Learning To Transfer VHS Movies To DVD Blow The Dust Off Those Old Cassettes
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Digital camcorders can be purchased rather cheaply these days or you can even hire them for a weekend. Therefore you can easily transfer your old memories to your PC with some tips and a Users Manual for your particular device. You don’t even need a capture card or high end editing software on your home PC. You can begin transferring those old videos you’ve hoarded as we show you how to transfer VHS movies to DVD.
And once you have them on DVD you can start sharing them or gather the family together to relive those moments. The magic of modern operating systems like Microsoft Vista, Windows 7 and Apple contributions for the Macintosh computer make editing a breeze. I know nothing of the Macintosh so I can’t speak from experience but the guys at Five Minute Video Marketing were kind enough to provide this link for an article From VHS to DVD using a Mac.
So How Will We Turn VHS Tapes to DVD?
Transfer of videos from Camcorder to PC using FireWire or USB input device requires only the right cable. Many cameras include the USB cable but you may need to buy a Firewire link. Be sure to get the right one if your Camcorder has the Firewire output socket because there are 4 pin and 6 pin varieties. Consult your Users Manual for that information. And also make sure your editing software will capture from a Firewire port. Which incidentally you should check to see your PC has one of those as well. If not then USB will be fine. That’s the link to the PC now what about getting from the video cassette player to the camera so we can transfer VHS movies to DVD? You need a camera that will accept the red white and yellow plugs you would usually plug in to your TV.
Once you are connected insert a blank cassette or mini dv disc into the DVcam. It’s generally just plug’n’play where you begin by clicking the DVcam record button and hit play on the VHS player. See your Camcorder documentation about capturing video from an external device if this doesn’t work. If you’re unsure then start by looking at the section that describes the cameras external layout and find the inputs you are plugged into. It should give you a clue on where in the user book you can begin finding information.
Many VHS players have gathered dust for nearly as long as the tapes themselves. If you’re confident enough, and before we begin to transfer VHS movies to DVD, you can service this yourself. Just disconnect from the power, open the case and use a cotton bud and methylated spirit to clean all the video heads. Lubrication is a little more tricky. If you can buy a small needle syringe and fill it with sewing machine oil you can CAREFULLY apply a little oil to the center pin of any roller. Best to let a professional do this if you are not confident.
Some cameras will allow you to direct capture to PC while recording but are usually in the high end market as far as price applies. So if you want more editing power the before we begin to transfer VHS movies to DVD you might want to do some research on what you will need. Once your tape has finished the play/record process you can begin the task of capturing and editing on the PC.
Edit First Before We Turn VHS Tapes to DVD
Windows Live Movie Maker 2012 is available is available for download from several sources around the web as part of the freely available Windows Essentials 2012 package. Softpedia is a good source because they don’t include any add on toolbars or installer packages. You can choose as many of the Essentials Package as you like. I use LiveWriter as a Desktop to Blog Authoring Tool. Once installed you can select Import From Device in the Home menu and as long as your DVcam is connected it should list it in devices. Here’s where it’s a good idea to check compatibility of DVcams with your operating system before going out and buying or hiring.
Once the device is recognized it’s controls will be available for you to rewind/fast forward etc. And check that your cam is now set in VCR playback mode to begin capturing. We’re almost ready to transfer VHS movies to DVD. You will be able to create some great effects on the videos you make. Video and audio could be edited/enhanced separately if you have better processing software even from a single file. For most purposes the original moments are better kept as they are. Like other editing programs, you can use transitions and other effects if you wish. The creativity lies in the hands of the editor here. YouTube will have some great tips on how to use Windows Live Movie Maker as I’m sure you can find other sites as well.
Now for getting your precious video onto DVD.
Turn VHS Tapes To DVD Format Ready To Burn To Disc
Here you will need two programs I suggest will be all you will ever need. Both are freely available which makes them even better. The first is an open source utility called DVDFlick. This magic little program will turn 99% of video and audio formats into a readable DVD format ready for burning to DVD. It is reasonably easy to use unlike many other programs that can bog you down with unnecessary jargon and too many choices. The next is called ImgBurn (read on before you go off to download) which allows you to do the conversion and burning in one process. Without going into the boring detail it simply turns the output from DVDFlick into what is called a iso image that ImgBurn can process and burn to a DVD disc. DVDFlick documentation is available but I believe DVDFlick may include ImgBurn with the installer now and sets the path during install.
When you create your project you are asked if you wish to burn the project to disc with ImgBurn. So before beginning your project place a blank DVD in your burner and simply select yes during project creation. Now we’re ready to turn our VHS tapes into DVD’s that you can watch and share. Well I hope I have covered most of what you will need to know when you want to transfer VHS movies to DVD but if you have concerns feel free to comment.