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How Can I Transfer Videos To My Computer?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 motherwitch


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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:31 AM

I'm a bit clueless when it comes to computer speak so can't figure out what is the best way to transfer video tapes to my PC & then onto DVD. I am of course presuming I can use a programme that will record from my video player to my PC and them convert the films to DVD. I've done something similiar with my old vinyls so believe the same concept exists. Any help or recommended software would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 rotor123


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Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:49 AM

You will need hardware to do the capture. The hardware differs for Desktop or Laptop computer.

Are you talking VHS video tapes or home videos that you recorded. Commercial video tapes do come with copy protection. Ones that you recorded form a camera or a Antenna (Cable box) do not.

This is the general site for help. http://www.videohelp.com/

To enable better help I or they will need to know what computer you have, Desktop or laptop, and details such as processor, memory and windows version.
What source the tapes are coming from VHS or MiniDV or ?
What format they are in NTSC or PAL. Those are determined by where you are, The USA for example is NTSC, The UK is PAL.
What type of connection to the capture device, Composite, S-Video, SCART?

I'm guessing the UK from the spelling of programme and that would put you in PAL land. 720 by 576 DVD resolution.

The users there will be glad to help with recommendations for capture cards and software.

http://www.hauppauge.com/ is the companies hardware I use to capture HD. However what I use is not the best for SD (Standard Definition)

For SD here is a simple product that hooks up via USB2.

model # 00610

Plugs into your PC or Laptop's USB port for easy installation!
Bring live video onto your desktop from a camcorder, VCR or video camera
Create video movies on your PC or laptop
Save still and motion video images to your hard disk
Videoconference* over the Internet
Connect camcorders, VCRs, gaming consoles, etc..
Includes removable A/V cable set, so you can remove USB-Live2 without disturbing the A/V cables
Includes activity LEDs showing when USB-Live2 is powered and active

Easy installation: USB-Live2 plugs into your PC or laptop's USB port, and connects to a VCR, camcorder or video camera through its stereo audio and Composite video or S-Video inputs. Plug in USB-Live2, install the software from our CD-ROM and you are ready to watch live video in a window on your desktop screen!

There are lots of free software available on Videohelp to use once the video is captured. That is determined by how fancy you want to be. Menus, transitions, Budget, etc.

Hope this gives you an idea of what is needed

Good Luck

Edited by rotor123, 21 May 2012 - 10:53 AM.

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#3 12x48y


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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:27 AM

For VHS tapes, you could also get a VHS to DVD standalone at Wallmart, Target, etc. This will convert the VHS
(not copy protected) to SD DVD.
I always use the HQ, highest quality setting. Creates an MPEG-2, AC3, 4:3, DVD
Pal or NTSE.

If you want to add a new menu, create new chapter points, cut out, or add video. you can copy the DVD to PC. And edit it on your PC.

Here's one way. . . With no loss in quality, no re-encoding, and very fast.
Also works with Sony SD camcorders that create MPEG-2, AC3 files.
Will also work with video that uses MP2 audio files.

Not sure what OS you are using, the following works on XP, Vista, not sure about Win7.
but here's how, if you choose to try it. . .

To copy the DVD to PC:

1- Insert DVD in PC's DVD drive.

2- Click "Start" > "My Computer" > right click "Your DVD Drive" > "Click "Explore"
Find the Video_TS, (ignore the AUDIO_TS, you don't need it)

3- Open the VIDEO_TS folder and find the VTS_01_1.VOB, VTS_01_2.VOB,
VTS_01_3.VOB, etc
Those are the actual video files (VOB) Ignore the VTS_01_0.VOB that's the

4- Copy the VOB files to a folder on your PC's hard drive. Try to keep all the files in the same folder so you can find them easily, create new folders within the parent folder if you need to.

Then Download PVAstrumento free from Videohelp.


As with any new program, you have to get familiar with it. I can't tell you every detail. But I can give you a quick overview.

From memory . . .

Note: This looks more complicated than it really is. Like I said, you'll have to play around with these programs and get familiar with them. But, It's actually really easy.

Open PVAstrumento to add all the VOB files:

1- Click the browse button. Find your folder and select (shift select, or draw a box
around) all the .VOB files adding VOB files to PVAstrumento
A box will open allowing you to make sure the VOB files are in the correct

2- Click Demux.

3- A "Demux" box will open, for now, you can leave it as is. Click the browse
button and chose the same folder as the destination to make it easy to find your
files, or create a new folder within the original, (parent folder) your choice.

4- Click Demux and wait. This will merge the VOB files seamlessly, & separate the
audio, from the video, create an index for "cuttermaran", or "Mpeg2schnitt" your

5- When finished you'll find a few files. the main files are M2V, video, AC3, audio,
and .idd index files.

