We all know that pretty much everything has gone digital these days, but that does not mean that analog does not still exist out there. What about all of those family videos that were recorded on VHS tape? Or that special news segment that features your child's class room, the video of your wedding, or other older analog recordings. What can you do to convert those to digital?
Well one thing is you can send them out to be converted, but at around $8-$10 per tape, that can get expensive when you add in the shipping charges. If you have the right kind of digital camera, you can use it for input, but many cameras don't have this feature so you would be out of luck. Or you can get a Dazzle Video Creator Plus.
What is a Dazzle Video Creator Plus? It is a black box device that you attach to your computer via a USB port. You can then convert your analog signals to digital and then record them to your hard disk or directly to a DVD. It comes with the necessary software to get you up and running to convert your videos.
Dazzle Video Creator Plus provides you with two methods of converting your videos. The first is called Instant DVD Recorder, a $29 software product that will take your video and write it directly to DVD. It features one-click recording that will take your video source convert it to a digital format and record it to your DVD recorder, with menus and chapters, all without storing anything on your computer hard disk.
The second method is with Pinnacle Studio version 12 standard edition, a $49 value. It contains everything you need to make home movies and will work not only with Dazzle Video Creator Plus, but your digital video recorder as well.
It contains themes, associated templates, and all the graphics you will need to create multi-layered effects, animated graphics, and titles. You can insert music and still photos, as well as cleaning up and rejuvenating audio tracks; it will help with the removal of noise and fixing poor lighting. It has the ability to burn DVDs and CDs as well as direct upload to Web sites like YouTube and Yahoo! Video. You can even enjoy your movies on your Sony PSP, Apple iPod, and 3G cell phones.
All in all I was very pleased with the Dazzle Video Creator Plus. I had a couple of problems getting it working at first, but after using their live chat (thanks Anthony!), I found the error of my ways and was on my way to converting my VHS tapes. I only briefly worked with the direct to DVD process, which seemed to work well, but I personally feel better going to disk first and then to final output.
If I did have a complaint about the Dazzle Video Creator Plus it would be that there are none of the required RCA or S-Video cables included in the package. This is something that the first-time user needs to be aware of when purchasing this product or you will soon be heading back to the store. Other than that, I found that the Dazzle Video Creator Plus is very easy to use and works as advertised. If you don't want the editing features, there is also the Dazzle DVD Recorder which just records directly to DVD. If you need to convert your VHS or other analog videos to digital and you think you might want to edit them, then you should check out Dazzle Video Creator Plus.