by September 17, 2001 0 comments

This is one product that no video hobbyist would want to miss. Without the need of an elaborate hardware setup, this PCI Motion capture card allows professional quality video capture and editing on your desktop.

Installing it is a breeze. Just plug in the card into an empty PCI slot in your PC. The card is detected and you are asked for drivers. You can direct the wizard to the location of the drivers on the CD or just cancel this step and launch the installation program from the CD. The software that accompanies the card is what brings out its real capacity. The card has both S-video and composite video inputs and outputs. So it can take video from your VCR or a camcorder and also send edited video to a recorder. Run the A/V cable to the capture card and your sound card. The sound is recorded through either the line-in or the mic-in (in cases of voice-overs) of your sound card.

Pinnacle Studio DC10 Plus
Price: Rs 11,899
Features: Full-screen capture (640×480); lot of built-in transitions
Pros: Capture video at 25-30 fps; easy editing of video with the software
Cons: None
Contact: Pinnacle Systems. Tel: 011-6464505, 6461569, Fax: 6231431. 408, Shakuntala Apartments, 59, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019.


The work area is divided into three panes–Capture, Edit and Make Movie. ‘Capture’ allows you three preset capture settings–Good, Better and Best–for CD-Video, VHS video and S-VHS video qualities respectively. These qualities are nothing but default settings for resolution and frame rate. You can also capture video with your own parameters. The software tells you the duration of video that you can store at a particular setting, depending on free hard-disk space. Once you have defined the quality of capture, hit the Capture button and sit back while the card does its job. It also automatically detects the individual scenes in the video clip and splits them, saving you a lot of work during editing. This is one of the easiest way of editing videos that we have come across.

Switch to ‘Edit’. You can simply drag ‘n’ drop scenes in the order you want onto the Storyboard, then apply transition effects between the scenes. You can choose from over hundred built-in transitions. There is also Timeline view, which is even more flexible than the Storyboard. This allows you to edit or trim individual scenes. And that is not all–you can also have voice overs in your videos.

Once through with editing, it is time to make a movie out of it. Make sure that the movie looks just fine in the edit preview. Go over to the Make Movie pane and set the parameters for the final movie. Hit the button and all the scenes, transitions and voice-overs are rendered into an AVI file. There is an available choice of audio and video codecs that you can use for your final movie. However, the final rendered file is an AVI. This can be sent out to a VCR for recording onto a cassette tape or encoded to MPEG and burnt onto a

We checked the performance of the capture card with various resolutions and frame rates. At VCD and VHS resolutions, there were almost no frame drops during capture. At a capture setting of 640×480 with 25 fps, we still got good quality video. With the kind of performance and the elaborate software that it comes with, it is surely worth a buy.

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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