Video capture tools are a necessary part of the process.
These enable the transfer of video from your camera or video
player to the computer. There are three basic types.
Video capture cards. Capture cards record and convert the
video to digital format and must be installed inside the computer.
Capture cards can cost from less than $100 to thousands of dollars
depending on the format and resolution required.
External capture device. This is a small “box” that connects the
video source to the computer and enables the capture of VHS video without having to add anything inside the computer. External capture devices
can run from $50 to $150 for home models.
Graphics cards with video capturing. These combine video capturing
capabilities with graphics so nothing extra is needed. Many new computers
come with built-in digital video connections. Internal and external TV tuners
may also have ancillary capture capabilities.
Two other elements are important parts of the process.
Video editing software. Once your videos are digitized on your computer,
you’ll want to edit them to select the best parts, get rid of those shots of the
ceiling and floor, and add video effects, titles and, perhaps, even music. With
the editing suites available today, anyone can be a junior Spielberg, and many
cost less than $100.
DVD burners. Once your “epic” is finished, you’ll want to burn it onto a
DVD for easy sharing. Many of the computers manufactured in the past couple
of years have DVD burners as standard features, but if yours does not have
one, you can get an internal or external drive for less than $100.—Steve Fisher