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|Canopus TwinPact 100||DV/Firewire
|Win95? Win98? Win2K? WinXP
*based on user reports.
|Description (from the manufacturer site)|
|TwinPact100 is the world's first multifunctional video converter to feature on-screen graphics to analog and digital video conversion, digital video capture of on-screen graphics and bidirectional analog/digital video conversion. Integrating Canopus track and zoom technology, TwinPact100 provides the highest-quality video conversion with unmatched functionality.
TwinPact100: Key Features
* All-in-one scan converter and analog/digital video converter
* Ideal for video editing, video presentations, tutorial video creation
* One-click software and remote control operation
* Clean and enhance analog video
* Windows and Mac OS compatible
I am the owner of a Canopus TwinPACT100 and am posting this review because I believe the screen-capture feature which is at the heart of this product's target market is seriously flawed. The quality of the screen capture produces distorted, low-resolution output that is essentially unreadable.
I am experienced building computers, so I read the manual and talked to Canopus (now Grass Valley) customer service about features and product comparison before buying the TwinPACT100. For a product that costs between $400-$500 - by a company that develops professional A/V devices - the TwinPACT100 is extremely disappointing at best and seriously misleading at worst. The company's product manual for the device touts that the TwinPACT100 will capture in high-resolution (not HD) Digital Video (720 x 480) it captures on the screen.
Another issue is that the software is dated from 2003 (version 1.0) and works only with Win XP or Win2000. There is no updated software on their website. I tried installing on a Win7 (64-bit) system and I received an error message stating that the operating system is not supported. However, Windows 7 will try to install using adjusted settings. Ultimately it installed on my Win7 OS, but it froze my computer when trying use the capture.
When I tried to uninstall the software, you cannot do it via the Control Panel - Add/Remove. Canopus customer service provided instructions to locate a specific directory on the C-drive and run some 'setup' program but that directory did not exist. So I'm scratching my head on how to remove it. I may have to use a 3rd-party software removal program.
I was successful at installing to software on my other desktop (a Win XP machine) to test the TwinPACT100. There is no elegant GUI interface - Only a taskbar icon that you click to choose a screen area to capture and to stop and start the capture. There is also a 'remote control' to access functions. However, the point is that the software is 2003-vintage and the company has not put resources into making it functional for Vista/Win7 or updating the software controls interface.
I own a Canopus ADVC300 which is a great product for converting analog to digital or vice-versa and they have great customer service that responds promptly. This is what led me to believe (along with the specs) that the TwinPACT100 would perform as advertised with regard to screen capture. If you need only an analog-to-digital convertor then purchase their ADVC110 or ADVC300. The TwinPACT100 also performs the A-to-D function comparable to that of the ADVC110. But you are buying the TwinPACT100 for the added capability of the screen capture, and if that is not suitable, what's the point of that model?
Unfortunately, no matter how powerful your computer is (CPU or GPU), all the processing takes place in the Canopus box. When talking to Canopus customer service the tech talked about what adjustments I could make to screen resolution (lower it to 640x480 if possible) and colors so to not over-load their dedicated processor (that admission left me with that sinking feeling).
There are other posts on the internet by people who purchased the TwinPACT100 and are frustrated with the screen-capture aspects of the TwinPACT100. If the device was $100 one could chalk it up experience, but at $400-$500, this product cannot be recommended and I felt compelled to speak-out.
Comments posted by Bsantello from United States, January 04, 2011:
Compatibility: Win95? Win98? Win2K? WinXP
Click on this for more technical information.
New comments= New comments since your last visit.
New Card= New Capture Card since your last vist.
What kind of main capture features it supports
Analog VideoIn = Analog composite or/and SVHS video input
Video Card = If it is a Video Card/Graphic Card
Tv Tuner = Built-In TV-Tuner
Digital TV = Built-In Digital TV-Tuner
DV/Firewire = DV/Firewire/i.Link input
DV Converter = Analog composite or/and SVHS video input and converts to DV video
MPEG1 hardware = Capture directly MPEG1(VCD) video using hardware*
MPEG2 hardware = Capture directly MPEG2(SVCD and DVD) video using hardware*
MJPEG hardware = Capture directly to MJPEG using hardware*
MPEG4 hardware = Capture directly to MPEG4(DivX,Xvid) video using hardware*
* = Most capture cards can capture to this format using software but it usually requires a very fast computer, if it supports realtime capturing it uses the capture cards hardware and it doesn't require a very fast computer and you may get better quality but less options/settings than software capturing.
What Operating System our users have reported that it works on, Win95=Works
Cnx = Connection
What type of connection the capture device has to the computer, PCI, AGP, USB1/1.1/2, DV or PCMCIA.
The price in US dollar.
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