these are the first of my testing. i realized that i needed more time with these products. these are pic of recording that i made with the products. Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate and Pinnacle Dazzle video card vs Capture!! and Easycap video card. the first screens are to show the worst of the video interlaced lines between the pair.
left = Pinnacle
right = Easycap
left = Pinnacle
right = Easycap
This is a test for two things, software and capture devices. I broken down categories that I found important to me.
The Easycap is a good bang for the buck. I like the fact that the pc sees it as a video source and an audio source. The pc sees it as an usb microphone. So you can adjust the volume levels. This is a nice feature that adds value to low budget hardware. It’s usb 2.0 so you have fast video transfer. The problem I ran into with this card was that it has three modes, Composite, S- video, and Tuner. The Easycap is set to default as Tuner. You have to use the software that it comes with to change to composite video. Its Ulead based. There are a lot of tricks to this software, a lot of YouTube for me. I finally got it to work. But when I pulled it into a different usb port, I had to go through all of that again. In the car I don’t, didn’t, and will not put up with this. I needed something more consistent than that. This was when I tried the next piece, the Pinnacle Dazzle.
The Dazzle is Pinnacle analog to digital converter. The Dazzle is a very simple converter and that the only thing the pc sees it as. Video quality is very good. In comparison to the Easycap, you don’t see so much of the interlace video. Capture was much sharper and vivid with deeper blacks and brighter colors. It’s also usb 2.0 so you have fast video transfer. One problem with the Dazzle is there no separation of audio. Meaning that its audio is not seen as a microphone, so there is no way to control the volume levels. It’s a little pricey being that its old technology without all the functionality of the Easycap.
Ease of use
This was and still is a hard one. In the end it’s a tie. I preferred Pinnacle video quality over Capture!! But I preferred Capture!! audio options (still open for other software)
The software’s are geared for different ordnances Capture!! Is very lite, which is why one of the reason why I like it so much. When it loads, which is under a sec its ready to record also you can also add it into front ends. I did like the ability to see both video cards and use the video feed with a different audio feed. Video did seem more suffer from more noise than the Pinnacle. In the end I really like the Capture!! Software mainly because of the control of the feeds. Think of it as a very good point and shoot camera. Very simple, basic, and it works.
The Pinnacle on the other hand is snail slow when compared to the Capture!! Software. It’s about 23 sec to open and use the application. So when I was testing it 23 sec isn’t a long time… until you are in a car! I can’t say that I have ever run into a front end using this program. Good luck on finding one (I’m not running a front end.) when opening this software you are forced to work with a screen that pans left to right and up and down. This program screen is native at 1024 x 768. On an upside of the software, video capture was much sharper and vivid. Keep in mind this is not a fair fight. This is professional software and it shows it. You have a lot of themes, effects, and transitions Think of it as professional camera when compared to Capture!!
Software with Hardware
Use Capture!! as I said before is fast. The audio was the strongest part of Easycap. I adjusted the level perfectly to the cars motor. When using the Easycap the video was muddier than that of the Dazzle. I did lose connection with Easycap. It set itself back to Tuner so I had to tell it in the Ulead software to use the composite again. When you compare the video of pinnacle, it’s in second place.
The Dazzle video quality was better. But the main problem with this unit was/ is the audio. There was no audio with it because the pc only sees it as one device. Remember it doesn’t show up as a microphone. So what I did instead was use the microphone on my Dynex webcam. That’s what I like about this software. This is a perfect example of the mix and match of audio and video.
Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate
Studio 12 video captures is by far better than Capture!! It does allow you to mix and match audio, but not as much as Capture!! When using the Easycap it was the same as Capture!! Easycap did increase on frame count.
The Dazzle video card was something else to work with. Being that is a pinnacle product it would work hand in hand… sort of. The thing is Dazzle audio feed is very low. Thus, meaning it almost impossible to work with. Remember I said that it does allow you to mix and match audio, but not as much as Capture!! Here’s the problem. With the Dazzle unit, you are allowed to select the Dazzle unit for video; it automatically selects Dazzle as your audio. You don’t have a say in the matter. This is a bad design in my personal opinion. You never have a sync problem between the two.
What did I pick?
In the end I went with two setups. I know it’s kind of cheating, but o well.
Setup 1 was Capture!! over Pinnacle. This setup is only for the front mounted rear view camera. The camera isn’t the sharpest camera ever created so it fits perfect with this software. I can take the video from the Dazzle (yes I went with instead of the Easycap) and add my on audio feed. The audio feed is coming from a Dynex webcam inside my car.
Setup 2 is Pinnacle over Capture!! this setup is for the Dynex webcam inside the car. Since I’m using the Dynex I can tell it what audio source I what to use; which is its on microphone. The Dynex is a sharper camera it only makes sense to use Pinnacle with it. I have the record setting now at full DV. I ran both setups at the same it without any problems.
im still having problems with interference. i moved around the rocker swithes that where placed on top of the screen and i did notice none to a lot of interference. so im moving the switches down away from the screen.
one of the things i had plainned to do was blackout most of the rocker switch lights. notice the light is still noticeable with the lcd up.
just finished it, will install tomorrow.
its very small and it wil be placed on the shelf under the dash. if you look on page 6 the first pic shows the place.
I feel like I should be on TopGear beacuse, the paint on the rocker switches was a deserter (sort of)! The light in the rocker switcher baked the paint for about four days.:peep: Now the car doesn’t smell like paint when I turn on the switch. The screen doesn’t have any interference now like in the past. So I’m happy with the change in position.