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Appeared on: Wednesday, November 17, 2004
ADS DVD Xpress Converter


1. Introduction

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 1

Don't you just wish you could backup your old VHS movies to DVD media or convert your camera captures to DVD quality clips? ADS Technologies is here to grant you that wish with DVD Xpress. Since 1990, ADS Technologies' success is based on low priced, high quality products. Some users might remember the "PYRO 1394" product line. And in 2004, ADS Tech offered a way to preserve your family treasures for a lifetime!

With the DVD Xpress device, you can edit and archive home movies and videos on CD or DVD, convert VHS tapes to DVD, VCD or SuperVCD, easily edit and share videos, and last but not least, capture video and burn DVDs or CDs in real time.

- Features

This device uses the popular USB2.0 interface to connect to the PC. There is also backward compatibility with USB1.1, but this is not recommended since data bandwidth is greatly reduced and synchronizing problems might occur. The ADS DVD Xpress uses several new features to improve video quality and performance. Most important are the "Audio-Lock" technology for perfect lip synch, and temporal and spatial video pre-processing filters that reduce video and audio "noise" on old VHS tapes and TV signals.

The DVD Xpress can easily convert video from any video source to MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 video formats. Video bit-rates vary from 2MB/sec to 15MB/sec, although when the USB1.1 interface is used, video bit-rates can reach up to 6MB/sec. It also supports MPEG-1 Layer 2 compressed audio which it can capture using constant or variable audio/video bit-rates. You can also get a list of "quick tips" to get you started from here.

- Specifications

The device is compatible with PAL, NTSC and SECAM video signals, ensuring compatibility for all users around the world. The following table shows the main specifications of the ADS DVD Xpress.

Video Format
Resolution -NTSC
Resolution - PAL
Video Bit Rate
VCD
352 x 240
352 x 288
1.15 Mb/sec.
SVCD
480 x 480
480 x 576
2.4 Mb/Sec.
DVD
720 x 480
720 x 576
2-15 Mb/sec.

 

Video Standards PAL/SECAM (720 x 576, 352 x 576, 352 x 288)
NTSC (720 x 480, 352 x 480, 352 x 240)
Video Input S-Video or Composite (RCA connector)
Audio Input Stereo audio (2 x RCA connectors)
PC Interface USB 2.0
Power Connector 5VDC 2.4 mA

The DVD Xpress is compatible with all Microsoft Windows versions newer than Win98SE, but under Win98SE and WinME, the device connects at USB1.1 speed.

CPU Intel® Pentium® III 800 MHz or higher or AMD Athlon/ Duron CPU
Hard Disk Drive 4+ GB free disk space for video capturing and editing
500MB free disk space for program installation
RAM 128 MB
Monitor Resolution 1024 x 768,24-bit color windows compatible display
Graphics Card Video card with 24-bit resolution capability
Sound Windows compatible sound card
Interface USB 2.0
CD-ROM A CD-ROM drive for installation (CD installation)
CD-RW To burn CDs, Video CD or mini DVD (DVD format on CD)
DVD±RW To burn DVDs
OS Support Microsoft® Windows® 98SE, 2000, ME or XP

- Retail Package

The European retail package contains everything that end users will need to get them started. It includes the DVD Xpress device, the required audio and video cables, one USB2.0 certified cable, power supply and a CD with bundled software. Although the provided cables will do just fine, they are standard quality cables and not high grade cables that would provide better quality and higher video noise reduction.

The User's manual comes in English only and the software included, covers users needs with capturing, authoring and recording. It includes ADS Capture Wizard, an easy to use software to capture your video clips, and Ulead DVD MovieFactory to create professional looking DVDs. MyVee AutoProducer 3 is also included as bonus software to further expand authoring capabilities.

The device comes with a 1 year Warranty.

The front panel of the device looks very attractive, with the "power" and "capture" led on one side, and the ADS TECH logo on the other. The device comes in black mirrored cover.

On the rear panel, you will find all the connections on the device. From left to right, you can see the power input, audio and composite video in connectors, S-Video connector and USB connector.

The above label is located on the bottom of the device. You can see that we received a Revision 2 device.

- Installation

Installation was as easy as can be. Device installation was completed successfully with the drivers provided in the root folder of the provided CD. Under Windows XP, the device is recognized as: "ADS DVD Xpress B"

The following screen is the main screen of the DVD Xpress disc.

The only thing that users should pay attention to is the installation order with the software included. Software should be installed in the following order.

