older, video camera plus some older tapes. In addition I have some 35mm slides and device for recording them on a VCR. Up until the Diamond VC500 One Touch Video Capture Device came along, the only solutions for capturing the videos and slides digitally were expensive and cumbersome. I've been waiting for a better solution.
The Diamond VC500 One Touch Video Capture Device is very simple to install and use. It enables me to move my old tapes to more convenient and modern DVD format with minimal hassle. The added convenience of being able to digitally edit the captured videos is a plus. I'm not all that fond of the application user interface's style, but it's very workable.
The quality of the captured videos is quite acceptable for my home-made videos. I've not tried to use this on commercial-quality VHS tapes.
I would caution buyers to ensure they have a fast enough computer, enough memory, and enough disk capacity for the videos.