6- Now download and install Mgeg2schnitt. free.



Can't help you with Cuttermaran.
If you chose Mpeg2schnitt, I can help.

1- Open Mpeg2schnitt. select "English" in the "Language" tab, Might have to learn
a few german words. LOL

2- To add the M2V file, click "File" > "Open Audio/Video". Because PVAstrumento
created an index file, Mpeg2schnitt knows everything it needs to, & will also
open the AC3 audio file.

3- You should now see your video. It should play smoothly when you press the
play button. You can also scrub the timeline with the slider. You can cut out
unwanted footage by selecting the " In" button then the "out" button. This will
save that cut, to the cut list, you'll be keeping those cuts. Everything you don't
select will be deleted or saved to a different folder, (see the buttons next to the
"GO" icon) your choice. Play around with it to get familiar with it. It's really easy.

caveat; you can only cut "in" on an "I" frame, and cut "out" on an "I" or "P" frame.
It's not like a video editor like WMM or Vegas, there are no transitions etc.
The upside is it is really fast, and does not recode, (unless you change the default settings) so you won't lose quality. And the finished MPV, AC3 files are DVD compliant.

4- You can also add more video, such as another DVD. Follow the above steps to
demux and create an M2V, AC3, .idd just like you did with the first DVD.
then click the icon above the slider. (hover you mouse over the icon it will say
"add Audio/Video") This will add the second DVD/video. Make your cuts and add them to the cut list. This will merge
all the cuts.

5- When you're finished, click the "Go" button.

6- A new box will open allowing you to choose the destination of your finished,
DVD compliant video. Create a new folder in your parent folder so you don't
confuse the new files with the old files.

7- Leave it default for now. Click "OK" and wait. Mpeg2schnitt will create a DVD compliant MPV, video file,
& AC3 audio file.

This is your finished video ready for Authoring back to DVD. (or whatever) If your favorite Author won't accept the MPV, AC3 files you'll have to mux/multiplex to create a MPEG2 program stream for DVD. I use Avidemux.

If you don't know how to author or don't have an authoring program, you can DL them for free at Videohelp.



I mostly use DVDauthorgui, because it rarely fails, the quality is always good, it's fast.
Caveat: You'll have to create a menu with photoshop. Then convert that to M2V.
If you want a motion menu, you'll need to install Avisynth. There is a learning curve to add buttons, and sub menus. But once you know how it's easy.

DVDstyler will create professional looking menus including motion menus,
caveat; it fails often, it's buggy, sometimes you lose quality, has trouble with MPV files sometimes.

To use DVDauthorGui to create a simple DVD, with chapters, no menu.

1- Open DVDauthorgui, click "Add Title" (the Title is the video MPV) browse to find
your folder with the finished MPV file, select & click "open" to add the MPV. A
new box will open prompting you to add an audio file, you should see your AC3
file, select the AC3 & click "open". You should now see both MPV, and AC3
file called Title 1.

2- To add chapter points, click the "chapter" icon. So to add a chapter point every
ten minutes, it would look like this.
00:30:00.00 etc. If DVD is over an hour.
01: 00:00.00
01:10:00.00 etc.

3- When finished click the "Author DVD" icon. save it to your original folder (parent folder) it will create it's own folder with a VIDEO_TS & AUDIO_TS.

This creates a DVD that will play when you insert it in any DVD player. You can use the DVD players remote to skip through chapters. and when DVD is finished it will exit.

Caveat: It won't burn the folder to DVD.

To burn the Folder to DVD. download ImgBurn.


1- open Imgburn, in the toolbar, click "mode" > "Build"

2- drag and drop the finished folder into IMGburn. (the folder should be the one containing the VIDEO_TS & AUDIO_TS folders.

Here's a guide for the settings;


3- Choose the burner, and click the burn button. If it's a duel layer, and you get the "end of the world" error. Click the seamless button. Most newer DVD players don't need a layer break. If your does, and you want a layer break, you can split a cell. There's a good tutorial on the ImgBurn forum.
Or redo the whole thing adding more chapter points around the middle of the video.

I hope this helps.

Corrections/additions are very welcome.

Edited by 12x48y, 22 May 2012 - 09:34 AM.

#4 MickinPlymouthUK


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Posted 24 May 2012 - 03:41 PM

If you don't mind some loss of picture/sound quality,simply point a camcorder or digicam at the video when it's playing on screen and record it from the screen.
Then plug your cam into the PC and download the captured vid onto your hard drive, from where you can burn it to DVD.
It works, i've done it myself but like i said there's some loss of pic/sound quality.

Edited by MickinPlymouthUK, 24 May 2012 - 03:42 PM.

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