ADS Instant DVD 2.0--other capture devices?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by MS, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. MS

    MS Guest

    The video capture device I currently have (Dazzle DVC80) doesn't get very
    good quality video (grainy, etc.) and has no hardware MPEG encoder, so I'm
    thinking of getting something better.

    A recent review in PC Magazine gave editor's choice to the ADS Instant DVD
    2.0.

    I was surprised yesterday, while looking at the magazine "Computer Shopper"
    (published by the same company as PC Mag, Ziff-Davis), that a review in it
    of that same unit was quite negative, poor quality video, etc.

    Which reviewer is correct? Anyone here has used that device? (The new one,
    2.0. I think the earlier model was quite a bit different, the high-speed USB
    is not the only difference.) How do you find the quality of captured video?
    How well does the audio-video sync work? (It's pretty bad with my Dazzle
    DVC-80.) Have you used any other such devices you could compare it with?
    (Note, as my computer is a notebook, I'm only interested in external models.
    I have both USB-2 and Firewire.)

    Any others that people like better? Why?

    Also, I see on the ADSTech site that they also have a model called
    DVDExpress, at a considerably lower price. In looking at the feature
    comparison, however, there only seems to be one difference in hardware (as
    well as a lesser software bundle). That is the Instant DVD unit can export
    back to the TV or VCR, and the DVDExpress cannot, it is only for import. I
    really don't see any need to export through this unit, as my computer
    already has a TV-Out port. (Or is there any advantage I'm missing, about
    that export capability?) Is that correct, the only hardware difference? Does
    the Express unit capture just as well as the Instant?

    Thank you for your input.
     
    MS, Nov 11, 2003
    #1
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  2. MS

    MS Guest

    Some other things I noticed. Looking again at the PC Magazine comparative
    review of these devices, he choose the ADS Instant DVD for its software
    bundle, he liked that bundle better than the ones that came with the others
    he reviewed. It is not really clear he found that particular hardware device
    better than the others he reviewed. I get the impression that he considers
    the devices all pretty similar, and is therefore only comparing the
    software.

    Anyone know of any comparative reviews of these devices where someone really
    compares the quality of the hardware? (One can always get different software
    to go with it.) (Only if the hardware was really completely equal, and the
    prices were equal, would the software be a consideration in buying
    hardware.)

    Also, I just noticed a post here in which someone recommends a brand named
    Canopus. Is that better than the more commonly seen brands such as ADS,
    Adaptec, Pinnacle, Dazzle (now owned by Pinnacle), Averkey, etc., etc.? If
    so, what is better about it? Any reviews of that brand?

    Thank you.


    " MS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > The video capture device I currently have (Dazzle DVC80) doesn't get very
    > good quality video (grainy, etc.) and has no hardware MPEG encoder, so I'm
    > thinking of getting something better.
    >
    > A recent review in PC Magazine gave editor's choice to the ADS Instant DVD
    > 2.0.
    >
    > I was surprised yesterday, while looking at the magazine "Computer

    Shopper"
    > (published by the same company as PC Mag, Ziff-Davis), that a review in it
    > of that same unit was quite negative, poor quality video, etc.
    >
    > Which reviewer is correct? Anyone here has used that device? (The new one,
    > 2.0. I think the earlier model was quite a bit different, the high-speed

    USB
    > is not the only difference.) How do you find the quality of captured

    video?
    > How well does the audio-video sync work? (It's pretty bad with my Dazzle
    > DVC-80.) Have you used any other such devices you could compare it with?
    > (Note, as my computer is a notebook, I'm only interested in external

    models.
    > I have both USB-2 and Firewire.)
    >
    > Any others that people like better? Why?
    >
    > Also, I see on the ADSTech site that they also have a model called
    > DVDExpress, at a considerably lower price. In looking at the feature
    > comparison, however, there only seems to be one difference in hardware (as
    > well as a lesser software bundle). That is the Instant DVD unit can export
    > back to the TV or VCR, and the DVDExpress cannot, it is only for import. I
    > really don't see any need to export through this unit, as my computer
    > already has a TV-Out port. (Or is there any advantage I'm missing, about
    > that export capability?) Is that correct, the only hardware difference?

    Does
    > the Express unit capture just as well as the Instant?
    >
    > Thank you for your input.
    >
    >
     
    MS, Nov 13, 2003
    #2
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  3. MS

    Donald Link Guest

    I have and use the usb 1 version and it works very good in transforming VCR
    tapes to MPEG 1 or 2 format for burning DVDs. The quality is as good (or as
    bad) as original VCR. The new USB 2 version should be much faster than the
    slower transfer speed I get.



