- Your MP3 software source for CD rippers, mp3 cd burner, mp3 converter and cd label makers

CD Ripper Software

AltoMP3 Maker
Audio MP3 Maker
Fast CD Ripper

DVD Ripper/DVD Burner/DVD Converter

DVD Cloner 7
1 Click DVD Copy PRO
iPod Video Converter
AVI to DVD Pro
CopyToDVD 4
Super DVD Ripper

More DVD Software:
1 - 2 - 3

DVD Authoring/Video Editing

CD/DVD Photo Slideshow

Game Copy Software

DVD Burner Hardware Guide

MP3 Converter

Audio Converter Pro
MP3 To Wave Converter
Advanced WMA Workshop
Audio Convert
Audio MP3 Converter

MP3 CD Burners

Acoustica MP3 CD Burner
MP3 CD Converter
Audio CD Maker
Audio2x CD Workshop
MP3 CD Maker

MP3 Editors & Sound Recorders

Mixcraft New!
Musician's Bundle
Spin It Again
MP3 Audio Mixer
Super MP3 Recorder
Coding Workshop Ringtone Converter

MP3 Music Management

CD Label Maker
Visual MP3
Zortam MP3 Media Studio

All In One MP3 and DVD Software

Roxio Creator 2011
Blaze Media Pro
Toast with Jam for Mac
Virtuosa Gold
X2CD Music CD Burner




MP3 Terms and Glossary
DVD/MP3 Tutorials and Articles
DVD Software Guide
Bookmark This Site!
About Us

Home > MP3 Tutorials and Articles

Getting Video Into My Computer

Source: Ulead

For those of us that have been shooting video of our family and friends for some time now, we most likely have our video footage on an analog tape such as VHS, VHS-C or Hi8. This footage is probably uncut and may even have a couple of seconds focused on your feet. To avoid boring your friends and family to tears (although they wouldn't tell you that), it's time to move onto digital video. Get your home videos into your computer and start editing!

There are many ways to get your video into your computer and then it's digital video all the way! The one common necessity for getting any video into your computer is to have software that will capture and manage your video. Often this is the same software that you will use to edit your video as well as convert it to different file formats for specific sharing purposes.

Some great Ulead software that is designed for capturing and editing video is VideoStudio and MediaStudio Pro. If you want to put your video onto DVDs or Video CDs, then check out DVD MovieFactory.

Once you land on a solution to get your analog video into your computer, that same solution will work for ALL of your analog content, even if it is on different tape formats.

So, here's some ways to get your analog video into your computer:

Using a DV or D8 Camcorder

Your DV or D8 camcorder can act as a converting device to change your video from analog to digital even before it gets to your computer. Just hook up your VCR or analog camcorder to your input plugs in your DV camcorder. Most often you will use RCA cables. Then hook up your Firewire cable from your DV camcorder and plug the other end into your 1394 (Firewire) port in your computer. Start your video capture software and you may need to hit Play on your VCR.

Using a Video Converter Device

This solution acts very much like the DV camcorder scenario above. The only difference is that this device is dedicated to converting analog video to digital video. If you're in the market for such a device, make sure it can output video just like it can input video. Some don't do both. Also make sure that it can be used with your video capture/editing software.

Using Analog Capture Cards

There are many hardware cards that either can be installed into your computer, or connected to existing ports on the back of your computer. These devices convert your video to digital formats of varying size and quality. (NOTE: DV video, such as that from a DV camcorder, is only one type of digital video.) You should talk to your computer store representative to find the best device for your needs. You can best determine your needs by deciding where you want your video to end up after you have captured and edited it. Do you want it to go to the web, back to your camcorder, to VHS tape, to DVD/VCD discs or to simply play on your computer?

Video Reference

What Makes Up Video?

Video is made up of an electro-magnetic signal that that can travel through electronic devices like cables, antennas, satellite dishes and TVs. Sent from its source, video has a certain amount of information in it that makes up the video picture. However, when that signal travels through a sending device it can also pick up additional information from other electro-magnetic sources. This is what is called interference or static (for those of you who use bunny-ear antennas on your TV, you know what I mean). What makes the difference between Analog and DV video is the way the video signal is interpreted on the sending and receiving ends of all that electro-magnetic communication.

