The problem is that Alchemy’s display on my G4 867 MHz Quicksilver Mac is pixelated, or at least shows frequent signs of skipping a video field as it display video from the built-in tuner or from my iSight. The text crawl on the local news channel is so blurred I can’t read it – not a problem on a dedicated TV – and full screen video is not a pretty sight. I’ve recorded a couple of minutes of video, and the results were no worse in quality, but that’s not saying much. My original intent had been to record an hour or so of video (about 13 Gb from a DV camera), edit out the ads and station breaks, burn the edited video to a DVD, and then send the result to my daughter in Japan. While she’s enjoying Japan, she’s missing some of ‘her’ shows, and this would minimise her pain.
I could do this with a DV cam and then transfer the recording to a Mac using iMovie or FCE. but my hope was to use Alchemy to move a little faster through the process. The speed is there, at least potentially, but I was so unhappy with the quality that I didn’t bother to work my way through the entire process. Instead I picked up a Toshiba DR-1 DVD recorder, and recorded directly from cable to disk. She still gets her shows, but skipping over the ads will be an Exercise for Thumb and Remote Control.
The Alchemy is an adequate unit otherwise – you can keep an eye on a news channel while working, and the quality of the image is quite sufficient for this purpose. I’d give the product 3/5 – not a disaster, but nothing to jump up and down over.