PC World by Richard Baguley DVD Xpress DX2Copying your home movies from videotapes to more-durable DVDs doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. Here's how we did it. A few weeks back, I was trying to tidy up the dumping ground of old technology known as my attic. While digging through this graveyard of old PCs and cables that no longer plug into anything, I found some VHS tapes containing movies I shot years ago. In the spirit of spring cleaning, I decided to put these movies onto DVD. I offered some tips for putting old movies onto DVD last year, but readers have since asked for more of a step-by-step approach. Here is exactly how I did it. Getting Started The first thing I needed was a VHS player. Though we replaced our VCR with a TiVo some time back, I still had an old VHS deck lying around. But I didn't just stick the VHS tapes I wanted to copy in there; instead, I connected the VHS recorder to the TV and recorded and played back some TV on a blank tape. That way, I was certain that the device was still working and wasn't going to destroy the tapes I wanted to preserve. Mechanical devices like VCRs can chew up a tape if they haven't been maintained, and ones that haven't been used in some time are especially prone to this. Next, I had to decide how to copy the video to DVD. The simplest solution would be to connect the output of the VHS recorder to the input of a set-top DVD recorder. But I wanted to take video from several different tapes and compile it onto one DVD, which is awkward to do with a set-top device. It's possible--you just record each video as a separate video on the DVD--but you can't easily edit the result. And you can't improve the quality of the videos you're transferring. Click here to view full-size image. I decided to use a video capture device instead. This would allow me to copy the video onto my PC, then edit it and output it to DVD. Plenty of these devices are available; I decided to try out ADS Tech's $100 DVD Xpress DX2. read more...

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