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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 They are old and outdated.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 December 21, 2016
 Let's be clear, the instructions and software for this product are awful.

However, with finessing, the device itself works very well. I am a 21 yo college student (according to my mom, I "get" technology) converting my mom's old records and VHS movies to a digital format for Christmas. This device DOES work to convert vinyls!!! I was unsure originally and ordered an audio grabber as well, but returned it as it was not necessary. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to wait for movies and records to finish, and that means waiting around 2 hours for a movie and 1 hour for vinyls. Because the original format is analog, you can't speed up the process by digitally extracting information.

FOR VIDEOS:
1. Don't bother with using the "power grabber" if you're just trying to convert VHS movies (not home videos). The power grabber will tell you that you can't record because of copyrights every time you try to do it. Use the EZ grabber instead. Even if you are trying to convert home movies, I would still suggest using the EZ grabber, and once you have it converted, for the love of god use a different editing software.
2. If you play back the video you've just converted using Windows Media Player and there is NO AUDIO, download a different player called VLC from the internet and try playing it again to see if the audio shows up. This normally works.
3. Pay attention to where you save the file, or specifically put it in a different place. The place that the software puts it calls the folder something different than the way your computer calls it.

FOR VINYLS/AUDIO:
1. Use the EZ Grabber, and you'll see a blue preview screen, but it still records.
2. Before you start recording, change the file type options from MPEG/DVD to MP3 in the bottom corner. This way you don't have to watch a blue screen to listen to your music.
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on December 2, 2017
If you're looking for something cheap, quick, and easy that works (and quality isn't your top priority), then this will work fine for you.

As almost all other reviews state, the main included software, "Power Director 12," has a serious problem with false positives for copyrighted content, even on home-taped VHS tapes with store bought blank tapes. When it does this, it will stop recording video, so you will have to stop the tape, rewind the tape to where it stopped, and then start recording around the same time again, and you will be left with multiple recorded files you will need to join together somehow again later to make the full tape recording file. Kind of a pain. There is another big issue (possibly with the hardware itself and not PD12) that makes it even worse - randomly and somewhat rarely, the colors will mess up so everything looks green and purple instead of the correct colors for no reason and without warning (it's not the tape's fault, as stopping and restarting corrects the colors. I included an image of what it looks like when this happens). When this happens you have to stop the recording, at which point the colors will return to normal, rewind the tape to where it started, and start recording again, resulting in even more files for a single VHS tape you have to deal with later. I think cheap hardware is to blame for this one.

I noticed the company responds with "Have you tried EZ Video Grabber which is also included?" to a lot of people having the copyright issue. Well, this brings in some more problems. The EZ software is easy to use, and does work, but limits you to only a few quality/recording profiles, all of which result in audio/video files far worse in quality (VERY noticeably worse) than VHS quality, which isn't good to being with. The highest quality option ("DVD quality") is decent, but still a little worse than the VHS raw video itself for some reason (you can see some compression artifacts, colors are worse, and everything is slightly blurred). Also, the file size with the DVD quality option of EZ Grabber is 50% more than that of a better quality Power Director 12 output file! PD12 does have great customization options for output type, bitrates, etc, so you can tune it well - IF it works.

So, you have serious problems and pros/cons with either EZ Grabber or PD. Do you want to have to babysit these tapes as they record through Power Director and stop/start/join files etc randomly in order to get a decent recording? Do you want to be able to just let it go, but lose quality and have a larger file (6GB per 2 hour VHS in EZ Grabber, around 4GB in PD)?

Since this piece of hardware uses some pretty standard/basic composite audio/video drivers, there shouldn't be anything stopping you from trying out other software that isn't included in this product that might work better, but I haven't been able to try any, so that is a possible option.

I am trying to digitize dozens of VHS tapes of home movies with this product and I am wishing I spent a little more on something more reliable. Doing so with this product and included software has essentially become a second full time job for me just to get out VHS quality digital video files. I have to check on it constantly and be there when it finishes each tape 24/7. It's ridiculous. For some people, this should work perfectly, though, it really depends on your use case.

EDIT: I was able to figure out the problem that caused the weird green coloring of the recording, and it wasn't the device's fault or PD's fault, so I need to post it here for posterity. What causes that issue is starting Skype. Skype seems to cause all sort of problems. It's probably the best practice to not mess with any software that utilizes too much video/recording/playback devices when recording, although nothing else causes problems but skype.
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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 May 20, 2017
I bought the Mac version, and it does exactly what I needed.......converts VCR tapes into digital files which can be edited and written to DVDs or used in electronic form. The Mac version does not include PowerDirector, but frankly that was no big deal to me, since I've used iMovie for my editor. The main point is the process of moving a tape to a DVD or a digital file is easy. The reason I give it a 4-star rating and not 5 is the lousy documentation. The instructions/manual are very sparse; I had to experiment a bit to get things working properly. Once I got it set up, it worked like a charm. The product is very affordable, and it does the basics well. I read glowing reviews about PowerDirector, but the Mac version doesn't get it. Use iMovie and you can achieve the same results.
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on June 17, 2016
Based on other reviews, I was reluctant to buy this but did anyway. It did not work at all. I run Windows 7 Home Premium. Followed the instructions (what there are) exactly. First, when I plugged the USB in, Windows tried to load it's own driver before the supplied CD could. Didn't matter because Windows could not find one. So I continued with the installation and got a message saying "unable to register" followed by a DLL file name. I contacted the Diamond website. After a 2 day wait, they sent me a link to an installation file on their web site to use. Same results, got the same error message. I contacted them again and got no response. I uninstalled everything and tried it 3 more times, same results. Nothing I tried worked. Thank goodness for Amazon's return policy.
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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 15, 2017
BEWARE and do your research. If you are trying to record old videos from 20 years back like I am, it thinks your videos are copywrite protected. I am telling everyone to research this before you BUY. Unfortunately I bought this, discovered the error and now see tons of reviews from the software company (Power Director 12) that is included with this product. I have yet to find something that will work. Apparently on older VHS recorded tapes, it loses the timing or something (I'm not technical on that aspect) and it thinks your materials are copy-write protected. I've also seen this product flash green screens (which is another known error) while trying to record. I can get maybe 4 minutes of recorded material and then it stops thinking my home videos are protected. If Anyone out there has software that works and does not cause this issue, please let me know. I am trying to transfer my children's home videos before they deteriorate. I am not satisfied with this product at all.
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on April 6, 2017
Good technology, but frustrating and unnecessarily intrusive software. Let me explain. Dongle works well, but software must have built in AI or something that guesses if you're copying copy protected tapes. Software stopped recording family live photos on fresh (not reused) tapes obtained from consumer stores. It said attempting to record copy protected video. Absolutely not!

Now I can't use this to copy personal family tapes. Won't even record part of tape. Wasted $.

Forgot to add: tried calling help but just got bounced to voice mail box that would not record message.
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