Ulead DVD MovieFactory is in fact the special edition of this program and all necessary plug ins to make the device compatible with this software are included. However, the main difference between the professional edition and this special edition is that MovieFactory 3.0SE does not support the DVD-VR format, although this should not worry most users.

- Testing software/procedure

It should be noted that throughout this review, and especially on zoomed images, by clicking on images, a full sized high resolution picture will be shown for comparison purposes. In general, we were interested in capturing still images, moving pictures and test screens. These test screens are used mostly to investigate the clarity of the external converter. Of course, we used not only light images and scenes, but also darker ones. In any case, the created image files/snapshots are compared with the images included in the "Plasma TV Demo DVD" provided by Pioneer, without any form of conversion or compression.

We tested the device on several computers, to ensure that the minimum requirements are correct. The device produced audio/video synchronization problems with CPUs running below 800MHz. We also tested the device with several Pentium IV systems, but the results were the same, regardless of CPU speed. We decided to use one of our standard test PCs. The main specifications for this PC are shown below:

Test PC
CPU Intel P4 2.8Ghz Prescott, 1024Kb cache 800FSB
RAM DDR 512/400Mhz
M/B Intel D865GBFL
Graphic Card Ati 9800Pro based graphic display
HD Western Digital WD 1200JB 7200RPM 8MB cache

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. ADS Capture Wizard 3.5
  2. Cyberlink PowerDVD 5.0
  3. WinDVD Platinum 6.0
  4. VideoInspector 1.2.1.71
  5. VirtualDUB 1.5.10 (18160)
  6. AviChecker 2.0
  7. MovieID 1.02
  8. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.1

2. The Converter

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 2

The Converter

It is very interesting to see how this device works. The DVD Xpress is capable of encoding audio and video streams in DVD quality. But let's take a closer look at the mainboard. Opening the device's case will void the warranty, so we advise against it. Instead, use the photos in this review for a closer look under the hood. Clicking on the images below will open high resolution images.

click to enlarge!

The general concept with this device is rather simple. There are chipsets are used to receive video and audio signal, convert them to digital signals, and pass them to the audio or video encoder. The encoders take over to produce a single MPEG-2 or MPEG-1 file, stored on the hard disk via the USB2.0 interface. The main advantage of DVD Xpress is that ADS Tech chose to use a class A video encoder, as you will discern from the following chipset images.

Looking at the mainboard a little closer, we can see that it consists of a series of chipsets used for encoding and decoding of the video and audio streams. To be more precise, it consists of the following:

Cypress CY7C68013 USB 2.0 controller

Cirrus Logic CS92199 MPEG Encoder

Microchip 24LC16B 16K EEPROM

Philips 74LVC04A CMOS device

Philips' chipsets are mainly used to receive audio and video signals and send them to the encoder that takes over the "hard work". The DVD Xpress uses an updated version of the CS92288 chipset, the advanced Cirrus Logic CS92199 MPEG Encoder, a chipset that can be found in professional DVD recorders and players. This produces excellent quality results when converting to MPEG-2 format. Strangely enough, while the chipset is able to encode to AC3 audio directly, the device does not seem to support this feature.

The 74LVC04A is a high-performance, low-power, low-voltage, Si-gate CMOS device with low power consumption . The 24LC16B is a 16K bit Electrically Erasable PROM memory organized as eight blocks of 256 x 8-bit memory with an I2C compatible 2-wire serial interface bus.


3. Capture Wizard - Page 1

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 3

Capture Wizard - Page 1

- Getting Started Wizard

As soon as the Capture Wizard 3.5 is installed, and the program is run for the first time, you will see several configuration wizard steps to help you easily configure your device. The whole procedure consists of 5 steps as follows:

First of all, you will have to choose your location. This is done to determine one of PAL, Secam or NTSC video signals.

Then, you will have to indicate the video input of this device. We used both the S-Video and Composite video inputs for this review and we did not observe any difference in video quality.

The software needs to know where to store the movie file it will capture. This information is determined in this configuration step. The filename is automatically generated by the software so as not to overwrite previously recorded files as you keep capturing more and more media files.

You can convert video to DVD MPEG-2 format or VCD MPEG-1 format. The default bitrate for DVD format is 4Mpbs, but it can be changed through the software, prior to capturing.

You are ready to go. Just press the "play" button on your VCR or video device, and you can preview your video or even start recording immediately.

