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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    77
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    Rock Hall, MD
    Tractor
    Farmall H, Massey Harris Ferguson 50 w/300 loader, Kubota 3010

    Default Video to computer

    I hope one of you guys has some experience with this because I am totally clueless. I have a Sony DCR PC100 Digital Camcorder that I got last year as a present. Since then I have shot about 4 tapes of video. My wife thinks its great, but would like to see them on something besides the little two-inch monitor on the camera.

    Here's the problem. What kind of equipment/software do I need to download/edit my home movies. I know I'll probably need a firewire and some kind of editing software? Will I need a video card for my computer as well? The most sophisticated computer I have is a laptop Compaq Presario 1800. I hear that doing any kind of video work uses a tremendous amount of memory. Will my computer be up to the task or am I looking to spend some major bucks on upgrades to see my mother-in-law yelling at me to get that thing out of her face. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    1,862
    Location
    The Fabulous Foothills of Northern California

    Default Re: Video to computer

    Video from a 60 minute tape will take up more room then most of our hard drives have room to store. Many, many gigabytes. You can edit in batches, then transfer the final product to a recordable (burnable) DVD. You need lots of speed, lots, and lots of memory and the desire to do it. Its tedious, especially with the software that Sony provides with their digital cameras. You mention you are tired of watching it on a little tiny 2" monitor. The camera can directly output to a TV regardless of the screen size. The easiest way is to use the front RCA jacks on the front of your TV if they are present. Typically they are Input 2. Firewire or now USB 2.0 is required to watch your digital video in real time on your computer. Anything less requires a delay while the computer waits for more information.
    As far as digital editing goes, the concensous with folks in the know which does not include me say the Macintosh is considerably better setup to handle the task, at least up to this point in time. Plan on a hard drive with several 100 gigabytes to do video editing. Rat...

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    289
    Location
    ECNY
    Tractor
    DK35

    Default Re: Video to computer

    As was said, go thru your video/vcr to a VHS tape, then edit that. Sony sells all the parts. Check out the sony parts site. bcs

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    542
    Location
    Campbellville, Ontario
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010, BX2200

    Default Re: Video to computer

    There are lots of choces for editing digital video on your computer. You usually need a fairly good computer, and its nice to have 10 G hard drive space to spare, preferably on a different drive from the one your software is on. Some software allow you to download a rough copy for editing, and then you switch tapes in an out for the final product, but it sounds like a major pain.

    I use Pinnacle Studio 8, which I selected because Pinnacle makes software from entry level to professional. Studio 8 should cost you something like US $65 or so. If you get a new PC with Windows XP, there is a free download, something like MovieMaker 2 from Microsoft. Sounds good but crashes every few minutes on me. Maybe they'll get it right eventually. I have read that AVID is coming out with a free demo version shortly, and there are other cheap alternative from Roxio.

    I have a 2.5 GHz Celeron (P4), but I started with a 1GHz machine. If you use Studio 8, and have a CD burner, you can burn Video CDs, which can play on most DVD players.

    But, if you just want to watch, you can hook the camera up to the TV and play the tapes from the camera, or copy the tapes onto VHS. Unfortunately, VHS is something like 1/2 the quality, but at least you get a copy.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    951
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Re: Video to computer

    Get yourself a CD-ROM burner (either write or RW would work - the write only will be less expensive). Edit the stuff onto the hard disk (might need to add another drive - also fairly inexpensive if you do it yourself), then move the finished product onto a CD-ROM.

    Can't really explain the whole process here, but that might be enough to get you started. Get a CD burner of some kind.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    1,028
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710 GST

    Default Re: Video to computer

    you got a lot of good advice ... now I'll chime in.

    CD's are worthless for loading video .... full screen and sound wil give you 20 minutes or thereabouts on a 700mb CD.

    DVD's hold a lot more ... but you're looking at a max of 1 hour on the current crop of recorders.

    Editing takes a large amount of hard drive space, the fastest computer you can afford, and tremendous amounts of time. Figure on 1/2 hour to get 5 minutes of video ... once you get good at it.

    So ... my recommendation is to forget about fancy and output your signal to a good VCR and just record it. It'll be a good first generation copy so your picture will be perfectly acceptable .... or, leave it on the DV tapes (as I do) and play to your TV or thru ytour VCR ot your TV. I don't know of any digital video cameras, even my old Panasonic, that aren't able to output RGB.

    pete

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    152
    Location
    PA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4310

    Default Re: Video to computer

    I Purchased a Western Digital 120 Gig Hard Drive. ($90. Circut City - after rebate) 5 hours of video - 2000 Digital photos. Picked up a 200 Gig from Googlegear for $227. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    542
    Location
    Campbellville, Ontario
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010, BX2200

    Default Re: Video to computer

    True about video CDs, but most 'home movies' edit down to 15 to 20 minute shorts. I figure thats about as long as people can stand. An a burner comes with most PCs theses days, and even a new one costs something like 1/8th a DVD writer. Admittedly DVD writers are getting better and cheaper, but you don't want to buy one right now if you can avoid it.

    Even if you don't want to get all fancy digital edit has its advantages (I seem to film my foot & such quite a bit). But you are absolutely right, it gets expensive.

    Generally, I can edit more or less real time, even on my 1GHz machine. Rendering the finished product takes about 4x real time (maybe more), so I just say 'create' and let it run while I'm doing something else like backhoeing.

    It takes about 10G/hour of video. So if you have 20 to spare (again preferably on a different HDD) you can suck in a 1 hour full tape and write out a 1 hour finished product.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2000
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    1,028
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
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    Kubota L3710 GST

    Default Re: Video to computer

    <font color="blue"> but most 'home movies' edit down to 15 to 20 minute shorts </font>
    very true .... but the act of editing also removes a lot of the spontaneity (ok, foot filming nonwithstanding). Since you're both the author and the editor ... you end up putting alot of stuff on the cutting room floor ... which the viewers would have rather seen.
    If all you're doing is removing fades and the like and basically just moving the tape contents to CD/DVD, then I can agree with the short editing time ... but if you're trying to "make a movie" .... it's not just straight editing ... once you start cutting, moving scenes, and the like .... rendering (compressing) will be shorter than editing.
    But .... for some people .... that's the fun of it, right?
    I figure that if I'm NOT going to edit .... I just leave it on tape ... the mini DV's have come down incredibly since I bought the DV camera 5 years ago and they're so small that storage is a nothng.
    YMMV

    pete

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    77
    Location
    Rock Hall, MD
    Tractor
    Farmall H, Massey Harris Ferguson 50 w/300 loader, Kubota 3010

    Default Re: Video to computer

    Hey thanks guys for all the suggestions, anyone have any experience with this kit?

    Whole Magila

    Even if you don't, I'd love to hear what you think.

    Thanks again,

    Orb

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