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4 people found this helpful
Didn't do it for me
on 17 May 2013
Based on other reviews, some are happy with this, others like me are not. I've owned three capture cards over the years (each time having to replace one because software or hardware upgrades rendered them useless) and this gave the poorest quality, probably a reflection of its cheaper price.
The card itself was easy to install and a video input lead is usefully provided. The two bundled software programs installed quickly (Windows 7, 64 bit, by the way) but you'll have to work out for yourself which does what, and the help files are fairly limited, as I'll justify presently.
The first disappointment was that, unlike previous cards I've owned, the Compro does not automatically pick up the PC sound - you have to plug the sound directly into it. If you already have leads connected to a sound card (for instance, for audio recording) you'll have to replug them when capturing video. It is possible to loop through (using the connector, again helpfully provided) but any audio signals will then go via the Compro first. I didn't get as far as trying this. I stress that none of this will worry many, but it is a point to watch if you're into audio recording.
OK, I can live with the sound issue but, sadly, video recording produced the horizontal lines mentioned by others, both on preview AND on the recorded file. This was with an AVI file, the default, presumably in raw format, for the best quality. Changing to MPEG cured the problems with the lines, and gave a smooth recording, but with disappointing loss of quality and sharpness, probably due to whatever compression method the card uses.
Experience told me that changing the video settings can help this, but these are tucked away in a remote 'advanced' button. There are plenty of options (many meaningless), but here the manual is deficient; there is no guidance. None of them helped with raw AVI recording, and at one point I got a BSOD - always off-putting. What is remarkable, and something nobody has mentioned, is that there is no simple way of recording AVI files in widescreen - there are plenty of screen size settings, but none to suit 16:9 (4:3 recording is well supported, which is perhaps why those transferring old video tapes are happy). In fact, only MPEG gives a simple choice between standard 4:3 and 16:9, though again, the option is tucked away under an advanced button.
I like to record in the best quality possible, and compress down later (there are better compression methods than the one use by the Compro). The fact that this card wouldn't record decent raw AVI footage rendered it useless for me so I'm looking elsewhere. I can't comment on the software, though it looks OK for something virtually thrown in for free.
In summary, if you're transferring old video tapes, or don't mind a drop in quality using MPEG, it's probably fine. If you can get it going in raw AVI without the horizontal lines, well and good (and it won't be in widescreen). But sadly I couldn't.