I bet your a lot like me. I have a ton of video tapes that I’ve shot over the years. All this video is locked away on those old tapes and I’m concerned about loosing all those memories. I’m also going to edit the video to make a gift for my family. So I began to look into ways to get this video into a digital format. Depending on the kind of equipment you have, there are a few ways to get this done.
The first way to make your video digital is to capture it to your computer. You will need a pretty fast video editing computer to make it work. Professional video editing software allows you to access your video camera directly. Most have nice capture interfaces that will allow you to use your camera playback controls. One of the features you can expect is called scene detection. This feature uses the professional video editing software to detect when the camera was stopped and started then breaks the video clips into scenes. This makes the videos easier to work with and saves tons of time down the road. Most professional video editing software programs will also allow you to pick in and out points for your videos so you don’t need to capture the whole tape. Some will also create a log for you so if you need to recapture the video again later, you can do it.
If you have an older camera without digital outputs, you have options too. Video transfer units are the best way to go. These are small boxes that allow you to plug in the audio and video wires to one side and connect to an external hard drive or flash memory. You can also connect it directly to an iPod, which is a cool bonus. This capture will provide you with a digital transfer of your tapes that are ready to edit.
Another way to get video off those tapes is to use a service that will do it for you. There are a few companies on the web that provide this service. They will take your tapes, capture the video and make a dvd. If you have a lot of tapes this can become a costly option. The other consideration is that you are putting your most prized items in a box and sending it away. I would choose this option last because of that reason.