We next set the Video Transfer to work on some 4:3 source material. This time we tried it hooked up to a DVD player and used discs of filmed content and footage videotaped in the studio. Once again, the Best, 640 x 480 picture showed jaggies. Ironically, this actually helped minimise the very obvious interlacing artefacts seen on the Better-quality picture produced from video material.
Good quality (320 x 240): small but artefact free - ideal for iPods, etc.
Note the overscan: the 320 x 240 picture is padded with black to 350 x 240
Filmed content was fine, the quality hindered only by the high level of compression and the use of composite video. Despite the greater number of pixels packed into Best quality, Good produced the crispest picture because shrinking the picture minimised the impact of the compression, interlacing and other artefacts.
Indeed, copy any of the transfers to a portable media player, and the viewing is better than it is on a computer or TV screen. Scaling them down takes the edge off the quality limitations seen at the higher resolutions. So while you might not want to use the Video Transfer to digitise material for viewing on a large screen - or copying to DVD - it is worth consideration as an accessory for a handheld viewer.
The Video Transfer is a good way of generating 'quick and dirty' transfers of movies and TV shows for playback on an iPod, PSP or other portable media device. Pinnacle's done a very good job of making the process simple, straightforward and PC-free. Only the quality of the encoding - and the lack of widescreen support - lets it down. Stick to 320 x 240 and you'll be fine, but if you want higher resolutions you may be disappointed with the results.
Pinnacle Video Transfer
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.
For £80, I am tempted. I doubt we will see a RGB input version, as I would definately pick one of those puppies up, I need something to "suck" stuff out my rapidly filling SkyHD box at hald decent quality, so I can stick it onto DVD.
I did try it with VHS, but the results were no better than those achieved with other sources: interlacing artefacts on videotape material, heavy compression effects etc. Again, though, it's watchable when scaled down on a portable device.
However, it did reliably reproduce all the tape drop-outs. :-)