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Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder HD Review

Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder HD is another VHS capture device that has been around for a very long time. It comes with a high quality capture software and editor which allows for high quality DVDs to be made.

But, you will have issues when it comes to installing the software especially for Windows 10.

Looking at Pinnacle’s website for the Dazzle DVD Recorder, you will notice that it states the device as not available.

Sale
Corel Dazzle Dvd Recorder Hd Video Capture Device + Video Editing Software [Pc Disc]
  • What's in the box: Dazzle USB Video Capture Device, video editing software disc, and Getting Started guide (additional...
  • Preserve and protect your treasured home video memories by transferring them to DVD and other digital formats

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

But you can easily buy them on Amazon listings or eBay listings. So there seems to be a lot available. A little strange.

Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder packged

This will probably sound like a weird gripe but, what’s with the shape?

A teardrop? Just seems out of place as far as shapes are concerned.

What’s In The Box?

The Dazzle is limited with what arrives in the box.

Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder Cd and device

Considering the price is approximately $50 US, supplying a cable wouldn’t go astray.

Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder and accessories

Instead what we get in the box is the Pinnacle Dazzle, an instruction manual and the Pinnacle Studio software.

The cable is at 30cm length which gives plenty of space to rest the device on a desk and overall it is well built. Although nothing ever matches the ezcap 283s for build quality.

close up of Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder with composite connections

Along the front of the Dazzle are the composite INPUTS. Yellow for video and Red/White for stereo sound.

There is also S-Video input as well.

USB end of Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder

The other end is a USB 2.0 connection for the computer.

Simple Connection or Is It?

So straight off the bat, let me explain that I tried to install the Dazzle capture card and the Pinnacle Studio software onto a Windows 10 OS.

I had nothing but trouble.

And for the record I have read some people got the software to work on Windows 10, but I couldn’t.

The disc would install 3/4 of the way then stop and fail.

Let’s say the disc does work and it fully installs, turns out there is still a patch to find and download to make the software work.

Mind you the disc installed on Windows 8.1 which is where the rest of the screenshots all come from.

Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder in front of VCR

This is the patch I had to download just to make the Pinnacle Dazzle editor work. That link will take you to Windows 8.1 page but there are links to Windows 10 from there.

Also you will need to restart the computer before applying the patch. It just won’t work otherwise.

Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder connected with composite cables

Connections to a VCR or camera are the least of your problems.

Pinnacle Studio For Dazzle Walkthrough

Once you are past the ridiculous hurdles, you will be greeted with Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle which is certainly better than the Honestech software but still no match to Avermedia with PowerDirector.

The home screen actually gives you a sample video that you can use to experiment with. That is a nice touch, especially if you are new to the idea of editing.

All of the assets, clips, music can be deleted of moved around to give you a sense of what each function does.

Along the top there are four modules that you can select:

IMPORT – allows you to capture from a composite input or non copyrighted DVD.

MOVIE – will be the main editing function.

DISC – if you want to export to various DVD or Blue Ray discs.

EXPORT – will let you export to various files.

Pinnacle Studio Dazzle – Importer

The Studio Importer will let you transfer video files from DVD or CD that you have burnt (maybe as a back up) or you can open a folder on your computer that may have videos.

Otherwise it will recognize the Dazzle Recorder connected via USB.

The VCR or camera source must be playing and the Dazzle HD Recorder connected, otherwise you will get the above message saying nothing to import.

Simply clicking on the Start Capture will commence the recording.

Along the left hand side there is an option to change where the file is saved to.

While capturing the footage you will see if any frames were dropped during the process and how long the video duration is.

When Stop Capture is selected, the program will process the video and create scenes automatically for you.

Probably unnecessary but at least the options are there.

This creating scenes does seem to take a while. Approximately five minutes, of wondering if the program has crashed or not. The progress bar is slow to crawl across.

I tested the Dazzle with OBS Studio and the Windows 8.1 version was able to see it and record without issues.

But on Windows 10, even though the physical USB driver installed and said everything was OK, OBS Studio did not show it as connected.

Software related? I don’t know?

Pinnacle Studio – Editor

The editing suite certainly offers more than the basic capture card software supplied like the ezcaps, but that being said, you are paying more.

In the MOVIE module there is the library panel, the playback window and the timeline below.

Along the left hand side you will notice a variety of options allowing to open files.

