CXO

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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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...

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