    " MS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > The video capture device I currently have (Dazzle DVC80) doesn't get very
    > good quality video (grainy, etc.) and has no hardware MPEG encoder, so I'm
    > thinking of getting something better.
    >
    > A recent review in PC Magazine gave editor's choice to the ADS Instant DVD
    > 2.0.
    >
    > I was surprised yesterday, while looking at the magazine "Computer

    Shopper"
    > (published by the same company as PC Mag, Ziff-Davis), that a review in it
    > of that same unit was quite negative, poor quality video, etc.
    >
    > Which reviewer is correct? Anyone here has used that device? (The new one,
    > 2.0. I think the earlier model was quite a bit different, the high-speed

    USB
    > is not the only difference.) How do you find the quality of captured

    video?
    > How well does the audio-video sync work? (It's pretty bad with my Dazzle
    > DVC-80.) Have you used any other such devices you could compare it with?
    > (Note, as my computer is a notebook, I'm only interested in external

    models.
    > I have both USB-2 and Firewire.)
    >
    > Any others that people like better? Why?
    >
    > Also, I see on the ADSTech site that they also have a model called
    > DVDExpress, at a considerably lower price. In looking at the feature
    > comparison, however, there only seems to be one difference in hardware (as
    > well as a lesser software bundle). That is the Instant DVD unit can export
    > back to the TV or VCR, and the DVDExpress cannot, it is only for import. I
    > really don't see any need to export through this unit, as my computer
    > already has a TV-Out port. (Or is there any advantage I'm missing, about
    > that export capability?) Is that correct, the only hardware difference?

    Does
    > the Express unit capture just as well as the Instant?
    >
    > Thank you for your input.
    >
    >
     
    Donald Link, Nov 13, 2003
    #3
  4. MS

    Pond Scum Guest

    "Donald Link" <> writes:
    >I have and use the usb 1 version and it works very good in transforming VCR
    >tapes to MPEG 1 or 2 format for burning DVDs. The quality is as good (or as
    >bad) as original VCR. The new USB 2 version should be much faster than the
    >slower transfer speed I get.


    Both the version 1 and version 2 hardware encode and transfer the video in
    real-time, so how exactly did you think version 2 was going to be faster
    than what you've got?

    The version 1 hardware has an upper limit of 5Mbps for the video stream.
    Version 2 has an upper limit of 4Mbps when using USB 1.0, 15Mbps when
    using USB 2.0. In other words, it will allow you to create MPEG-2 streams
    that are not DVD compliant (video >9.8Mbps). There is a tweaking program
    that comes on the CD with the version 1 hardware that allows you to create
    your own profiles for capturing at other than the default 3/4/5Mbps when
    capturing MPEG-2 (Stream Machine Diagnostic). I would guess the version 2
    hardware comes with a similar utility.

    -Jonathan
     
    Pond Scum, Nov 13, 2003
    #4
  5. MS

    Pond Scum Guest

    " MS" <> writes:
    >A recent review in PC Magazine gave editor's choice to the ADS Instant DVD
    >2.0.
    >I was surprised yesterday, while looking at the magazine "Computer Shopper"
    >(published by the same company as PC Mag, Ziff-Davis), that a review in it
    >of that same unit was quite negative, poor quality video, etc.


    You'd get better responses by posting your question in rec.video.desktop.

    Also see the ADS Instant DVD forum at http://pub9.ezboard.com/fpyro1394frm8

    -Jonathan
     
    Pond Scum, Nov 13, 2003
    #5
  6. MS

    Pat Guest

    " MS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > The video capture device I currently have (Dazzle DVC80) doesn't get very
    > good quality video (grainy, etc.) and has no hardware MPEG encoder, so I'm
    > thinking of getting something better.
    >
    > A recent review in PC Magazine gave editor's choice to the ADS Instant DVD
    > 2.0.


    One problem that is reported by some owners is audio sync. Also, the MPEG is
    not as good as using a software MPEG. If you are going to edit, all you have
    is MPEG, and you have to convert it to a format that is editable which means
    additional loss. Ok, its only VHS or other analog, but the hassle of
    manipulating MPEGs around is a problem for me. That is why I decided to get
    a capture box that inputs a DV compressed file, likeit came from a
    camcorder. Esy to manipulate and I use MPEG as the final phase for DVD
    creation.
     
    Pat, Nov 13, 2003
    #6
  7. MS

    MS Guest

    I think there are supposed to be other improvements in version 2.0, besides
    the difference in USB speeds.

    When looking up reviews, I came across some quite negative reviews of
    version 1.

    "Pond Scum" <> wrote in message
    news:xPHsb.6268$...
    > "Donald Link" <> writes:
    > >I have and use the usb 1 version and it works very good in transforming

    VCR
    > >tapes to MPEG 1 or 2 format for burning DVDs. The quality is as good (or

    as
    > >bad) as original VCR. The new USB 2 version should be much faster than

    the
    > >slower transfer speed I get.

