How to Capture Analog Video
Capturing analog video and converting it to a digital format eliminates
the risk of losing the video's content due to tape degradation. You can
transfer your analog video to a computer and either store it there or
create DVD or CD hard copies. One common method for transferring analog
video to a computer is using a digital camcorder to convert the raw
analog input into a DV AVI signal, then transferring it to your computer
in real time. The following steps describe this process in detail.
1Connect your analog video camcorder to your digital camcorder. Many
digital camcorders have A/V inputs that allow you to plug in analog
devices. If your analog camcorder is broken or missing, you can instead
use a digital camcorder that plays analog tapes.<If you have a fast
computer with ample free space, however, you can use a USB converter to
connect your analog camcorder directly to the computer.
2Connect your digital camcorder to your computer. Many digital camcorders
have Firewire connections; to connect one to your computer, you will need
a Firewire PCI card and a DV cable.
3Play the video on your analog camcorder. Capture the video on your
digital camcorder or allow it to "passthrough" to your computer.Some
digital camcorders have "passthrough" capability, where the raw feed from
your analog camcorder will go directly through the digital camcorder and
be captured in real time on your computer. Other digital camcorders
require you to capture the analog video to the digital camcorder first
and then manually transfer it over to your computer.
4Edit the captured analog video with video-editing software. Save the
5Burn the file on to a CD or DVD or leave it on your computer. Consider
the size of your analog video when deciding whether to use a CD or DVD to
back it up. Burnable CDs range from 185 to 870 megabytes of storage
capacity, while burnable DVDs range from 4 to 15 gigabytes, or up to 17
times the maximum storage capacity of a burnable CD.<
Common analog video formats include 8mm, Hi8, and VHS.
You can also use a capture card to connect your analog camcorder directly
to your computer. Capture cards are available in formats such as PCI and
Capture card transfers require large amounts of uninterrupted data
transfer for the best results. You'll need at a minimum, a computer with
an 800 Mhz processor, 256 megabytes of RAM, a 7200 rpm hard drive with 40
GB of free space, and a sound card with line-in capabilities, as well as
the capability to burn CDs and DVDs.If you plan to do a lot of video
captures, you'll probably want greater processing speed and storage
capacity than this.
Capture card transfers have been known to degrade the quality of the
captured analog video. This can affect the color and motion of the video.
Sources and Citations