Using Video Capture Cards

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Video Capture Cards

Video capture cards have been in use for years by those looking to create digital video from analog signals on PC or Mac. There is a wide variety in price, specifications and functionality, ranging from $50 - $500 or more. A video capture card’s primary purpose is to create a digital video file on a computer, which then can be viewed or converted, if necessary, to a PSP-compatible format. In any case, the digital video needs to be transferred using a card reader or USB connection. The mode of operation varies, but a PC will always be involved, and the recording takes place in real time.

Using a Capture Card:

Use of a capture card will normally be close to the following structure:

  1. Install the card - This will normally involve opening your PC or Mac and adding a PCI or AGP card to your motherboard. The card itself should include detailed instructions for this. Some more recent video capture cards are external to the computer's case- they are connected via USB 2 or Firewire. This means a somewhat less involved installation process, but installation of driver software will be necessary in either case.
  2. Once the card is installed and operational, connect your video source. This may be via S-Video, Component video, or another format. A common use for capture cards is to grab video from TV, or a home camcorder, but DVD players, VCRs, or HDTV are also possibilities.
  3. Use the card's software and specific procedure to record your video. The format, quality, and steps needed to proceed will vary from card to card.
  4. If the card has recorded to a format that is compatible with the iPod, PSP, your Smartphone, PMP or PDA, use the appropriate method to transfer the video. This will likely involve either copying the converted video to a memory card or connecting via USB.
  5. If the card recorded to an incompatible format, you'll need to use conversion software to move the video to an iPod, PSP, PDA, Smartphone or PMP. Check one of the sections about conversion software, and return to the above step.
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