Pinnacle Dazzle/Studio – Best Quality [How-to]

Hey guys, today I thought I’d make a how-to on getting the best quality video using the Pinnacle Dazzle and Pinnacle Studio without buying any extentions.

I’m using Studio 11 so things may vary according to what has changed – layout wise – throughout each version.

Okay so to start off, make sure your dazzle is set up and everything and you have Studio 11 or 12 installed (Studio 10 might work, but I havn’t used it so I’m not sure)

Making the First Recording the Best Quality

What you want to do is open up Pinnacle Studio and go to the ‘Setup’ and click ‘Capture source’ then adjust your settings to look like the following picture.

Capture source

Now click on the ‘Capture format’ tab and change your settings to match the following picture.

Capture format

Now click on the ‘Project preferences’ tab and match the settings in the ‘Project format’ box (red arrow) in the picture bellow.

Project Preferences

That’s it for making the original recording better, by now the video should be crisp and very well defined.

Removing the Ugly Black Borders

This is the section where I show you how to get rid of the distorted border thing that I get when I use my PAL-60 Tv. I don’t know if HD Tv’s will get this but I’m going to show you how it’s done anyway.

First you’ll need to add your clips to the project (in the ‘Edit’ tab). Now highlight all of the clips in the project and right click one (if they’re highlighted when you right click then it will count for all of the clips) and select ‘Clip properties’

Now click on the icon that lookes like a power plug Plug it’s the video effects menu where you can add effects to video clips. Now click ‘Add New Effect’ and choose the catagory ‘Standard RTFX’ and select the effect called ‘Pan and Zoom’ (see picture bellow)


Now click ‘OK’, you will now be brought to the settings for Pan and Zoom. Now change the zoom to an ammount where the black border is only just gone. For myself I found that 6.74 was best, you may have a different TV or something to me so it may vary depending on that.

And there you go!, the black border should be gone now!

Here is some before and after pics I did.


Before Zoom


After Zoom

Exporting for Youtube

This isn’t just for exporting to Youtube, it’s actually very good quality on your computer aswell.

Okay, first you need to go to the ‘Make Movie’ tab. Then make sure you’re on the ‘Make file from current project’ button File.

Now change the file type to ‘MPEG-2’ or if you’ve unlocked it ‘MPEG-4’ (it’s free to unlock if you have an account).

Then set the preset to ‘Full size’ and hit ‘Create file…’ and choose your save location and wait for it to process.

You’re done!, now all you have to do is upload it to youtube or whatever you want to do with it.

Here is a test I made to show you that it really works:

Btw, if you’re uploading to youtube and the quality seams pixelated and crappy after it’s uploaded, just wait a few mins or so because the quality improves after a while because of the way youtube opperates.

And thats it!, I hope that it worked for you and good luck with your videos!, if you have any other problems with the Pinnacle Dazzle/Studio don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments. I’ve had so many problems with it that the chances are – if you’re having the problem now – I already had that problem and solved it, so I’ll be happy to help you.

I hope you liked this post!, I’d love it if you would leave me some comments telling me how it went for you and also how you think I went explaining it, I like to get feedback from people to know how well I’m doing and what kind of posts you prefer so I can make more ones like that. Thanks!

48 thoughts on “Pinnacle Dazzle/Studio – Best Quality [How-to]

  1. Tim

    This actually really helped me, thanks. Have you noticed that the MPEG4 dimensions, 720:400, are off a bit, creating squished video? Thought that was interesting, even if it was a small amount.

  2. Sean Post author

    I’m glad it helped!

    Hmm.. That’s weird, when I’m using MPEG-4 Full Screen it’s 854:480.. Are you sure you have the settings right?

    1. Tim

      No, i have them right. I’ll check again, though.

      Btw, would you want to read over my reposting of what capturing is? It’s kind of a lengthy article with a lot of details, I want to make sure I’ve covered everything.
      .-= Tim´s last blog ..WOOT Snow day! =-.

          1. Sean Post author

            Okay thanks. But I think you need to add the ability to read pending posts too because it says it’s a pending post..

  3. Pingback: Helping Tim | Zero Atoms

  4. Pingback: Capturing: Explanation and How-To «

  5. Synthro

    Hey, nice tutorial. I have a question. What computer do you use? And what are the specs of the comp? I am using the pinnacle dazzle studio HD and no matter what I do the video LAGS. Even without recording, the screen lags. The computer I use has 3 GB of memory. Any help?

