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Vlade's Dazzle DVC 170 Guide (Applies to Any Dazzle of Model Number 100 +)

Vlade

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I know that there are a lot of people who ask about the Dazzle and the settings which are preferred for optimal quality. This guide should apply to all Dazzle models that are 100+, although it is very specified for the DVC 170 (because it's the one I own). Unfortunately, the models I just described cannot record in any program other than the one it came bundled with, which is studio 10. This guide will cover what you'll need, how to set things up, how to record and settings for the encoding process.



||_What You'll Need_||
  • Your Dazzle Capture Card (Model 100 +) as well as studio 10 which is the software that comes bundled with the device.
  • A computer, preferably running windows xp with a usb 2.0 port.
  • The appropriate cables to hook up your Dazzle to the TV, depending on whether the TV has A/V out ports. I'll go into more details about these later in the guide.
  • A program to encode/compress your recorded videos. I will suggest virtualdub (which can be downloaded here).
    This software is great and does pretty much everything you need when it comes to encoding. There are other programs which you may prefer however, such as sony vegas, but I will be explaining how to use virtualdub just for simplicity.
  • The Combined Community Codec Pack which can be downloaded here. Install this before installing Virtualdub.


||_Hooking Up the Dazzle_||

If your TV has an A/V out port:
You will be needing a Male to Male Composite A/V cable. Just plug in each end of the cables to the corresponding colours of the Dazzle Capture Card and your TV's A/V Out port.

If your TV does not have an A/V out port:
You will be needing 3 RCA splitters, all with 2 male and 1 female ports. They may also be known as 'y-adaptors'.

Now watch this: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=rAUdxytNn6A

I know it's for xbox, but you can still figure it out - just replace the xbox cables with the wii cables.


||_Capturing the Video_||

Open up studio 10.
Click the 'Capture' tab, and then click 'settings'.
A window should come up.

There are a bunch of tabs up the top of this window. Make sure you're on the 'Capture Source' tab. I will now list the specified tab and the settings to use.

Capture Source:
Video - Dazzle DVC 170 (or whichever Dazzle you're using)
Audio - Dazzle DVC 170 (if you want in-game audio)
TV Standard - NTSC
Capture Preview - checked (if you want to see what you're recording)
No Auto Scene Detection -- press space bar to create new scene

Capture Format:
Presets - Mpeg 1/2, custom
Video Settings - MPEG2, 720x480 resolution, 8000 Kbits/sec (Data Rate)
Audio Settings - Sample rate 48kHz

I'm pretty sure you can leave the next 2 tabs, but have a look at them anyway and decide on the settings yourself since these ones are just personal preference.

Click OK.


Now when you go back to the main tab, be sure to click the custom settings button (the line) underneath where it says mpeg capture. Now click the little video camera icon to the left of this 'panel'. It should come up with some levels that can be adjusted, as well as an option for composite or s-video cables. Make sure you select composite (or s-video if you're using those). Now you'll have to play around a bit with these 'gauges'. Mouse over the icon above the adjuster for each aspect to see what it is. Different TV's will most likely need different settings, so do some experimenting with this. The only ones you will probably want to change are brightness, Hue and the one on the far right (cant remember the name of it :p). There's nothing worse than blinding yourself watching a very bright video.

Once you've got that sorted, click 'start capture'. A box will appear, and will ask you to type in your desired title for the video. You can also choose where to save the video. Once you've done that, click 'start capture'.

When you want to stop, click 'stop capture' to end the recording process.

Make sure you remember where you recorded the videos to.


||_Compressing_||

Download and install virtualdub if you haven't already. The link is at the top of the guide.

Now since Virtualdub does not open Mpeg videos by default, you'll need a plugin. Go here to download a zip file with the plugin. Make sure you follow the readme instructions inside that zip file to get the mpeg plugin working.

Now load Virtualdub. Go File > Open Video File. Choose the video that you want to compress. Now hit Open, and you'll see it in Virtualdub.

