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Showing 1-10 of 2,488 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,764 reviews
on February 15, 2016
Let me first say that I tried 'em all before this one: TOTMC, EZCAP, even the Elgato with limited (if any) results. The TOTMC was the best of those three, which actually would capture video and audio but the problem was the audio broke up a lot in the final MPEG2 using the given software (ShowBiz). Upon this, I decided it was the capture's fault and bought an EZCap (again supplied with ShowBiz). This one did the exact same thing, with even worse results. Then decided "oh, I'm not spending enough!" and sprung for the Elgato. Well, those drivers wouldn't even install on my system (Win7Pro, x64), so that was a true waste. After reading a ton of reviews, and even two pages stating 'it's YOUR fault frames are dropping and sound is cutting out, here's what YOU can do, it's NOT your capture device!' -- tried all of that and decided to try a new program (PowerDirector) with the TOTMC capture device. I got the best transfer with that program/device combo -- but now the problem was the audio was falling out of sync about 4 minutes into the captured MPEG2. Tried with an update of ShowBiz 5. Same deal.

Read more reviews. More experience accounts.

I noticed that this little thing which was modestly priced was getting rave reviews pretty much across the board -- so as a last resort, before delving into a $200 capture "box" -- I decided, why not give this DIAMOND a go? The worst that can happen is I return it.

Didn't happen. Doesn't have to happen.

This thing captured the audio and video of my VHS tapes PERFECTLY with all the programs I used (though if you can shell out, I do recommend PowerDirector for its many features). Hands down. No issues. As simple as all the others promised.

HINT: I took a cue from the reviews and downloaded the drivers from Diamond myself before actually plugging it in (and not letting Windows Update find them first -- besides "USB Composite Device" driver, which I think WU does find, though it could just as well have been in the install package on Diamond's website) DO NOT install the drivers from the software included in the box when you buy this. They are old and outdated.

For those who are curious, I bought this to make DVD-resolution transfers of my VHS tapes that were either self-made, or things that are not on DVD yet. While this product (nor any video capture device) doesn't FIX your VHS tapes that do have damage, at least you get EXACTLY what you see and hear on the capture screen as it imports.

Fantastic device.
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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.
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on July 31, 2014
This was posted July 31, 2014.
The device and cable work, and if you just play a tape and watch it in the provided EZgrabber software on your PC, the video is clear. BUT, if you click the red record button on EZgrabber, it fails miserably when converting the video input to digital format. . Apparently a clean signal gets to the PC, but the EZgrabber software is overloaded and creates really bad videos and lousy or missing sound. So, the culprit is the software. I will come back here when I find a software that works. I am using a fairly high end Sony laptop with 4gb of RAM.

The Diamond marketing people should be taken out and shot for such abysmal documentation and EZgrabber software.

So, my experience is wasting time to learn how to configure the device and then find the conversion is unacceptable. You need a different Video capture software. I am trying "Virtual Dub" but it is freeware and also lacks instructions, so I will post if I find a way to make the hardware work.

Some tips:
- First play your VHS tape in a player connected to a TV to see the current quality. If it isn't good there, then it won't improve when converted to digital files.
- Then setup the device and cable and install the EZgrabber software. It will display a viewing screen for the video signal received by the PC and a separate graphic visual that looks like a TV clicker with software buttons. I wasted a lot of time by clicking the record onscreen button right away, so I only saw the resulting video garbage. I thought the original video was bad until I watched it on a tV connected to the VHS player. Then I watched the video image in the EZgrabber screen WITHOUT clicking the record button and saw the inbound signal was good. I had already created 5 REALLY bad converted API files before I figured this out.
- The instructions for configuring the device and EZgrabber are TERRIBLE or non-existent. They tell you how to connect the cable device and load the software, but not how to configure it or which choices to make and why. I had to read the product comments here on Amazon.com to even know there were TWO places to configure it. One source said to set the output video format to AVI which I did.

So trial and error found the two places to enter configuration choices.

One, you do a right click on the Ezgrabber icon on the PC desktop and there are settings there.

- Second, you must click the little gear wheel icon on the onscreen control graphic to enter settings.

- Look for another Video Capture software to grab and convert the incoming signal from the hardware cable and device.

More to come
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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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 17, 2009
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.

SOFTWARE:
---------

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.

CONSTRUCTION:
------------

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.

SUMMARY:
--------

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.
review image review image review image review image
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on January 6, 2017
I bought this to transfer a bunch of VHS recordings to DVD. The unit worked flawlessly. That said, files are large and a high-school football game took two discs to record. The installation is simple and the software is easy to use if you know your way around a computer. Don't try to install this on an older computer. While it did install on one of my old "Vista Home" PC's (I know... who runs that any more? Me!) it was impossible to use. A better OS and graphics setup was required. Everything ran beautifully on our Windows 10 laptop.

