Plextor's PX-M401U ConvertX

Article Index
Plextor's PX-M401U ConvertX
Software and Setup
Test Rig Specs
Capturing With The ConvertX
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Product: Plextor ConvertX (Digital Video Converter)
Provided By: Plextor


Plextor is a very well known company when it comes to their optical drives. If you need a top quality drive for burning CD or DVD media, Plextor is one of the leaders in the industry. In the past, I was very sceptical as their products have always been touted "Professional Quality" and also carry a "Professional" price. In truth, they are a bit more money, but from personal experience as of late, they are worth every penny.

Plextor has taken a bit of a break from the Optical market, and served up BensCustomCases with a new product; the ConvertX Digital Video Converter. This product takes a video source - either S-Video or RCA video, and converts it into an MPEG1, MPEG2, or MPEG4 format. It also captures the audio in MPEG3, LPCM, or Dolby Digital. I've tried several other video capture devices in the past, including an MSI TV@nywhere, ATi TVWonder, and an nVidia GeForce4 ViVo card from Gainward. Although I don't have side-by-side screenshots of these other products - the differences were so obvious that screenshots weren't required.

Enough of the babbling introduction, let's get on with it!


System Requirements:

  • CPU: Pentium® III 800 MHz or above
  • RAM: 256 MB
  • HDD: 10 GB
  • Monitor Resolution: 1024 x 768, 24-bit color
  • Graphics Card: Video card with 24-bit resolution capability and DirectX support
  • Sound: Windows compatible sound card that supports 48KHz playback (PCI recommended)
  • DirectX: DirectX 8.1 (included in the WinDVD Creator application)
  • Interface: Hi-Speed USB 2.0
  • CD-ROM: A CD-ROM drive for installation (CD installation)
  • CD-RW: To burn CDs, Video CD or miniDVD
  • DVD+/- RW: To burn DVDs and CDs
  • OS Support: Windowsâ„¢ XP Pro/Home/2000

Total Solution Features:

  • Real-time MPEG-1/2/4 video capturing
  • Fast digital video conversion with hardware encoder
  • MPEG-4 encoding allows you to create highly compressed video archives to save hard disk drive space
  • Video and audio synchronization
  • Hi-speed USB 2.0 connection enables high quality MPEG-2 or higher bit rate video capturing
  • Allows you to use your CD/DVD burner to create video CDs or DVDs and play them on most DVD player
  • Easy-to-use personal DVD or VCD video creation software
  • One-year full warranty (parts, labor or replacement)
  • Unlimited toll-free tech support
If you want to read the entire specifications, you can download the PDF file from Plextor here.

What You Get:

In the box you find the ConvertX unit, some cheap cables (S-Video, RCA Video, and Stereo RCA Audio), a power adapter (not pictured), a 4' USB cable (not pictured), a CD containing Intervideo's WinDVD Player, and WinDVD Creator, as well as a very detailed 63 page manual. Although, I'm a little disappointed with the cables, they do work fine, and are better than some companies cables that are 30gauge wire covered by 1/4" of insulation. If you are a video enthusiast, you'll want to snag a better set of cables however.
The software that comes with the unit is quite good. I'm not too familiar with other video editing software suites, but this one definitely gets the job done. From initial capturing or importing media files, to editing, authoring, and burning, WinDVD Creator does it all. The manual answered most of my questions I had with the product, although I did have to place a call to Plextor's Toll-Free Tech Support line, and had my other question answered within 2 minutes. Very not bad.