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Tech Instant DVD 2.0
Tech Instant DVD 2.0 uses hardware-assisted encoding from an external
USB 2.0 capture device carrying analogue inputs and outputs. Is this
a complete Windows MPEG editing solution?
capture to DVD-compliant MPEG-2 makes it possible to burn analogue content
quickly to DVD. Over the past two years, we have reviewed a number of
Windows analogue MPEG capture devices from V-One MultiMedia (Snazzi)
and Adaptec that have come in the form of PCI cards or external USB
2.0 boxes, using hardware-assisted encoding to convert incoming analogue
video to MPEG-1/2. But none had output (decoding) capabilities.
This month, it's the long-awaited turn of ADS Technologies' Instant
DVD 2.0 (model number USBAV-702) with a street price of £138 (inc
VAT). The ADS USB 2.0 box uses the Cirrus Logic 2288 DVD encoder chip
for MPEG encoding and offers analogue video and audio outputs for viewing
edited content on a TV monitor or for recording to tape.
The package comes with its own capture and output program, Capture Wizard
3.1 (or CapWiz), and two customised Ulead programs - VideoStudio 7.0
SE DVD for video editing and DVD authoring, and DVD MovieFactory 2.1
SE for authoring and burning. Also included are Muvee autoProducer 2.1
DVD Edition for automatic movie creation, and a trial version of Simple
Star PhotoShow 2.1 for photo editing, slideshow creation and publishing.
We first started testing in September 2003. Back then, we couldn't output
edited PAL content from VideoStudio via the ADS box. Various patches
and upgrades have since become available, but some problems still remain.
The ADS Tech Instant DVD 2.0 offers a complete and easy-to-use MPEG
solution with editing, analogue capture (and export) at an attractive
price. Installation did take time - seven months, in fact, while we
waited for patches - and even now, as various crashes and gremlins show,
the ADS hardware and Ulead software are not working in complete harmony.
We also found it tedious having to wait five seconds for the ADS box
to change video standard to PAL before playback became stable, and would
have welcomed the ability to adjust incoming analogue video levels in
real-time during preview and capture. That said, we were impressed by
the encoded quality of Hi-8 content at 8Mbit/sec. Instant DVD 2.0 will
appeal to folk with analogue-only footage to edit and archive, but users
of DV and analogue kit might prefer ADS's Instant DVD+DV. This offers
DV capture and output, as well as analogue, for £42 more.
Read the full review
in August 2004's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in this issue:
Roxio VideoWave 7
Epson Stylus Photo R200
ADS Tech Instant DVD 2.0
burning arrives with a bang
MPEG editing in Premiere Pro
Apple Motion graphics
Edirol editor upgrade
X-oom video tools
High Def Final Cut Pro
TV-style theme music
Liquid Edition freebie
Cut-price ProCoder 2
Free After Effects plug-ins