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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2008
So many reviews for devices like this are full of complaints regarding the output quality, both video and audio. I started reviewing the cheaper devices and tried to spend my way out of the bad reviews but I never could. Devices priced from 20 to 120 all carried the same complaints in one form or another. Poor quality output, jagged edges, dropped frames, audio getting out of sync with the video.
I was so confused that in the end I finally threw up my hands and ordered the Dazzle. With a few caveats, I'm glad I did. If you care to use the information, this is what I learned:
S-video cable input is needed if you intend to view the output in more than a small computer window. Don't even think you will be happy with TV sized results using only AV cables.
The output is best directed to a hard drive folder and then burned to DVD later. I import the result into a video editor (ULead) and trim and edit as needed. Your tapes are probably like mine and have have multiple unrelated events that should not be on the same DVD.
Don't mess with the computer while copying. I turned off screen savers and updates to prevent disruption.
My machine is a single core Pentium 4, 2.8Ghz , with only 512MB ram, USB2, running Windows XP service pack 3.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2008
The trick is not trying to burn the disk directly, save your file on your hard drive and then import it to Windows Movie Maker [to be able to see your movie, choose the see all files option].

I then recommend publishing your movie on your computer first and then import it again to Windows Movie Maker [you should now be able to see it like a regular video file]. This will allow you to trim it and work on it better. Once your movie is ready, choose publish to dvd [Windows DVD maker will open] and then you can burn it. By using these two programs, you will then have the additional benefit of adding music, trimming, etc. Takes more time and a little practice to get the hang of it but it's worth it in my opinion.

I bought this device and had to discard lots of media at first, but after doing this, its now working flawlessly & I have managed to convert 30+ VHS, without damaging any dvd.

I hope this helps :]

Kind regards...
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2008
After debating about a way to transfer VHS video to DVD, I thought I would take the less expensive (read:cheap) way out. My mistake. Don't make it yourself. The minimum hardware requirements are deceiving. You really need at least a 2GHz or faster processor and basically no other sound or video devices attached.

Upon loading the software, I received the message that the audio driver did not load correctly and that I might have problems when running the program. That was putting it mildly. The program started to run, but showed no video and when the record button was clicked, the message "burn error" displayed. After several attempts at correcting the problem, it was time to explore the forum at Pinnacle software's site.

Finding an identical problem on the forum with no response was foreboding of what was ahead. I called technical support and spoke with an outsourced representative who, after 30 minutes had me try everything I had already tried and then told me they would have to escalate this to level 2 support. Level 2 doesn't use the telephone so I would wait for an email message. Fortunately, that message only took 12 hours to receive. It started with the message: "What seems to be the problem?" However, it did suggest a 17 step fix for the problem I was having. After 16 of the 17 steps the error message came up again and the program did not work.

Long story short. After two more email messages, I received the message: "Thank you for contacting Pinnacle Support. We appreciate you emailing us. If you have the same problem feel free to reply to this email." which, I believe is their way of saying 'we can't fix your problem'. At this point, the solution was clear: return for refund.

I have seen several people who have had this product work fine for them, but I would recommend that you consider very carefully your system requirements before you purchase this device. Or check the forum at Pinnacle software to read what users are saying (or having problems with).

My solution ended up being the Sandisk V-Mate recorder:
SanDisk SDMV1-R V-Mate Video Memory Card Recorder
which does not require a computer at all to record the video/audio and thereby removes the incompatibility factor.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2008
I finally got a video capture to disk (I'd didn't want to burn to DVD right away) with audio totally in synch with the video by following several precautions--this is on a 2.5 GHz Pentium IV system with 1.5GB of RAM:

* Disconnect the Internet for safety

* Unload ALL programs--especially those running in the background, like antivirus, firewall, and other security software.

* Clear out about 60GB (for a one hour video) of free disk space for all the many files that will be created.

* Defragment that drive--this seems to be important

* Update the Dazzle drives at the Pinnacle site

* Walk away from the system while it is capturing: don't attempt to do any other work while the Dazzle software is working.

* Pray
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2008
I purchased this to use with a laptop running Vista 64-bit to burn straight to DVD, and the results were very spotty; I've since returned it for a refund.

More than half the time, the program would stop recording incoming video from the VCR. I made sure the software and drivers were all up to date, etc., all to no avail, the connection would just drop partway through the recording process. All in all a frustrating experience.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2009
I bought this to capture game videos. After i read all the reviews about installing it on Vista I was a little worried. but when i got it, i installed in first try and it worked great. Quality isnt AMAZING but it is good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2009
All I wanted to do was convert VHS tapes to DVD plus a little editing. This product worked as adverstised. To maximixe this product, follow these steps and you will not be unhappy.