- Software/Device performance

In the following picture, you can see the main layout of the Capture Wizard 3.5 software. ADS Tech did some major work on this, making it as simple as possible. However, the software window is not resizable, and if you are using 1024x768 screen resolution, the main windows will cover all your screen. If you are using lower display resolution, you should change to 1024x768 for this device to work, or even higher.

The software does not provides DVD Authoring capabilities, and is used only for simple captures to store media files to your hard disk for further editing/burning. If you made a mistake with the configuration wizard, or if you need to change anything from the default settings, you can do it through several "option tabs" located at the top of the main window.

Using the Video Inputs tab, you can set the video input used by the device. If you choose the wrong video input, you will see a completely black preview window.

.

The Video Format option tab lets you change the video standard used (we used the PAL video standard throughout this review) and the video quality for the projected file. More advanced users can select "Custom Settings" to manually set video and audio bitrates. In the following screenshot you can see the "Custom Settings" options. Notice that from here you can set the temporal and spatial filters.

Video sizes vary from 720x576 to 352x288, and video bit-rates from 2Mb/sec to 15Mb/sec.

Remember that most Hollywood movies use 8Mb/sec or 9Mb/sec variable bitrate and setting the bitrate higher than this value might cause compatibility problems with some older Stand-alone DVD Players. This is why bitrates higher than this are displayed with red color. On the other hand, it is good to see the device having this option, even if you do not need it.

The Brightness/Color option lets you control brightness, chroma, contrast, hue and saturation of the recorded file. To improve performance, you should always select the Video Source type.

You can also limit the encoding duration of your project, or even set the encoder to record to separate files for your project for further editing, one for the video and one for the audio stream.

After capturing the files you desire, you can always see general info about each file.

For this review we created several DVD quality files, along with VideoCD and Super VideoCD media files. The whole capturing procedure, file analysis and video quality performance will be discussed later on this review.


4. Capture Wizard - Page 2

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 4

Capture Wizard - Page 2

- Direct to Disc Capabilities

The ADS Capture Wizard offers a very handy tool to capture a movie directly to DVD media. Again, it uses a step by step wizard to make the procedure relatively easy. You can either capture and burn directly to a DVD disc, or just burn previously recorded media files. It also offers simple DVD authoring capabilities, with a simple DVD menu editor.

First, you have to select the desired capturing quality and the burner that will be used to write to the disc. If the inserted media is not empty, the wizard will try to erase all data and prepare it automatically for direct recording. The whole procedure is similar to the procedure followed by stand-alone DVD recorders.

Then, you can select the DVD menu that you desire, along with the title and movie name. You can also set the capturing time limit....

.... and finally, the disc is initialized and recording starts...


5. Bundled - Bonus Software

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 5

Bundled - Bonus Software

- Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3.0

ADS Tech included Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3.0 SE. With this software, you can create Video discs, create slideshows from your digital camera captures, edit already burned discs, or even direct capture to DVD or CD media.

You can choose to create DVD, Super VideoCD or VideoCD media files....

... and then start capturing your movies. You can also add previously recorded movies or slideshows to the same project, and burn them on one disc. Creating menus is very easy and you can either burn the whole project to DVD disc, or save it on your hard disk drive for further editing.

One small drawback of this program is that it does not support Dolby Digital audio streams and only one audio stream can be attached to video files. It also does not support subtitles.

- myvee autoProducer 3.0

To further enhance capturing capabilities, ADS Tech has included myVee autoProducer 3.0 on the installation disc. It is an easy to use program that can be used to capture video.


6. Video/Audio files analysis

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 6

Video/Audio files analysis

We used ADS Capture Wizard 3.5 to produce several video files. The following snapshots show the information we captured with VideoInspector 1.2.1.71. Note that SVCD videos are captured with 480x576 resolution, instead of the 720x576 standard DVD resolution. Also note that all files are captured using 4:3 TV aspect ratio. We could not capture at 16:9 aspect ratio with this device. For reference reasons, here are the media file properties for our captures.


7. Video Quality Tests Page 1

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 7

Video Quality Tests Page 1

Test Screens and MPEG-2/MPEG-1 Format

Test screens are used to test the clarity and brightness of the created files. The test screens are compared against the images provided on the Pioneer disc, without any kind of conversion. Black and white lines are introduced, colored images with all kind of colors, as well as dark and light areas on the screen.

