Getting your home videos off of the camera and onto your nice new HDTV can be a challenge if your computer and its accessories are not up to the task. This article tells you what hardware you will need to get your home video off of your video camera, into your computer, and onto a standard or high definition DVD.
Getting the Video into Your Computer: The Video Capture Card
One of the first computer accessories that you may need to move the video from your camera to your computer is a capture card. While most newer camcorders have the ability to plug directly into your computer’s USB or Firewire ports, older camcorders (especially VHS and VHS-C size camcorders) do not. If your camcorder does not have such connection ports then you will have to purchase a capture card that supports analog input. You would install the capture card according to the hardware’s instructions, and then plug standard red/white/yellow audio/video cable from the old camcorder to the capture card. Using the software provided with the card you will then be able to download the video into your computer, edit it, add titles, and then burn it out to a DVD. Be aware that the word “capture card,” may be misleading. Many companies such as Dazzle make capture cards that also plug into a standard USB port.
Storing Video on Your Computer Requires a Big Hard Drive
Another important piece of hardware for editing your home videos is your computer’s hard drive. Video takes up large amounts of space so make sure you have at least twenty gigabytes left before beginning any project. If you don’t, consider going out and upgrading or adding an additional hard drive to your system. When it comes to video editing speed is very important, so look for hard drives with very fast data transfer ratings. To get the most out of your investment you may even need to add a new SATA card to your computer to connect the faster style Serial-ATA hard drives.
Burning Your Completed Home Video to HD or Standard DVD
Aside from the video editing software, the last thing you need on your video editing system is a DVD burner. New drives by some companies such as the LG GGW-H10N can burn both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray High Definition discs. If you are using a high definition camcorder and want to preserve that great resolution you will want to consider saving up for either the LG or for another brand of drive that will burn in the high definition format of your choice. If high definition is not an issue for you then you can get by with almost any standard DVD-R drive.
Getting started with transferring your home videos to DVD is a little daunting at first, especially if your hardware is not up to the challenge. Consider the tips in this article, and do your research before settling on any specific pieces of hardware.
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