ACE review by Kelly Priest

"An effective and useful tool for color correction, 
dark picture enhancements and black and white effects."

(GTH Note: This review naturally takes the videomaker's viewpoint. However the ACE works with ANY video source and will also correct other people's mistakes or equipment faults! Home Theater owners wanting perfect results also find it ideal.)

"   I am playing my source material on a JVC BR-S800U S-VHS edit deck with a digital noise reduction card.  The signal is carried via S-VHS cable into the ACE and out via S-VHS cable into my  editing computer for digitizing.  The output is viewed on a JVC TM131 su monitor via composite video.

1) White Balance

    I started here because this is the most important feature for me.  We shoot a lot of weddings and corporate assignments in the field, so we run into bad color balance/ matching once in a while.  (So infrequently of course, that I really had to dig though the archives to find bad footage!)

- The dials which are set up in red green and blue are GREAT!  My other processor, from a well known US manufacturer, drives me crazy with it's non-intuitive color balance dials.  I found the range more than adequate to clean up minor color balance problems.  The dials are placed well on the face of the unit and very clearly marked.  This tool alone makes the ACE worth the price.  I can quickly and easily color correct most video I put into it.

2) Colour Controls

    The saturation control is very useful for turning color into black and white, an effect that is used pretty frequently.  It also helps when boosting darker images with the contrast and brightness controls.  The washed out color can be enhanced improving overall picture quality.

    Balance control was moderately effective in improving skin tone on the video I was testing.  I do like the general warmth this can add overall to the video.

    The shift control is great for making dubs or using rough video provided by clients on vhs or worse.  I tried it on some 4th
generation video and it helped the color bleed, although the soft edge of the reds still stuck out.

3) Video Controls

    The brightness and contrast do just what they should.  The picture gets pretty noisy if over-used, but it's usually effective at
brightening just enough to create an acceptable image.

4) Special Effects

    The "digitize" feature is one I don't use, but it creates what many know as the posterise look.  It works.

    The "Sharpness" control can be pretty handy.  Although it also adds noise to the picture, I found this feature useful for
sharpening some minor unintentionally soft focus shots, rendering them less noticeable.  Normal footage is not worth the noise
to sharpen.

5) Color Bars, Blue, and Red

    Very handy.  I have not yet ran these through an waveform/ vectorscope, but it's nice to have a bar generator.  I can foresee
using the Blue generator to help with backgrounds for keying and compositing work.

6) Fade/Wipe Controls

    I'm curious about this set of features. The ACE has only one input and one output, so you get various wipe patterns to and from black.  Probably there to attract the home user.  The front panel real estate may be better used for a split screen for comparison.
    The dials are well marked, although they could use numbers to reference the amount you are dialing; plus or minus.  I also found myself really wanting to have a "click" position to know when I'm in nuetral.  This would save me time trying to get back to "no effect" on some dials without having to switch back and forth using the bypass button.


   An effective and useful tool for color correction, dark picture enhancements and black and white effects.

   I like this unit much more than my other processor. It's controls are much more logical and intuitive. I don't have to introduce unwanted detail enhancing effects in order to utilize other controls. The white balance, color control, and brightness controls are enough to make this a perfect solution for day to day event and industrial editing. For A/B roll editing it's worth it to consider buying 2. I don't know the US price yet, but if they can keep it under $300 to $400US, two are still in the same price range as 1 of the comparable video processors. (GTH Note: For details of US & Canada power supply requirements see Power Supply Details)

    If you don't own a color corrector now, buy it just for that.  You'll be surprised how many more uses you'll find."

Kelly Priest
Dream Video Productions

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