PROS / Debut has the simplest navigation compared to other video capture software we reviewed.
CONS / You can't split and join audio and video files.
VERDICT / Although it doesn't have as many editing tools as its competitors, the user-friendly interface makes up for it. It's easy to set up and customize scheduled and real-time recording within Debut.
With an impressive feature set and an easy-to-use interface, Debut Video Capture Software is a top choice for video capture software. Although Debut does not offer as many editing tools as other products in our video capture review lineup, it offers all the necessary ones, such as resizing and watermarks. It charges for customer support plans, but it also offers expansive resources for free.
There are several ways you can capture video using this streaming video recorder. You can record your desktop or screen, including PowerPoint presentations or steaming internet content like Hulu and YouTube. You can also record footage from a webcam, a network IP camera or even another video input device like a VHS recorder or DVD player. It’s easy to record the audio you want to hear. You can select a microphone as the audio input to provide a narration to your video, speakers to record whatever audio is streaming on your computer, and mouse clicks to accentuate your clicks. You can change these easily from the main screen of the application.
In addition to the desktop video capture and recording options, Debut offers scheduled recording, something that the best video capture tools typically offer, to the already expected real-time recording option. Scheduled recording is an easy feature to access and use. Located on the main page of the interface, you can name the recording and choose the video source, the audio source, the date, and the start and end time. We are thrilled with the final file quality and how easy it is to use this feature.
Cursor capture, which allows you to record your cursor as you move it around, is easy to use and it's an especially convenient tool if you are creating a tutorial or video where viewers are required to follow the movement of the cursor. You can customize the settings for recording from the main page. The options allow you to edit the color of the cursor as well as highlight the movement and clicks.
Debut does not offer the majority of the editing tools we were looking for, such as splicing and converting audio files to MP3, WMA or WAV. However, it does have toolbar options so you can customize each of your recordings. You can resize your recording area and focus attention on certain aspects of the recording through zooming in or capturing the cursor. Once you capture your video, Debut offers a text tool that allows you to add captions throughout your video or on a single frame. While Debut lacks the ability to split or join audio and video files, the application does offer basic editing tools, such as resizing and adding watermarks.
Debut Video Capture Software offers a simple interface that makes navigating the application easy. The toolbar has a number of options: device, network, screen, schedule, recordings, options and help. Everything is clearly labeled so you can locate applications quickly.
You can start and stop recordings with shortcuts. There are also options for encoding, changing the edit output, the file format, text captions, color settings, watermarks and an option to record only a certain area. The interface is one of the best compared to other software we reviewed because of its simple design and clean look, making it one of the easiest programs to use.
In order to access all of the help and support resources available for Debut Video Capture Software, you must purchase the application. NCH Software, the manufacturer, has a FAQs page, video guides, and purchasing and sales information. If you haven’t purchased either a support plan or the application itself, your question will be lower priority. There is also a user forum and a blog where you can find tips and news on the product.
NCH takes the unusual approach of charging you for technical support plans, which is a huge drawback. Most manufacturers offer support to take care of and retain their customers. Debut offers a competitive price for its basic support service plan. However, if you purchase a Silver, Gold or Platinum plan, it becomes one of the most costly choices. The plans differ by email and telephone consultations that have time limits. Just remember that if you don’t use the consultations in the allotted time, between one and three months, you lose them.
Through the application, you can access help and support resources that should provide enough information that you don’t need to pay extra for the additional customer support. You can reach the resource page from a help button within the interface. It opens a resource page on topics such as watermarks, saved selections, scheduled recording, color settings, text caption settings, hot keys and more. You can also download the manual through the software.
Although we were not thrilled about the paid customer support plans, Debut does offer a number of free support resources. We were impressed with the usability of Debut's interface, which is why it ranks as one of the top video capture programs we reviewed. We were pleased with the high-quality results of the video captures as well as with the captured audio.