What it does: Allows you to capture video and audio and do some editing right on your PC. Tells you file sizes so you can easily determine if you need more than a single disc for your videos. Enables file splitting and audio track editing. I did not play with all the bells and whistles.

What it does NOT do: This software will not be able to fix video that comes from a source such as a VHS tape that has deteriorated from old age. You only get out the quality of video that you put in.
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on July 30, 2015
Bottom line is the VHS capture I made did not have the audio synched to the video. It was way off. Not even close. So what is the point of going any further? Who cares about trying to eek out the best quality copy if the audio is not synched?

Additionally, the install program is a joke. Confusing. Also, the program by default stores the capture files in an obscure folder structure buried several folders under users\user name\appdata. When you open a file the program shows the file in a false folder location (if you navigate to the folder with File Explorer the file is not there). And if you go into settings and change the storage folder to something like "My Videos", the program STILL places the capture files in the obscure location.

Furthermore I used the S-Video cable over the yellow composite cable, and had no video when I tried to capture. Futzing around I found you had to go into settings and change the output from composite to S-video manually. Translation: the capture device is too stupid to detect which cable is receiving the video from the VCR.

This is my second try at a product designed to turn VHS tapes into DVDs. The first try was with Elgato Video Capture, Capture analog video for your Mac or PC, iPad and iPhone, white. Again with the audio synch issue, even at twice the price of this device.

Hey, capture cards for VCRs have around now for over 15 years (in fact, the one I used 15 years ago worked better than this current crud they are making). How hard can it be people? It's not rocket science. Figure it out and give consumers a decent product!
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on April 12, 2017
I only bought one usb capture device. So I can't review like some people do, where they tried like 5 different ones.
I am using it with virtual dub (free software) instead of the software it came with. I suppose it depends on what you want to do.
It has two softwares, Power Director 12 and EZ Grabber (plus drivers). I downloaded the whole package from the Diamond website instead of using the included disk, but I did use the code on the disk to activate Power Director 12.
I tried Power Director first and it gave me some errors about copyright protection, which turns out to be either actual copyright protection or just old VHS tapes with some image issues that look to the software like copyright protection. There wasn't an easy fix for that I could find, so I tried the EZ Grabber software, don't even try any of the options other than DVD for capture. I thought maybe it would just give you various formats, but it actually has some built in defaults and they all look pretty awful, the DVD setting looked ok. In the end, I tried some different things and using the virtual dub software gave me the best option for being able to adjust the captured video and save into whatever format I want.
For the actual dongle, it does the job, I don't know if it does it better than one of the really cheap ones or worse than one of the more expensive ones, but it does the job. It doesn't compress the video on output like some do (like saving directly in h264), so I was able to capture uncompressed video and do what I wanted with it. Drivers were no issue, since I followed the advice online.
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on January 17, 2017
+ The hardware is Windows 10 compatible. If you planned to use your own video capture software then it's entirely possible this might work for you.

- The included Cyberlink Director 12 is not windows 10 compatible according to Cyberlink.

- I had to contact Cyberlink to figure out why this device didn't work because over the course of 6 days, I have received exactly ONE response to my support ticket with Diamond. The extent of their troubleshooting ability seems to be "plug it into a different USB port and test the EZ grabber software too" when that doesn't fix the problem they simply ignore the ticket until the customer leaves. The interaction is below (there is no phone support, which I can understand at this price point):

01/11/2017 2:45 pm Brandon Rinebold
I receive the attached error when I try to start recording from this device in Cyberlink Power Director that seems to indicate that the input was corrupt. Also attached is a copy of my dxdiag.txt which will provide some basic information about my hardware and OS.
I have already tried downloading the most recent drivers from your website.
Capture.PNG(21.8 kb) DxDiag.txt(101 kb)
01/11/2017 2:58 pm Charly Cabrerra
Hello,
Thank you for contacting Diamond Multimedia technical support.
Have your tried plugging the VC500 into another USB port as well as try to capture with the EZ grabber software on the disk?
01/11/2017 3:00 pm Brandon Rinebold
Yes to both. EZ grabber just shows a black window and different USB ports didn't have any effect on the issue.
01/14/2017 10:44 am Brandon Rinebold
It's been 3 days since your last reply. If we can't resolve this issue by Monday I'm going to return it to the retailer.
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on February 28, 2017
It was fine while it worked, I guess. I had a very hard time to get the video capture and audio to sync up. Only until I downloaded Power Director 12 did I see some hope in getting my capture video and audio to sync, but before I had a chance to really test it out, the device stopped working. The PC makes the "USB sound" when I plug it in, but device manager says "Unknown device" and no capture apps see the device. It is just broken.

To make it worse, there is a 1 year warranty on the thing, but I can't seem to get Diamond support's attention. So I basically have $40 sitting on my desk doing nothing. I ordered another device from another vendor and will try that. Diamond VC500 is a major disappointment. Who has the final laugh, though? They do - and my $40 too.

I gave the product 2 stars and not one because Power Director is very nice so at least I get to keep that.
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