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Easily transfer your VHS, 8mm and other video formats to MPEG-4 without a computer
While most personal media generated today is done via mobile phone or digital camera, there is still a lot of content that needs to be transferred from one device to another to get on that iPod or mobile phone. And that is in addition to the loads of VHS, 8mm, and other video tape that is sitting around in boxes and drawers in people's homes. There are plenty of solutions that enable you to transfer that footage to a computer for editing, but there aren't a whole lot of solutions that can get it done without a PC. Pinnacle Systems has one called the Video Transfer (review here), and Streaming Networks has one called the iRecord Pro. This review is about the iRecord Pro.
The iRecord Pro is a video and audio personal media recorder about the size of a small paperback book. It is a simple device that features RCA audio/video ports and S-Video ports on the rear, and a USB 2.0 and mini-USB port on the sides. The top of the unit features a power and timer/record button. It also comes with a remote control. The iRecord Pro can record directly to an iPhone, iPod, Sony Playstation Portable, Video Walkman and a USB key.
Setting up the iRecord Pro is easy. There are two ways that you can capture video from your device and send the captured media to another device. You can record direct to the device or you can use a computer. Direct capture is easiest in my opinion as no computer is involved. In my testing, I captured video from a VHS cassette player to a USB key by simply hooking the included video out cables to the VHS player and plugging in the other end of the cables to the video in ports of the iRecord Pro. Simply wait for the iRecord LED to turn green and then press the record button. The device will record up to the capacity of your device. It records to the h.264 MPEG-4 video format at up to 720x480 resolution and supports NTSC, PAL, and SECAM video standards.
You can set the iRecord Pro to record for 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes, depending on storage space and video quality. Virtually any device that supports composite or S-Video can be hooked up to the iRecord Pro for video transcoding. This includes VCRs, cassette decks, turntables, game consoles, DVD and CD players, and even cable and satellite set top boxes. For audio, it can record in AAC and MP3 formats at up to 320kbps.
The iRecord Pro does exactly what Streaming Networks advertises it to do. It provides a simple solution for you to transfer video from say a VHS cassette player or camcorder to a video format that you can play on your personal media player. It is simple to use with or without a computer, and the resulting video file can be played back to any device that supports MPEG-4 h.264 video. You can also bring the resulting file into a video editing or DVD authoring application for further editing/authoring. iRecord Pro will not decrypt or transcode media with digital rights management technology embedded nor will it duplicate Macrovision AGC protected video.
The iRecord Pro is priced at $259 and ships with the iRecord Pro transcoder device, S-Video cable, RCA audio/video cable, USB device cable, power adapter, remote control, user manual and Quick Start guide.
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org