Pinnacle Systems Dazzle Video Creator Platinum

The Dazzle Video Creator Platinum is a hardware video capture device and set of programs for video capture and creation from a camcorder, DVD or VCR player.


Review: Pinnacle Systems Dazzle Video Creator Platinum

Published 15:38 pm

The Dazzle Video Creator Platinum is a hardware video capture device and set of programs for video capture and creation from a camcorder, DVD or VCR player.

  • Ease of Use, Performance: 20/25
  • Look &Feel: 21/25
  • Features 21/25, How much I enjoy 18/25
  • Total: 80/100

The Dazzle Video Creator Platinum is a very good suite of DVD recording and editing software as well as the Dazzle USB capture device. Just load the software and capture video as well as audio from your camcorder, DVD player or VCR for easy and simple recording.

One problem that I found out about from the start with the program was using it with Windows Vista, of course. This was quickly fixed by upgrading and updating the software free of charge. The Pinnacle Studio version 10 is not compatible with Windows Vista so they have included updates on the website.

The Dazzle Video Creator Platinum 170 comes with the Dazzle Capture Device, quick install instructions and several discs with the software. To get the software running completely on Windows XP or Vista you should update them all according to your operating system. Just go to the Support page on the Pinnacle website and find the downloads for the current versions of Pinnacle Studio and Instant DVD Recorder.

Given the timing of the release of Windows Vista and the updating of the Dazzle and Pinnacle software it was just not good. The Vista operating system is still giving software developers fits to get things working correctly and the Pinnacle software is no exception.

Pinnacle has done a great job of updating their software by including updates on their site for all the ones that come with the Dazzle Video Creator Platinum. As with any software or hardware you buy the first thing you should do is update the software or download the most current drivers for that hardware when first installing the device. The Dazzle is no different and works very well with the updated software.

The Pinnacle Dazzle Video Creator Platinum is a nice set of software programs as well as the hardware capture device to record video and audio from a DVD and VCR player or camcorder. Here are the features and specifications from Pinnacle:

Technical Specifications:

  • Minimum System Requirements:
  • Windows® XP (SP2 or higher)
  • Intel® Pentium® or AMD® Athlon® 1.4 GHz or higher (2.4 GHz or higher recommended)
  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • DirectX® 9 or higher compatible graphics card with 64 MB (ATI® Radeon® or NVIDIA® GeForce™ 3 or higher, with 128 MB recommended)
  • DirectX 9 or higher compatible sound card (Creative® Audigy® or M-Audio® recommended)
  • 1 GB of disk space to install software and 3 GB to install bonus content
  • 1 USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) or USB 1.1 port
  • DVD burner for creating DVDs

Hardware Specifications

  • Video inputs: Composite video (RCA), S-Video (mini-DIN)
  • Audio inputs: Stereo audio (RCA x2)
  • On-board MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and DivX® compression hardware
  • PC connection: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 or USB 1.1

Software Specifications

Capture from any video source with composite (RCA) or S-Video output

Capture Formats:

  • Hardware compressed MPEG-1, MPEG-2 &MPEG-4
  • Import Formats: (Studio QuickStart)
  • Video: DV, AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX®, MPEG-4, Windows Media® Format, Non-encrypted DVD Titles*
  • Audio: WAV, MP3*
  • Graphics: BMP, JPG, PCT, TGA, TIF, Windows Media Format

You might be interested to read about:

Export Formats:

  • Video CD (VCD) or S-VCD with optional CD burner (CD-R or CD-RW)
  • iPod &PSP compatible (MPEG-4)
  • DVD with optional DVD burner (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R or DVD+RW)
  • DV, AVI, DivX, RealVideo® 8, Windows Media 9, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 files
  • Dolby® Digital 2 channel and 5.1 channel audio*
  • Package Contents
  • Dazzle DVC 170 USB video capture device with MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 compression hardware
  • Pinnacle InstantDVD Recorder software
  • Pinnacle Studio QuickStart software
  • Studio Bonus DVD

Quick Installation and Getting Started guides

The Pinnacle Studio program is a nice video editing program that allows you to edit and cut video as well as audio. You can capture video and audio, insert menus, edit the video or audio as well as add audio to your movie. You can capture directly from movie discs using a DVD player so there is no worry about copy protection software on the DVD.

The Studio 10 program is very easy to use and has a handful of help and tutorial additions to guide you along in your video editing. The section of tutorials is called Pinnacle Studio Tutorials, what else, and is available from your Start menu or the Studio Launcher. There are several tutorials that help in all parts of the Dazzle capturing and DVD creation process that guides you along with creating your video using simple lessons showing right on actual program screens.

The tutorial is a nice handy lesson plan that takes you from connecting your Dazzle and DVD, VCR or camcorder to finishing touches of your movie or video like some special effects and audio additions. Studio 10 from Pinnacle is a very basic video editor and does not come with much in the way of special effects or advanced features.

The main emphasis here is easy and simple DVD creation from those old VCR tapes or other media like camcorder videos. Simply install the software which takes about an hour including download time of the updates from Pinnacle. Once installed simply pop in a DVD or VCR tape and connect your device to the Dazzle and the Dazzle to your PC with the USB connection. Press play on VCR/DVD and capture in the Instant DVD Creator or the Studio 10 Quickstart.

The DVD Creator will simply take you through a quick record directly to a DVD from your VCR or DVD player like movies straight from the player. This allows you to copy a DVD or VCR tape straight from one to the other without any problems what so ever. The functions of creating a menu are accomplished simply by a timed feature that inserts a menu at what time interval you tell the program or none at all.

The Studio 10 from Pinnacle allows a bit more flexibility and creativity in creating your home movies and being able to insert menus and some special effects and even correcting things like camera shake or bad audio. The program is not very feature rich but its features do include enough to transform those bleak and unexciting home movies into some jazzed up and fun movies to show off to the friends without them falling asleep at the premiere.

In all the Dazzle Video Creator Platinum is a very good video capture device and the software included makes a nice package for creating videos and DVD's from those old VCR tapes. You can also edit videos, copy movies straight from the player to a DVD and create your own movies using the Studio 10 software program from Pinnacle.

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