How to Transfer 8mm Video Cassettes to DVD

Written by mark morris
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Transferring analogue video to digital format is a great way to preserve family memories and valuable video resources. Analogue video will degrade over time until the poor quality makes it unwatchable. Digital video will not degrade as long as the storage medium remains intact. It is also more versatile for use in video editing and web video.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer with DVD burner
  • Windows Vista or 7
  • 8mm video camera and cassette
  • Analogue capture device and drivers
  • Connecting cables

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  1. 1

    Plug the USB capture device into your computer and install the software, following manufacturer's instructions. Typically, the computer end of the capture device connection will be a standard USB jack, and the camera end will have three cords with coloured ends, usually red, yellow and white. Your camera should have a cable with similar jacks that will plug into the video out on the camera.

  2. 2

    Use the capture software with your device to capture the video from your 8mm tape into the computer's hard drive. Capture software varies widely, but most have a Help section with step-by-step instructions. Typically a drop-down dialogue box can be found in the File menu with the choice to import video or capture video. Open this dialogue, and the name of your capture device should be displayed. Click it and follow the instructions. Make sure your camera is in playback or VCR mode, the power is on and the tape is in and rewound.

  3. 3

    Pay close attention to where the capture software saves your video. Most programs will save to your My Videos folder or your download folder.

  4. 4

    Open Movie Maker from your programs list and import the file. In Movie Maker, go to File -> Import media items. The video clip will show up as a filmstrip icon on your screen. Click and drag it to the timeline, which is at the bottom. You can use Movie Maker to cut, trim, add titles and music and further customise your movie.

  5. 5

    Go to File and choose Publish movie. Choose the DVD option, which will open Windows DVD Maker. Choose the menu options you want from the right side of the screen. To preview your finished product, press the green button above the video file. When finished, put a blank DVD into your disc drive and click burn. The process may take more than an hour.

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