Analog Video

Analog video is what we consider "raw" video. All the information that makes up the video picture is pumped through the sending device. On the receiving end of that communication, all the data (original and added information) is received without question and is interpreted into a video picture on your TV or camcorder screen. So, if your VCR cables are lying next to a power strip, or your Hi8 camcorder tape is old and worn, you will have added or changed data that will degrade your video picture.

DV Video

Digital video is encoded video. This means that the device that is sending the video signal has changed the video data into electronic language ('computer speak'), which is a combination of zeros and ones. The same extra data can be picked up through the sending device (cable) but on the other end the digital receiving device is still only looking for distinct zeros and ones. Once it collects this digital data the device displays a clear, unchanged video picture for you.

RCA Cable

The most common set of cables that connect your VCR, DVD player or other video device to your TV is called RCA. It consists of three connectors: Red for the right audio channel, White for the left audio channel and Yellow for the video channel. Both ends look the same. All of the current Hi8/VHS-C camcorders and many of the DV and D8 camcorders have these RCA connections.

Firewire Cable

The special cable that connects your DV or D8 camcorder to your computer is called a Firewire cable. It is also known as an iLink or IEEE 1394 cable. This cable transmits digital data of both audio and video to your computer and can also send the same data back to your camcorder when you want to output your project back to tape. In addition to sending video data, it can also send commands from your computer to control the play buttons of your camcorder.

Most cables have one four-pin end and another six-pin end. Some cables have the same on both ends. Your camcorder will always connect to a four-pin and your 1394 card in your computer will most often use a six-pin. If you use this cable to connect your computer to an external 1394 drive such as another hard drive or a CD burner, you will use a cable that has a six-pin connector on both ends.

1394 (Firewire) Port

This port is a special connection on the back or front of your computer for connecting to 1394 devices (ie: DV camcorders, external 1394 drives). Usually you must install a 1394 card yourself, but many new computers are coming with 1394 ports already built in. Most often the port is a six-pin connection for connecting to a Firewire cable. Sometimes, it might be a four-pin connection on computers that have a front port for hooking up specifically to a DV or D8 camcorder.

Installing a Video Card into Your Computer

The computer manufacturer can either pre-install a video capture card into your computer or you can buy and install one yourself. Some of them even double as a display card that sends the video signal from your computer to your monitor. Installing a video card into your machine might seem scary but it's quite easy. It often involves taking off the computer's cover, finding the right socket to push the card into (visually illustrated on the included instructions), and possibly hooking up a cable for audio. That's it! The more difficult part most often is installing the software driver from the included CD to make sure the capture card works correctly. These issues can easily be resolved by talking to the hardware manufacturers technical support department.

Connecting to Existing Ports

Some video capture cards are actually external boxes or devices that hook up to a port on the back of your computer. These could include a USB connection, a 1394 connection or a Serial Port connection. Installation of these cards is very straightforward. Be aware that although these external devices are convenient, sometimes they offer lower video quality compared to what you would get from an internal video capture card.

Digital Formats

A digital video format is simply video that has been brought into your computer and converted into a file type that the computer can read. With analog capture devices, there are a couple of different file formats that are created. Most companies that make such cards will create their own proprietary file format. It is good to know the specifications of your particular capture card's format, such as frame size, frame rate, data rate, etc. This will better help you match those specifications when you are making decisions in buying a video editing program.

For example, if your video capture card can capture video at 352 pixels wide by 240 pixels high, then it would not be a good choice to try to convert your video to 720x480 pixels (this is what the DV format uses). The video quality would be poor because you start out with a smaller video frame.

Some of the digital video formats are:


A Microsoft video standard. For all types of uses


A Macintosh video standard. For all types of uses


A strict standard that is found in DV camcorders and will work with 1394 devices For high-quality playback and for going back to DV and D8 camcorder tape.


A VHS-type quality format that has very small file sizes Great for Powerpoint, high-bandwidth e-mail and Video CDs (VCD)


A DVD-type quality format that has very small file sizes Used to make high-quality DVD videos

More Information:

DVD Software Guide to help you select the DVD software tools you need to meet your audio and video requirements.

DVD Burner Hardware Guide



Search for software:

Powered by RegNow

(c) Copyright 2010
Privacy Policy