VCR to PC using Dazzle DVC90 - Problem


My aim is to transfer some vcr tape recordings to pc files. After I bought a Dazzle dvc90 I realised (foolish me, not reading the specs before buying !) that it needed a high speed usb2.0 connection to the pc. I only have usb1.1 ports at present. I am willing to buy a usb2.0 port pci card, but before I do that (and waste more money) I will appreciate advice on the following 2 points :-

(1) At present, when I connect up the Dazzle and run the Pinnacle studio 9 soft, I get a black preview screen. If I press capture, the file is created but it is black. The question is - is there any way of knowing if the system at all works (even badly) with the usb1.1 connection ? When I connect the vcr output to the Dazzle there is a flicker, that is all !

(2) My second question is - does the vcr RF output need somehow to be tuned in by the Dazzle just as the tv needs to be tuned to the vcr freq? Or any vcr RF output will be recognized by the capture device ?

Thanks for reading. Regards, pcd1.

Sou you got Dazzle, well mine’s diff. (mine’s a dvd master II, old thing isn’t it) but dazzle and maybe my advise helps too after all all of their product work pretty lot the same. So as I remember they usually give a software that set’s your card (or atleast tests it) mine was seperate yours probably built in to pinnacle studio 9. They always say that if you do not see a picture then maybe you have to set the vcr to rec mode since some vcrs won’t give signals otherwise and then the card can not see the picture or audio.

So try setting rec mode with pause or rec some tv show while trying to see the picture and if that doesn’t work then I’ll look for my guide 'cause I don’t remember more from it. (And about the usb thing: I think it still should work though it will be very slow. Probably jumping picture and stopping sound but it should work.)


Thank you for your advice. There is a program AM Capture which came with pinnacle Studio 9. Using that and passing the analog from the vcr through a stb (because the vcr does not have the 3 jacks) I could see the preview video and managed to do a trial recording. It was as expected bad quality as I am using usb1.1. However, I still cannot get any picture in Studio 9. I will keep trying. Any further advice ?

Regards, pcd1.

That would depend on what your system specs are. Please post all your system specs.


XP Home SP1

Dell Dimension XPS T700
Intel Pentium III Processor
698 MHz
128 MB of RAM.

Free space over 5 GB, can be more.

Regards, pcd1.

Okay… You can capture with your PIII, but it sure isn’t the best way to do things. First, you absolutely need more memory. You should have a minimum of 512mb of ram for video capture/editing/burning. It is highly recommended to have at least 50gb of disc space free, and on a seperate HD (not just a partition), and to keep the HD defragmented regularly. But definately, you will not achieve any decent results, without adding more memory, and at least cleaning up your current HD space, and doing a few defrags to ensure that you have enough contiguous disk space available. Capturing a 2hr avi file can take from 30 - 50gb of disk space. If you want to get serious about capturing and editing video, you will want to look into a bigger faster system. I wouldn’t recommend anything under a 2.6ghz p4 or whatever the amd equiv. of that would be. Both AMD and Intel PC’s perform roughly the same, with pro’s and con’s for both depending on exactly what you are doing on them. But the differences are slight.


Thank you very much for your advice. I suspected that my system was not at all adequate. But I am at the start of the learning curve, just want to transfer a few song videos (15 minutes or so) at a time. Once I get into the hobby I will get a more powerful computer. Thanks again, just for the record, I will report how I fare with the usb2.0 ports which I have now installed !

Regards, pcd.

Hi there,

I have the following results using Amcap.

Dazzle in usb1.1 port - preview and capture normal picture, quality poor. System monitor - Processor use 20%.

Dazzle in usb2.0 port - preview and capture (with or without preview) clear picture in irregular horizontal bands. System monitor - Processor use 30%.

As it does not seem to be a processor limitation, is there any way I can improve capture picture ?

Regards, pcd1.

When you say that your picture doesn’t look good, is it that it doesn’t look good while you capture, or it’s not good when you play it back on your pc, or what? TV and VCR files are interlaced, and they will not look the same on your PC monitor, as they will on a TV. If you want to see what it looks like on TV, you have to burn to dvd and play it, or use PowerDVD to play it on your PC to get a close idea. Also, I have a semi-pro capture setup, and it skips and hesitates a bit while capturing, but the end result always looks great.


I was referring to the preview window picture and the captured file viewed thru Videolan.

What is puzzling is that the usb1.1 video is almost watchable whereas the usb2.0 video is in horizontal strips. Any idea why this could be ?

Regards, pcd.

Like I said, you can’t go by what it looks like in the preview window while capturing, or while being previewed on your pc, unless you use PowerDVD.

Is it possible to burn to dvd and write to a cd, as I only have a cdrw ?

Regards, pcd1.

I converted it to mpeg2 with tmpgen, still the usb2.0 version looks the same - with horizonal bands !