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Review: NCH Software Debut Video Capture

Debut Video Capture gives you all the tools you need for professional video capture while keeping the experience consistent.

Sometimes when creating an online users guide to help an end user with a product, words cannot describe how to perform various actions well enough on their own. You might even be thinking about making that quick tutorial screencast, but feeling that the freeware capture programs are too limited for your tastes. Well, one company wants to give you all the tools you need while keeping the experience consistent.

Capture it

Debut Video Capture is a comprehensive video/audio capture package by NCH Software for Microsoft Windows. This utility aims to take the video-screen capture functionality to the next level, with support for microphone voice-overs, an easy-to-use window/section selector to keep Debut's focus in a certain area of your choosing, and solid support for a plethora of video formats.

Debut even prides itself in the finer touches, such as mouse cursor "visual click" cues, text captioning, basic visual effects, and window tracking. You can also adjust the frames per second and resolution of the final output as well. For those wanting to give this program a spin, the trial version of the product is extra generous by not placing any nag-ware or trial watermarks in the exported videos.

However, during my use of the tool, not everything was perfect. I had issues getting the configuration for the AVI file format settings, which eventually caused the program to hang and crash. Luckily, this problem was easily mitigated, once I switched to a different file format like MP4 or FLV. Also, when the application would first load, sometimes the mouse would stick momentarily and then unstick itself within a few seconds. These issues aren't serious by any means, but they might slow you down a bit at first.

Bottom line

Nevertheless, I still recommend Debut Video Capture to anyone looking into some good screen video capture software that allows you to do more than the mere basics. Don't forget, you can also use Debut for more than just screen capture. You can also hook up external video devices like VCRs, DVD players, and even cameras over a network, and record what you see straight to the hard disk. With that said, even at the higher-than-usual price point of $59.99, NCH Software's offering is well worth the money.

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About

An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Cus...

19 comments
naturedr
naturedr

I wouldn't touch any NCH software again even if it was the only option available.  Their support is bar none, absolutely ridiculously horrendous!  I lost hours upon hours of work when one of their programs updated AFTER I PAID THESE JACKASSES FOR THEIR FULL PRODUCT UPGRADE- and it could not read the original files (created by the NCH software, in its own format).  It took 3 days to get an email response from their tech support giving bogus "do this do that' instruction which of course did not work, and then I was told if I needed more support I had to pay them $69 for their platinum support-   for their bad code writing!   STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS SHAM OF A SOFTWARE COMPANY that spits out one product that will eventually be pure useless garbage when they lose interest in supporting it.

MIPICE
MIPICE

With the application Debut, Screen Capture, Windows 7 system crashes , with blue screen, when I open the debut. This was not the case before, but, yes, with the second update. It has been shown that you can not trust these people. They not have updates to fix the problems. I paid twice a for this application. The first by order and the second for an update. If I keep using the debut, I will fuck my computer. I will not use it, and remove from my computer. Let them go fuck to hell. Thieves!

JSCHIN
JSCHIN

this software worked ok for 3 months. however, there was zero tech support and no disc. now it does not work and NO tech support. I have written them and filed errors reports for 2 straight weeks and no response. I should have known NOT to buy from a site with NO tech support and NO cd.

slopoke47
slopoke47

Try to uninstall this crap and it hijacks drivers/plug ins for other video capture program I use.. Can't get rid of it without disabling my TV tuner.. BS people..

mikey mouser
mikey mouser

Yes it is extremely similar to Audacity. I didn't pursue Audacity but made a fatal error and once bought WavePad which is wrapped into Debut Video Capture. Watch out for NCH's marketing plan. You will be caught! AFTER I'd paid full price for my (bug ridden) Wavepad , I discovered NCH had announced 70 ERRORS fixed in later versions. Since selling their very first version of Wavepad, there have been over 300 bug fixes as shown on their website. NCH will sell you any bug fixes at full price. It's $49 for every new 'upgrade' but there's NOTHING new in any new version except bug fixes. STANDARD NCH POLICY says: BUY Wavepad AGAIN if you want it fixed. Disgracefully they also add, "if you are happy with your version don't upgrade, i.e. keep watching it let you down". Harsh policy? It works for them... you keep paying.

