Dazzle DVD Recorder Review

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’.


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2008-08-15 20:10:50

Im surprising these devices are still around I had a similar device to the Dazzle DVD Recorder when we had a non-digital video camera - to do the conversion - it was painful and slow I can tell you! Get a new video instead of a Dazzle DVD Recorder !

2008-08-16 22:55:21

It is disappointing that you will need to buy extra cables for the video connection since they aren’t included in the box. I have also heard of TV convertor boxes being sold without the required cables. What’s up with that?

Comment by Michelle
2008-08-18 20:16:23

My husband and I are IT, Web Development people…. so this is to say we know a bit about computers… This is by FAR the absolute worst piece of hardware I have ever used…. EVER!!! My husband and I both agree this is the most worthless product we have ever purchased! I can’t even believe they can sell this to people!! We took it back once and got a new one, thinking it was just a product defect. But, no. This thing just simply sucks! Please, please don’t waste your time with this product!!!! I want the 7 hours of my life back that I spent reading FAQ’s on this thing and talking to Dazzle tech support… which also sucks. And they have no manual for this product. What? This product is anything but simple. We both have nearly brand new computers, one w/ XP and one w/ Vista… one a notebook and one a desktop… neither of which we could get to work w/ the Dazzle! We ended up buying a dual VHS/DVD player and now THAT is simple! We ended up using the desktop itself and just plugging it in and using particular software that comes with Vista to record cassette tapes. So, Dazzle did absolutely nothing… and now we have a VHS/DVD recorder that we can record TV with!! :) I hope this helps somebody out there… then my agony won’t be in vain.

Comment by Dan
2008-11-26 02:13:31

Michelle, Your agony won’t be in vain! I’m taking back my Dazzle DVD recorder(as yet unopened) and buying a VHS/DVD recorder. All I want to do is make DVDs of my 1980s tapes of the kids. I want it simple, and I want it to work - thanks for your comments.

Comment by Derek
2008-12-23 23:46:56

Everything Michelle said is true. I’m a computer science major and I surely know things about computers. All I wanted to do was convert my families VHS tapes to DVD for Christmas as a present. I tried getting this thing to work properly for weeks…and eventually tossing out the idea of the gift this Christmas.

Fact is, you get one problem…fix it…and then there’s another. My ending result was that the audio didnt fit the video. I went to their support…even the live chat…and they couldn’t even help me. All they did was ask me questions off the FAQ page. I bought different blank DVDs seeing if that was the problem. Tried different DVD-burners…different speeds…different RCA cables…different VCRs…different USB ports and NOTHING worked.

I’m just going to break down and get one of those VHS/DVD recorders…I wish I done this in the first place.


Comment by Rob
2008-12-26 17:37:50

Any suggestions as to what other software or hardware to purchase in order to convert Hi8 vhs tape to DVD?



(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by HD Movie Trailers
2008-10-21 23:55:16

That’s how technology usually works nowadays. If setting up the hardware doesn’t get you, activating the software will.

I suppose it’s better than having a difficult time putting the hardware together only to find that the software is incompatible…

I tried hooking up my computer to my new inch LCD TV as I noticed it had the necessary ports on the side panel. After spending a good half hour unhooking the wiring on my tower and plugging it into the TV, it told me that my version of windows was not compatible with the screen I had hooked it up to. :P

Comment by terry chambers
2009-01-04 17:05:24

Pinnacle’s Studio is an erratic bunch of crap — I’ve wasted many hours and many DVDs with its “Instant” DVD Recorder. Please don’t buy it

Comment by SAM
2009-01-05 00:07:22

I spent hours to convert Hi8 video tapes to DVD but failed every time. It is a waste of time. You fix one time Codec, then use Windows DVD maker, which does not support VOB files. Then purchase AVI convertor to convert VOB files to AVI, then convert AVI to home theater file. It is really painfull. After all these, I got a DVD with video but no sound. The software which comes with Dazzle burns DVD directly but quality is so poor and it shows a video is blurry snapshots, frequently stopping for minutes. Horrible! My wife is angry with for wasting so much time.
Don’t buy this product!

Comment by Moving House
2009-02-17 00:48:52

Wow people don’t like the Dazzle DVD Recorder do they! I have tried several brands of this type of product and I dont its necessarily the products fault- there are just so many things that can go wrong in the process - converting formats from tape to DVD is far from simple technically

Comment by Lorraine
2010-01-06 00:12:15

How I wished I had read some of the comments not to buy the Dazzle before doing so. I cannot get it to work and have even taken it back to the store for further instructions. Also, most of the prices on the Internet are quite low, especially in comparison to the price I paid - $74.95 CAD at Future Shop. Now it’s too late to return because I’ve had it for two months.


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