Clicking on the images will reveal high resolution images for better comparison.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

In most DVD converters, colors are darker than the original source. In ADS DVD Xpress captures, brightness is not reduced, and colors look almost the same as the unconverted images from the original source disc. Only professional converters can produce such bright images.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

This is a mixed, color and black and white image. From the images above, it can be seen that again colors remained the same.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

We used the above test pattern to investigate the distortion in the captured image. Small black lines are introduced in different shapes, and a bright white layer in the background. Good converters should produce an image in such a way that the black and white areas should be clearly identified as different, distinct areas. DVD Xpress managed to do this with no problem. Excellent performance.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

Brightness was again retained, and clarity remained at high levels. Black, white and gray areas are identified clearly as different areas and no color distortion was observed. Excellent performance again by the ADS DVD Xpress!


8. Video Quality Tests Page 2

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 8

Video Quality Tests Page 2

Test Screens and MPEG-2/MPEG-1 Format

Test patterns are used to test the clarity and brightness of the created files. The test screens are compared with the images provided on the Pioneer disc, without any kind of conversion. A gradual range of Black to White bands are used, as well as dark and light areas on the screen.

Clicking on the images will reveal high resolution images for better comparison.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

In this test screen you see different hues of black to white bands. Color level 1 should always be seen as pure black, while level 16 should always look like pure white color. Color levels were identical to those of the original source file. We were happy to see that color levels were maintained after the conversion. However, in this case, brightness was slightly reduced, but this does not detract from the good performance of the device.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

Similar screen as before, only simpler. No color levels are shown but the same results are observed. As before, the device performance was very good, and we observed similar results to those of the Plextor ConvertX.


9. Video Quality Tests Page 3

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 9

Video Quality Tests Page 3

Still images and MPEG-2/MPEG-1 Format

Still images are used to investigate the behavior of the converter with a wider range of colors. Clarity, distortion and brightness is also investigated. Still images are compared against the images provided on the Pioneer disc, without any kind of conversion. We tried to use dark images as well as light images.

On this page, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 media files were used (DVD and VCD). The same frame was extracted for every occasion, and the image was zoomed by 400%. Clicking on the images will reveal full sized high resolution images for better comparison.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

This is a normal bright image. Although not all colors. were maintained exactly as in the original image, such behavior is rather common in DVD converters. Video quality was excellent, and even at 4Mbps DVD files we could watch good quality images. Of course, VCD video quality was reduced, and best results were observed, as expected, with 15mbps DVD media files. However, it should be noted that at such high bitrates, some video files might produce compatibility problems with some old DVD Players, but this should not worry most users, since most Hollywood movies commonly use 8Mbps or 9Mbps variable encoding.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

This is a much brighter image and as you can easily see, brightness is maintained through the produced, converted files. We were surprised to see such good performance with such bright images.


10. Video Quality Tests Page 4

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 10

Video Quality Tests Page 4

Still images and MPEG-2/MPEG-1 Format

Still images are used to investigate the behavior of the converter with a wider range of colors. Clarity, distortion and brightness are also investigated. Still images are compared with the images provided on the Pioneer disc, without any kind of conversion. We tried to use dark images as well as lighter images.

On this page, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 media files were used (DVD and VCD). The same frame was extracted for every occasion, and the image was zoomed by 400%. Clicking on the photos will reveal full sized high resolution images for better comparison.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

Although images are not 100% identical with the original source, the distortion factor seems to be rather low. Colors. were very well reproduced, even at low video bitrates.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

In this case, the converter introduces minor brightness problems, but after all, this is a very "demanding" picture, with many shadowed points and many brighter points. In general, the DVD Xpress performed very well with still images.


11. Video Quality Tests Page 5

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 11

Video Quality Tests Page 5

Moving pictures and MPEG-2/MPEG-1 Format

A DVD converter's performance is most interesting when moving pictures and live scenes are investigated. After all, most end users will use the ADS DVD Xpress to capture moving pictures and not still images. Clarity, distortion and brightness are also investigated. Still images are compared with the images provided on the Pioneer disc without any kind of conversion. We tried to use dark as well as light images.

On this page, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 media files were used (DVD and VCD). The same frame was extracted for every occasion, and the image was zoomed by 400%. Clicking on the photos will reveal full sized high resolution images for better comparison.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

The DVD Xpress has no problems with light enhanced images. There was no distortion and video quality was retained at a high level.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

Light effect and color reproduction seems to be as vivid as the original file. However, there was slight distortion and, especially with the VCD format, video quality was greatly reduced.