    1. Sean Post author

      I use a ‘Compaq Presario’

      Specs are:

      AMD II X4 Quad-Core Processor 820
      4 GB DDR2 RAM
      750 GB HDD
      NVIDIA GeForce G210 3D Graphics
      Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit.

      I understand your problem, I had a HP Pavilion dv5-1114ax (laptop) and the video lagged aswell. It had a 4 GB RAM aswell but I had ALOT of crap on it.

      I think 3 GB’s of RAM is sufficiant for capturing but you may have some background programs running that use too much processing power, you could try closing them while recording..

      Let me know if that helps, if not, try not recording in HD, because when I tried to use the HD trial extention it lagged my computer (yes, it lagged on the Compaq) so try using MPEG-4 or MPEG-2 for capturing and see if that helps.

      1. Synthro

        Never mind it. It works now. Pinnacle Studio 14’s built in recorder just took too much of the system’s resources. The live preview without recording and during recording were both slow and I had to wait at least 1-3 seconds for the video to show what I had done. I had then tried using another app that was installed along with Pinnacle Studio 14, I found amcap. It showed the video perfectly and recorded just fine. It only had two problems, it didn’t record sound and it saved the recording as a .AVI.

        My brother and I both use macs and found that amcap and Pinnacle Studio 14 was not for us to use to record. So we went with using the application, “VideoGlide” for mac. It works perfectly because it works on mac, it records sound, and it records really well. We use Y splitters so that the TV will show what the Wii will show and VideoGlide also displays what the TV screen shows. While recording, VideoGlide shows the video lag. But the TV displays just fine. When I am not recording and I am only using VideoGlide to display the TV, it has no lag. All in all, your tutorial is great, but Pinnacle Studio seems to be aimed at people with computers like yours with above average specs. VideoGlide records very well and is good for us. Pinnacle Studio is made for mainly video editing rather than recording the TV screen.

        Thank you for trying to help me. Good tutorial, keep up the good work. 🙂

        1. Sean Post author

          Well I’m glad you found a program that works for you. I noticed you said you tried amcap, well because I have a pal-60 TV I have to have amcap open at the same time as I record for it to be in color, it’s really weird but atleast it works.

          And yeah, Pinnacle Studio is a high-end application that likes to be a resorce hog, if I find a free program for PC similar to your VideoGlide I may make another similar tutorial to this one if it causes video problems like Pinnacle Studio does.

  6. Johnny Games

    Good morning, I often read your blog.I love it, you talk about anything from sport, news, entertainment, adult topics or just general topics. Keep up the good work. Have you ever thought about blogging for money? there is a website that pays you to write articles, you would be good at it.

    1. Sean Post author

      I’m glad you like my style. I had a look at that site but I didn’t see where it had articles, it looked more like flash games..

  7. Robsull14

    Hi, Just got my Dazzle a few days ago, but I have noticed it skips sometimes inbetween frames, wondering if this helps or if you have another solution?

    1. Sean Post author

      Well that used to happen to me untill I switched to MPEG 2. I suggested that in the post. So try that and see if it helps. Best of luck and thanks for the comment!

  8. Pingback: Setting Up Your Pinnacle Dazzle [How-To] | Zero Atoms

  9. Jordan Cadden

    Hey.. I copied your settings but am recieving no video… Just audio whilst recording, any ideas why this could be and how to fix it? Thanks

  10. Dan

    Hey, I have a problem when trying to upload from Pinnacle to Youtube. It lets me upload it, and then says that it failed to publish it to Youtube. It lets me upload from Youtube, but the quality is terrible.

  11. Sean Post author

    Well I never used the built-in Youtube uploader in Pinnacle, I always export it first and then upload.

    If you followed the instructions correctly, the quality should be fine, please bare in mind though; that the quality looks REALLY bad when you first upload it, you have to wait a couple of hours for it to run at full quality.

    Hope that helps you!

  12. Dan

    When I make it MPEG-4 should I use Full size (good quality) or (best quality). Kind of a stupid question, but still need to know just to be sure.

  13. Dan

    I have another question, when capturing video I now get a annoying green buzzing line at the bottom of my video any ideas?

    1. Sean Post author

      I got that too, but when I did the zoom in (like I did to get rid of the black borders) I didn’t get it anymore. Unless it’s also making sound, I don’t know what to tell you, maybe try seeing if one of your AV cables is out slightly..


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