Customer Review

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended, 10 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sabrent USB 2.0 Video & Audio Capture DVD Maker [A/V-to-USB 2.0 Digital Video Adapter] (USB-AVCPT) (Personal Computers)
I wanted to convert several irreplaceable VHS tapes (e.g. my children growing up) to DVD and was nervous about posting the tapes to an unknown company for conversion so when I saw this cheap device it seemed too good to be true. Well it IS too good to be true. It was delivered very quickly but when I opened the package there was a notice from the seller urging me to leave him a 5 star review. Why would he ask that instead of letting me form my own opinion? Now I know why.

I was using our 'workhorse' Dell PC running Windows XP. I'm an experienced computer user but the EasyCAP instructions are written in 'Chinglish' and for the most part are completely incomprehensible. They do say to install the USB driver from the enclosed CD before connecting the EasyCAP device to the USB port. There are no actual driver files on the CD, only a .exe program that says it will install them. Only it doesn't, for WinXP at least. It runs, prompts me to plug in the EasyCap, and then Windows says the device is not recognised and isn't working properly. So I deleted the driver and tried again six times but every time it didn't work.

Then I used Google to hunt for the WinXP driver, found one, and installed it. You need to take care because there are several websites asking for a credit card payment for the driver, and several others where my McAfee anti-virus warned me they were trying to install malware. Eventually I found an XP driver, or so I thought, and my PC recognised the EasyCAP device as a 'Syntek STK1150'. Then I installed the supplied video editing software but it couldn't detect any input from my VCR.

More trawling Google and various forums and it seems you need to hunt for a Windows Vista driver for a Syntek STK1160 (not 1150) and once I'd found one and installed it I finally got the video from my VCR displayed on the PC. It had taken over three frustrating hours to reach this point. But wait...

Although the video comes across fine the audio is awful. It's like listening to a badly-tuned AM radio, and the soundtrack from the VCR is barely audible through a constant whine and lots of white noise. One forum suggests trying different USB ports on the PC but they were all as bad for me.

In conclusion this product isn't fit for purpose and I don't recommend it. As my mum always said: if you buy cheap you buy twice. Use Google and look for yourself at all the forums where people are complaining about this device and struggling to get it to work.

Update 12 hours later: I left the above review earlier today and stand by everything I said. Since then I have connected the EasyCAP to a USB port on my Apple Mac running OS/X 10.6, downloaded a free application called EasyCapViewer, and it works perfectly. The video is rock steady but there's no sound, as if the audio capability of my EasyCAP device isn't working. I have got around this by routing the audio into the Line Input socket of my iMac. So my conclusion is that the video hardware works okay, it's the Windows driver that was the problem.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jan 2011 10:24:44 GMT
Hi, I have a MacBook Pro and would like to know how you did the part "I have got around this by routing the audio into the Line Input socket of my iMac". What cables do I need to buy? Do you have a Amazon link for this cable?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2011 11:18:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2011 11:20:50 GMT
C. Nelms says:
I bought a Scart Adapter Switchable Plug to Socket from Amazon and plugged it into the Scart socket of my VCR. Then I connected the yellow (video) plug of the EasyCAP device into the yellow socket of this. Finally I bought a 3.5mm Jack to 2 x RCA Phono Audio Cable Gold 1m Lead
which has a red and white phono plug at one end for the stereo audio. Plug these into the red and white sockets on the Scart adapter. Finally connect the other end, the 3.5mm stereo jack plug, into the line-in socket of your Mac. Go to the system preferences panel in OS/X and choose Sound. This allows you to choose the line-in socket as the audio source and the EasyCapViewer app will then get the video AND the audio from your VCR.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jan 2011 08:18:12 GMT
Thanks so much for your quick and thorough reply!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2011 11:47:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jan 2011 11:48:02 GMT
Hi there. I'm impressed by your comprehensive review of this piece of kit, and i'm wondering if you think it would work on my macbook, with os10.5.1, ultimately i'd like to copy the vhs vids onto my laptop and burn them onto DVDs, i gather this is all possible...
many thanks
Karl

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2011 12:06:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jan 2011 12:08:56 GMT
C. Nelms says:
Hi Karl. If you look at the EasyCapViewer developer's site (http://bentrask.com/easycap/) you will see that he says you need OS/X version 10.5.8 or later. Therefore it looks as if you'll have to update your Macbook's OS first. However once you've done that you should be able to use the EasyCap and the free EasyCapViewer app to migrate your VHS tapes to DVD exactly as I have done on my iMac (OS/X ver 10.6.6).
Chris.

Posted on 28 Jan 2011 13:57:42 GMT
Munkstar says:
So if it was advertised with your workaround on the Apple would you buy it then ..... its cheap!?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2011 12:35:20 GMT
C. Nelms says:
Yes I agree, for the price I would probably still buy it now that I have obtained my own software and bypassed its audio processing. But is that really a valid test? This review was for the Easycap as sold by Amazon, complete with drivers and software that I couldn't get to work.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2011 19:12:34 BDT
Does this Hardware enable other programs to see the stream? Im looking for a solution that will allow me to record video direct from a camcorder into my computer.

Thanks

Posted on 9 Mar 2012 12:28:50 GMT
C. Lyne says:
What this review really says, is that windows is no good! No trouble with the Mac, as concluded in these comments. I think it unfair to criticise the unit, when it apparently works OK. I will be buying one as I have a Mac!

Posted on 11 Sep 2013 14:31:47 BDT
tldr. but I'm guessing from the amount of writing and your rating, you mad bro?
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Review Details

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C. Nelms
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Location: Wiltshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 37,564