    >
    > Both the version 1 and version 2 hardware encode and transfer the video in
    > real-time, so how exactly did you think version 2 was going to be faster
    > than what you've got?
    >
    > The version 1 hardware has an upper limit of 5Mbps for the video stream.
    > Version 2 has an upper limit of 4Mbps when using USB 1.0, 15Mbps when
    > using USB 2.0. In other words, it will allow you to create MPEG-2 streams
    > that are not DVD compliant (video >9.8Mbps). There is a tweaking program
    > that comes on the CD with the version 1 hardware that allows you to create
    > your own profiles for capturing at other than the default 3/4/5Mbps when
    > capturing MPEG-2 (Stream Machine Diagnostic). I would guess the version 2
    > hardware comes with a similar utility.
    >
    > -Jonathan
     
    MS, Nov 13, 2003
    #7
  8. MS

    Tom Cantwell Guest

    "Pat" <> wrote in
    news:_oMsb.33605$:

    >
    >
    > One problem that is reported by some owners is audio sync. Also, the
    > MPEG is not as good as using a software MPEG. If you are going to edit,
    > all you have is MPEG, and you have to convert it to a format that is
    > editable which means additional loss. Ok, its only VHS or other analog,
    > but the hassle of manipulating MPEGs around is a problem for me. That
    > is why I decided to get a capture box that inputs a DV compressed file,
    > likeit came from a camcorder. Esy to manipulate and I use MPEG as the

    --------
    Which capture box do you use? Thx,
    TCC
     
    Tom Cantwell, Nov 13, 2003
    #8
  9. MS

    luminous Guest

    I disagree completely. Unless you want to tie up your computer for hours or
    days just rendering a single DVD, get hardware compression. Canopus has
    several excellent products, or use a stand alone dvd recorder (Panasonic)
    and DVD Author.
     
    luminous, Nov 14, 2003
    #9
  10. MS

    Patrick Guest

    > A recent review in PC Magazine gave editor's choice to the ADS Instant DVD
    > 2.0.


    i've had this unit and the Adaptec VideOh! (USB 2), and both worked great,
    but i have to give the edge in picture quality to the adaptec (using same
    resolution and bitrate).
    the advantage of the ADS unit is that it will let you choose mpeg or PCM
    for the audio, and the adaptec only lets you use PCM. mpeg makes smaller
    files, but i find less audio sync problems using PCM, especially if you will
    do any editing later. i just set my authoring program (TMPEG DVD Author)
    convert the audio to mpeg in the final step to get the file sizes back down.
    the big bummer for me was no scheduler for either unit...well, the adaptec
    one came with MyDVR 3, which *has* a scheduler, but it didn't work at all,
    and i couldn't find any solutions to getting it going. the capture program
    "CapWiz" with the ADS has no scheduler, just start and length times, which i
    guess is like *one* schedule.
    i've since taken both back as i've found the trick to making the capture
    card i already had work good - use better software. while my above complaint
    about MyDVR 3 still stands, it produces high res/high bitrate recordings
    that stand up to editing/authoring and still keep audio sync. the previous
    software (Power VCR II, winfast PVR) would make decent *looking* recordings,
    but in fact they were full of dropped frames that would choke authoring
    programs.
    and now i can schedule recordings since i found WinChron, a program that can
    send keyboard commands to other programs. this used with Win XP task
    scheduler makes a pretty decent little setup. i have some excellent scripts
    if anyone is interested.
     
    Patrick, Nov 15, 2003
    #10
  11. MS

    MS Guest

    "Patrick" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > one came with MyDVR 3, which *has* a scheduler, but it didn't work at

    all,
    > and i couldn't find any solutions to getting it going.


    This is OT, but I too am surprised that most capture programs have no
    scheduler, other than a timer to stop recording after a specified amount of
    time. That works if you are home and awake when the show is on that you want
    to record, but if not, you are out of luck. If these devices are supposed to
    make your PC work like a VCR, they should include software that works to
    schedule like a VCR, to start unattended.

    > "CapWiz" with the ADS has no scheduler, just start and length times, which

    i
    > guess is like *one* schedule.


    You mean you can set what time it will start, and it will start when you are
    not there to start it? Yes, that would work like a scheduler, although
    probably not possible to program multiple recordings.

    > i've since taken both back as i've found the trick to making the capture
    > card i already had work good -


    Which card is that?

    use better software.

    Which software?

    while my above complaint

    > and now i can schedule recordings since i found WinChron, a program that

    can
    > send keyboard commands to other programs. this used with Win XP task
    > scheduler makes a pretty decent little setup. i have some excellent

    scripts
    > if anyone is interested.


    Please tell us about that. Thank you.


    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    MS, Nov 16, 2003
    #11
  12. MS

    Pond Scum Guest

    "luminous" <> writes:
    >I disagree completely. Unless you want to tie up your computer for hours or


    Disagree with what? Learn how to post (and quote).

    >days just rendering a single DVD, get hardware compression. Canopus has
    >several excellent products, or use a stand alone dvd recorder (Panasonic)
    >and DVD Author.


    The Canopus products with hardware MPEG-2 encoding have street prices about
    3X that of the other devices mentioned in this thread. I doubt they're in the
    OP's price range.

    -Jonathan
     
    Pond Scum, Nov 17, 2003
    #12
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