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  1. #1

    VHS-to-PC transfers

    I need to transfer a documentary from a VHS tape to my PC, edit it, and burn it to DVD. I know I need either a video capture device or a video card that has the AV inputs, but there are so many of them. Some of them are interesting but my computer specifications don't meet the requirements (especially the CPU). Here are the specs of my PC:

    -Dell Dimension 4100
    -Windows XP Home Edition SP2
    -Intel Pentium III 1.0GHz
    -512 MB RAM
    -Waiting for a DVD burner to arrive (Plextor PX-712A/SW 12X4X16X DVD±R/RW EIDE Internal Drive)
    -NVIDIA GeForce2 MX
    -75 GB Seagate hard disk (61 GB free)

    The video card has what looks like an S-video In or Out (I'm not sure).

    Knowing the computer specs, what's the best thing to do:
    1. Getting a USB video capture device or a FireWire device? (I don't think my PC's USB bus supports USB 2.0 and my PC is not FireWire-equipped)
    2. Getting a new AGP video card that allows video transfers from VCR/TV?
    3. A device that comes bundled with video editing software or buy a stand-alone video editing program?

    I appreciate your help.
    Last edited by Composer; 6th May 2005 at 19:18.

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
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    I would go for a firewire device of some sort. In your case you will need to buy a Firewire adaptor as well but they're not too expensive.

    I usually recommend buying a video camera with AV and Firewire inputs/outputs - this can act as a capture device. The reason I recommend this system is purely because you get a nice new camera which also captures for not much more than a capture-only device. The disadvantage for you would be that a camera doesn't come with editing software so you would need to purchase that separately.

    If you can afford it, I would recommend buying separate editing software anyway. But if you only want to make simple edits for a single project then it's probably not worth it. In that case you might be better off buying a firewire capture device which comes with editing software.
    Dave Owen

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply, Dave.
    Unfortunately, I cannot afford a video camera now. But it's good to know the "double-advantage" of having one.
    I already ordered a USB 2.0 PCI card. Why is FireWire more reliable/adequate for video? Isn't USB 2.0 faster?

    Thanks again.


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