by July 4, 2002 0 comments

Pinnacle MP20 is a PCI video-capture card that gives you two composite video inputs, one S-Video input and a line-in jack for the audio. This let’s you connect up to three video sources to the card simultaneously. For instance, you can have video from a camcorder on one port and a VCR on another. However, audio will be captured from only one source connected to the line-in. The accompanying capture software can capture audio and video separately or together. This gives you the flexibility of importing the audio track separately into your editing application. 

The card captures and encodes video in realtime to either MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format. While MPEG-1 is used for VCD, MPEG-2 can be used for making DVDs. This card supports capture resolutions from 160×144 to 352×288 for MPEG-1 and 160×576 to 720×576 for MPEG-2 format. In our tests, at all supported resolutions, the card gave an average frame rate of around 25 fps, which is good enough for smooth video. The quality of video we got had no noticeable pixelation at any of the supported resolutions. The software also has some basic settings for input video filters like luminance and chroma control.

Normally you won’t need to fiddle with them. 

G450 eTV
Price Rs 16,000
Features  Capturing and realtime encoding to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2, software for VCD/SVCD/DVD authoring
Pros Good capture frame rates, can create autorun VCD/ DVD for running on a PC
Cons No bundled video-editing application
Contact Aditya Infotech, 
Tel: 011-6816986-90.
E-mail: navinder_ 

The card works on Win 98/2000/Me/XP. It also comes with Impression DVD SE, which is a DVD/VCD authoring application. The software also lets you create menus for your DVDs apart from simply importing audio and video tracks into a DVD/VCD burnable format. When you use this software to burn a DVD/VCD, it also allows you to embed its own copyright software player onto the disk you made, which autoruns on any drive. The recommended system configuration for the card is a PIII or Athlon 1 GHz with 256 MB RAM. We used it on a P4 machine with 256 MB RAM and, of course, it worked without a hitch. 

Priced at Rs 16,000, the Pinnacle MP20 is slightly expensive. Though the performance is good enough, cheaper cards of acceptable quality are available. Also, a bundled video- editing application would have been an added plus. The card comes with two years warranty with a full instruction manual. 

Sanjay Majumder

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