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How to Attach a Camcorder to a Laptop

Updated February 21, 2017

Camcorders record video and audio in either digital or analogue formats on the camcorder's built-in hard drive or to a compact disc or tape cassette. If you want to play back or edit videos on your laptop, you'll have to connect the camcorder with the supplied cable. Digital camcorders can be connected directly to a laptop, typically with a USB or FireWire cable. Older analogue camcorders can be connected with a digital converter box and USB cable.

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  1. Turn off the camcorder and computer.

  2. Plug in one end of the audio-video cable that comes with the camcorder into the AV port on the back or side of the camcorder.

  3. Connect the other end of the cable to the matching port on the laptop, either a USB or FireWire port.

  4. Turn off the camcorder and laptop.

  5. Connect the composite AV cable from the camcorder's audio-video jacks to the matching input jacks on the analogue-to-digital converter box. The yellow plug is the video connection. White and red are the left and right stereo channels.

  6. Plug in a USB cable from the port on the converter box to an unused port on the laptop.

  7. Place the software CD that comes with the converter box in the laptop's drive tray and close the tray. Click each installation button on the laptop screen to load the drivers and software for the converter box on the laptop so the devices can communicate. Restart the laptop when the installation is done.

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Things You'll Need

  • USB or FireWire cable
  • Analogue-to-digital converter box (for analogue camcorders)
  • Composite audio-video cable

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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