Beta was a popular tape format in the 1980s that eventually lost the battle to VHS. However, many Beta tapes and decks can still be found. It's possible to transfer your old Beta tapes to DVD. Other than the Beta equipment, you primarily need an analogue- to-digital converter box. The converters take the analogue signals from your Beta deck and convert them for computers to read and capture. You'll soon be reliving those Beta memories again in no time.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Beta tape
- Beta deck
- RCA connection cables
- Analogue-to-digital video conversion box
- Editing software
- Blank DVD
Hook up the analogue conversion box to your computer. Many of the newer models will plug into your system through a FireWire or USB cable. Follow the instructions for your conversion box that explains how to hook it up to your particular system.
Connect your Beta deck to the conversion box. Insert the RCA cables on the back of the Beta deck into the ports on the conversion box. Match the colours to make the proper connections. The white and red cables connect to the left and right audio ports, while the yellow cable connects to the video port.
Boot up your system and start your capturing software. Change the input for the software to the analogue capture box. This can usually be found in the "Input" section of the "Preferences" or "Setup" menu.
Insert the Beta tape into the Beta machine. Cue the machine up to the part of the tape that you want to capture. From the "File" menu in your computer screen, click the "Capture" or "Import" button. Press "Play" on the Beta player to start the tape rolling. You should be able to monitor the progress of the tape in your program's capture window. Press "Stop" when finished.
Move the clip that you've captured to the timeline of your editing system. Edit the captured footage as necessary, adding any titles, sound or effects.
Open the DVD slot and insert a blank DVD.
Export your edited tape to DVD. From the "File" menu, select "Export" or "Send to DVD." The computer will encode the footage and burn it to DVD, ejecting the disc when finished.
Tips and warnings
- Both Windows and Mac computers come with moviemaking software.
- Do not use this process to make copies of copyrighted material.
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