Burning DVDs on a computer

Old 05-29-02, 08:38 AM
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Burning DVDs on a computer

I have a large collection of home videos on VHS tape. Iíve decided itís time to switch to digital format. So, Iím going to bite the bullet and spend some money on a new Mini-DV camcorder, probably a Sony or a JVC. My plan is to get a new computer later on this year, probably a Sony PCVRX650 or PCVRX670 with a built in DVD burner. That way I can copy from the Mini-DV to DVD to make a ďpermanentĒ copy and make it simple to watch in a DVD player.

I was told by a salesman at Circuit City that I can use a Mini-DV camcorder to interface between a VHS VCR and my computer to copy my existing VHS tapes to DVD. Is this true? Will this also work with other videos that Iíve bought or will I get thwarted by some copy protection scheme?

What do I need to look for on the Mini-DV? Iím guessing it will need an analog input jack that will accept either regular A/V jacks or S-Video from the VCR?
Old 05-29-02, 08:29 PM
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Most mini-DV camcorders do not have an analog to digital converter built in but do have a digital to analog so that you can plug it into a video monitor. If your camcorder does have analog input then your mini-DV camcorder can act as the bridge to the computer. Between the camcorder and the computer you will need to use a firewire cable and hence you will need a firewire port on the computer. I recommend Pinnacle Studio DV or Studio 7 because it comes with the next thing you need and that is encoding software that encodes directly to mpeg2. Mpeg2 is the file format you need in order to burn DVDs. It is the equivilant of needing Wav files to burn audio CDs. Lastly you'll need some type of recording software that puts a Mpeg file onto a DVD-R in a format that a stand alone DVD player can read.

My suggestion is that you go to Pinnacles web site, even if you don't buy their stuff it gives you a pretty good idea of what you need. They also have a Analog to Digital converter called Dazzle that can also act like a bridge between your VCR and the firewire input on the computer.

Last thing, yeah copy protection will mess you up even converting to digital. About the only fool proof way around it is with a time base corrector and they ain't cheep.
Old 05-30-02, 07:38 AM
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Thanks. It sounds like I can at least make backup copies of my home videos at a reasonable cost. I'm not real worried about the videos I've bought since the kids are out growing them anyway. I'll probably just buy a couple of extra VHS VCRs and leave them in the box for the grandkids to use in 20 years or something! I just bought our first DVD player yesterday, so from now on we'll buy DVDs.

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