The Big Bundle

ADS Tech’s various capture devices have always provided easy ways to get video into your computer, usually with some excellent deals on bundled software as well. The Pyro Studio is no exception, including Sony Media Software’s Vegas+DVD Production Suite 6.0. If you were thinking of getting Vegas+DVD, the price alone makes this bundle worth the cost of admission, as it’s within $25 of the packaged version of Vegas+DVD by itself. (Although it lacks the instant gratification you’d get buying the software directly from Sony online and downloading it in minutes over broadband, if you just have to have a copy of Vegas+DVD right now.)

But it’s more than just a great deal. The Pyro A/V Link capture box is very flexible, and we found the video quality to be excellent. Audio-wise, the box also provides locked audio, which removes the possibility of audio drift occurring (audio drift is actually allowed by the DV specification as a cost-saving measure, for up to 1/3 of a frame, but any editing application worth its salt can compensate for it, yielding perfectly synchronized audio.)

Don’t already have a FireWire card to attach the A/V Link box to your computer? Don’t fret–ADS has thrown one into the box for you. Already have a FireWire card? No problem–throw it into another computer, give it to a friend, keep it in your big box o’ parts, or put it on eBay.

Getting Connected

Adding to the already comprehensive package, ADS has thrown in all of the FireWire cables you’ll need–4-pin-to-4-pin, 4-pin-to-6-pin and 6-pin-to-6-pin. Considering these cables can run $20 each, this adds to the bargain that is this package. (A stereo analog audio+composite video cable and an S-Video cable were also included as well.)

We experienced great results capturing some programs with our Pentium 4 2.6GHz HT desktop machine and Pentium M 715 laptop, as well as a Power Mac G4 800MHz running both Final Cut Express and an older version of iMovie. The video quality was just as good, though, as one would expect (the User’s Guide explains how to use the ADS Tech Pyro with a Mac).

There’s also a FireWire passthrough on the front, so if your computer didn’t have a front-panel FireWire port, and the Pyro A/V Link lived on your desktop, you could easily attach a camcorder to your computer, via the unit, without having to reach behind your computer. How cool is that?

Capture Away

If you need a one-box solution to capture analog footage, edit it, and burn a DVD, ADS’ Pyro Studio, or possibly its cousin, the Pyro A/V Link DVD Edition, which trades Vegas+DVD for Ulead’s MediaStudio Pro 7, (complete with HD Plug-In and DVD Workshop, which will save you about $100,) should be at the top of your list. All of the little details are taken care of with this comprehensive package.

TECH SPECS

Platform: PC

Operating System: Windows 2000/XP with Micro
soft .NET framework 1.1 SP1

Processor: 800MHz (2.8GHz recommended
for HDV)

RAM: 256MB (512MB recommended
for HDV)

Hard Drive: 500MB for software installation,
14GB for video capture and
converting

Inputs/Outputs: FireWire, composite, S-Video,
component

Bundled Software: Sony Media Software Vegas+DVD
Production Studio 6.0

STRENGTHS

  • Cheapest way to get a physical copy of Vegas+DVD with FireWire cables
  • Comprehensive package, including FireWire cables, card
  • Locked audio capture

WEAKNESSES

  • None significant

SUMMARY

A thorough bundle for video capture, video editing, and DVD authoring.

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