August 2, 2010

Basic Guide to record video onto a computer's hard drive

The simplest way to record video onto your computer's hard drive is to use a digital camcorder which uses a hard drive, or SD flash memory since the file is already on the camcorder's drive, so all you have to do is plug in your camcorder to your computer with a USB cable, or take out the SD card to copy the video file on to your computer's hard drive, and the video is ready to be watched on your PC.

Flip HD portable camcorders, or other types of portable camcorders can also record video pretty well for Youtube and online video sites, but they has less features like long-range zoom which the bigger and more expensive camcorders have. However, if you just need a camera for recording short video clips under 120 minutes and of simple things then the Flip camcorders can be good enough for your needs. Some digital cameras also have a video mode. But from my experience with inexpensive digital cameras, the video quality is usually poor because the audio and video are very bad. Plus, the frame rate is not very good, so digital cameras are not very good for sporting events, and recording fast moving video. Digital Cameras are also bulky for the good quality ones, and they are not very comfortable for a long time since they don't have an hand band like real camcorders, or they don't fit your hand very well compared to portable HD camcorders.

Portable Camcorders are also very easy to use. All you have to do is turn them on and press record and stop in most cases unlike digital cameras where you need to turn a dial to go to video capture mode, or navigate the more complicated menus and control panels.

USB Computer Webcams are also good for recording video for video blogging on YouTube, but make sure that the camera comes with video recording software for the webcam since some webcams don't come with video recording software. The advantage of using a webcam for recording video is you can see yourself on the monitor while you are recording, you don't have to worry about battery life unless you are using a laptop, you can record hours of video until your computer hard drive is full, you can also use it to video chat with people on MSN, Skype, and webcams can be very cheap. The disadvantages of webcams are the video and mic's sound quality can be poor for cheaper models, they can't be used to record outdoors videos unless you have a laptop, no zoom in most cases, need a computer, need video recording software to record video.

Recording from Older video devices, players, and Game consoles

If you have an older camcorder which uses tape, VCR, DVD player, Game console, or other video device, you can use a USB video capture adapter or PCI video capture card to record video onto your computer, but it can be very slow since it is like using a VCR to record a TV show. More expensive USB video capture cards and PCI video capture cards can also have a built-in TV tuner card for recording standard definition TV channels, and ATSC, QAM HDTV non-encrypted TV channels.

If you use Windows XP, you can also use Adaptec GameBrige to record your Game consoles game play videos. However, Gamebridge does not work for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and non-XP Operating Systems.

Once you recorded the video to your computer, you need to convert it to a lower quality and edit it to make it shorter usually to post on YouTube since YT only allows you to upload a 2GB video clip, and a max running time of 10 minutes. Plus, you also might want to add special effects, transitions, titles, and subtitles to make your videos nicer. I find Windows Movie Maker good enough for my needs. Windows Movie Maker is bundle with Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

Happy video  recording! I wish you luck in your video recording projects!

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