After shooting several home movies with your video camera, which may also be called a personal video recorder (PVR) or digital video recorder (DVR) depending on its manufacturer, you may want to give those videos to other people for viewing. You can connect your personal video recorder to your home computer and then transfer the files. Once they are on your hard drive you can edit the movies and either e-mail them or burn them to a disc to distribute to friends and family.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Check to see what kind of video output cable the personal video recorder came with, such as USB, A/V, or FireWire. Check the ports on the front and back of your computer to see if you have a corresponding port able to accept the personal video recorder's output cable.
Get a conversion unit if your computer does not have a port that corresponds to the output cable, such as an A/V to USB unit. Plug the output cable from the personal video recorder into the conversion unit and then connect the conversion unit's USB cable into a USB port on your computer.
Look inside the battery housing of the personal video recorder to see if it has a flash memory card that stores its data if your computer doesn't have a corresponding port and you can't get a conversion cable. Check to see if your computer has a memory card reader on the front or back. Get an external memory card reader and connect it into the USB port on your computer if it doesn't already have an internal card reader.
Plug the output cable, conversion cable, or memory card into the appropriate port on your computer. Wait for a new window to appear asking what action you want to take. Click on the link labelled "Open a new folder to view the files."
Find the specific video file that you want to transfer in the new folder that will pop up on the screen. Click on the name of the file and then drag it onto the computer's desktop to transfer the file from the personal video recorder to your computer's hard drive.
Tips and warnings
- Not many computers come with an A/V input port, but if you have a higher end graphics card meant for video editing it may have A/V input ports on the back side of the computer's case.
- Depending on the make and model of your personal video recorder, you may not be able to view the video files with a standard video playback program such as Windows Media Player. You may need to download and install either a video player directly from the manufacturer's website or a video conversion program that can convert the file into a standard video file extension (see Resources).
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