Edit and burn home movies on a PC
There are several advantages to converting old analog videotapes to DVD. DVDs are easier to store and will last longer. Plus, you can easily play them back just about anywhere--in your living room, your home office, or even your car.
There are many products, such as combo VCR/DVD recorders and external DVD burners, that make it easy to make exact copies of your videos. But if you'd like to edit the video before burning it to a DVD, then the best option is to use a computer.
Before you begin, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. If you have analog video, you'll need a video-capture card; if you have a DV camcorder, you'll need only a FireWire port. Either way, you'll need a computer with lots of drive space, at least 512MB of system memory, a DVD burner, and a digital video-editing program.
Now you're ready to get started converting analog video, such as VHS, Compact VHS, 8mm, or Hi8, to digital video, or you can transfer video directly from a DV camcorder to your computer.
To transfer analog video from a camcorder or VCR, you need to convert it to digital video. If you have a desktop machine, that means installing an internal video-capture card or an external video-capture device. You'll want to choose this option if you're using it with a notebook. Once the video-capture card or device is installed on your computer, connect your camcorder using an A/V connector cable.
Or if you're transferring from a VHS tape, plug one end of an RCA-only cable into the back of your VCR. Then plug the other end or either the A/V connector cable or the RCA cable into your video-capture card or device.
After you're all connected, follow the instructions in your video-editing software to capture or import video. Some video-editing software packages provide better support for this feature than others. After you've converted your video into digital files, use your favorite digital video-editing package to edit video--reordering scenes and inserting titles, transitions, and other effects.
Finally, it's time to burn your masterpiece to DVD. Use either your video-editing package or a special DVD-authoring program to burn your video to disc.
To work with digital video from a DV camcorder, you won't need a capture card to convert it. Instead, you simply transfer it to your PC using a FireWire connection. After you've converted your video into digital files, use your favorite digital video-editing package to edit video: reordering scenes and inserting titles, transitions, and other effects.