First, we connected the Video Transfer to our Humax P9200T DVR and a USB hard drive. Starting and stopping the recordings was effortless. The sound quality was spot on.
Better quality (640 x 480): check out the jaggies, which weren't seen at other quality settings
Click for full-size image
All three modes generated smooth-playing files, but the Better, 640 x 480 transfer was spoiled by prominent jaggies. The Best and Good pictures lacked this, though neither was as crisp as the Freeview-transmitted source material thanks to a heavy compression.
Another big issue for us was the Video Transfer's inability to sense the source's widescreen aspect ratio. In each case, the image captured was the broadcast anamorphic 4:3 ratio, which a widescreen TV automatically stretches to 16:9 to fill the screen. Because the Video Transfer doesn't do this, characters on screen appeared stretched vertically.
Pinnacle may be pitching the unit at folk with VHS tapes they want to digitise, all of which will be 4:3 ratio, but since it also talks about how the Video Transfer can be used to generate content from other sources for portable media player use, not being able to deal with all the DVD and broadcast material configured for widescreen TVs is something of a handicap.
I think I'll wait for the hauppauge hd pvr thanks
Not terribly inspiring really the HD PVR wiill do all this AND compress 1080i for $250 (OK it sends H264 down USB to a computer) but that's what I'm waiting for.
Not a good review
Of course 640x480 will give you problems. It needs to be scaled and who in their right minds would want to scale video to such odd resolutions.
The review misses some _very_ important points. How does the device react to slightly off standard video? This is, in fact the most important point as every video stream is slightly off standard.
Many solutions have the problem of not getting video and audio in sync if the framerate is not precisely 25fps. Others have problems with dropouts.
Re: "VHS" and "Judgement's reserved"
Did you try to convert the captured video to MPEG2, burning it on a DVD and watching it on a TV? That's what I was planning on using it, archiving 15-year-old home videos to a digital format. I doubt that even the device's compression and the subsequent recompression to MPEG2 significantly degrades the quality when compard to the VHS original.
And I agree with Vladimir Plouzhnikov about the interlacing. Capture the video faithfully as interlaced and deinterlace it afterwards, if you want progressive video.