Step 1: Get A Video Capture Card
The first thing you need to do to connect your VCR to the PC is to get a proper video capture card. This has to be installed in your desktop PC. I personally like to use Pinnacle video capture cards - they are reliable and very good at capturing images from the TV.
Step 2: Connect The TV Output To The Video Capture Card Input
The next step in connecting your VCR to the PC is to connect the video and audio output port on the TV to the video and audio input ports on the video capture card. If you have a good video capture card, they should supply you with the proper cables (e.g. S-video or similar) to do this task.
Step 3: Playback Your Videotape On The VCR
Once you have hooked up the TV to the video capture card, you need to fire up the video capture program - these should be supplied as part of the video capture card package. Next, play back the video tape on the VCR and the image should display on your PC screen. If it does not, check your connections again and make sure they are correct.
Step 4: Capture And Save The Digital Video
Allow the video tape to run its course and you will eventually have captured the analog video into your PC. Usually, the video capture card allows you to save in MPEG or AVI format. Note that the disk space requirements for digital video is huge - I won't be surprised that a 1 hour analog video playing on your VCR will take up a couple of gigabytes (GB) of hard disk space. So make sure you choose a huge hard disk when buying a desktop PC for video editing - find out more here.
Step 5: Consider Outsourcing
One thing to note about this process of connecting your VCR to the TV is that it is a tedious and time consuming process. To convert a video tape into digital format takes hours since you need to let the tape run its full course on the TV. What I sometimes like to do (if I have a ton of video tapes to convert) is to outsource the whole task. There are some good video conversion services out in the market - try to check the local newspaper or classifieds to see if you can find any.
I hope this article has shown you some good tips on connecting your VCR to the PC. It's good to know how to do this, because you will then know how to capture analog video stored in video tapes and digitize them on the PC. That'll help you preserve memories for ages to come. Until next time, good luck and have fun with your digital video!
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An Easy-to-Use Video Editing Program
Pinnacle Studio is a popular video editing program that allows you to easily capture video from camcorders into your computer. You can add great-looking transitions, special effects and background music to your plain old home videos. Start converting your videos into Hollywood productions now!
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