How to Capture Analog Video

In contrast to digital recording, analogue video capture and conversion eliminates the possibility of losing video content due to tape degradation. You can transfer your analogue video to a computer and either store it there or burn hard copies to DVDs or CDs from the original video source. Transferring analogue video to a computer in real time is made possible by using a digital camcorder to convert the raw analogue input into a digital video and audio signal, which is then transferred to your computer in real time. The steps that follow provide a detailed description of this procedure.


1. Connect your analogue video camcorder to your digital video camcorder using the included cable. Many digital camcorders have A/V inputs, which allow you to connect analogue devices to record with them. Alternatively, if your analogue camcorder is broken or missing, you can use a digital camcorder that can play analogue tapes in its place.

A USB converter, on the other hand, can be used to connect your analogue camcorder to your computer directly if you have a fast computer with plenty of free space on your hard drive.

2. Connect your digital camcorder to your computer using the included USB cable. In order to connect one of these digital camcorders to your computer, you will need a Firewire PCI card as well as a digital video cable (also known as a DV cable).

3. Play the video on your analogue camcorder to see how it looks. Using your digital camcorder, capture the video, or allow it to “passthrough” to your computer, save it.

A “passthrough” capability is available on some digital camcorders, which means that the raw feed from your analogue camcorder will pass directly through the digital camcorder and be captured in real time on your computer. Another option is to record the analogue video to your digital camcorder first, and then manually transfer it to your computer.

4. Edit the captured analog video with video-editing software. Save the file.

5. Alternatively, you can burn the file to a CD or DVD and leave it on your computer. When deciding whether to back up your analogue video to a CD or DVD, take the size of the video into consideration. Burnable CDs have storage capacities ranging from 185 to 870 megabytes, whereas burnable DVDs have storage capacities ranging from 4 to 15 gigabytes, or up to 17 times the maximum storage capacity of a burnable CD.

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