Pinnacle DV200 review

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Pinnacle DV200

Pinnacle's original DV200, like the DV300, was based on Adaptec's original FireWire chipset. As a result, the DV200 faced the same compatibility problems as Adaptec's own FireWire cards. Systems with exotic motherboards - often any with core logic not designed by Intel - could cause serious PCI timing problems which resulted in the loss of more than half the video frames being captured. Adaptec's 8940 and 8945 boards, used as the basis for the DV200 and DV300, were discontinued a while ago, to be replaced by the OHCI-compatible FireConnect 4300.

Pinnacle, though, moved to Texas Instruments for the FireWire in the latest, refreshed, version of DV200. As a result it's now also an OHCI-compatible card which, in theory, means it should work with the ever-growing range of OHCI-compatible editing software programs. It should also be far less troublesome with a wide variety of PC systems.

Overall, Pinnacle's new DV200 has everything you'd expect from what is really a mature product from one of the leading specialist digital video companies. All the important editing needs are covered with extra utilities or Premiere additions, and we found the card completely stable in use - even on our venerable K6-III test system.

Although it's possible to add IEEE-1394 editing to a PC for very much less than the £300 required for a DV200, Pinnacle's offering comes with a full copy of Premiere and a comprehensive collection of plug-in software to get the most out of it. The DV200 is a dependable FireWire card for a keen price. The only suggestions we'd make is for Pinnacle to use its StudioDV Plus hardware instead of the FireWire-only card - to provide the benefits of analogue output. DV200 plus anyone? James Morris

More in the May 2001 issue of Computer Video Magazine

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