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Transferring MiniDV video to PC

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I have a question about transferring digital video from a MiniDV tape to the computer as an .avi, .mpeg, etc. file and ultimately burning this to DVD so that I can watch it in any home DVD player.

My video camera is an older model, a 2002 Sony TRV25. The medium is MiniDV. I currently have a fairly weak Dell laptop that doesn't have firewire capabilities. What is the easiest way to transfer the video from MiniDV tape to the PC? Are there devices that bypass the computer altogether and records directly off of the video camera to a DVD player?

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You can easily add a firewire port to any PC. Just buy a Firewire PCI card, fit it into a spare PCI slot inside your Dell box and connect your video camera to it. You will, of course, also need some video-editing/DVD authoring software installed to view the captured video on the PC monitor as you play it back via the camera, add special effects (optional) or titles, then use the same software to put the finished footage on to a DVD in DVD-video format as the final step. generally regarded as the best in it's class for ease of use and reliability is "PowerDirector" by CyberLink: http://www.cyberlink...main_4_ENU.html

Alternatively, as you suggest, you could bypass the PC altogether and buy a DVD recorder which accepts input from a video camera. The disadvantage there, however, is that the DVD recorder simply records what's on the miniDV tape as is, with no editing possible (that's where the PC method comes in). But if it's just "straight to DVD" you want with the minimum of fuss, the DVD recorder is the way to go.

Edited by pip22, 05 September 2007 - 02:32 PM.

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