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Capturing Videos using the Turtle Beach Video Advantage

Other Capabilities

The Turtle Beach Video Advantage does one thing most other capture cards won't: the drivers and software both allow conversion of copy-protected video from an analog source to DVD-compliant digital formats. Many other products (including those from ATI) detect analog copy-protection and refuse to allow capture.

But what the device can't do is MPEG/MPEG2 hardware compression, as it does not include hardware for this function. Instead, you choose between uncompressed AVI video or software compression. Uncompressed video results in huge file sizes and so requires good drive performance, while software compression works poorly on slower systems. For most users this simply means a reduction in multi-tasking ability when using software compression, as overtaxing the CPU will result in choppy video.

Another feature lacking here is a TV tuner. That might not seem relevant to the intended purpose of this product, but sometimes it's handy to add TV footage to a movie. Without the tuner it's still possible to capture such footage using an external tuner, even a VCR.

Aside from video, Video Advantage also offers the previously mentioned IEEE-1394 controller. This bonus feature is of little value to many, since it's also offered on several motherboards and other devices. For example, if you had an All-In-Wonder 8500DV, Creative Audigy2 ZS Platinum, onboard FireWire, and this product, you'd have access to four controllers when you only need one!

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.