You will be able to view the thumbnails larger if desired by moving a slider from left to right along the bottom.

You can rate the files if needed and then search via the star rating.

All Media – You can arrange to view the imported media by Photos, Video or Music (if you were looking for individual files) or you can simply view them all in the library at once.

Projects – Will let you open previous unfinished projects with all assets in tact.

Collections – Will open the latest imported files that you captured.

Creative Elements – has three sub menus for Transitions, Titles and Disc Menus.

Transitions – are just a variety of wipes. That being said, there are definitely a lot to choose from.

Titles – give access to pre made stylistic titles.

Disc Menus – gives the choice of menu layouts with elements being editable. I do think this is a good idea as you can pick a type of theme that suits your disc.

Pinnacle Studio Dazzle – Playback Monitor

There are two ways to use the monitor for watching. You can watch the source clip or watch the complete video on the timeline.

The top right corner has the TC stamp, so you can see an exact time to cut or edit a frame.

There is an option to play the video back in fullscreen or switch between two monitors (one will play the source clip, while the other will play where it fits into the timeline).

Along the bottom of the monitor we have:

LOOP – allows you to re watch the video.

HOME – go back to that start of the video.

JUMP BACKWARD – go back in the video.

REWIND – go back frame by frame.

PLAY – plays the current clip/video.

FORWARD – move forward frame by frame.

JUMP FORWARD – allows to move forward in the video

END – jumps straight to the end of the video.

There is also the system volume that can be muted as well.

Pinnacle Studio Dazzle – Timeline Display

As stated earlier the timeline will have a sample video to play and edit with. This is actually a great idea as it shows you how and where the sample video is cut.

Using this as an example you could test ideas without having to ruin your own projects.

One thing which is disappointing is the lack of adding multiple tracks. Considering the price of the Dazzle HD Recorder I would have thought it was a no brainer to offer that.

Right clicking on the track name and you will see the add track is not clickable.

That being said, if you don’t plan to ever edit the videos, then one track is sufficient.

You can add TEXT at any time by clicking on the T along the top of the timeline which will open a new window for you to edit the text.

If you wanted to add a voice over using an external microphone that can be selected and added as well.

Each track can be muted or made non visible simply by clicking on the icon.

There is a cog wheel icon that will open a timeline settings to do with frame rate and aspect ratio.

Pinnacle Studio Dazzle – Effects Editor

Oddly there are no short cuts or obvious buttons to select or add effects. You can either double left click or right click once the video timeline.

From there you can select Open Effects Editor.

Other options that can be adjusted are the speed, scaling etc.

A new window will open where you can alter the audio in the top left corner.

Along the top you will see options to change called Enhance, Adjustments, Snapshot and Stabilize.

Selecting any of these will open a small window for you to make the adjustment needed. There’s enough options to certainly fix any errors.

Pinnacle Studio Dazzle – Exporting Options

Exporting is a bit of a let down due to this version of the software being old.

If you did have the latest version of Pinnacle you would not be held back by the lack of export options.

There are four main Export Types that the software will allow. I’ll focus on the first two as the cloud service can be done other ways (depending if you are interested in that).

Device export is the usual old outdated devices that are not that ideal.

The File Export option is limited to just a handful of video formats. None that are adequate for mobile phones or modern devices.

The Preset options are not much better. There are selections called medium or small?

So what is the exact medium size? You’ll never know, there is no size mentioned.

Even if you delve into the Advanced Settings you can never alter the options to perfect size that you want.

At least the Disc Export options work fine.

Selecting the Advanced Settings will let you change some various options of DVD quality and write speed.

It does seem a bit dated compared to PowerDirector 12 for the VC500.

Conclusion

There’s a good capture card here but it’s let down by outdated drivers and a lack luster attitude of helping customers who are running a more modern OS.

You shouldn’t have to get patches for a $50 US product.

The way, way cheaper EasyCap sticks – I could understand searching for drivers for a $6 item, but not for a name brand company.

It’s software is fine but isn’t close to the PowerDirector 10 that comes with AVerMedia’s little capture stick.

The price should be reduced if the device is really non existent.

Shame really, I thought this was going to be great device.

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Author: Matt

My name is Matt and I'm a bit of a nerd for software that helps people digitize cherished memories including photos and home videos.