Pinnacle Express DV review: Pinnacle Express DV

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Easy-to-use interface; includes FireWire card; automatic scene detection breaks up video for easier editing.

The Bad Few and inflexible DVD menu templates; no chapter navigation; imports only AVI video; no instructions for installing FireWire card; expensive.

The Bottom Line Pinnacle Express DV provides only basic control over video content and DVD menu design--at a high price. Pick the cheaper Ulead DVD MovieFactory or MGI VideoWave for a product that grows with your skills.

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Although Pinnacle Express DV seems comprehensive, you'll definitely outgrow it in a hurry. This DVD-authoring app lets you burn digital video to disc, and the package even includes a FireWire card, a nice touch if your computer didn't come with a FireWire port. It's great for beginners, with easy-to-use DVD controls and features. But at a whopping $79.99, this program doesn't offer nearly enough tools, and ultimately, Express DV doesn't go the distance. If you want to expand beyond ultrasimplistic DVD creation, try a slightly more advanced program, such as Ulead DVD MovieFactory or, for more video-editing options, MGI VideoWave. Although Pinnacle Express DV seems comprehensive, you'll definitely outgrow it in a hurry. This DVD-authoring app lets you burn digital video to disc, and the package even includes a FireWire card, a nice touch if your computer didn't come with a FireWire port. It's great for beginners, with easy-to-use DVD controls and features. But at a whopping $79.99, this program doesn't offer nearly enough tools, and ultimately, Express DV doesn't go the distance. If you want to expand beyond ultrasimplistic DVD creation, try a slightly more advanced program, such as Ulead DVD MovieFactory or, for more video-editing options, MGI VideoWave.

Easy interface
Pinnacle's installation goes smoothly and quickly; just follow the directions, and you're home free. If you don't have a FireWire connection on your computer, you can install the bundled FireWire card into an open PCI slot. That's not a daunting task, but it can take some time, especially if you're new to installing hardware on your computer. Unfortunately, Pinnacle doesn't include a word of instruction in its packaging.

Pinnacle Express DV possesses an interface similar to that of the Studio DV product line, where each phase of the DVD-creation process features its own section and graphic interface. The interface includes three intuitively titled sections: "Bring in your video," represented by a camera icon; Preview And Edit, with a TV icon; and Make Your Disc, which has a disc icon. Just click one of these three icons at the top of the screen to bring up the appropriate screen. Select "Bring in your video" to capture video from your DV camera. Express includes a handy scene detection feature that automatically breaks your video into manageable chunks. You can also import video from your hard drive, but sadly, only video in AVI format.

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Where to Buy

Pinnacle Express DV

Part Number: 210100121

MSRP: $79.95

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Interface Type PCI