Today we’ll take a look at the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder. This inexpensive device takes a signal from a video source and converts it to a PC compatible signal to a USB 2.0 port. What could be simpler, right? Well, sometimes simple doesn’t always work that well you might hope.
Review Continued Below…
As usual, let’s take a quick look at the specs for the Dazzle DVD Recorder. The first thing you’ll notice about it is that it looks like a kid’s toy with the bright red case and flower on it. The inputs include composite video and S-Video ports and there is an attached USB cable. You will need to buy extra cables for the video connection since they aren’t included in the box. Video files can be saved in AVI, RealVideo, Windows Media and MPEG files and video can be written to DVD and Video CDs if you have the appropriate burner on your PC. Converting for devices like the iPod or Sony PSP require that you buy upgraded software from Pinnacle.
Pinnacle Studio 10 QuickStart and Instant DVD Recorder software are bundled with the Dazzle DVD Recorder. As you might suspect, the software doesn’t work under Mac or Linux. Vista support isn’t in the box but Pinnacle does have new drivers for Vista available for download. However, several consumers have reported problems with them. All in all, the software provided with the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder seems to be rather troublesome, generating a lot of dislike for this device.
The weak link in the Dazzle DVD Recorder is the software and drivers. The hardware portion is straight forward and works as it should. However, the software is constantly mentioned as a source of aggravation by many users. People who stick with the basics and who don’t have any conflicting drivers on the PC seem to be happy with the device. My recommendation is that if you want something beyond the basics, spend more and you’ll be happier with your choice. I would also recommend doing some research to find out if your PC’s brand and hardware configuration has been mentioned as having problems with the Dazzle DVD Recorder software and drivers.
The bottom line is that the Dazzle DVD Recorder is a way to get your video onto your PC at a low price, that is if frustration with it’s sub-standard software doesn’t make your regret your ’savings’.