Converting Analog to Digital Video

By: Instructional Development Services staff

Do you have old VHS tapes that you still display in your classroom?  Do you hate having to rewind and fast forward just to display a few short clips on your tapes?  Are your tapes really old and getting worn out?  Well we have the solution just for you!  The Interactive Multimedia (IMM) Lab has the necessary equipment that allows you to convert any analog video into a digital video format.  We have knowledgeable staff on hand that can train you and assist you in converting your videos.

Advantages of Converting Analog Video to Digital Video

  • Preserve VHS tapes that are wearing out
  • VCRs eventually will become obsolete
  • Can cut certain pieces from your video and arrange into a DVD by chapters or scenes that can be used from class-to-class
  • Transfer VHS tapes to DVD format
  • Take short clips from VHS or DVD videos and save them back out to DVD, Quicktime movie format (.mov) or streaming video.

The lab uses the following equipment in converting analog to digital video:

  • Canopus ADVC110 converter
  • VCR/DVD Combo Player
  • iMac with iMovie software

The most critical piece of equipment in this process is the Canopus ADVC110.  Without this equipment you would not be able to convert the analog video to a digital format.  You can find more information about the Canopus ADVC110 at http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc110.  You can buy it from many places but the average cost is $200-250.

You aren’t limited to the type of computer or video editing software that you use.  You can connect the necessary equipment to a Windows PC and use video software such as Windows MovieMaker to convert your video.  In the IMM Lab we have Intel iMacs where you can use both iMovie or Windows MovieMaker but we feel that iMovie is a little easier/friendlier interface to work with.

Remember that you will need to make sure you are following/obeying legal responsibility and copyright.  We’ve found a great resource from the Association of Research Libraries, that explains these issues with knowing your copyrights.  You can view the brochure at http://www.knowyourcopyrights.org/bm~doc/kycrbrochure.pdf.   The Know Your Copy Rights brochure is © 2007 Association of Research Libraries and is available for your re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/).

******This workshop need not only be for faculty but it can also be for Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, Office Managers or Student Workers who might be asked to convert analog video to digital video.  ******

Tech Tip:  Connecting the Equipment Properly

If you have the needed equipment that we listed above then we will demonstrate how to properly connect them so that you can convert your analog video to digital video.

The equipment you need is:

  • Analog to Digital Video Converter (such as the Canopus ADVC110)
  • VCR player or DVD/VCR Combo
  • Computer (Mac or PC) with video editing software for importing and editing the video

You need to plug one end of the RCA cable into the DVD or VCR Out components.

Plug the other end of the RCA cable into the Video/Audio In components on the converter.

Take one end of your Firewire cable and plug it into the DV Out component of the converter.

Plug the other end of the Firewire cable into the Firewire port on your computer.

You are now ready to open your video editing software on your computer and begin importing and converting your video.

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