How to Turn TV into DVD
There are always times when you see something on TV and want to capture it for posterity. With fewer and fewer people having VHS tapes it only makes sense to use a video capture adapter to turn it into something digital you can burn to DVD.
What Types of Video Capture Device are There?
There are two basic ways to add video capability to your computer. You can either get an internal card that has capture capabilities or you can use an external solution. Each adapter choice offers its own set of benefits and tradeoffs:
- Internal: The big advantage of an internal solution is that it takes up less of your computers resources, so you can capture video with a less powerful system. The disadvantage of an internal solution is that its not particularly flexible. You need a video and sound card that can handle it.
- External: An external solution like Easycap usually works through a USB port on your computer. It generally takes more computer resources to handle real-time capture, but you do get some advantages as well. USB is more flexible, with a longer USB cable you can put your video inputs wherever you need them. It also lets you move a single adapter from one computer to another.
How Do You Use a Video Capture Adapter?
Using a video capture adapter is almost as easy as plugging one end into the TV and the other into the computer. In a perfect world it would be exactly that easy. Unfortunately, this is an imperfect world so there are a few more things you need to consider when hooking up your adapter.
- Connections: The Easycap has the conventional red, white, and yellow RCA inputs for two channels of audio and one of video as well as a separate S-Video connector. Note that all these connections are analog; the device does not take digital inputs, though it is compatible with both NTSC and PAL video.
- Converter: You need separate software to save your video files and burn them to DVD. Luckily the DVD converter function does work with several Windows-compatible software suites that can save your files in either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 format.
With VCRs slowly disappearing its a good idea to archive your existing video tapes whenever possible. This is where USB 2.0 capture cards come into their own. They are compatible with multiple Windows versions from Windows XP through Windows 7 and 8, and give you an easy way to save your VHS tapes in DVD format and with stereo sound. You can also connect your camcorder and turn all your tapes into DVD video formats that arent bound by analog copy limitations.
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