Involvement:General (knows how to use it) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week
This is your basic video encoder without all the bells and whistles. It's pretty straight forward: Plug an A/V cable into the outputs of a VCR or other source into the input jacks on the encoder, and then plug the USB into the computer. I found it's very stable on Vista however I installed the software and drivers BEFORE plugging into the computer since Windows does have a nagging feature to find and decide for itself what you just plugged in. For an example, I used a VCR to encode some stuff. Start up the EZ Grab software included and a recorded tape in the VCR. It's also helpful to have a monitor hooked up to the VCR so you know what's playing. If the 'video window' screen on your computer screen is showing the same stuff on the monitor, then you have it hooked up correctly.
It looks like it can easily get crushed or broken if you step on it or allow it to drop on a hard floor. It also looks like the connections would loosen from repeated plugging & unplugging the A/V cables from the unit.
For setting up the options, it all depends on how much space your machine has. Ticking the 'AVI' option uses a LOT of hard drive space. The 'WMV' option is the lowest setting and the sound does suffer. Using the"VCD" option is norm for burning to a DVD without sacrificing the sound. You cannot edit videos but that's what's WMM for.
I used to use a Dazzle video encoder until it crashed my laptop. If you want a basic device to encode your old video tapes and nothing else, then the USB Video Grabber is a good alternative to the other video capture cards, encoders, etc.
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