Multimedia Resources Center
Video Editing Tutorials
Capturing Video on the PCs

Capturing Analog Video
Capturing Digital Video



Capturing Analog Video
Analog Video is any source that uses the RCA cables to capture video. This includes some of the VCR+DVD players in the MRC. Some of the VHS players in the MRC can automatically convert VHS video into digital video that can be sent to the computer using a firewire cable. The players that can do this are the "JVC" VHS/MiniDV players. This is probably the easiest method of capturing VHS video. To capture video from a VHS using the "JVC" player, you just need to make sure a firewire cable is connected from the "JVC" player to the computer firewire port. From there you can simply capture the video using the "Capturing Digital Video" instructions below. You just need to remember to select the correct device which will be the "JVC" digital source device.

Video from DVDs can either can be captured as analog video (which is lower quality but still acceptable) by using a DVD player and the "composite" (RCA) analog video and audio outputs, or sometimes can be copied directly to the hard drive by dragging and dropping the .VOB files to the hard drive.

To capture video from VHS video tapes or DVDs (using a player with the 3 composite or RCA cables, not the digital JVC player), put the tape or disk in the nearby player. The cables are probably correctly connected, but you may want to verify that the video (yellow) and audio out (red and white) cables are connected from the player out to the same color RCA cables on the back of the Multimedia Computer you are using.

There are many programs that can be used to capture analog video.  Currently we recommend using the program "Sonic MyDVD" (DigitalMedia Home) for analog video capturing. 
 
Capturing Analog Video in Sonic MyDVD
On the desktop double-click "Sonic Media Center".

On the left hand side click on "Video", and under that click "Create Project".

In the center window click "DVD" in the top of the window.
 
On the left click "Capture Video".  A capture window will open.  If your DVD or VHS video is already playing you may see and hear the video in the capture window.  If your DVD/VHS video is playing and you do not see any video in the capture window, please check:
1) That the video and 2 audio RCA cables are connected from the DVD/VCR player to the computer RCA inputs (There are 3 inputs on the back and 3 on the front of the multimedia PC). 
2) Make sure the video capture settings are correct:
  a) Click "Record Settings" on the "Capture" window.
  b) Verify that "Record: Video & Audio" is selected.
  c) Make sure "Disable preview during video capture" is not checked.
  d) Make sure Device is "Hauppauge WinTV PVR PCI II Capture".
  e) Make sure Source is "Composite Video" (the first composite video is for the back 3 RCA inputs, and the second "composite" is for the front 3 RCA inputs.).  Most people use the 3 RCA cables to capture video with the "Composite" port, however, if you decide to use S-Video, make sure this is set to "S-Video".  S-Video only requires one 4 pin cable. 
  f) Verfity that TV standard: NTSC_M.
 
If there is no audio:
1) make sure your headphones are plugged into the front headphone port.
2) Make sure video capture settings listed above are correct
 
 
Click the red "Start Capturing" button (or alternatively if only a still image is wanted, click "Grab Frame").
 
When you are done capturing the video, click on the same red button, that now has the text "Stop Capturing".  Click Yes to confirm.
 
Enter in a file name for your newly captured video file.  This file will be in MPEG-2 format, and compatible for DVDs.
 
Continue capturing as many raw videos as you want.
 
You may then close the capture window and close the Sonic MyDVD program.  Unless you plan on using this program to edit video, you do not need to save your project.
 
These .mpg video files can now be imported into most video editing programs.


Capturing Digital Video
Digital video is from a source that has a firewire connection, for example a mini-DV or Digital-8 video camera.

To capture digital video, power on your camera and put the camera in "play" mode. Connect your digital video camera to the "firewire" cable connected to the multimedia computer. The firewire cable has a mini-firewire female end which connects to the camera and a regular firewire male end which connects to the computer. There may be a firewire cable already connected to the computer, but it is best to come prepared with your own firewire "mini-female to regular male" cable (many times digital cameras come with such a cable, and many refer to this cable simply as a "MiniDV cable").

You should see the computer recognize that your device connected and open a Digital Video Device"window asking you which program you want to open to use with the camera. You can capture digital video using a variety of software programs.

Currently in the UCI Libraries Multimedia labs there are at least 2 programs to capture digital video:
Windows Movie Maker
Sonic MyDVD

Windows Movie Maker
When you connect your digital video source (camera) to the firewire cable on the computer, a window should open asking you what program you want to run to use your video device. You can click on "Windows Movie Maker"" to open Windows Movie Maker, or alternatively you can click on the "Start""button in the lower left hand corner of the screen, then on "Programs", "Accessories", "Entertainment", and "Windows Movie Maker".

If you clicked on the "Digital Video Device" window, the capture window should already be open, but if not you can click on "File", "Capture Video". Enter a name for the video file you will capture. Click "Next". You can capture in a variety of formats. Choose "Best quality for playback on my computer""and click""Next". Select "Capture parts of the tape manually" and make sure "Show preview during capture" is checked. Click "Next". Now you can use the controls on the "Video Capture Wizard" window to play, fast forward, rewind, etc" your digital video device (camera). Click on the "play" button (with the right arrow).


You can fast forward or rewind to the part of the tape that you want to capture. Press play to start playing the video (you should be a few seconds before the part you want to capture to be sure you get all the video you want to capture). When you are ready to start capturing video, press the "Start Capture" button. When you want to stop the capture, press the "Stop Capture" button. When you are done capturing videos you can click "finish". Now you can drag and drop you videos to the timeline for editing.

Sonic MyDVD
To capture digital video with Sonic MyDVD, turn on your camera to "play mode", and connect the mini firewire cable to your camera.  Windows should show messages indicating that it found your camera, and Windows will open a "Digital Video Device" window.  In this window select "Create DVD using Sonic Solutions".  Alternatively, you can open Sonic MyDVD by clicking the "DigitalMedia Home" icon on the desktop and clicking "Capture Video". 

Click "Record Settings"
For Quality select:
"HQ = DVD Quality" is MPG-2 (compressed video) and is fine for DVD editing and most DVD productions.  This is recommended for most projects.
"DV Format": is uncompressed Digital video (.avi) format and will create a very large file.  This is not recomended for most projects. You may want to use a lower quality (for example "VHS quality") if you are capturing large amounts (for example hours) of video.

For "Device:" select your camera device.

Then click "OK".

You can now use the device controls in the capture window to rewind or fast forward to the part on your video you want to capture.  When you are ready to capture, click on the red "Start Capturing" button.  When you are done capturing video click the same red button which should now have the text "Stop Capturing".  Confirm by Clicking "Yes".  Now name and save your video file.

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