Five tips to transfer your video tapes to DVD
As technology advances old formats get left by the wayside. We saw this happen
with records as they were replaced by CDs, and the same thing is happening to
videotapes. It's becoming harder to find commercially made videotapes and that
means that the machines to play them will become less and less common. If you
wish to preserve the images on your videotape collection, it's best to convert
them to DVD.
Converting videotapes to DVD is quite easy, and here are a few tips to get you
1. Buy a good-quality converter box that accepts the proper type of inputs from
your VCR machine. If you have a late-model VCR, it probably has S-video
connections. S-video provides a higher-quality image than composite video so it
should be used if available. If your VCR only has RCA connections, make sure the
converter box also has the same type.
2. Connect a television set to the monitor output of the converter box. This
allows you to see the video as it is being transferred to the computer without
using the computer monitor. Displaying the video on the computer requires a lot
of processing power. If your CPU is on the slow side, monitoring the video on
the computer may cause problems when it is transferring such as skipped frames
or poor image quality.
3. Select a good software package. Most converter boxes come bundled with
software. Ideally, the software should be capable of doing all the tasks of the
conversion process. As well as the actual data transfer, it should also be
capable of editing the video and burning it to DVD. The editing functions should
allow you to restructure the video, add special effects like fades between
scenes, and allow you to add or edit the audio portion of the video.
4. Don't do any editing until all of the video has been transferred to your
computer. It is very easy to edit video files on a computer -- almost as easy as
using a word processor. Don't try to stop and start the videotape during the
5. When burning the final video to DVD, shut down any other applications. In
order to make a good copy, the DVD burner needs a continuous data stream and any
other programs which are running in the background may interrupt this stream.
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