Go Video > Full Processing Mode
Go Audio > Full Processing Mode

Go Video > Filters. Now hit "Add" and choose "deinterlace". Click OK and then on the left choose the option to "blend fields". You can leave the Field Order. Click OK.

Go Video > Compression. Choose the 'DivX Codec' (version might vary depending on when you downloaded the CCCP). Hit OK.

Note: If the DivX codec does not appear, it is almost certainly because you have not installed the Combined Community Codec Pack. The download link can be found at the top of this guide.

Go Audio > Compression. On the left choose 'Lame MP3' and on the right choose '48000 Hz, 128 kbps CBR, Stereo 16KB/s'. If you can't find it make sure the 'Show All Formats' box is ticked.

Now go Video > Direct Stream Copy and Audio > Direct Stream Copy

On the timeline, find the start of the match and hit the home button. After that, go to the end of the match and hit the end button. This helps keep the filesize smaller by trimming out unnecessary parts of the video. It's also very useful if you just recorded a whole set as one file, because you can repeat the process for each match in the file very easily without having to change the settings after encoding the first match.

Now go File > Save as AVI. Choose where you want to save it, then hit Save. The video will now be compressing which takes varying times depending on how long the match is.


Repeat everything from the yellow text onwards if you have multiple matches in the video file you opened to begin with.


||_Uploading to Youtube_||

It's no good recording a video if the world can't see it. If you haven't already, make a youtube account.

When you're logged in, click the little arrow next to 'upload' in the top right, then click video file.

Now 'Try their Bulk Upload-Plugin' - even if you're only uploading 1 video. This is better since it has a progress meter.

Click 'Add Videos to the List'. It may prompt you to install Gears. When it comes up with the box, click 'Install Gears' in the bottom left of the window. Oh and you can only use this plugin with IE or firefox, so for opera users (like me) you'll have to use a different browser for uploading your videos efficiently at the moment (they may release gears for opera and other browsers).

Now click 'Add Videos to the List'. Choose the videos, add a title and description for the video and then hit upload. Once it's uploaded, you'll have to wait a few minutes so youtube can process the video. When that is finished, feel free to link it to SWF in an appropriate section ;)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

||_Closing Comments_||

Hope I helped ;)

For all questions, please post here. I might be adding a FAQ's section to this guide if I feel the need to.

Please feel free to rate, comment, and make corrections for this guide (I MIGHT have made a mistake or two :p)

Otherwise, embrace the fact that we can now view your smash videos!
 

Wakfad

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Yay! First Post. Awesome Guide... But only cause I'm Nice. ;). Also, Some pics would be nice...
 

cursdpawwa

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I use Studio 12, and I can't find the option of MPEG4 in the capture format presets. I only have AVI and MPEG 1/2. What should I do?
 

EpicFear

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If your TV does not have an A/V out port:[/U][/B]
You will still be needing a Male to Male Composite A/V cable. You will also be needing 3 RCA splitters, all with 2 male and 1 female ports. They may also be known as 'y-adaptors'.

it's 3 RCA splitters with 2 female 1 male. just thought you should know
 

Sandst0rm

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Actually, it IS 2 male, 1 female lol..Every guide I've seen says that. I think Epic got confused. Anyway, just to point out that if you're using the splitters, you don't need the male to male component a/v. You can just connect the remaining 3 male ends to your a/v in.
 

Kyari

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So, I love the hardware, I've had my Dazzle 100 for about 6 years... I just hate the studio.. it's probably the worst piece of software for any purpose that I've ever seen. Does anyone else feel that way? And also the fact that Dazzle's are forced to use this specific software depresses me. I've decided to just get something else... any recommendations for alternatives?
 

