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palliser

converting vhs to dvd

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Several months ago I posted a question regarding the process of converting tape libraries to DVD. The concensus then among those techhnophiles who came to my rescue was that it might be better to wait a bit. To follow, up, in today's Times, the following Q & A appeared.

"Q. I know you can transfer video from camcorder tapes to the PC to make DVD's from the footage, but how do you do it with VCR tapes?

A. The process for transferring video to the computer from VHS tapes is similar to importing the video from a camcorder: you connect the videocassette recorder to the computer with a video cable and play the tape while recording the signal with video capture software.

Most VCR's produce analog signals instead of the digital signals that modern camcorders can send directly to your computer. You will need an analog video-capture card or device to translate the VCR's analog data into digital data.

Analog capture cards, cost as little as $50 and can be installed in a spare PCI slot inside the computer (AVerDVD EZMaker is one such product). If you do not have an empty expansion slot or do not want to open your computer, you can buy an external device to connect the computer and the VCR. AVerMedia makes an external connector called the DVD EZMaker USB 2.0 ($90) that connects the VCR to the computer's U.S.B. 2.0 port to copy video data onto the hard drive. Both products are available at www.aver.com.

PCTV Deluxe from Pinnacle Systems ($199; www.pinnaclesys.com) connects the VCR to the computer's U.S.B. port and converts the video data as well. Mac-compatible capture cards and external video-capture devices like EyeTV ($199; www.elgato.com) are available, too.

Once you have recorded the video from your tapes into digital files on the PC, you can record them to blank DVD's with a DVD-creation program. You might notice a slight loss in picture quality after converting analog tapes to digital files, but DVD's have a much longer life span than VHS videocassettes."

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or you can just bring it in to a photo store, since most now provide the service!

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