Pros: Easy to use, easy to install, not a lot to it.
Cons: Only seems to work well with Windows XP and the Support isn't great.
I've had my VC500 for over a year now and I've been mostly satisfied until it came time to upgrade my computer. But to start off, I'll give a general overview of this product and why it is so easy to use.
The product comes in a well packaged box, that contains the product it self, a set of audio/video cables, the installation disc, and the instructions. Installation is very simple. The disc gives immediately gives you a choice of what you can install. The VC500 installation disc will allow you to install the "Device Driver", the capturing software called "One Touch Grabber" and another program that allows you to burn your capture footage to a DVD. The only thing I ever used was the installation of the driver so the device would be recognized and work, and also the capture software. Once those two are installed, all you do is plug the device into a USB port, and then connect either audio/video cables or and S-Video cable to the other end of the device and you are ready to record. Next all you simply have to do is open the capturing software and click the record button and you are already capturing your footage. The product is indeed very simple and easy to use.
The quality of the image that the VC500 records is pretty good. It isn't high definition like some capture devices, but it definitely DOES NOT capture at a low quality. The image is clear enough to read, and the audio comes out the same way as it does on the device you are capturing from. So the overall quality of the capturing itself is pretty good. One cool thing about the software is that the capture program allows your captured audio and video to come out in many different formats. It can capture DVD, AVI, SVCD, WMV, VCD, WMA, MPG4, and MP3. Along with this it works on both NTSC and PAL video formats, so the device can be used outside of the United States.
Now it may seem like the VC500 is a great product based on what I've already said, however I have 2 big problems with it.
The device apparently is supported by Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Although the software that the device comes with only has a driver compatable for Windows XP, the Diamond Multimedia website does provide a Windows Vista and Windows 7 driver that is easy to download and install. The only problem is that I have yet been able to get the device to work the way it did when I ran it on Windows XP. Currently I am trying to use it on Windows 7, but I am running into an error. Installing the driver from the website did not do anything for me because the computer wouldn't even detect the capture device. Instead I had to manually install the driver's files one by one. Then I was able to get the device to record just the video. Later I fooled around with some audio settings and was able to get the device to record both the audio and video which was good, but I needed it to do one more thing to serve my purpose. I need it to record the audio and video footage of a game, while at the same time recording my voice from a microphone through a separate program. Turns out Windows 7 can't record audio from two separate devices like it could on Windows XP (I honestly think this has to do with the driver not installing the same way as it does on XP but who knows). That being said I have one more big thing to mention!
Diamond Multimedia's support has been horrible in helping me. Now this is just my personal experience with trying to get some support with this product so you can't single them out saying that they will be the same for anyone else asking for support on their other products. Just to get a response can take up to months, and when you do, you have to engage in a long conversation that could span up to multiple months just to get the the problem and a possible solution across. This is my biggest downfall with this product because I have to turn to them when trying to get this device to work on Windows 7.
Overall I would recommend this to people for the price of $49.99. It is easy to install, easy to use, and capture good quality video and audio. However, if you don't have a computer that runs Windows XP, I honestly wouldn't get it, because you will beat your self up trying to get it to work on Vista or Windows 7.