Vlade

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So, I love the hardware, I've had my Dazzle 100 for about 6 years... I just hate the studio.. it's probably the worst piece of software for any purpose that I've ever seen. Does anyone else feel that way? And also the fact that Dazzle's are forced to use this specific software depresses me. I've decided to just get something else... any recommendations for alternatives?
I have to agree. Unfortunately Studio is the only software you can use to record, since the Dazzle records into an Mpeg format. As for alternative capture devices, maybe I'd recommend the KWorld DVD Maker USB. I know SCOTU uses it, and he's written a guide for it on Aib. You can easily record in Vdub with that, and the quality looks excellent.

I have a DVC100 Dazzle, and for some reason, so many frames get dropped when I use those settings (MPEG-1/2, Custom, etc.). Any way to fix this?
Maybe try AVI, and mess around with the bitrates for a bit.

Otherwise, keep Mpeg 2 and change the bitrate (basically have a play around with it).
 

Blad01

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I would like to know how to convert a video in the 16:9 format properly with Willsoft... I just encoded a video of mine in 16:9, but a lot of frames got dropped O_O
 

Che_Lab

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I just purchased the Dazzle video creator plus today, and was very excited to start using it. Like others, I noticed quickly there was a lot of skipping going on during my videos. Then I sort of googled dazzle skipping recording and happened upon this smashboards thread. Anyways, I've followed your steps except I have two questions. One, what is an acceptable amount of frames skipped for smash videos (meaning tournament setting 1v1 matches)? And two what exactly does the xilisoft program and compressing do to the video and why is it required?
 

Vlade

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It's pretty obvious when you watch the video you recorded whether it's acceptable or not. I can't be sure of an exact value though.

And as for compressing. Encoding/compressing with certain software basically makes the file a lot smaller, while retaining reasonable quality. This makes uploading to youtube a lot more efficient. Obviously, you don't HAVE to compress but I highly recommend it because it is quicker to just compress and upload to youtube rather than trying to upload a 140mb file which will take a very long time.

Also, if you want to compress you don't have to use xilisoft. There are many other programs like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Pro which can do the same job. I only recommended xilisoft because it is very easy to use.
 

Che_Lab

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Okay, well I have gotten rid of a considerable amount of frames dropped since reading this thread, but I still have parts in the video that skip (very infrequently, but noticeable). Should I turn my bitrate down or turn it up?
Something I should mention is that when I set the bitrate to 8,000 originally, a warning flashed in the program stating my computer might not be powerful enough for those settings.
I'll post my computer information in case thats the problem
Vista 32 Bit
1.67GHz
115GB free of 221GB
and its a laptop
 

Vlade

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Yeah, vista hasn't been very reliable for capturing footage, but that probably isn't the problem if you're actually able to record anything.

It's probably the CPU. 1.67GHz is barely satisfactory iirc for these kind of devices. If possible, you might want to get a new CPU since it's definitely worth it. If your computer can't handle 8000 then try turning it down and see what happens. I'm running with 1.8GHz on my 'recording laptop' and it's fine with 8000 bit rate.

Not much else I can recommend other than getting a new CPU.
 

Ryusuta

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Alright, I have a Dazzle 100. The software it came with wasn't Studio 10 but rather something called "Pinnacle Instant DVD Recorder."

I'm able to make the file and convert it to .avi, but the audio is horribly off-sync. VirtualDub doesn't help this like it usually does, and the audio is off-sync right from the start. It is... to put it bluntly... REALLY annoying. What should I do to fix the audio syncing, and should I just find and download Studio 10?
 

Espy Rose

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EspyRose
Alright, I have a Dazzle 100. The software it came with wasn't Studio 10 but rather something called "Pinnacle Instant DVD Recorder."

I'm able to make the file and convert it to .avi, but the audio is horribly off-sync. VirtualDub doesn't help this like it usually does, and the audio is off-sync right from the start. It is... to put it bluntly... REALLY annoying. What should I do to fix the audio syncing, and should I just find and download Studio 10?
This please.

I have almost the exact same problem. I messed with several options in VDub, and I have videos that are of "okay quality" on Youtube, but I feel that the quality can be greatly improved, and for the audio to be more properly synched with the video.
 

