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I Can't Believe I Wasted $75 on the AVerMedia DarkCrystal HD/C027

Just a short note, this review is going to be a bit vulgar because after a year and a half with this capture card, I can't really take it anymore.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tech that Hasn't Aged Well: an HD capture card from around 2010.

The AVerMedia C027 was always destined to be a cheaper HD capture card that could capture from Composite, S-Video, Component and HDMI sources. And while it can do that, it's not without a hell of a lot of baggage.

 

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First, I wanna get the good shit outta the way:

The quality of the video is pretty good out of this card. I have nothing to complain about that from there, whether it be out of Composite, S-Video, Component video or HDMI.

I'll put some samples down below.

 

Cable via Component video:

 

D9B7N.png

VHS via Component:

 

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CWQ1M.png

CVs5U.png

Forza Motorsport 3 on the Xbox 360 via Component:

 

D21t5.png

D21j6.png

D20ZK.png

D1wck.png

 

This capture card does a bang-up job of video quality. That was never one of its weak points, to me at least.

 

Second, the card works in most standard video capturing programs without much issue, at least from what I've done. It's meant to work with AVerMedia's suite mainly, but works just fine in OBS Studio and has worked fine in VirtualDub.

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Wasn't using it in this screenshot but it works just fine in OBS from my experiences.

 

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Now, we move onto the bad, because there are a lot of things that I just cannot stand with this card.

Let's start with the audio, because this will tie into a lot of things. The left channel has a weird clicking sound if you use any sound input on the capture card, including the HDMI port. This basically makes trying to get audio from the capture card pathetically useless and will absolutely force you to use your computer's line-in input... which I had to do. Fine. This isn't a big issue for devices like a VCR or a cable box. That being said, it should work out of the box rather than me having to use an alternate method of capturing sound because the capture card was poorly engineered.

 

Second, and this one is truly the killer for me, I've always had weird frame stutters with this card. Now, I know what you're thinking: "your hardware is the issue!" But I bet it isn't; the last driver package for this heavily crippled the way the card captured video for me and it only became tolerable with the driver revision before it, and even then, it's still pathetically mediocre given that it has the resources to make sure that DOESN'T happen. I also know that I'm not the only person that's had major issues with that, especially out of the HDMI input: apparently, it's known to be stupidly flawed for whatever reason, from not liking any resolution switch via HDMI to dropping frames for no reason.

 

A less major issue (and honestly, one I do understand a lot more) is the lack of 1080p support. For what I deal with it's really not an issue, but I wanna touch on it: the most you can get out of this capture card via Component or HDMI is 1280x720@59.94p or 1920x1080@59.94i/29.97p. I can chalk that one up to just age and price: that never really bothered me but is an issue nonetheless for those who wanted 1080p.

 

Oh, here's another ridiculously asinine one: the colors they chose for the Component input. By that I mean in many lower-light situations, it's damn near impossible to tell which one is blue and green. For me, I can barely make it out and that's by just figuring out which one is slightly more green.

The inputs under a 100w LED bulb:

image0.jpg

...and the inputs under my room's normal lighting:

image1.jpg

It's actually worse with my eyes than it is on camera.

 

Since we're on the topic of cables, here's the adapter they give you for the card.

image0.jpg

Good fucking luck with organization. Everything's just thrown onto one cable.

 

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Overall, this card's just been a pain in the ass and I plan on selling it very soon. I plan on ditching it in favor of some sort of Elgato card, so long as that card can be had for decent cash and it won't cause a fuss with my VCR, the main thing I use a capture card for. I'm tired of it and I'm tired of all its stupid quirks that I have to work around to use it. I don't recommend you guys waste your money on one. Save up for something newer and better.

Anything you guys would want for me to test on this card? Just let me know in the comments.

Check out my guide on how to scan cover art here!

Local asshole and 6th generation console enthusiast.

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1 minute ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

that's quite interesting that you've had a lot of issues with that card doing what you needing it to do

Yeah, and it saddens me, because it was something I had to debate if it was worth saving the money at the time. 

Obviously that was a resounding no in retrospect.

Check out my guide on how to scan cover art here!

Local asshole and 6th generation console enthusiast.

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  • 1 year later...

hello, i can't see picture about vhs capture

 

but i wanna know, work this for capture vhs  for component a/v audio / video

in windows 10 64bit

 

because i have an old philips saa713x and only work fine with dscaler and nero video

doesn't work in power director/sony vegas/adobe premiere

 

have you been tried DarkCrystal c027 in any program that said

power director/sony vegas/adobe premiere ? thanks so much

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