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How To Transfer Your Video Tapes to DVD - Five Tips

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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 started.

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 transfer process.

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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