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Beginners Guides: Converting Videotape Into Video Files

Beginners Guides: Converting Videotape Into Video Files - PCSTATS
Abstract: Break out the BETA and VHS tapes, it's time to convert those old home movies into video files you can email around the world, and publish on the web in all their digital splendor!
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jan 16 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Using VirtualDub

VirtualDub is a rather complex and flexible program, with many options that you would otherwise only see on commercial video capture and editing software. Its popularity reflects this. You can download it here. This software takes a little more setting up than the other applications we've looked at in this article so let's get down to business…

First, download and unpack the file. VirtualDub does not have an install routine, so navigate to the folder you unzipped the program files to and double click VirtualDub.exe.

The main window. Not very self-explanatory so far. To start things off, go to 'file\capture AVI…' This will change the program to video capture mode.

You should see the preview of your video source on screen once you have started your VCR. If not, go to 'video\source…' and verify that the video capture device and the source are both correct.

Now go to 'video\format' and change the resolution to 640x480. It's time to decide what type of video compression to use. Go to 'video\compression…'

Now choose your favourite codec. You can change options by using the 'configure' button on the right.

Now go to 'file\set capture file...' and choose the name and location of the video capture file you are about to create. Ensure that the frames per second indicator in the lower right of the VirtualDub window is set at 29.97FPS (assuming you are using an NTSC format VCR, set to 25 if using PAL).

Now you can go to 'capture\capture video…' to begin the process of video capture. Keep an eye on the statistics on the right hand side, to make sure you are not dropping too many frames of video. Click anywhere in the preview window to stop the recording. Now you can navigate to the directory you selected for the capture file and view the results.

VirtualDub has a fair load of additional options for you to play around with. One example would be cropping, which can cut out unwanted sections of the screen image. To find out more, try the included help file for starters...

By now you should have successfully captured your first few video clips, and be well on the way to figuring out what combination of software and compression codecs works best for your needs. In the near future, we'll publish a guide on creating playable CDs and DVDs of your old home movies, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, enjoy capturing your memories!

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Converting Videotape Into Video Files
 Pg 2.  How capturing video works
 Pg 3.  Starting the conversion
 Pg 4.  Using Windows XP Movie Maker
 Pg 5.  Using Movie Maker Step 2
 Pg 6.  Video Capturing Alternatives
 Pg 7.  STOIK Video Capture Continued
 Pg 8.  Using Virtual VCR
 Pg 9.  — Using VirtualDub

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