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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?
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
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; http://www.pinnaclesys.com
More in the July
2001 issue of Computer Video Magazine
Reviewed in July's
Final Cut Pro 2
In July's news:
Canopus comes out fighting
Pinnacle's Studio refit
Smart media's a-burnin'
Iomega Peerless drive
Premiere 6.01 beta