12. Video Quality Tests Page 6

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 12

Video Quality Tests Page 6

Moving pictures and MPEG-2/MPEG-1 Format

A DVD converter's performance is most interesting when moving pictures and live scenes are investigated. Afterall, most end users will use the ADS DVD Xpress to capture moving pictures and not still images. Clarity, distortion and brightness are also investigated. Still images are compared with the images provided on the Pioneer disc, without any form of conversion. We tried to use dark as well as light images.

On this page, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 media files were used (DVD and VCD). The same frame was extracted for every occasion, and the image was zoomed by 400%. Clicking on the photos will reveal full sized high resolution images for better comparison.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

Again, when the VCD format was investigated, image shapes looks different from the original source, but light effects and brightness were retained. This is the more demanding scene investigated, and DVD Xpress performed very good, comparing with other converters on the market.

DVD unconverted image
click to enlarge!
DVD 4mbps
DVD 6mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 9mbps
click to enlarge!
DVD 15mbps
click to enlarge!
SuperVCD
click to enlarge!
VCD
click to enlarge!

The ADS DVD Xpress showed its teeth with this moving scene test. We observed high quality images even at low bitrates, but again, the VCD format loses greatly in quality. In general, when using moving scenes, we observed very good reproduction of the original movie source. Excellent performance again.


13. Audio conversion

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 13

Audio conversion

The ADS DVD Xpress uses the advanced Cirrus Logic CS92199 chipset which is capable of encoding directly to AC3 audio format. However, the ADS DVD Xpress does not support this feature.

On the other hand, the DVD Xpress supports MPEG-1 Layer 2 compressed Audio at 48kHz and 44.1kHz. Linear PCM (LPCM) is encoded at 16bits/48kHz, and is by far the best audio format for DVD quality movies. Of course, file sizes are increased when LPCM is used.

We tried to test all of the audio formats the ADS device supports, and we were amazed with the LPCM audio quality. MPEG-1 L2 introduces minor sound losses in the mid-range frequencies, and bass frequencies could be deeper, while LPCM gave excellent audio files with high sound clarity, no loss at all and rich, deep bass frequencies.

Unfortunately, this device cannot encode audio to Dolby Digital format, but LPCM is better than Dolby Digital anyway. Linear PCM is encoded at 1536kbps, while Dolby Digital can hardly pass in some cases the 384kbps barrier.


14. Conclusion

ADS DVD Xpress Converter - Page 14

Conclusion

ADS has been manufacturing professional DVD converters for quite some time now. It is currently one of the leaders in the DVD conversion arena. The DVD Xpress aims to attract ordinary day-to-day users, but the features of this small sized device have nothing to be jealous of when compared to other professional converters. It uses the popular USB2.0 interface to connect to the PC. The retail package has everything users will need, but we would like to see some high grade video and audio cables included instead of the standard cables are provided, which however in most cases will do just fine.

A set of easy-to-use wizards walk users through all processes and no advanced authoring knowledge is required to create Hollywood looking videos. On the ADS Technologies web site, you can also find all the appropriate plug ins for Ulead Software.

The main advantage of this device is the chipset it uses. The "heart" of the DVD Xpress is the Cirrus Logic CS92199, that can also be found in professional recorders. It produces excellent quality video files, even at low bitrates with moving scenes. Very good brightness levels, although they can be changed through the software. As if all these were not enough, the ADS DVD Xpress uses "Audio-Lock" technology for perfect lip synch, and temporal and spatial video pre-processing filters that reduce video and audio "noise" on old VHS tapes and TV signals.

Unfortunately, video was always captured using 4:3 screen aspect ratio. This means that with all 16:9 scenes, we produced a video file with black areas at the top and bottom of the screen. This is usually done automatically by all DVD players, since most DVD movies are 16:9. These black areas produce bigger file sizes than those of 16:9 captures. Although Dolby Digital sound encoding is not supported, MPEG-1 Layer 2 and Linear PCM audio sounds just fine.

We received many user reports regarding overheating problems with this device. It is true that the device heats up rather quickly and overheating might cause software freezes. On the other hand, you will have no problem encoding a 3 hour movie but if you need to make a time arranged recording and need to have the device plugged for many hours, you must ensure a cool environment and proper ventilation around the device. We used a small fan and made a 12 hour encoding with no problem.

Considering the video quality files the device produces, we expected to see a price from most online stores that reflected this quality. We were surprised to see that the device costs only $79.99, a very low price for what it has to offer.

- The Good

- The Bad



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