mikey mouser
mikey mouser

My NCH products purchased were WavePad and Switch audio programs. I won't go into the series of technical failures and disappointing letdowns advertised by NCH as fully functional in my Wavepad version plus my SWITCH problems, but I will simply state the following: AFTER I'd paid full price for my (bug ridden) Wavepad , I discovered NCH had announced 70 ERRORS fixed in later versions. Since selling their very first version of Wavepad, there have been over 300 bug fixes as shown on their website. NCH will sell you any bug fixes at full price. It's $49 for every new 'upgrade' but there's NOTHING new in any new version except bug fixes. STANDARD NCH POLICY says: BUY Wavepad AGAIN if you want it fixed. Disgracefully they also add, "if you are happy with your version don't upgrade, keep watching it let you down". Harsh policy? Well, at least their team offer you a discount on your next purchase from NCH, ???the upgrade??? we shall call it. Well it???s actually the same product you've just bought. You must keep buying it if you want it to be as described initially. If I want to 'upgrade' (bug fix), NCH asks for your previous registration codes in order to 'give you a discount'. They did quote a few dollars cheaper than what I paid originally. Ridiculously and laughably however, NCH will discount their price to $7 MORE than Amazons standard advertised price. Amazons price is for any FIRST TIME PURCHASER with no codes or current NCH Wavepad. So let's see, first up I buy the NCH product, I prove my loyalty only to find out it doesn't work correctly. I then enter all my codes for an update bug fix but must pay NCH $7 more than a person buying WavePad from Amazon? Excuse me? Is this the 'NCH V101 Customer Support' and as faulty as Wavepad? I think NCH need to write a new consumer support policy. Urgently. This Amazon insult is on top of the fact I ALREADY OWN MY LICENSED COPY of Wavepad except its FAULTY... It appears you need to sign on with NCH AND KEEP PAYING $49 FOR LIFE every time you find a new fault that needs to be fixed. Oh, I could add all the other difficulties with NCH such as registration frustration, complete lack of communication, websites with total misinformation and yet amazingly they have totally HAPPY customer testimonials everywhere! Should I add that my Master Edition SAVES ALL mp3 files as mp2. That's an unusual problem in AN MP3 EDITOR isn't it? And the 'db level meter' is a bit out. It's (-)18db below the correct 0db reading. That's like driving at 40mph but oops it's really 75mph - you're in trouble. Well, that's my little story .. of disappointment and woe. Avoid NCH and save the money for a better product .. that works and gets supported.

nwarden
nwarden

I have used it for a couple of years and like it. Audio recording with screen capture has been a problem - I have had to do a connection from speaker to line in to record audio. A pity a direct connection from sound card to recorder is not possible (in my case anyway)

toolow66
toolow66

Interface looks a LOT like Audacity ... not that that is a bad thing.

wompai
wompai

I am a very loyal customer to NCH, and their software is very easy and fun to use. Even the free version is enough for my needs :) These guys are good!

Justin James
Justin James

... compared to Camtasia. I'll have to check this out, thanks! J.Ja

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What tools do you use for video capture projects?

MIPICE
MIPICE

Let them go to hell. Thieves! or give me back my money, but as I was not going to happen, I repeat, fuck you.

wompai
wompai

I'm an electronic musician, and I never had so many problems with it... I use wavepad all the time. I can't complain.

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

What you are seeing is the video capture tool capturing an Audacity session. Sorry if I didn't make that clear initially! :P

sh10453
sh10453

I think it is Audacity, not just looks like it. I assume that it's a plug-in (to DVC) to handle sound. Good choice. I love Audacity, although it needs more features and / or refinement.

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

Even the commercial license, when you consider all that the software does, is not too badly priced in my opinion. :)