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Review of Dazzle DVD Recorder HD

Review of Dazzle DVD Recorder HD By saby - Last updated on Friday, March 14, 2014
33123 Views :: 5 Comments
Category: Pinnacle Studio 21 & S16-S20 Tutorials / Capture  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Thursday, March 13, 2014
Created on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:49 AM

As I said in my news, Dazzle DVD Recorder HD is the last survivor of analog capture solutions sold by Pinnacle. It is a USB capture device coupled to Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle. I propose you to discover it.

Here is what the package content looks like :

Content presentation

The hardware

It is a USB box with 4 inputs on the front which you connect your camcorder or VCR to :

Front view

  • a black 4-pin mini-DIN S-Video type plug
  • a yellow cinch CINCH plug for composite video
  • a white CINCH plug for left audio channel
  • a red CINCH plug for right audio channel

At the rear, a USB cable type A to plug into your PC.

The case seemed to me more cheap that different devices from Dazzle/Pinnacle I've had the opportunity to test. The plastic is matte black, the white Dazzle logo opaque. The USB cable is shorter than usual. We feel that the crisis is there. wink

In fact, the logo is white opaque because when the unit is powered, one is surprised to see the logo enlightened in blue :

Blue diode

Cool, isn't it ?

The hardware part is new and now supports Windows 7 and Windows 8, 32 or 64 bits, with the drivers included on the DVD. It actually embeds an Analog/Digital converter. The compression will be achieved through the capture software.


The one provided is called Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle (PSD). It is actually a limited Pinnacle Studio 16 flanged version :

Splash screen PSD

The installation process is very simple. I'm not going to detail it in full but know that like for Pinnacle Studio 16 and 17, Pinnacle has integrated an Install Manager feature :

Install manager

PSD interface is identical to that of Pinnacle Studio 16. I told you earlier that this was a crippled version of PS16. Almost more limited than Pinnacle Studio 16 (basic). Yes, it is possible ! laugh

The most glaring missing features that I have noticed :

  • only 3 edit tracks
  • no video effects available
  • no Montage Themes
  • very limited number of transitions and menus
  • no audio keyframes
  • import/export AVCHD impossible
  • no Blu-ray export
  • no Library/Organize tab

But unlike Pinnacle Studio 16 HD, there is :

  • double display window source/timeline
  • authoring with mutli menus
  • in/out markers for source
  • multi-tracks Trim mode
Video capturing

Connect your analog source, plug the device in a USB port on your PC, open Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle and click the Import tab.

The device is detected by Studio and displayed at the top of the list of import sources :

Import source

By clicking on the arrow a window allowing different settings on the image is deployed :

Settings panel

From left to right : brightness, contrast, sharpness, hue, saturation.

Use without Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle

For those who do not want to install Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle because they already have a software capable of capturing video (any version of Pinnacle Studio, for example), the drivers are present on the installation DVD.

With Windows Explorer, explore the DVD and open the Drivers folder. If your Windows is 32-bit, run the setup.exe that is in the x86 subfolder. If your Windows is 64-bit it is the setup.exe in the x64 subfolder that will be used.

If you are running Windows 8.1 you'll have to install a patch available here.


Unlike the HD in Dazzle DVD Recorder HD might suggest, you can capture only low resolution sources. Anyway, HD analog sources do not grow on trees.

If you have on your PC Pinnacle Studio 16 and Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle and you want to uninstall it, do not do it especially from Windows Menu, All Programs, Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle, Uninstall Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle. In this case, it is Pinnacle Studio 16 which is uninstalled ! The bug has been escalated to Pinnacle.
Instead use the panel config of Windows, Uninstall a program. Everything will be fine.


If you have on your computer Avid Studio, Pinnacle Studio 16 or Pinnacle Studio 17, open PSD and load from your hard drive the project The sky is the limit.
Bingo! It loads in PSD with all its tracks, its effects, Montage themes ... Suddenly you have 5 tracks. I even tried with a home-made 17 tracks project from PS16 and it works.

Yes, I know, it is useless, but I was quite proud of my find, I could not help to share it with you here. angel

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Edwin By # Edwin @ Saturday, November 15, 2014 8:58 PM
If the finished project is three hours long, will it be in perfect lip sync?

Chris By # Chris @ Thursday, July 16, 2015 5:00 AM
Well it's been over a year since you made this guide, so I'm doubting you'll see this but It's worth a shot. I'm trying to capture video with this product using the bundled software, Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle. I don't have any other software for this but I am familiar with Adobe Premier and Dxtory. The software in question seems very limited.. I can't seem to change the exported format to AVI, nor change the quality or bit rate, just the resolution. If you have any suggestions for alternate software or anything, please let me know!

Storm By # Storm @ Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:01 PM
Not sure if this might help you Chris:




John Heintz By # John Heintz @ Tuesday, July 21, 2015 7:57 PM
Need some help. Have a new PC (HP 500-437c) running Windows 8.1. No firewire port or card. I have a Sony HandyCam 250 (have a new HD camera as well, but the Sony has sentimental value). Can I use the Dazzle to just download content from the Sony to my PC using PS 18.5? I realize I will have to use the composite outputs on the camera, but I wanted a little feedback before I ordered a Dazzle . Windows 8.1 does NOT stream.

John Heintz By # John Heintz @ Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:08 PM
Got Dazzle Silver, followed the instructions from Saby...and it works fine with Pinnacle 18 Ultimate. Thanks for the help.

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