1) Have a high performance computer, minimum P4 3ghz machine with atleast 1Gb of memory.
- My Machine is Windows 7 64 bit, 6GB of memory, 1TB hard drive, Core I7 920 @ 3.8ghz
2) Have an S-Video output VCR.
- My VCR is a JVC HR-7800u HI-FI SVHS machine
3)Install the latest drivers from [...] FIRST. Don't even open up their software. If you have a 64 bit machine, make sure you get the 64 bit software.
4) Use REAL video editing software like, Ulead, Pinnacle, etc to actually IMPORT your Video.
- I use Pinnacle Ultimate Studio 11 - Works Perfect
- DO NOT TRY AND IMPORT TO CUT TO DVD AUTOMATICALLY. That's a NO-NO.
- DO NOT USE THEIR SOFTWARE.
5)Make sure you have an S-Video Cable! ;)

That's it!

I recently made converted a 30 minute sales presentation. Excellent Audio and Video.

Good Luck!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2009
This is a very good product that does the job for which it was purchased. My only complaints and they are small ones, is that is does not come with the required cables and it will only divide DVDs into separate chapters by time. So, if you don't know the exact length of a segment, you will end up splitting where you don't want a split. If you have other video editing software you may want to first save the video onto your hard drive and use the other software to create your DVD. However,if you don't want to divide into chapters, on the plus side, you can record directly from the video to the DVD without first saving on your computer and you can see exactly what is being recorded in real time on your computer screen. I am gradually moving all my videos onto DVDs and I know they will last a lot longer. All in all, I recommend this product.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2008
After reading several mediocre reviews for the Dazzle, I was talked in to buying one by a sales person at Circuit City. I was, to put it mildly, dubious.

I am glad that I bought it. Set up was a breeze. Using it has also been a breeze. A few words of caution, however:
* After installation, check Pinnacle Systems' website for the latest drivers for your computer system.
* I am using 64-bit Vista. There is a driver on the Pinnacle website so that the Dazzle will work with 64-bit Vista. It would NOT work for me (my computer wouldn't recognize the Dazzle) until after I downloaded the driver from Pinnacle's website.
* The Dazzle allows you to transfer video files from your video camera (or VHS player) either directly to dvd (with their included software) OR to your hard drive. Although I have not tried going from a camcorder or vcr directly to a dvd, I had great results transferring video from my camcorder (or vcr) directly to my computer's hard drive. This allowed me to stop the transfer whenever I liked. It also allowed me to name the file whatever I liked. At least it did using Roxio software. I then used Roxio software to burn it to a dvd.
* I think that for the coversion process to work best your computer needs a fair amount of horsepower. My computer has 4 gigs of RAM, plus an Intel T9700 processor and the process went smoothly, but I could tell it was having to work, several times during the process using 100% of my processors power. 2 gigs would probably do, but be prepared to wait a bit longer for the results.
* I read one review that suggested burning directly to dvd rather than to the hard drive, with one reason being that when copying to the hard drive you end up with several small files rather than one file. I have not had this problem and have copied from both a Hi-8 camcorder and my VCR using the Dazzle in conjunction with Roxio Creator 2009 Ultimate. Maybe the Roxio allowed me to have one nice, neat file. I don't know, but I didn't end up with several fragmented files, but I have no idea why. Just lucky, I guess.

I have transferred about two hours of video directly to my hard drive. What I did was: plugged in the Dazzle to my usb port on my computer, opened Roxio Creator, chose the source to copy from (Roxio recognized the Dazzle and listed it in the Roxio source window), and then copied. The results have been great. The copy from my Hi-8 camcorder looked very good when shown on about half of my 17 inch computer screen. The results from my vcr looked great on my 25 inch television. Be aware though that the converted video from Hi-8 will look better on your computer screen than on your television screen. Could be because I'm using RCA jacks instead of the s-video jack. Or, it could be because my camcorder is about 14 years old. For $49, I'm satisfied with the Dazzle.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2009
This is the second time I've purchased a pinnacle product and for the second time in a row the product hasn't worked.

I was trying to copy old home movies from VHS to DVD for my family and chose this product frankly because it was the only one in the store. I'm working on a computer with a quad core processor and a gig of memory. Well above the recommended requirements for running this product. When your using the wizard (because the device won't let you capture with any other software but its own) the video seems to play fine while you're looking for the right section of the tape you want. However, as soon as you tell it to record, the audio and video get out of sync and start skipping.

I had similar issues with my last purchase from Pinnacle, a tv tuner for the same computer which stated on the box it worked with windows media center. It din't work with media center at all, the audio and video being over a second apart. When I called Pinnacle for support I was basically told that it wasn't their responsibility to make sure their software works with other programs and I might as well call microsoft to fix the problem because they sure as hell weren't going to. When I told the person that their own viewing software wasn't working either I got the same brush off and was told the only thing he could do was to send a technician to my house for over $100 dollars for a home visit to take a look at it.

So far Pinnacle is two for two in terms of putting out bad products that simply don't work and their customer service people just don't seem to care. I'm never buying another one of their products ever again.
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