Pinnacle DV500plus

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Pinnacle DV500plus

Pinnacle has changed the software and the hardware in the DV500 and re-named it the DV500 plus. But just how much of a plus is the new version?
Pinnacle's DV500 sparked off a mini-revolution as the first real-time (more properly, dual-stream) editing card for under £1,000. It was soon challenged by Matrox's RT2000, but still developed a loyal following.
The DV500's drivers have gradually been upgraded and are now in their second major iteration, and Pinnacle has released an updated version of the hardware to complement these recently-released V2 drivers.
However, unlike the DV500, which was one of a kind on release, the DV500 plus has the RT2000 and considerably more expensive Canopus DVStorm to compete with. Matrox's RT2500 will soon be arriving on the scene, too, as will a sub-£600 dual-stream Canopus card, so the DV500 plus needs to add significant features to be anything other than a budget alternative.
Comparing the DV500 plus card with an original DV500 shows that the Texas Instruments IEEE 1394 chip is now on the board itself, rather than on a daughter card, and there's an intriguing, unexplained, new feature connector, but most of the major chipset is equivalent. So, the hardware is more of a spruce up than a sea change.
The DV500 plus isn't a massively exciting upgrade - it's more of a consolidation. Existing DV500 owners can get the same functionality by downloading the 180MByte version 2 driver set and upgrading to Premiere 6. Desktop video editors looking for a dual-stream editing card will find that the DV500 plus is the cheapest option, and has most of the features required for getting basic editing done without the need for rendering.
Unfortunately for Pinnacle, those with a little more to spend might consider that Matrox's RT2000 and RT2500 offer a lot more real-time editing features for not much more money. And, now that Matrox has at last released Windows 2000 drivers for its RT2xxx cards, the DV500 plus has virtually no unique features. The DV500 plus is a solid, dependable card with a comprehensive, good value software bundle, but Matrox still holds the crown for features in the sub-£1,000 arena.
Pinnacle, 01895 442003;

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