Vlade

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To be honest I think it is best to just download Pinnacle Studio 10 or above.

I've also had trouble compressing with VDub and got audio desync as well. I feel that the quality is also not as good when converting into AVI.

To solve the problem, record in studio and then compress with Xilisoft or Sony Vegas into a WMV format.

If you still have any problems feel free to ask.
 

Ryusuta

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Thanks a whole bunch, Vlade. I'll give it a shot and let you know if it works (which I'm sure it will). I really appreciate it. :bee:
 

Espy Rose

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To be honest I think it is best to just download Pinnacle Studio 10 or above.

I've also had trouble compressing with VDub and got audio desync as well. I feel that the quality is also not as good when converting into AVI.

To solve the problem, record in studio and then compress with Xilisoft or Sony Vegas into a WMV format.

If you still have any problems feel free to ask.
Thanks a whole bunch, Vlade. I'll give it a shot and let you know if it works (which I'm sure it will). I really appreciate it. :bee:
Ditto. Thanks a bunch for the tips and info.
 

mobilisq

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Im pretty sure different dazzle models can handle different amounts of information

otherwise I have no idea why I can only set my bitrate to 4000 at max
 

Vlade

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Is it possible to record in 60 fps?
I'm not sure if it is, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it due to file size and certain quality issues with the recording. 30fps is very decent.

Just wondering, where can I download Pinnacle Studio 10 or above for free? I got the DVC 100 so it came with Instant DVD Recorder :/.
You could 'acquire' it from... not allowed to say where due to rules on this site.
Of course there's always the option of buying it ;)
 

Kimchi

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I see. Well anyway, I uploaded some videos, but it seems to me like the frames are skipping a little bit. Am I right? Also, when I was recording some videos, the audio skipped at times even when I used the settings that you recommended (not the ones I uploaded of course). Is this because I have other programs running while the recording is going on or does the audio skipping become nonexistent when I compress the video with Xiisoft?
 

Vlade

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Which program are you using to compress? I only recommend xilisoft in my guide because it's very easy to use.

Did you use my settings for the videos you uploaded? Or only for the videos with the audio skip?
 

Ryusuta

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I actually devised a relatively painless way of recording when the Dazzle things don't record right.

Get Camstudio, then open the Dazzle preview window and record off of that using Camstudio. I'm still playing with it, but it's surprisingly painless!

Kirby will diagram it for you:
 

thegreatkazoo

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So, I love the hardware, I've had my Dazzle 100 for about 6 years... I just hate the studio.. it's probably the worst piece of software for any purpose that I've ever seen. Does anyone else feel that way? And also the fact that Dazzle's are forced to use this specific software depresses me. I've decided to just get something else... any recommendations for alternatives?
Use Sony Vegas, you won't be disappointed. :)

I have the dazzle dvd recorder model 100. Heres a video on what my results were: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtongeeVzgM is there a way to make sure it doesnt look choppy and go into slowmotion and prevent audio lag?

heres the dazzle i have: http://cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/b/0/0/b/5/AAAAC40KaRwAAAAAAAtYFQ.jpg
Under most circumstances, the choppiness is due to your processing power. Are you using a 32-bit or 64-bit processor?

You have got to be kidding me. I now have no program to use to record my videos because the trail for Studio 10 ran out of time. Sigh, what do I do now?
If you bought the Dazzle, then you should be eligible for a $70 upgrade to Studio 12 Ultimate. If need be, call up Pinnacle and give them hell for the offer. Chances, are said offer would pop up in a window when opening Studio 10. :)

Alright, thanks. I use DVC 100, is 8000 an okay bit rate?
The last Dazzle I used had different settings, so it may have changed, but here is what I would recommend (again, this depends on your current model).

Use a bit rate of 10 Mbps. Why? The faster lateral movement (especially in Melee for instance) can be captured much more smoothly at this bit rate.
 
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