Do you have a collection of home videos that you would like to put on to your computer but don't know where to begin? In this article I will explain to you how to get the videos from your camcorder, vhs and VHS-C tapes, and memory sticks on to your computer.
Do you have any tips and tricks to transferring video files to your computer? Let us know in the comments!
If you have a really old camcorder, or you've already transferred your videos to VHS, then you will need to purchase a video capturing card or device. This will allow you to plug your VCR or camcorder into it, and through computer software record whatever your play, and save it as a movie file on your computer. There are several different types of video capture cards and video devices, like the ATI TV Tuner, or ATI All-in-Wonder, to the Hauppauge 1192 WinTV HVR-1950 External USB HDTV Tuner or the smaller Hauppauge 1191 WinTV-HVR-950Q TV Tuner Stick.
If you have your home videos stored in older VHS-C tapes, but do not have a camcorder to play them on, you will need to purchase a VHS-C video cassette adapter. With this little device, you can put your VHS-C tapes inside of it, and turn it into a regular VHS tape. In that case, the above steps apply, purchase a TV Tuner and record your tapes to a file on your computer.
If you have a digital tape camcorder with a Firewire port, you will need to purchase a firewire card if your computer doesn't have a firewire port (IEEE 1394) already. This will allow you to plug your camcorder directly into your computer via the firewire port. Through video capturing software you can actually control your camcorder to stop, start, rewind, and record your movies to a video file on your computer. There are many different types of firewire cards, like the FireWire 800 3-Port PCI Card by Belkin or the Startech.com 4 Port IEEE-1394 FireWire PCI Card, but they should all be similar, as long they are compatable with your computer. Also, be sure that you purchase a firewire cable if you don't already have one, so you can actually plug your camcorder in to your computer.
Newer camcorders are much easier to get movie files on to your computer. If your camcorder has an SD card slot that you have an SD card in, you can simply remove the SD card, put it in your computer, and copy the files to your computer. If you don't have one, you may need to purchase an SD or all in one card reader for your computer. There are a couple different types, external card readers plug into USB ports, and internal card readers plug directly into your motherboard. Internal Card readers make great replacements for floppy disk drives, as those are rarely used in home computing anymore.
If your camcorder has a built in hard drive with a USB or micro USB port, you can simply use a USB or micro USB to USB cable to plug your camcorder directly into your computer. Once plugged in, a new device will install and a new drive will be available on your computer. This is your camcorder's hard drive; you can copy your movie files from it to your computer. For this method, all you need is a USB or micro USB cable. USB cables are generally all the same, make sure you aren't getting ripped off by big brand stores, follow the links to shop online at Amazon to get the best deal.
Note that most camcorders require that it is turned on, plugged into the computer and possibly a power supply, and that it is set to "Playback Mode".