Plextor's Software-Based PX-AV100U - Performance, Testing and More

Article Index
Plextor's Software-Based PX-AV100U
A Look at the PX-AV100U
Performance, Testing and More

Testing:

The PX-AV100U uses the same capture program as the PX-M401U, and PX-M402U products that I've reviewed previously, so there really is no point in showcasing WinDVD Creator 2 yet again.  If you have any questions regarding WinDVD Creator 2, I suggest you read the afore mentioned reviews to get a grasp of what this software allows you to do.  Today's testing will be focusing on quality and system performance.

This first screenshot is slightly compressed for web viewing, but it allows you to see the quality of the PX-AV100U.  This is a shot taken of my boy overlooking a canola field at swathing time.  He's a little choked that he isn't riding with daddy at the moment.

This next shot here was taken off the Sony HC20 MiniDV Handycam using the Firewire interface.  It is digital-to-digital and bears no compression, except for the slight compression I added for web viewing.  There are a couple of things worth mentioning here.  This second screenshot is interlaced, and appears a tad grainy due to the scan lines.  When processed and burned on a DVD, it is super crisp and clear.  Second, the color appears to be duller on the DVI capture.  I'm a little bit puzzled as to why this occurs, but believe it be to be due to the "video quality" settings in WinDVD Creator 2 which allow you to adjust gamma, tint, and color.  The image at top was captured at default and looks great.

 

As you can see, quality with the PX-AV100U is not really an issue.  But how about performance on the test rigs?  On the Desktop Athlon System, the CPU load bounced between 50-60%, and showed no dropped frames.  On the Pentium 4 Laptop System with HT enabled, CPU load bounced between 40-50%, and also showed no dropped frames - even when using a 5400rpm 2.5" hard drive.  Performance was very acceptable on both of these rigs, especially when a Barton 2500+ machine is becoming a budget system.

Conclusions:

Overall, I was really impressed with the PX-AV100U.  I really didn't expect to see the quality so good on a software-based video capture device.  Also, system performance did not suffer as big of a hit as I thought it would.  Plextor's specs on this product appear to be generous, but I would not try to undercut them too much or you'll cripple the ability of the ConvertX to produce such high quality captures.

If you want to start putting those aging VHS onto DVD, or do any other capturing, I could easily recommend the PX-AV100U to those on a budget.  It does take a heftier computer to run it as opposed to Plextor's hardware-based PX-M401U and PX-M402U, but if you've got the system, I'd save some money and purchase the AV100U.

Here's a simple breakdown:

 

 

BensCustomCases.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
9/10
Software Pack:
7/10
Stability:
10/10
Features:
8/10
Value:
10/10
Total Score 9.0

 

 

I can easily recommend this product, and gladly give it a Top Pick!

If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please don't hesitate to head on over here and post them in our forum.  Your comments are always welcome.

I'd like to thank Plextor for firing out this unit for a rather pleasant review.