VHS dubbing essentials
You probably have shoeboxes full of old VHS video tapes containing precious family memories. But they are too long to watch at a family reunion without boring everyone. You can protect that old video footage by transferring it completely to DVD or by uploading it to your PC or Mac and using video editing software to make a real family movie keepsake. To capture video from VHS to your computer, you need an internal video capture card or an external capture device like Pinnacle’s Dazzle Video Creator or a DVD recorder.
1. Plug the RCA A/V cable (red, yellow, white connectors) into the output of your VHS machine or your VHS camcorder (this will also work with VHS-C).
2. Connect the other end of the RCA cable to the Dazzle connector or to the video capture inputs on your computer. If you have a lot of old video footage and you enjoy video editing, you may want to invest in a video capture card with exterior inputs/outputs. Computer and electronics retailers have a number of options depending on your needs (see resources below).
3. Connect the USB end of the Dazzle box to your computer. You will see the “Found New Hardware” message box pop up in the bottom right of your computer screen.
4. If you want to copy the VHS straight to DVD, open Pinnacle Instant DVD Recorder (or another software like Nero or Roxio) and follow the instructions. For Pinnacle, use the Wizard to help you set up the video source (Dazzle), DVD burner and whether you want DVD menus to divide up the footage.
5. Load a VHS tape into your player and press play, making sure you see video and hear audio in the video monitoring window on your computer. Sometimes it requires a restart for the computer to recognize the capture device.
6. If you plan to edit your video instead of just capturing the entire VHS tape, open your video editing software and select the capture function. You can use the Dazzle device to capture video clips in most editing programs, including Pinnacle Studio, Windows Movie Maker (free video editing software in your Windows computer) and iMovie for Mac.
7. Store the transferred VHS video clips in a folder on your hard drive for editing. In Pinnacle Studio, click “Setup” in the top menu and select project preferences. Click “Folder for auxiliary files” on the setup options menu, press “Make New Folder” and select “OK.” This will send your captured clips to the correct folder.