Creative Labs Video Blaster Movie Maker

Measuring 6x15x20cm (WxDxH), the stylish silver-blue, shark fin-shaped Video Blaster actually improved the look of my desktop.

Once you've converted your analog video to digital format, you can use the bundled Ulead VideoStudio 4.0 video-editing software and Video Blaster for MovieMaker software to edit your videos, add sound and titles, and even throw in basic transitions and other effects.

Connecting the Video Blaster to your PC is easy. You just run the three colour-coded RCA cables (left audio, right audio, and video) from the source's output to the front of the Video Blaster, and then you run the USB cable from the back of the device to your PC's USB port. The box also includes a microphone port so that you can add voice-overs to your videos. I loaded the drivers without a hitch.

In my tests the brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness were all easily adjustable through a slider on the Video Blaster Control software. My main complaint with the software is that I would have liked numeric equivalents for more precise adjustments.

There are plenty of recording options available. You can limit the recording time; select MPEG-1, MPEG-2, or Video CD as your output file format; choose among four video quality settings, ranging from 500KBps to 2MBps; and select from two audio quality settings, 192KBps or 224KBps. When I was ready to transfer my videos from my hard drive to CD, I had no problems using Video Blaster software's one-click CD-burn feature.

The main drawback to creating digital video is that it requires lots of memory and processing power. If you have the horsepower and the bytes, the Video Blaster MovieMaker could make the transition from yesterday's medium to today's quite a bit smoother.

Creative Labs

Price: $499

Supplier: Creative Labs

Phone: (02) 9666 6100

URL: www.australia.creative.com

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