"Avoid at all Costs"on by Obidoso
Pros Cheap, Looks simple to use
Cons Will mess up your PC
Summary My PC was out of service for over a day when I tried this dog. Not only did the software just not load or work, but it also completely TRASHED my networking software -- all WiFi and hard-wire LAN connections were just gone. In addition, not a single program would run properly. It was like a huge virus had taken hold of the PC. To make it worse, the uninstall feature didn't even run.
Tech support is, natch, nonexistent and fully nonresponsive.
I finally resorted to the System Restore feature on the Thinkpad, thinking that I would have to reload my entire disk if that didn't work. It took a couple of tries, going back a couple of restore points, but I finally was able to get a clean boot and then remove the offending software completely from my system.
If you like to have a PC become a paperweight, or if you like to spend days trying to get control of your PC, then buy this product and install it.
Tomorrow, this dog goes back to Best Buy -- hard to believe they would sell something that can cause so much damage. In 30+ years of working with computers, I think I know what I am doing and how to get touchy software to work. But I have never had such an awful experience as this.
Pros An easy $50 solution when you run out of drive space on your DVR.
Cons GUI should give more options. Bonus Pinnacle software is a disaster.
Summary Its not the greatest thing in the world, but if you're looking for a way to easily record video directly to DVD, it works fine. I didn't want to mess around with a video input card and complex software to dump first to my hard drive, then to a DVD. I wanted a one step process to easily backup my DishDVR recordings (or Tivo). It works. My biggest complaint would be that the GUI is too simple and provides minimal options. You can set chapters at time intervals, but if you want to record 2 shows on one DVD there is no way to pause the GUI, start new video, and add a new menu item for the second show. Its simplistic, but it works. You also have to tell the GUI how many minutes you'll record. That is also stupid. If you change your mind, you can't add more time on. It automatically closes the DVD session after the # of minutes you manually enter. The more advanced Pinnacle SW that comes with it is awful...good in theory, but very buggy and prone to crash your XP OS. If you stick with the "DVD Instant Recorder" you'll be fine.
Pros Easy to install
Cons No good for modern maches, especially as Mr. Gates promises us all that we will have to renew our equipment every two years!
Summary I spent a lot of money buying what I was told would do the job of linking my wonderful Super 8 video to my computer. A computer expert tried the patches from Pinnacle and he too was unable to decipher what, if any, would work. So, as Mr. G prophesied, I have had to buy a new camera.
Pros Installation is easy
Cons Doesn't work
Summary I purchased this from Best Buy. The Dazzle never worked for me and I would not recommend this to anyone. While the video capture worked, the Dazzle never did capture audio. I was trying to copy old VHS tapes and old digital video camera tapes. Both the VCR and the digital video cam output to a TV worked fine. I contacted support using their on line chat on four separate occassions. Each time they told me to update drivers and of course, none of this worked. Finally, they told me to return the product to Best Buy. Unfortunately for me, Best Buy has a 30 day return policy. I mentioned this to the customer support person and asked them if I could return the product to them for an exchange (not a refund). Pinnacle would do not such thing. And oh by the way, their support telephone number is not even toll free. I will never buy another Pinnacle tool nor will I ever recommend that anyone buy their products.
Pros Set up easy, performance is adequate
Cons The studio software is confusing and seems unstable.
Summary If you want to convert VHS to DVD, this is a cheap and efficient device which does the job. The included editing software (Studio) is hard to understand and it crashes easily. Fortunately, you don't need it!