While video editing is touted as a killer app, most PCs come bereft of any video input sockets. It’s therefore not always obvious how you get footage to and from your hard disk.
Pinnacle offers a number of solutions, the latest of which is the natty-looking Studio MovieBox USB. Designed by FA Porsche, the device is an external video digitising box. It accepts composite, S-Video and phono audio inputs while outputting DVD-quality MPEG-2 stream (at the top setting) to your PC’s USB port. Capture and editing is done using the accompanying Studio 8.0 software, which is still one of the best budget video editing packages around. Analog outputs are also included on the MovieBox, so your films can be recorded back to VHS tape or viewed on a TV.
Apart from the awkward tangle of wires that spoils the sleek brushed metal design, the MovieBox is easy to set up. The installation manual warns that certain configurations may have difficulties when it comes to transferring video to disc, and offers some tips on how to optimise your PC. Thankfully, we encountered no such problems.
The real success of MovieBox depends on your existing connections. If your PC is equipped with USB 2.0, faster transfer rates and better quality results are possible. The device can connect via a USB 1.1 port, but this does compromise quality. If your PC already has a FireWire socket then you might be better advised to opt for the similar, although slightly more expensive, MovieBox DV.
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