Dazzle Hollywood DV-Bridge review

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Dazzle Hollywood DV-Bridge

Although Sony has been selling an NTSC format analogue/DV converter for years, no one has offered an equivalent PAL model at an affordable price. Now, though, with the arrival of the Hollywood DV-Bridge at a price under £300, video photographers in PAL-land can start editing their old analogue recordings on DV systems, by bringing their VHS/S-VHS and 8mm/Hi8 recordings into their computers via FireWire, and bringing it back out again to analogue or DV tape.
We've been waiting for so long for something like the DV-Bridge to come along that when, courtesy of the Manchester-based Siren Technology, a real-life, Dazzle-branded analogue-to-DV converter landed on the mat at CV Towers, it nearly scared us out of our skins. But, after steadying our nerves, the snazzy lime green and purple cardboard box was opened to reveal a surprisingly compact device, not much larger than a paperback book and comfortably able to slip into a jacket pocket.
In Europe, most DV camcorders do not have working DV inputs - though some can have them enabled using software or hardware from the likes of Datavision. And, without a working DV input, it's not been possible to capture a finished editing project back from a computer - either to DV as a master, or by using the camcorder's analogue outputs to VHS. Using DV-Bridge, however, it's a simple matter to make direct VHS recordings of edited projects, or of work in progress.
All that's required is to connect the VCR to DV-Bridge's rear analogue output sockets, set the mode as Digital-to-Analogue, and press record on the VCR when the project is output to DV. Now there's no excuse for friends and family not receiving a copy of that latest DV masterpiece.
Like any Hollywood starlet, DV-Bridge has its faults - in this case, no DV pass through or device control when working with a DV camcorder. However, these hardly tarnish the shine of a such a pretty little box, which converts all things analogue to DV, and all things DV to analogue.
It's been a long time coming, too, but there's no need to wait for the sequel - the Hollywood DV-Bridge is a winner when it comes to analogue-DV-analogue conversion. For freeing us from the shackles of the nEUtered cam alone, the Oscar is in the post; and, with this, we bid all a good night, and a safe journey home. Dazzle, www.dazzle.com.

More in the April 2001 issue of Computer Video Magazine

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Reviewed in April's issue:
External FireWire drives
Dazzle Hollywood DV-Bridge
JVC GR DV-2000

In this month's news:
Adobe After Effects 5
Panasonic Pro Mini DV
EZDV Grows Up

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